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Posts posted by BaalChatzaf

  1. 5 hours ago, jts said:

    Everyone who knows Objectivism knows the Objectivist answer to that. In Objectivism the one and only proper function of government is to protect individual rights. So if you want to know what degree of regulation is too much, you ask 2 questions.

    1.  Does it protect individual rights?  If not, it is wrong.

    2.  Does it violate individual rights?  If so, it is wrong.


    What about safety. How about regulations forbidding some individual trucker from schlepping TNT through a residential neighborhood?  His individual right is trumped by the principle of public safety.


  2. Collectivism has a much longer history than individualism.  Individualism as a prime political and ethical value only goes back a few hundred years, when it emerged from the European enlightenment.  Individualism had no traction at all in the various Asian cultures.  It originated in Europe.  So if you are wondering why individualism is not the leading value cluster in the world you need look no further than its history and the history of other value systems.

    Humans are creatures of habit to a far greater extent  than "Champions or Reason" such as the Objectivists would like to admit.  Aristotle said Man is the Rational Animal.  Close to fact is the assertion that Man is the sometimes but not always Rational Animal  and the Man is a Creature of Habit. 

  3.     Remember, remember! 
        The fifth of November, 
        The Gunpowder treason and plot; 
        I know of no reason 
        Why the Gunpowder treason 
        Should ever be forgot! 
        Guy Fawkes and his companions 
        Did the scheme contrive, 
        To blow the King and Parliament 
        All up alive. 
        Threescore barrels, laid below, 
        To prove old England's overthrow. 


    PS.  I did not insert that vid at the top.  Please ignore it.


    Maybe the next time around Guy Fawkes will succeed.  We can always  hope....


  4. 16 hours ago, Peter said:

    From “Deep Freeze,” by John Sandford, paperback edition, page 304:

    “You know that joke,” Shrake said? “Mickey Mouse goes to his lawyer, says he wants a divorce from Minnie Mouse, and he explains why. The lawyer said, “I’m not sure you should go for a divorce, just because she’s having a few psychological problems.” Mickey says, “Psychological problems? I didn’t say she was having psychological problems. I said she was fuckin’ Goofy.”      

    My version of that joke is this:  Mickey files for divorce from Minnie.  The judge tells Mickey he cannot  grant a divorce on the grounds that Minnie is mentally unstable.  Mickey says to the judge:  "I never said that!  What I said was that Minnie was fucking Goofy".  I told that joke out loud when I visited Disney World in Florida.  I was nearly ejected from the park. 


  5. 4 hours ago, jts said:

    I don't know what your point is or if you have a point.

    I'm guessing that those people you talked to are Jews who do their religious fast of one day per year. Is that correct?

    If you want to do a more thorough investigation, you could ask them 2 more questions.

    1.  What happens when they fast a week or a month?

    2.  What is their description of hunger?


    I don't know what this has to do with my challenge, what is a good alternative to Alan Goldhamer's theory (which is roughly the same as the theory held by all fast supervisors that I know of)?


    Most people I know say that being hungry is wanting to have something to eat.


  6. 1 hour ago, Jonathan said:

    Gold has the right characteristics to act as money. It has had a history of holding the perfect spot on the spectrum from scarcity to abundance.



    What you call "intrinsically valuable"  I would call "exchangeable"  in the sense that people are willing to trade things for the gold.   This is somewhat subjective.  Why isn't platinum "intrinsically valuable"?  It has most of the other characteristics that gold does.  No doubt about it.  Gold is popular for cultural reasons more that physical reasons. That is probably why certain gemstones can function as money.

  7. What is it about gold, that causes people to assign a value to it  far beyond its utility value?

    Don't get me wrong.  I have nothing against gold.  It has some very attractive and useful properties.  It is conductive, durable,  divisible, maliabel,  rust-proof and subjectively speaking,  it is quite pretty to look at.  But there are other metals  just as useful (some even more useful)  and subjectively attractive.    So once again, I ask,  why gold?  The members of the Lakotah Tribe used to remark that gold was the metal that seem to drive the white-eyes crazy.  The Lakotah were driven off the land they occupied for ten thousand years, because gold was discovered on their territory (The Black Hills). 

  8. 13 hours ago, jts said:

    Here is a brief part of a long lecture about fasting by Alan Goldhamer. This brief part is about symptoms that some people experience during a fast. Alan Goldhamer runs a place called TrueNorth where people can fast safely, perhaps unlike some other places you heard of. The last I heard was 15,000 fasts with no fatalities. Probably a lot more than that now.

    It is important to note that fasting symptoms vary HUGELY from person to person, as you learn from Loren Lockman videos. Symptoms can range from very severe, perhaps even life threatening in rare cases, to no symptoms and even increase of energy to anything in between. Also, as Alan says in the video, symptoms can change as the fast progresses and if you fast long enough they probably will go away.

    Alan Goldhamer's theory to explain these symptoms is obvious in the video so I won't repeat what he says. I assume that most people on OL disagree with his theory. The challenge if you choose to accept it is to offer an alternative theory to explain these symptoms. As you know, a good theory at least in physics explains all the facts and makes predictions.

    Your theory, which is an alternative to his theory, to qualify as a good theory must explain all the symptoms that he talks about in the brief video parts. It must also explain why different people experience different symptoms and different severity of symptoms and why some people experience no symptoms and why symptoms usually go away after a few weeks of fasting. And your theory must explain why there is sometimes a dramatic improvement in health after a fast of a few weeks.

    Predictions about fasting might be problematic because you have lots of variables and you can't put them in a mathematical equation like in physics. Variables include whether you are comfortably warm, how much you sleep and rest, amount of physical activity, state of mind and emotions, how much water you drink, what kind of water you drink, how you drink water (you are supposed to sip it), your eating habits prior to the fast, any drug habits, genetics, age, nutritional reserves, body fat, any health problems, previous fasts, and probably a lot more. Good luck with putting all that in a mathematical equation.

    But if you can come up with a prediction that supports your theory and falsifies Alan Goldhamer's theory, go for it.

    The standard theory that almost everyone believes is fasting is starving and these symptoms are symptoms of starving. If that is true, then why do the symptoms usually go away in about 6 weeks of 'starving'?


    Most people I have talked to  say they get hungry when they fast.


  9. 5 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

    It seems many scientific papers--studies--can't be reproduced--that there's a lot of peer-reviewed published garbage.


    That is a vexing ongoing problem right now.  Some of the not so properly corroborated stuff might turn out to be right.  Even so, there ought to be a move not to publish improperly  vetted material.

    Unfortunately the availability of grant money is related to publication.  The grants may be a perverse incentive to produce less than quality scientific results.


  10. 2 hours ago, william.scherk said:



    If the sun stopped shining, the earth would freeze and the atmosphere  liquify.  CO2 does not really stop or trap heat.  It slows down rate at which energy in the IR ranges  radiate into space.  Space is cold and the atmosphere is warm.  Energy will flow from the atmosphere into space by radiation.  That is the second law of thermodynamics at work. Tyndall showed the CO2 absorbs energy in the IR bands. By the Stefan Boltzmann law it must also radiate that energy at a rate proportional to the 4 th power of the absolute temperature difference between the atmosphere and space.  Heat cannot be "trapped". It can be inhibited from flowing by an adiabatic body, but that only slows things down.  There are no perfect insulators.



  11. 3 hours ago, regi said:

    Which I very much appreciate. You are at least consistent which not all physicalists (materialists) are.

    That is what I question. What, exactly, is it that suffers from this illusion?

    I'm a materialist but I believe material or objective reality includes more than the mere physical. I do not believe in anything mystical or supernatural. Life, consciousness, and the human mind are perfectly natural attributes of reality and do not exist except as attributes of physical living organisms, but are not themselves physical attributes. I think the strict physicalist form of materialism you hold limits one's ability to comprehend the full nature of material existence. My view does not conflict or in any way invalidate your view, because my view of life and consciousness depend on the validity of the nature of the physical. The physical is all that can be consciously perceived, seen, heard, smelled, tasted, and felt as well as all perception of the physical body called interoception (internal pain, emotions, etc.) but believing what is perceived is all there is ignores the fact of the conscious perception itself.

    So now we both can be consistent, and you'll understand I do not consider your view incorrect, I only view it as incomplete and you'll no doubt consider my view as advocating what cannot be known because it cannot be perceived. That is what I advocate. I don't know I perceive by perceiving it, I know it because I do it.



    I have no argument with you.  We Materialists must stick together (primarily by electromagnetic  molecular bonds).


  12. 7 hours ago, regi said:

    That which is seen and that which sees it are not the same thing.

    I know I can see, (just as you do), but I cannot see my seeing. I know I can see, (just as you do), not by seeing it, but by seeing.

    I should have been more specific.  Seen as in perceived,  sensed,  detected (with a device or instrument).  Everything is physical (but not  necessarily massive)..  Fields such as the E.M fields, gravitational fields,  Higgs field etc are included (they are all mediated with bosons). 

    I am stating the total and complete materialist position.  We sometimes  conceptualize aor visualize these things in what appears to be a non-material fashion but that is just a subjective illusion or image because our mental powers are limited.  After all  we have three pound brains  and  a few pounds of related neural tissue.  There is just so much that such organic stuff can do.

  13. 17 hours ago, jts said:

    How do you know?  Mathematical proof?  A double blind study?  Religious faith?


    No one has seen and verified anything else.  And all the constructs in natural philosophy reduce to matter and energy.  If we were smart enough (we aren't)  we would not need anything more than matter and energy to explain -everything- that we see or detect.  We use other constructs to aid our limited brain power.


  14. 20 hours ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

    I'm satisfied that you answered.  Your reply is what I thought is your view.  But here's the problem I see with it:   How could modern methods have been developed without someone's thinking precisely in order to develop them?  Modern methods certainly help in understanding physics, and there's much we wouldn't understand without them, but I think their development rested on previous precision within the available context of knowledge.  Maybe you think so, too, and just weren't saying that clearly.


    Sadi Carnot invented thermodynamics  and got the second law of thermodynamics right even though he started with the wrong theory of heat (coloric theory).  Clausius got to entropy by trying to rescue Carnot's law  from the caloric theory of heat.  Sometimes wrong leads to right.  It happens all the time in science.  

  15. 19 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:


    Nobody makes a living playing video poker.

    It's algorithmic and built right into the machines.

    Play regularly and you lose over time.

    If you want to believe the contrary, I just might have a nice bridge to sell you for cheap in NYC. :) 

    Regular video poker play as a front is a great way to launder money, though...


    Let me put it this way.  Even IF he made his money gambling,  so what?


  16. On 10/8/2017 at 9:24 AM, regi said:

    Material existence is comprised entirely of existents. Or is it?

    The view that all of existence consists of all the existents there are is technically called an "entity ontology" in contrast to the opposite view called a "matter ontology." The entity ontology is implied in some philosophies (Locke, for example) and explicitly in others (Rand, for example). Rand said that only entities exist. In that view, "matter," is simply, "all the material entities."

    Based on the explicit entity ontology, Objectivism holds an entity view of cause. According to that view, it is an entity's nature and attributes that determine or "cause" its behavior. That is also the basis for the Objectivist argument for volition. They dismiss the "determinism" argument against volition (everything has a cause therefore everything is determined, by simply saying, for volitional beings, volition is the cause of their behavior.)

    The entity ontology is contradicted by another Objectivist assertion, however, "matter can be neither created or destroyed." But if matter is only entities, that could not be. Entities are created and destroyed all the time. If we try to get around the problem by saying matter can change its form we have adopted a matter ontology, because entities do not change from one kind of entity into another by some kind of transmutation. Some entities simply cease to be. Other entities come into existence that never were before; for example, every human being.

    If something can be neither created or destroyed, we must always have the same amount of it. When one thing changes into another, or ceases to be, or a new thing comes into existence, what is it we still have the same amount of? When the lamb becomes lamb stew, what is the thing, of which, there is still the same quantity? It certainly isn't lambs?

    All that exists is matter and energy in space and time.  There is nothing else.


  17. 1 hour ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

    Your inability to read - or failure to read - is amazing.

    Repeating the question, though I don't expect a straight answer:

    "Symbolic Logic wasn't developed until the second half of the 19th century, and calculus wasn't developed until the mid-17th century, so are you claiming that precise thought wasn't possible prior to the first, or to both, of those developments?"


    Precise?  To what degree.  To what degree of rigor?  The calculus invented by Newton and Leibniz does not meet modern standards of rigor.  Prior to the invention of calculus  the intricacies of motion simply were not understood.  How about rigor.  Euclid does not meet modern standards of rigor.  This defect was cured by Hilbert in 1899 when he gave a complete and rigorous axiom system for Euclidean spaces. So to answer your question as you asked it   no,  prior to the invention of calculus thinking pertaining to physical quantities was NOT precise.  Are you satisfied with the answer now?