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  1. 3 points
    Michael, Ghate is not stupid, true. What's been irritating to me is that while ARI authors show their expertise when they mostly stick with pure Objectivist theories, and finding new ways to re-present them - they are singularly poor at applying theory to reality (or, as you say, applying reality to the ideas, rationalistically). And to top it off, prescribing their own judgments to other O'ists with Randian authority. Surely: Identify the entire situation as it is as a conceptual whole. While also keeping high standards in mind, not what it ~should be~ in an imagined, future perfect world. Where's context? What is the hierarchy of values here? Do actions and positive results matter less than airy words, style or sweet delivery? (Kant's - the noble intention, above all - comes to mind) What is the moral character emerging under pressure (and not the conventionally conformist 'character' - the public and media persona) of the actor(s)? This is after all, raw politics, and as it's been turning out, at its low-down dirtiest, anyone in and out of the US can see. One sees a sort of naivete when ARI Objectivists, going back to Peikoff, come down to the real world, so I'm not so certain there're other motives like financial gain/power involved. Maybe. But they do sound sincere. Perhaps it is all about making Objectivism "relevant". When you've ( I think it was Elan Journo, also generally a good thinker) predicted "a Trump dictatorship" - when hardly had he entered Office - and you now see you were wrong, damn, have the grace to admit your bad judgment and personal dislike in another article.
  2. 3 points
    He's a child or else a very young adult. The graphic is General Iroh from Avatar: the Last Airbender an anime series that ran from 2005-2008 and is still popular today. The hand gesture Iroh is making is likely part of a kata as he often imparted wisdom to his grandson while they trained together. My 15-year-old and I loved that series and quote from it on a semi-regular basis. The very next line after the graphic, our mystery poster says, "So here I am, trying to draw wisdom from a new source." I read him in the same way I would have read my teenage son - more mature and smarter than average, but an awkward communicator and not sure how to convey that he wants to learn something while maintaining that he knows everything. You know, like a kid would do. Your experience, MSK, led you to read him differently, and you'll get no judgment from me on that, neither in my response to the poster nor in this response to you. However, I was compelled to answer honestly his honest inquiry. No, I did not get the same impression of him as others did.
  3. 3 points
    There's an overwhelming over-abundance of more than enough information. And that's just in any single frame of the video. Consider all of the content of all of the frames, and there are multiple, layered, redundant means of determining whether or not any entity, attribute, action or effect seen in any frame conforms to reality. The space, the objects within it, and the motions are all precisely measurable. Then add all of the visual information from other cameras at other vantage points... Each participant on this thread who has commented on the visual evidence is right about some things, yet wrong about others. The issue is not that the visual evidence is insufficient, but that none of you has the technical knowledge to be making any conclusions, or to be dismissing anyone else's observations or concerns, or to be throwing accusations of kookiness or conspiracy theorizing at anyone who thinks that something in a photo looks a bit odd. J
  4. 3 points
    https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-milkyway-over-beaverhill-county-jestephotography-ltd.html Something a lil different than my Wildlife photography. Nikon Z7 mirrorless with a Sigma 14-24mm f2.8 Art series lens for Astrophotography.
  5. 3 points
    Ted (in) Lieu (of fill in the blank) pulled out his cell phone and on the Congressional record called Candace Owens a ****er lover. I saw it !
  6. 2 points
    Methinks the pollsters are hoping to produce a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ellen
  7. 2 points
    Do you have a source?
  8. 2 points
    Ghate may be as he says an "expert" on Rand's philosophy, but doesn't say we shouldn't have elected Trump. That would have let Clinton and the left and deep state out of the bag. Trump is a cultural warrior par excellent and we are in a cultural war. The left is being smashed in a way Rand could not, but she laid the intellectual foundations for Trump doing what he's doing. The left gave up all intellectual pretensions 50 years ago with the Vietnam War protests. They are power seekers and wielders and have always been so just below the now disintegrating surface. As for Rand despising Trump: well, you can despise the past, not a non-existent future. Ghate's just ad h-ing him with a Rand club. --Brant maybe post-Trump we can go back into the world (after making the sign of the dollar)
  9. 2 points
    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! --Brant
  10. 2 points
    Several years ago I did some textual research into Anthem. The different editions you can buy (Caxton, Signet, etc.) contain many discrepancies - not to mention the Project Gutenberg version. I even went to the Library of Congress to inspect the galley proofs. My conclusion was that the 1946 edition is definitive, so that's the version I republished at my website for texts in the public domain. You can read more at http://monadnock.net/rand/anthem.html and http://monadnock.net/rand/anthem-notes.html if you're so inclined.
  11. 2 points
    I’m road tripping today and passing my time as a passenger surfing the internet. I rarely have more than a few minutes these days for this kind of activity, so I tend to be quite selfish with how I spend those minutes. Hence, my much reduced activity here in general and my hesitance to devote a lot of energy on this thread. But I see there are others attempting to speak on my behalf and perhaps being offended for me, so .... Regarding a Socratic circle, I have no idea if there is a correct way to do one, and I’ve never participated in one. I only know what the young people in my life have told me about their experience. It’s typically done in ELA classes when discussing literature, but I assume it can be done in other settings. There’s an inner circle of participants who are meant to discuss and an outer circle of participants who are meant to observe. After a time, they switch places. There is some general topic, but other than that the discussion is meant to be a sharing of ideas and wherever that goes, it goes. Now, my understanding is that it can be quite boring when participants repeat by rote. Therefore, kids like my son will open with some purposely provocative statement. Playing devil’s advocate if you will. Pot stirring if you prefer. It’s common for him to begin dinner discussions this way. We’re both entertained. I’ve seen this be not so entertaining. One of the young people on my team at work is accustomed to being the most brilliant person in the room. And she is brilliant. But what worked for her in the classroom doesn’t always work in the real world. When she comes to me with a purposely provocative idea, it’s my job to coach her through communicating that in a way that won’t get her laughed out of the room. Or called condescending. Regarding the phantom, I don’t know him. I’ve said already that I drew conclusions about him based on what I gleaned from his original post and my own experiences. I don’t have any attachment to the rightness or wrongness of those conclusions. Michael, I simply don’t know what else I could contribute that would be enlightening for you, but I freely admit that I didn’t go very far backwards to see what other questions you may have asked that I didn’t address. Unless you expected a response to “aw, c’mon” in which case I’ll close with “Jane, you ignorant slut!” That’s a joke, of course. Everyone be well.
  12. 2 points
    Jon, And of course being bullied, right? That's the subtext everyone is responding to. And that's rich coming from you. Since when do you stand up for social justice warriors, anyway? Talk about weird and bizarre. You wanna do tough-guy talk, tough guy? Here's some tough talk. Tone it down. I mean it. My patience is wearing thin. Michael
  13. 2 points
    The Objective Standard online published another extension of their article defending Carl Barney’s past involvement in Scientology – an open letter from Carl Barney himself, reviewed here: Barney Sticks to His Story To avoid a link that would boost TOS's search ranking, use the following. Paste it into either your browser's address or search window, then after entering choose the first listed link: theobjectivestandard·com/2019/07/regarding-carl-barney-and-scientology Mark
  14. 2 points
    We read the online Chicago papers for news and obits. Did a building collapse? We cried. We kept clicking on the OL link. We even looked for other sites. What happened we said. Sigh. Welcome back!
  15. 2 points
    Moonlighting or Kool-Aid? That is the question. Michael
  16. 2 points
    Last July Craig Biddle of The Objective Standard published “Regarding Carl Barney and Scientology” in defense of Barney. That didn’t satisfy some of his readers so a few days ago he published a Part Two, same webpage as what is now called Part One. I review it at: Barney Continues Telling His Story
  17. 2 points
    Six or so years ago, I wouldn't have agreed with that idea myself. Climate-dispute-related experiences which I'd rather not have had have been unpleasantly educative. Whether or not Barney is a thorough con, I can't be sure, but his history sounds to me as if he is. At any rate, I think that there's enough evidence to be sure that he isn't the "profoundly good," misled-in-youthful-innocence person Biddle presents him as being. Ellen
  18. 2 points
    They're being softened up for committing ritual suicide. Ellen
  19. 2 points
    I don't think Barney is Gang connected - just a pretty successful common variety con man who started using "education" as his gimmick when he was involved in Scientology. Ellen
  20. 2 points
    I have excerpted some paragraphs from the article below. If you want a real hoot, read the comments at the bottom of the article, but not with a full mouth. THE INNER WORLDS OF CONSPIRACY BELIEVERS Those who subscribe to 9/11 conspiracy beliefs are generally suspicious and inquisitive, a new study suggests. By Bruce Bower June 20th, 2009; Vol.175 #13 (p. 11) Shortly after terrorist attacks destroyed the World Trade Center and mangled the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, conspiracy theories blossomed about secret and malevolent government plots behind the tragic events. A report scheduled to appear in an upcoming Applied Cognitive Psychology offers a preliminary psychological profile of people who believe in 9/11 conspiracies. A team led by psychologist Viren Swami of the University of Westminster in London identified several traits associated with subscribing to 9/11 conspiracies, at least among British citizens. These characteristics consist of backing one or more conspiracy theories unrelated to 9/11, frequently talking about 9/11 conspiracy beliefs with likeminded friends and others, taking a cynical stance toward politics, mistrusting authority, endorsing democratic practices, feeling generally suspicious toward others and displaying an inquisitive, imaginative outlook. “Often, the proof offered as evidence for a conspiracy is not specific to one incident or issue, but is used to justify a general pattern of conspiracy ideas,” Swami says. His conclusion echoes a 1994 proposal by sociologist Ted Goertzel of Rutgers–Camden in New Jersey. After conducting random telephone interviews of 347 New Jersey residents, Goertzel proposed that each of a person’s convictions about secret plots serves as evidence for other conspiracy beliefs, bypassing any need for confirming evidence. Goertzel says the new study provides an intriguing but partial look at the inner workings of conspiracy thinking. Such convictions critically depend on what he calls “selective skepticism.” Conspiracy believers are highly doubtful about information from the government or other sources they consider suspect. But, without criticism, believers accept any source that supports their preconceived views, he says. “Arguments advanced by conspiracy theorists tell you more about the believer than about the event,” Goertzel says. Conspiracy thinkers share an optimistic conviction that they can find “the truth,” spread it to the masses and foster social change, Goldberg asserts. Over the past 50 years, researchers and observers of social dynamics have traced beliefs in conspiracy theories to feelings of powerlessness, attempts to bolster self-esteem and diminished faith in government. Much as Swami’s team suspected, beliefs in 9/11 conspiracy theories were stronger among individuals whose personalities combined suspicion and antagonism toward others with intellectual curiosity and an active imagination. A related, unpublished survey of more than 1,000 British adults found that 9/11 conspiracy believers not only often subscribed to a variety of well-known conspiracy theories, but also frequently agreed with an invented conspiracy. Christopher French of Goldsmiths, University of London, and Patrick Leman of Royal Holloway, University of London, both psychologists, asked volunteers about eight common conspiracy theories and one that researchers made up: “The government is using mobile phone technology to track everyone all the time.” The study, still unpublished, shows that conspiracy believers displayed a greater propensity than nonbelievers to jump to conclusions based on limited evidence. “It seems likely that conspiratorial beliefs serve a similar psychological function to superstitious, paranormal and, more controversially, religious beliefs, as they help some people to gain a sense of control over an unpredictable world,” French says.
  21. 2 points
    By Ron Unz, the latest in his American Pravda series: John McCain, Jeffrey Epstein, and Pizzagate “Our Reigning Political Puppets, Dancing to Invisible Strings” It’s long but the lucid style makes it easy to read.
  22. 2 points
    My recommendation is to start with AR's fiction--and not ATLAS SHRUGGED, but THE FOUNTAINHEAD or even WE THE LIVING. Thus you can see where it all germinates. It is, after all, in her intention "a philosophy for living on Earth." The novels show a working-out of her ideas in life itself, and the terms in which she is conceiving it.
  23. 2 points
    Billy has closed further comments on his "Placeholder for GW/CC 'How I got here’” climate doom thread, and just when I thought that he might finally be interested in actual discussion. So, I’m starting this thread to answer some of the responses that he gave in his last post — and thanks, Billy, for those responses, instead of your typical non-responsiveness. Billy replied to me: My understanding is that Tyndall's testing of his hypotheses were well-defined and carefully controlled, and his results were and are repeatable. I’ve been asking you to provide the same in regard to hypotheses of man-made climate change. Do you understand that Tyndall’s work does not answer my questions? Billy: You reap what you sow, Billy. Heh. Don’t like being accused and psychoanalyzed? Hmmm. Maybe consider not doing it to others. Let’s have a conversation. I’ve been asking for one for years. I’ve been asking the same questions, and you’ve been ignoring them, dodging them, and serving “tasty steamed octopus” (in other words, posting everything but answers to my questions while acting as if you’re answering the questions). I’ve also asked if you have a problem with my requests for you to show me the science, and, if so, to explain why you think that my questions are invalid, improper, not applicable, or whatever. No response. No explanation. Instead of having a discussion, you decide to ignore questions, and then devise ways of testing what I know about Tyndall or Weart, or whomever else. You don’t need to know how much I know. Science isn’t about establishing authority. He who knows the most doesn’t become right just by having the most knowledge. All that matters is repeatable results of successfully tested predictions of hypotheses. That’s what I’ve been asking you -- over and over and over again -- to provide. That’s the question that I’ve been asking you to provide the answers to. Show me the science. I’ve displayed the patience of a saint. I’ve asked countless times in regard to the hypothesis of anthropogenic climate change: "Show me the repeatable, successful predictions. Identify specifically what was the hypothesis, precisely what predictions were made, when were they made, what potential results were identified ahead of time as falsifying or invalidating the hypothesis, what the start and finish dates of the experiment were, provide the unmolested data, the untainted control, and the unmanipulated historical record." My belief and understanding is that you have not answered my questions. Nor did Brad when he was here, nor the second meatball. I’m not interested in suspecting what will happen in regard to "predictions of global warming to come.” Predictions are not the end of science. For the billionth fucking time, I’m interested in the predictions of the past having come true in reality after having been precisely defined. I'm interested in climatology following the requirements of the scientific method. As I’ve asked ad nauseam: "I'm asking to see 'the science' which puts the hypothesis to the test, and succeeds reliably and repeatedly. I'm asking for open access to all of the information. What was the hypothesis, precisely what predictions were made, when were they made, what potential results were identified ahead of time as falsifying or invalidating the hypothesis, what were the start and finish dates of the experiment, what are the unmolested data, the untainted control, and the unmanipulated historical record?” "How long of a time period must we observe temperatures rising, without leveling off or falling, in order to conclude not only that temperatures are indeed rising enough so as to be considered climactic change, but also primarily caused by human activities? Which models/experiments have identified this timeframe prior to the models' predictions being made, and prior to reality then being observed? Where may I find the details of these types of ground rules? We already know that some scientists are asserting that a 12 to 15 year "pause/hiatus," or even a 15 to 18 year one, is not sufficient to falsify their favorite models. With such assertions, determining exactly when the ground rules were established becomes very important. Without these details, it can seem that people are just making it up as they go along." "What are the specific conditions of falsifiability? What results in reality would invalidate the hypothesis? And why? "Which single model is the settled science model? I've seen a range of models with a range of predictions. Some have fallen by the wayside over the decades, and we don't hear about them anymore, but, anyway, which of the differing and competing current models settled it once and for all, and what date was it officially determined by the consensus scientists that that single model nailed it?" It isn’t a card game. Science isn’t about seeing the other guys' cards. It’s about identifying reality via a specific process. You seem to want to believe that I have beliefs that you need to counter. I don’t. I’m asking to see the science. No other method will work. I don’t accept substitutes, and all you’ve been focusing on is substitutes. Focus on the science. Focus on answering my questions rather than trying to guess my beliefs so that you can formulate a strategy to counter them. I haven’t read it. I’ve come across references to it, and quotes from it. I’m neither excited about reading it, nor opposed. Does it answer my questions? If so, please just cut to the chase and say so. Cite the relevant passages. There’s Billy doing exactly what he complains about when the Others™ do it right back to him. Anyway, to answer your question, no, your recommendation isn’t the kiss of death. Why are you so passionate about getting me to read it? Does it address the questions that I’ve been asking for years? If not, why would I find it worth reading? Are you hoping that, since it convinced you, it will do the same for me, and make me forget all about the questions that I’ve asked that you can’t answer? You poor darling. Victims who can’t take what they dish out are the most victimized of all victims. It's do damned unfair that people treat you almost as poorly as you treat them. Yes, please do come back if you learn that new material, especially if it answers my questions. We really don't need any more of your new material that doesn't answer the questions, or doesn't explain why you won't answer the questions. J
  24. 2 points
    Get Woke, Go Broke - Selling Authoritarianism This could also be called "The Virtue of Slavery." Different companies have flirted with selling social justice because they believe the millennial demographic is mostly made up of social justice warriors. Sjw's are the loudest, but not the majority. And some major corporations are learning this the hard way. Remember those gawdawful Gillette ads about how men were nasty to women, but could "do better"? How does an eight billion dollar loss sound? Gillette is 'shifting the spotlight from social issues' after series of woke ads — and losses Gillette ‘Shifting Spotlight from Social Issues’ After Anti-Masculinity Ad Disaster Gillette learned one cannot guilt customers into buying razor blades. That's a mistake for newbies, not companies the size of Gillette. But here we are. The real problem is not selling a product with an underdog story, not even a social class underdog story, i.e., social justice story, so long as the customer feels empowered, not demeaned. Ads that do this tend to work. The problem comes from selling authoritarianism. Power in the message must go to the individual, not to the tribe. Individuals buy retail products. Tribes rarely do. When power goes to the tribe in an ad message, that's propaganda. That's selling authoritarianism. And propaganda doesn't sell razor blades. This is pretty simple, but the dorks in some major companies seem to have difficulty understanding it. I could mention not using their own customers as the villains in the ad stories, too, but one thing at a time. These people need one to go sloooooooooooww... This problem has become so pervasive these days, there is now a popular saying: Get woke, go broke. It's almost like the free market is telling them: Social justice authoritarianism is poison and if you sell it, you deserve to lose your money. But a corrective is happening and another popular saying illustrates it well: Money talks, bullshit walks. Michael
  25. 2 points
    https://images.app.goo.gl/mcu6uuSnxqmcAvJ1A
  26. 2 points
    Just like in Communist China. Tell me again that Google is a decent, rights-bearing private company, Statist. Google, FBI, bomb squad airing anti-Red Flag laws advertisement ... https://truepundit.com/video-police-bomb-squad-there-were-snipers-on-the-rooftops/ “San Francisco Police, its bomb squad and the FBI surrounded the residence of Google whistleblower Zach Vorhies, just hours before he was scheduled to provide evidence to the Justice Department detailing how the tech giant has been manipulating its algorithms to promote an anti-Trump agenda and censor Conservatives on Google and YouTube.”
  27. 2 points
    The editor of The Objective Standard, a magazine affiliated with the Ayn Rand Institute, has finally responded to the revelations in ARI Watch’s exposé “Who is Carl Barney?" about ARI’s largest donor. ARI Watch reviews that response in a new article Barney Tells His Story. You can understand it by itself because it quotes the TOS article.
  28. 2 points
    The Perfect Storm for a VACCINE HOLOCAUST is Now Here video, 36 minutes -- Mike Adams https://www.brighteon.com/8879b5af-59b3-4ed3-98e6-f9037f22ade5
  29. 2 points
    Michael, What you say about Q is along the lines I've been thinking, too. Sometimes Q is right, sometimes wrong, but always Q gets people questioning and poking and prying. William's supercilious negativity was what first aroused my interest. William's effective as a reverse indicator. Ellen
  30. 2 points
    I haven't read the article , so I don't know who is shilling for whom. But whenever I hear about conspiracy theories relating to tech companies becoming seemingly tech behemoths it makes me wonder whether the behemothing was orchestrated by other than market forces. Especially things tech/social/media. I get there can be tons of money chasing info /data the sellers can take advantage of for marketing and such. It would be hard to direct all that spending toward mining that data if it were spread out far and wide, fortunately the behemoths aggregate a lot of it and fortunately since a large majority of everyone uses the behemoths we are pretty comfortable using them . It's odd there is Coke and Pepsi but no Google and .., or YouTube and .., no? I get Carnegie built US Steel , but he acquired and built his way to that, bought other independent companies , integrated supply chains ect. US internet behemoths feel like they sprang from nothing to everything , did Facebook ever experience a lack of servers that limited their capacity ? Or YouTube? Did they acquire others' capacities ? How much investment is/was needed for the hardware ? I am completely ignorant of the cost structure for the industry , but I assume the price of raw computing power has decreased in at least the last decade, though I doubt Mom or Pop would be able to out compete the existing titans just on the hardware costs alone. But as I said I'm ignorant of the cost structure and perhaps that just feeds my bias toward sympathy for the idea that Big Brother helped to make sure all the lovely data and control bottlenecks seem to be limited to a few players.
  31. 2 points
    She knows shit about predators. --Brant been there, done that, smack, smack, smack if humans weren't predators, we'd have eyes on the sides of our heads
  32. 2 points
    Sunny Lohmann hosts a podcast featuring Ed Powell and Ed Mazlish: youtube.com/watch?v=995Riq8JdUo
  33. 2 points
    I have begun to wonder if Obama is running the Deep State behind the scenes. He might be an Acting President, everyone in the Federal civil service working hard to oust Trump. Sort of makes sense. Obama lives in Washington. Be interesting to have NSA metadata on who he talked to last week, and whether he personally directed Lynch and Comey to bury the Hillary evidence. Anything is possible.The caravans were a stroke of genius. Motor voter registration and driver licenses for illegals. Yep. Recent history has Obama's fingerprints all over it. Rush Limbaugh speculated that NATO diplomats agitated for an FBI counterintelligence putsch to smear candidate Trump. No way. It was an Obama White House op, start to finish.
  34. 2 points
    That guy is a Christian Nazi. He should stay away from the holy smoke if he wants to be a rational holder of public office. I despise people who want to wed their religion to public law. Even with a powerful Episcopalian entity in England, there was some separation of church and state going back to earlier times, which was reinforced in the U.S. Constitution. Back then, you couldn't be an atheist without being lynched or booed in the mid to late 1700's but you could be a Deist. And the more intelligent of the West's leaders and intelligentsia called themselves Deists.
  35. 2 points
    Many of them sincerely believe, it’s just that they want you to die, first. They want your home burned down and turned back to prairie. Then they can enjoy earth with a smaller, sustainable population. How many who oppose pipelines have turned off their pipeline? None. That would be suicide.
  36. 2 points
    Heh. That's a "TANTRUM"? And that's a "real" interviewer with "difficult" questions? Mr. Shapiro, I've selectively misinterpreted some fragments of your past statements to mean what I want them to mean. I gotcha. Defend yourself against my accusations. Pro Boss Real Interviewer right there. Is he the male Cathy Newman? J
  37. 2 points
    Brant, Yes they do. That's what you are not seeing. They are using the Matt Drudge model of journalism: presenting headlines of news articles in a certain order and including only those that tweak their agenda. Notice that Drudge shows predominantly pro-progressive headlines one day, headlines that are chosen to get people riled up (threats, offensive things, etc.), then he presents the conservative knockout headlines the next day, including lots of headlines that put conservatives on the moral high ground. That's just one form of doing that. The tech giants learned it and added a gazillion others, especially through micro-targeting. Take a good look at their news feeds some day. Or the items they say are "trending." Or take a look at the same ads that keep showing up everywhere you go on the Internet. This is called "retargeting" and is mostly commercial stuff, but pay attention to the political things. You will see mostly easily debunked fringe things when conservative issues show up in these retargeted ads, and plenty of uplifting-like message ads from Dem establishment people like Kamala Harris. btw - Just for people to know, retargeting happens when a pixel of an image is placed on your harddrive with instructions embedded in it. You don't give permission for the pixel to be placed there. It just happens when you visit certain sites and interact with something on them. My joy and hope stem from the current stupidity of the social media giants. Instead of keeping to their covert stuff, they have gone full-on authoritarian and think they will persuade by persecuting certain individuals at a cartel level (notice Alex Jones was eliminated from a bunch of places all within the same 24 hour period). You can do that and be persuasive in a dictatorship where people will show up in the middle of the night, drag your ass out of bed and either put you in a political prison or kill you. You persuade thus by fear. But when you do that to Americans, they get really pissed and some strange alliances pop up to stand up to the bullies. Look at this authoritarian urge showing its ugly face with the midnight raid on Roger Stone by a large number of law enforcement people armed to the teeth. The fake news media was right there covering it all in real time. And the news feeds showed nothing but that for a time. They want nightime arrests of political opponents. They want their political opponents silenced and punished by the state with jail or worse. They salivate at the image and take joy in it. These people are enemies of individual rights, not victims of the state when they are restricted from doing harm to the individuals they wish to target for political differences. This is the press, you say? Not social media? The truth is, they are in bed with social media giants right now, sharing the same advertising sponsors. That is their leverage. Social media giants and the fake news media know what each other is doing. They are colluding. Michael
  38. 2 points
    Brant. It is exactly the contrary. There is a lot under the hood and I think you don't believe much in it because it's new and you aren't familiar with the extents and proofs. Look at it this way for just one angle. The NYT is constantly struggling to stay alive financially. And without Bezos, WaPo would have folded. The amount of money these companies generate and need to operate is very small compared to the financial world of the social media giants. It's the elephant and mouse thing. What's worse, but more of an indication of the influence of these giant Internet companies, they made their billions and billions in the last ten years or so from practically nothing. That's not much time at all. Besides, neither NYT nor WaPo convince anyone of anything these days. They don't change hearts and minds. They sing to a small diminishing (but loyal) choir while resting on their reputations from years past. The social media giants are based on behavioral science at the root. Once you learn what they do, how they do it, and see the results according to split testing, you really get creeped out. (Look up growth hacking sometime if you are curious.) The only reason traditional media is still relevant financially is because of old connections with old advertising models. Once the ad world wakes up, they will leave traditional media and chase bigger payoffs for their clients elsewhere. This is already starting to happen. I could go into a lot of detail, but I don't have time. I believe Obama started the deep corruption of the tech giants. He (and his COBS people) helped them engineer the Arab Spring and they began to believe they could partner with political power to topple dictatorships and remold the world. These are nerds and that kind of power went to their heads. Once tasted, that kind of power is more addictive to nerds than their algorithms. Obama also put lots of his folks into Google while putting lots of Google folks into the government. I could go on and on about all this. Michael
  39. 2 points
    Brant, Nah... Ignoring the problem--and what caused it--is the back door to fascism. Principles operate in contexts. For example, the principle of private property was practically useless when the Titanic was sinking. As were all the principles of good seamanship. And those are great principles. The problem was the ship was going down. Once there are no people and no ship, principles mean what? Nothing, that's what. Would you have fought the different Communist takeovers of the different countries last century with syllogisms and principles? Many people did and look what it got them. What about that big pile of bodies, millions and millions of them, from Communist purges? Do dead people use syllogisms? In today's world, allowing government protected communication cartels to skew the next election toward an authoritarian elite because of a principle that doesn't work with government protected cartels is playing with that kind of fire and, frankly, it is a foolish way to enforce individual rights against a hightech cartel (one that is protected by the government) that is starting to run amok. Go on and let fascists win by cheating, then see how they act. Hell, just look what they did when they didn't win by cheating. For over two years they tried to ram a big fat lie down the public's throat that could have started WWIII had it worked and grown in the wrong direction, and they misused the intelligence forces and legal system to do it. (Not to mention all that blackmail due to pedophilia and other misbehavior of powerful insiders). In other words, we will not drift into fascism by recognizing a commons where private Internet companies can operate, but includes the protection of individual rights on that commons. The current social media giants are already practicing fascism there. Most people don't realize how much money and resources they received from the government and the extent of the secret contracts they have with the government, including massive surveillance contracts, facial recognition contracts, and so on. There is another issue. These Internet companies want to have the legal protections of private platforms, but want to act like publishers in operating their platforms. You see, publishers can choose the slant of their content. They can choose who they publish or not. But they are also legally liable for what they publish. Platforms are not legally liable for what is published on them. They want the powers of publishers, but the legal situation of platforms. This is a question of the law not catching up to technology while mixing in a lot of government money and legal cartel-oriented protections. Note: these companies are not de facto private companies. They have the shells of private companies, but they have the substance of something more like the Federal Reserve. They are intertwined with the government on many, many different levels. And now they are going fascistic. This problem of fascism is not something in the future to avoid. It is something in the present and we have to deal with it now, especially since it is still at a size we can deal with it. After it grows to a tipping point, we will no longer be able to deal with it through peace and law. Look at what they are doing--what they are doing right now and right here--and see if growth of that to a dictatorship by technocrats that will have no use for individual rights can be ignored. I, for one, have no intention to ignore it while cautioning about virtual back doors. I mean, who needs to worry about a back door when the fascists have already come in through the front door? Michael
  40. 2 points
    I’m not knowledgeable or passionate about art but I have followed many of your conversations with interest. When you point out the inconsistency that music doesn’t fit her criteria but she called it art anyway, they break into gibberish or avoid the issue, it’s comical, I’m always entertained by it. I also don’t get the either–or rigidity regarding whether this or that discipline is art, say, architecture. Keeping water out is utility not art, but a textured roof that looks like waves of wind over tall grass and costs three times a traditional roof and raises the cost of the home by 8% is art because it was done for contemplation and aesthetic consideration, the essential characteristic of art. Insisting on the absence of utility strikes me as definition by exclusion. We can make distinctions, we can call it fine art or pure art when there is no utility at all. But if someone’s favorite sculpture turns out, unbeknownst to them, to be a personal aircraft — you press this button here and wings fold out and you can fly away in the thing — then now they have to pick a new favorite sculpture because this one isn’t art anymore? Seems like definition by non–essentials to me.
  41. 2 points
    President Trump Prime Minister Trump King Trump 2020 , and let’s get 2024 for Ivanka !!!!! God bless POTUS
  42. 2 points
    Ellen, I see some. The Notre Dame Cathedral is definitely a human species thing. It was not built by one man or woman. It was a group effort over generations--the best of mankind--from the 1100's (with history continuing to be added over the centuries). The ancient building was in a form--a concrete, not abstract, form--anyone could walk into today. Walking into it (before the fire) was not like looking at artifacts from an archaeological dig, but was walking into a fully functional building in use in today's society. When you do that, all you can do is marvel about the human species (and about God for the religious) that it was built about 900 years or so ago. Knowing that things like that exist gives most people comfort on a deep "I came from that" level. That's what I feel. I think that is a species-related emotion although I don't recall Bloom talking about this particular emotion. But, to me, seeing that building go up in flames left me feeling like my great grandfather, who was in perfect health yesterday, just died. (That's a hypothetical to demonstrate the emotion.) The comfort of belonging to a historical lineage is something so much a part of me and underground in my mind, I never verbalized it properly. And hanging around Rand-world drove it further underground except as banter about coming from hillbillies and things like that. Now, one physical proof of my inner certainty of belonging to a long line of humans who strive for greatness has gone away. No wonder it's bothersome. It makes me sad and melancholy and really pissed off when I think it may have been arson. As an aside, Bloom says people who wither away and die of depression are suffering from a species emotion (my paraphrase since I'm going by memory--I think his words were different, but the concept is the same). Super-depressed people don't feel like they are worth anything to the species, to anyone else, or even to themselves anymore. Bloom says this self-destructive shutting-down emotion is built into all of us, meaning it can manifest under the right conditions in anyone, so the species can be culled of useless members like cells of a body organ die. The dead get replaced by the new. I find this thought fascinating and--for now at least--it sure seems like this mental mechanism (including for other emotions as well) is one of the core components of human values. For a fiction writer, this opens up a whole world of compelling nuance in big picture events and character motivations--nuance that will resonate universally in others as it does in me. Like I said, I don't believe this species thinking is either-or with individualism. Humans are both individuals and members of the human species. Good and evil exist for both the individual and the species. Ditto for illness and health. If some of Rand's scope excesses can be reduced to a size where their validation can be checked by observation of anyone, and room made for the stuff pertaining to individual human nature she left out, I think this kind of species thinking aligns perfectly with her kind of thinking. At least, I intend to pursue this path until it leads somewhere good or bad (or both ) in my writing and my own thinking. Michael
  43. 2 points
    You've probably heard of the concept "man cold" or "man flu." I've heard it mentioned in pop culture for a few years now, and have been observing it with interest. And I just experienced it firsthand for the first time. I'm not talking about the cold, but about certain women's reactions to it. The glee. The superiority. I have a cold. I'm still up and about. I've taken the standard over the counter remedies, but I'm coughing and sneezing, my nose is running, and my voice is a bit rough. Despite going about my life as normal, I've been ridiculed by a few women whom I barely even know. They're very excited about mocking me for having a "man cold," even though I'm not actually displaying the behavior that defines it (staying in bed, doing nothing, moaning -- in other words, being affected by it, where women with colds are said to not be affected, or are strong enough to not allow colds to affect them). It's very psychologically fulfilling to them to verbally kick men when they are experiencing illness or weakness, and to derive a sense of superiority from doing so. There's no accompanying interest in science or comparing symptoms and ailments. It's just pure psychological thrill of belittling the enemy. Anyway, it reminded me of this thread, and the excitement that Billy seems to experience in focusing on right-wing conspiracy believers, but not so much left-wing conspiracy believers. Seems to have a lot of similarities to the "man cold" relishers. J
  44. 2 points
    Her white nationalism is settled consensus.
  45. 2 points
    Yeah, but I've heard that she loves Hitler. They say that she's a black white-nationalist, and was caught on tape admitting that she wants another holocaust. Why would they say stuff like that if it wasn't true? Huh?
  46. 2 points
    One of the general differences between those on the left and right is that the right understands the left's views... You can see this with their parody and satire. Leftist characters are portrayed accurately, and sometimes, right-wing media creators can even explain the left's views better than actual leftists. The parody and satire created by leftists, though, is consistently egregious--like the description of Jussie Smollett's attackers, for example (pretty much every right leaning person knew it was bullshit immediately). Again, it's a generalization. Obviously not all right-wingers understand the left's talking points, but for the most part, they get it... while for the left, the opposite is true. They can't even conceive of what they are arguing against. So what you end up with is ignorant, and possibly stupid, people who the right is gently trying to point out as ignorant and stupid... which reaffirms the leftist's belief that people on the right are immoral (mean). Obviously accusing someone of being immoral is worse than accusing someone of being stupid... so it's insane. This is pretty much just venting... but it's really annoying that this is the case. Politics has become a chore where people with good ideas have to hold the hands of their attackers to help them see what they're missing.
  47. 2 points
    Vote fraud in Texas and Illinois elected the Kennedy-Johnson ticket in 1960. Massive vote fraud has made California a state completely dominated by the Democrat Party. If not for the Electoral College California would have made that criminal bitch Hillary President. Whether the Electoral College will do the same next time is problematic. It could give the Senate to the Dems. I find your naivete hard to get my brain around. ---Brant
  48. 2 points
    I love "on the sidelines" of #TrumpKimSummit. He's negotiating peace with a nuclear—armed country, ending a state of war that has existed between us for the last 70 years. While doing that he scores a deal for $12.7 billion of planes, then goes out for a smoke break with Phu Trong and a few of the Bamboo guys and returns with an additional $2.9 billion dollars. Best President ever.
  49. 2 points
    Jon, If all that is anti-Trump is uninterested in truth, then anyone who is anti-Trump is ipso facto impossible to convert (unless Donald Trump has custom-designed some falsehoods for that specific purpose). And any statement by Donald Trump becomes immune to challenge, because a challenge is, well, anti-Trump. Whatever. The evident problem with Trump's statement quoted above is that keeping up the "cycle of hostility" might be Vladimir Putin's notion of what is best for Vladimir Putin. If Putin so views it, what next? Even though appeasement (Hillary's "reset") hasn't been working, Trump didn't rule it out. What kind of confrontation is he willing to engage in? What costs does he think are worth paying? Do you know what he thinks? For that matter, does he? Robert
  50. 2 points
    A mere three years? When government secrecy classifications routinely last ten, twenty, even fifty years, if indeed they're ever lifted at all? That's entirely unrealistic. Ye gads, Lyndon Johnson put an entire category of background sources for the Warren Commission under embargo until 2063. Disgorging such records can take generations. Many such exposés thus become timely whenever they're released. Fortunately, the Net and electronic infiltration tools are opening up more such archives, formal and informal, than ever before. Julian Assange of Wikileaks — now openly stalked for assassination by U.S. "Defense" Department operatives — is one of the true heroes of our time.