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About syrakusos

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    Rational Empiricist
  • Birthday 11/10/1949

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    Michael E. Marotta
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    Senior technical writer for enterprise information systems serving complex organizations. Content strategist and knowledge presentationdesigner for projects serving electrical power, telecommunication, insurance, and manufacturing... Post and patrol for large crowd events, as well as for business, technology and retail customers. Responsible for greeting, clearing and directing visitors and employees. Inspection of premises and grounds via closed circuit television cameras.
  • Favorite Music, Artworks, Movies, Shows, etc.
    West Wing, Die Hard 1-4, Big Bang Theory
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    not looking

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    Numismatics, Physical Security and Computer Security, Aviation

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  1. I see that I have not missed much... I did "heart" both the lead video and merjet's reply. Discussion is good. I do note the reflexive pot-kettle thing here about "snark." I have no idea who "Corbett" is. I found out about Alex Jones when I moved to Austin. I have listened to a bit, both on commercial and underground radio here. It's OK. But I also get Time magazine, just as I read news on Fox and listen to NPR. Back about 1976 or so, a couple of Firesign Theater people created a radio play, How Time Flys ( , about an astronaut who returns
  2. The Age of Selfishness: Ayn Rand, Morality, and the Financial Crisis by Darryl Cunningham (Abrams, 2015) is a closely written and tightly integrated misinterpretation of Ayn Rand’s life, her works, her philosophy of Objectivism, and the causes of the market collapses of 2007-2010. This book is a graphic novel because Cunningham is a cartoonist. His drawings can be crude, but are often essentialist and representational. He does sublimely capture people, often through their coiffeur and stance. But his work is never fine, detailed, or realistic. This book is largely a running monologue that need
  3. I saw the notice over on RoR. Ted was always insightful. We disagreed on some points, but I do not remember what they were. We did agree on much and I remember those engagements better. He was a good scholar and a thoughtful writer. He directed me to the textbook on philosophy written by Cardinal Desire-Joseph Mercier.
  4. Religion continues out of tradition. It is that simple. As for the rest, jts's easy history might be OK for a high schooler, but if we are trying to be serious here, then it is just wrong on many points of fact. (1) Philosophy was not invented in Athens. Athenians were hostile to philosophy. They prosecuted Anaxagoras and Aspasia and Socrates. Those trials represent 80 years of popular ignorance in reaction to a foreign influence. Philosophy was invented in Ionia at the same time as hoplite mercenaries, coinage, and geometry, c 650-550 BCE. It was imported to Athens by Ionians and ca
  5. You guys really live in the echo chamber. I had to google O'Keefe, but I enjoyed reading... Do you actually regard James O'Keefe as credible?
  6. We had an earlier thread when he stepped away in 2010. The "Allen Cappellazzi" connection was repeated there. Usernames and screen names are common online, and have been since the days of 8-character logins. Beyond that, we get to protect our identities, or did in an earlier time. You have to be pretty assertive these days to avoid being doxxed by anyone who wants to know who you are and then tell everyone else in the world. The other side of the coin is that we pretty much take people as we find them in whatever context. So, I post here as Syrakusos, but, as you can see, I attach that t
  7. If one person can change the world, four might do 16 times as much. The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four Remarkable Friends Who Transformed Science and Changed the World by Laura J. Snyder (Broadway, 2011) is the story of Charles Babbage, William Herschel, William Whewell, and Richard Jones. They met at Cambridge about 1810. By 1860, through their hard work and consistent focus, modern science acquired the inductive method and public involvement (and government funding), that resulted in science evolving from a hobby to a profession. Snyder writes well. The book is engaging, compelling,
  8. Not everyone who drinks beer studies zymurgy. Ayn Rand's books will continue to sell as they always have, largely on personal recommendations. With the Internet now almost 40. years on, with the WWW 25 years plus, any kid - and it is mostly young people - who hears about the books find the ARI and can find the essay contests. Look to the winners lists and you see cabals of Randian teenagers at Catholic schools. They are not being given the books by their teachers, not matter what Rand said about Thomas Aquinas. Adults find out about Rand, also, usually from a friend, an acquaintance. Now, th
  9. Tell us that you know the Michael Moore video about Detroit Economic Club and the Brexit States and cannot imagine Donald Trump running on Bernie Sanders' platform. Trump only did not attempt to compete in a market with a strong provider, HIllary Clinton. He went to a different market. He sold many people what they said they wanted to buy. And he brought in new buyers (voters) who previously were not in any market. But he no more believes in anything he says any more than he believes in a golf course or a hotel. Not having read the Scott book, you are still attempting to explain this wit
  10. Promises promises... I accept that Donald Trump does not drive his car as if facts do not matter. But Adams's point and Trump's success are based on the truth that in the world of public opinion, facts do not matter. People respond from the heart and find "facts" that fit their needs. Cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias provide the "facts." Sometimes they are "alterntative facts" of some kind. As Kellyann Conway belatedly pointed out "2+2=4; 3+1=4; glass half full; glass half empty." Often the alleged facts are just inventions and fantasies. Generally, pilots are as easy
  11. You seem not to understand the point. Donald Trump said those things because people felt them. He could have had almost the same message, maybe exactly the same just spun differently, and run as a Democrat. He is an entrepreneur. I believe that Donald Trump sized up the markets and the demands within them and chose to tap the buyers (voters) along the right wing populist spectrum. Toward the end of the campaign, Michael Moore gave a speech that identified this and seemed to support it right up until the close. So, I agree that Donald Trump could have said almost the very same things and won as
  12. Thanks for the link to the review of the Hicks book. I heard about it a year or so ago from another Objectivist. Based on my experience at university 2005-2010, it seems correct. One of my last graduate classes was explicitly postmodernist: criminology; two postmodernist textbooks. Regarding this view from Uncouth Reflections, I did notice the nods to traditional conservatism by way of "pre-modernism" and the medieval world. From my understanding Hicks simply dismisses all of that and begins with the Enlightenment. But much in the Enlightenment still fails to win congruence from the righ
  13. Searching the site, I see that MSK and others have been following Scott Adams's tweets for several years. Also, MSK and others know this book. However, no review has been put up here. Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter by Scott Adams (Penguin, 2017) is a tribute to Donald Trump. It is also a tribute to Scott Adams. The author of Dilbert has been popular online for decades; and he had tens of thousands of readers when, back on August 13, 2015, he began predicting Donald Trump’s victory. Throughout the book, Adams gives himself a lot of credit for that. Adams calls Tr
  14. Celebrating Newtonmas off and on since 1984, this year I honored Sir Isaac by buying myself one of the commemorative 50p coins from the British Royal Mint.