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Posts posted by BaalChatzaf

  1. 2 hours ago, Peter said:

    I wonder if the aurora’s “light” is another manifestation of an industrialized society or simply a natural phenomenon? With our TV and radio waves, we are constantly beaming news of ourselves to the galaxy yelling: “Hey! Here we are!” I know many scientists think we should never advertise our presence but we are already doing it.

    And as our telescopes scan the skies we are always looking for signals and talkback. Here are a few questions to ponder.

    How far do humanity’s signals and signs of intelligent life extend into the galaxy?

    If a comparable civilization is also looking for inhabited planets in the “livable zone,” (which could be a similar distance from our sun,) what are the odds the aliens will spot us, or us them?

    Most scientists think “life” will spontaneously come into existence on many of our galaxy’s planets as it did on earth, so what advance in seeing and detection will we need to possess before we sense our neighbors?

    Would a bright, pulsing light be a better signal than radio waves?

    Since it is an aurora it has to do with the earth's magnetic field interacting which charged particles from the Sun.  My guess is that this odd aurora is an indication of the earth's magnetic field beginning to shift.  The poles of the earth have shifted many times in the past ten's and hundreds of millions of years.  Polar magnetism has been weakening steadily for the past century and we are overdue for a polar shift. Have a look at this:  and this


  2. 3 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

    I just had a random thought about President Trump signing the spending bill.

    He said he will not sign another like it and I believe him. But not because I simply believe him. It has more to do with philosophical principles.

    The government has a monopoly on initiating force. A government without force to back it up will not be a government for long.

    When President Trump was sworn in, the upper management of the government people who wielded force were, essentially, ruling class elitists and their muscle. They used individual rights and protecting the peace as a smokescreen for their scams and crony schemes.

    President Trump has replaced some of those people, but there are a whole lot left over. Even the military had become something is was not supposed to be--a tool for elitist ruling class boondoggles (mostly run by the endless war for profit schemes). The entire existence of the force arm of the government was being corrupted into oppressive might and even a formal secret police. And the foot soldiers did not share in the booty the elitists were getting. They had to make do with crumbling everything except at show time when they were deployed against the harmless. Then they got top grade equipment, extra hours, and so on.

    President Trump knows that in the current environment, with politically agenda-driven hostile management of many of the US force organizations, standing unarmed on any kind of principle in the face of a gun is suicide. It's one thing to be a spiritual leader and stand on principle with non-violence. That works a lot of the time. It's quite another to be a head of state. That doesn't work. If the head of state cannot deploy force, those who can will replace him. It's just that simple.

    (Should it be in a perfect world? That's another question. In the reality we currently live in, and with human nature being what it is at this stage of evolution, there is no way to divorce power and force from the government.)

    So President Trump faced a critical decision. If he doesn't keep his power for his term of office and be able to wield it, all his principles will be nothing but words. They will not turn into concrete reality. But to consolidate his power enough to ensure his vision is implemented, he had to face a dilemma. Sacrifice principle or turn power back over to the guaranteed corrupt. So President Trump swallowed bile and signed a monstrosity of a spending bill to get funding for the military.

    He despised having to do that. I know he did. But in his situation, I believe he did the right thing. And, from his perspective, I think it was a no-brainer once the options in reality became clear.

    Right now, the Democrats are crowing victory and many of Trump's supporters are bitching to the high heavens,  but the truth is, when anyone wants to take President Trump's power from him now, they will have a well-paid and well-equipped military in the way. When push comes to shove, now that the boneheaded projects of the Democrats (and crony Republicans) are well-funded, let them face off their save an exotic fish foundation or gender studies institute against a group of loyal soldiers and see who wins. 

    President Trump consolidated his main law enforcement agencies with this budget. Once law enforcement is consolidated and happy with the way he is running things, he will have no more need to make budgetary concessions to keep from being taken out by his enemies.

    The downside to this is if power ends up corrupting President Trump's soul. He knows the philosophy of government well enough to have done what he did. He has gained power and has now reinforced it. In the end, will he be a George Washington or will he become a dictator? It's fully his choice now.

    I believe he will be a George Washington. He was already comfortable wielding power before he ran for office. And he used his pre-presidential power to produce great things in the marketplace. The temptation to corruption and oppressive force is not as strong a pull to someone with that experience as it is to a run-of-the-mill politician and power-monger. I believe a fundamental part of President Trump's driving motor is that he wants more great things in the marketplace, not useless wars or world conquest or anything like that.

    I can't predict the future 100%, but I can say that President Trump has a hell of a lot better chance of being a great president than Hillary Clinton ever did. There is no way in hell she would have ever become a George Washington. Her way was already paved with death and destruction of innocents. Lots of it, too. With more power, there is no way that would have become less. On the contrary, it would have grown.


    In the meantime Trump said one thing and did another.


  3. 12 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:


    It's an inference. Rand never used the phrase "morally defective at birth," but she sure did use the concept. And, she probably used a tad bit of a blank-out. (Her explanation of how an infant "chooses" to learn to see, instead of this being an involuntary automatic growth process, is a bit of a concept-twister, for example. Just because a persan can choose to look at something, that doesn't mean the only way the person looks at something is by choice alone. I don't think she had much space in her black-and-white thinking for biological processes that are both automatic and partially volitional. But this exists, like breathing, for instance...)

    Rand erred when she insisted that humans were totally devoid of instinct.  Not so.  Humans have "wired in"  (i.e. genetically conditioned) modes of operation.  We are all -born- blabber mouths (almost all of us) and that is why speech exists in every human culture all the way back to the emergence of anatomically modern humans (about 100,000 - 150,000 ybp)  and that is why cultural artifacts can be found dating 50,000 ybp.  Humans  are wired to do language which means spoken language primarily.  Writing did not appear as a consistent language modality until  about  10,000 ybp. Writing includes marking days on bone and wood etc.  It is true that once past childhood humans are mostly regulated by learned rules and modes.  But we are bootstrapped by genetically "wired in" ways of operating.


  4. 3 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

    wireless energy?

    Tesla believed that the earth could conduct electricity from point to point.  While he was an electrical genius and a creative inventor (he had 300 patents) he also believed in aether as a carrier of light. His thinking was totally at odds with quantum physics which is the most well supported physics ever invented.  Tesla, who died in the year 1943,  saw the world in pre-relativistic and pre-quantum terms.


  5. On 3/4/2018 at 8:04 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

    Hardest Word in English

    If you have ever tried to live in a country where they speak a different language than your native tongue, you will have encountered this problem.

    God knows I suffered with similar Portuguese expressions when I first went to Brazil. There's even a book by a Brazilian comedian called The Cow Went To The Swamp. That actually means something everybody says in Brazil, too. :)  (In Portuguese, of course. It means the situation got really bad.)

    This dude is a Finnish comedian named ISMO. I like him.


    He's a real ass-kicker.



    pee in the pants funny.

  6. 9 hours ago, Backlighting said:


    I'm reminded what the little Russian lady wrote (don't remember where):

    "It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master"


    I think it might have been in one of the issues of The Objectivist.  That is just a guess.

  7. 4 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

    It was found out in the 19th C. that humans would develop their own unique language if not exposed to one in infancy. Thus, language is a biological imperative for our species.


    I can't reference this

    Each person speaking his/her private language would not promote the exchange of ideas.  A common language is required to have human communities engaged in co-operative activities.


  8. 3 hours ago, Ross Barlow said:

    Here is an interesting article from Science Dailey.  For what it’s worth.

    It reminded me of Rand’s historical reconstruction of human epistemological development, and I think she would have been pleased and vindicated to hear of this research.  (And it also reminded me of you folks here on Objectivist Living, whose company I do not seek out nearly enough.) 

    -Ross Barlow.

    The human brain at work.  Actually infants have more neural interconnection at age 3 months  than humans in  their physical prime or near at age 12 years.  Part of learning a language and learning folkways involves cutting down on neural interconnections that do not add to increased comprehension an d strengthening those neural interconnects that do.  It is sort of a Darwinia elimination scheme. Only  the fit interconnections  survive.  Thus the brain is sculpted, in part, by the surrounding in which the young human infant live.  A major factor in this reformatting of the brain is acquiring a language.  

    I am going to make a guess,  educated speculation  that infants think in a kind of proto language which is morphed into the language(s)  learned in the cradle and highchair. Furthermore the form of linguistic structure is the raw material of logic and inference.  Long before Aristotle  wrote his famous  treatises on syllogistic logic,  humans were thinking logically. Aristotle  left us with his -understanding- of how logical inferences are made.  There were other understandings of this process.  The Stoics created a system of logic based on conditionals rather than the term structure of syllogistic logic.  Basically  if then else  logic. And this was the logic the Euclid used when he wrote The Elements. 

    To conclude,  humans are smart from the git-go and their hungry little brains are  gathering up and digesting patterns from any available source. If there is a basic human impulse, it is the impulse to systematize complicated structures  and wrap the structures in rules. One manifesting of this is the organization of  infant-blab  into workable linguistic structures, both syntactical and semantic.  We are born blabber-mouths.   Gab is what humans do.  Gabbing and singing.  

  9. On 2/19/2018 at 3:39 PM, Peter said:

    Then tribal chiefs and later, dynasties and monarchies, must be the Darwinian model. 

    At an earlier stage of human development they had their moment. Unfortunately for the world the major religions  developed during the age of kings and tribal chiefs.  This view of authority is frozen into the Abrahamic  Religions.  God is conceived of as a king or war chief. Democracies and republics  flourished at a later time are the politics are somewhat in opposition to the religions.


  10. On 2/21/2018 at 2:41 PM, jts said:

    Constant distance. Won't go closer. Won't go farther. Weird.


    Question:  Does this principle (whatever the principle is) apply to atoms? Atoms have a positive charge in the center and a negative charge on the outside.


    What you are seeing there is dipole dipole interaction.  At very close distance the dipoles repel and at greater distance the dipoles attract.  In between the forces balance each other.  Look up dipose interaction and Lennard-Jones potential.   there is nothing magical  or mysterious happening.  Dipole interactions can be complicated and play an important part in chemistry.  Their interactions are the basis of Van der Waals forces and and binding. 


    See :




  11. On 2/3/2017 at 12:39 AM, Arkadi said:

    regardless of political and philosophical labeling the underlying reality is a mix of market economics,  welfare (i.e. redistribution), subsidies and regulation.  This is the prevailing model of all of the present industrial economies with perhaps the exception of North Korea and the family run and owned islamic  states.  If look at this situation with a Darwinian view, it would appear that the mixed economy is the model that survived.  Even the one time very collectivist Chinese system has modified its operation to conform with the mixed-economy model.  What works survives.  What does not work fades or perishes. 

  12. 12 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

    That's true; they don't. I think this is the first time you've said this. The conversation is elsewhere--to wit, morality and ethics don't correlate to the physical nature of the human organism. They are arbitrary artifacts. That's your position. This means human beings don't and can't understand human beings and their needs; can't objectify morality or ethics. There can be no objectivist philosophy save in name only.


    Actually rules of behavior do correlate (empirically) with the human organism to the extent that they sometimes reduce the occurrence of violence and force in communities and sometimes promote mutual aid and defense.  These are empirical observations    But at no time  do any benefits from rules for reciprocal behavior  follow logically or mathematically from the physical laws (insofar as we know them).  In short, there are happenstantial benefits which sometimes  result  from the conventional laws of morality.  However no logically necessary connection has been established between observance of moral constraints and benefits  to our biological organisms.  In short one cannot   mathematically and logically derive Ought and Should from physical law.  The path from Is to Ought is empirical and happenstantial.  There is no mathematically or logically necessary connection.   

    I am perfectly content  to use good old common sense and follow empirically derived procedures which have in the past  produced  benefits for me. Furthermore I will continue to do so as long is it works to my benefit. Why not  use something that works?  But does it ALWAYS work?   Can something other than these moral constraints also produce benefits?   


  13. 17 hours ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

    Arguing out of both sides of your mouth. The means of gaining knowledge is regulated by moral facts. The laws of nature are opaque to all species except those who are capable of deceit, fantasy, and murder. Scientists have feet of mortal clay and their balls in a vise, too often led by generals and conquerors and scientific bodies clinging to bullshit. You know this is true, Bob.

    I argue from the back to front in one direction.  The point I am making is that the physical laws of nature insofar as we know them has no moral or ethical content.