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Posts posted by sbeaulieu

  1. Shane,

    I found a database error in the Blogs database table. I am no geek and I ran the automatic fix, which came back as fixed. However, your blog link still returns the 404 error, so I deleted the blog and request you set it up again. There were no entries, so nothing is lost.

    I also fixed your avatar, which was not showing up for some reason I have yet to figure out. (I moved it to a different folder on the server side and reset it, however it should have worked where it was.)


    Thanks Michael. Still having the same error when trying to set it up. Maybe I'm not meant to have a

    ~ Shane

  2. The swing vote in this country is with the independent (no party aligned) voter. The "Shi'ite" Democrats will vote their party no matter what. The "Suni" Republicans the same. The Independent vote is the key to either party winning.

    Dubya and the Republicans screwed up rather badly in the last 8 years and lost the support of independent voters. Here is why:

    1. A badly conceived and badly fought war.

    2. Economic scandals; the Enron scandal and the sub-prime mortgage debacle.

    3. An economy gone south.

    Does anyone remember anything about Herbert Hoover or Warren G. Harding?

    The Republicans are a minority party. They can only win if the independents support them. The Democrats are a (barely) majority party but they cannot get the electoral vote count without the independent voters. The Republicans through stupidity or ignorance screwed the independent voters (mostly middle class people). And there you have it. The only hope for the country in the future is to win back the independent vote and put them back on the path of (semi) good sense.

    In the meantime we shall endure and we shall survive the victory of the spiritual son of Saul Ailinsky, the pinko stinko commie agitator. Barak Obam has combine the worst of Ailinsky agitation with Daley type corruption. We shall live under the Chicago "mafia" for the next four years. Pray that it is not extended to eight years.

    Maybe a four year object lesson in left wing redistribution will be a lesson to the American voting public. Let us hope it does not lead to another forty years of left wing liberal domination. One FDR type New Deal is quite enough.

    Ba'al Chatzaf

    Interestingly enough, not one of our past 43 Presidents was an independent (though I didn't find an affiliation for George Washington). With all that's gone wrong on both sides of the isle, why not find another way?

    ~ Shane

  3. Has anyone on this forum had a chance to read this book for themselves? I'm currently 400 pages into the book. It is phenomenal thus far! It's opened my eyes up on many issues, locally in the US and abroad.

    It's easy to read with the book having a conversational tone. It makes it seems as though you are in the room during the many conversations between "Old Nick" and Jac. There are a great number of resources covered in the book, so it's easy to see that Nicholas Dykes has done his homework on this novel.

    I plan on opening up a new thread in the coming months (I have other priorities at the moment) after I reread the book. I'm tempted to start each section as a short essay on my personal take as a budding O'ist - essentially to see if I'm getting the gist of it right.

    I'd be happy to hear anyone else's take on this great novel.

    ~ Shane

  4. I'm not sure I understand you here. Are you expressing worry that since my behavior is governed by desire, I will be just as likely to be governed by MALevolence as I am BENevolence?


    Worried, no. From my experience, there are always two sides to everything (at minimum)...yin/yang, light/darkness, and even benevolence/malevolence. Using the coin example, are you then riding the edge of the coin...the third side, which touches both and is therefore neither nor?


  5. Luke,

    As a non-moralist, how do you chose between right and wrong? Wouldn't you have to start out as a moralist, from an upbringing perspective? I can see from your responses that desire is deeply entrenched in how you do things. So how do you attribute desire in choosing right from wrong? I can see desire for being benevolent and kind in acting towards others. But doesn't that accept a flipside to the coin, thus avoiding it through desire? It still seems a moral decision.

    ~ Shane

  6. But would it be selfless? Whould it be a sacrifice?

    Not if you love him, value him. That is your choice in the end. I truly feel for you in what must be the most difficult time in your life. I cannot even begin to imagine how I would feel, act, or respond in the same situation.

    I think Michael is on to something with the grieving. Once your emotions have had a chance to run their course, the answer might be clearer than you think. Again, that will be your choice.

    ~ Shane

  7. Luke,

    Premise 1: Skepticism about the validity of morality requires an interest in distinguishing truth from falsehood.

    I have a question on the wording in this premise. Shouldn't morality be about right and wrong? I understand that truth (right) and falsehood (wrong) could fit under morality, but it is not as all-encompassing as right and wrong. Or were you being specific in selecting truth and falsehood (based on Mindy's response)?

    ~ Shane

  8. You do realize that this "visualization" is being recommended in the place of being able to define one's terms? Would you substitute visual aids for factual statements to your students? I think it may be that what you are talking about is that teaching is subject to floating abstractions, and demonstrations or visuals, etc., help the student tie the concepts to concrete examples.


    Call visual aids a placeholder. Say we use the good ol' concept folder/label visual here as an example. As a supervisor I was responsible for training the Airmen under me. One that I taught knew absolutely nothing about So, in place of factual information which was above her mental faculties to grasp, I drew her a visual aid...something akin in basic workings to explain and piece togther the facts. The subjects were Local Area Networks and Wide Area Networks. Even by giving her the definition in the book, she could not even open her conceptual folders. So I gave her two new ones, borrowed from what she already knew (this took a few tries). The ones that worked were towns (LANs) and highways (WANs) which connected people to other towns (LANs). I used these visuals to simulate network size (population), addresses (IP subnetting), and bandwidth (street size). By giving her folders labeled LANs, c/o Towns, and WANs, c/o Highways, it worked. I'm hoping that example is accurate :sweat:

    But that's not what GS and Paul are urging, not what they mean when they promote visualization, interpretation, changing perspectives, and varying contexts. What they mean is that precise, literal meaning isn't possible, and thus, they needn't define or explain what they mean, and that when they seem to have contradicted themselves, they really haven't, because if you shift your perspective or if you explore their personal context, you'll discover it means something different, and something legitimate.

    I see where you're coming from. But there's a difficulty in getting others to see from your perspective. If there's no common denominator between those who are speaking, it will never work. Again, it falls to the communicator to find the common denominator.

    Now this alternative epistemology and logic is disastrous. It is a prescription for the "fog" Rand writes about, obscuring, blinding, confusing, and clothing the good and the bad, the correct and the erroneous equally. Nothing means anything if it doesn't mean this and not that. Like existence implies identity, meaning implies specificity.


    ~ Shane

  9. Visuals have their limitations. There are some mathematical concepts that really and truly cannot be visualized. How does one visualize twisted six dimensional manifolds that occur in String Theory. Or curvature tensors in four dimensions semi-Riemann Manifolds?

    You got me on the math part, Ba'al ;) I was able to teach binary and hex conversions visually for the purposes of network protocol analysis. Quantum physics and such...might make my head explode. I never was any good at math. But then again, I didn't go beyond geometry and algebra.

    ~ Shane

    P.S. Let's just say that visualization is extremely important where it can be applied.

  10. Clarity and precision of communication is fundamental to so much in life.

    Does this mean you are now willing to define your terms? You could start with "perspective on perspective(s)."

    = Mindy

    If you use the "map-territory" analogy with words and what they represent then defining your terms is equivalent to having a key to the map that shows what the symbols mean. Is this the same as knowing what the map "means"? What about going to the actual territory and seeing for yourself? It is only then that you can access the validity (structural similarity) of the map. In language our choice of terms is only one aspect of communication, the interpretation, especially visualization, represents perhaps even an equally important aspect.


    Visualization, I would say, is even more important. You can't imagine how many times I had to draw something out to get my students to click. One of the difficulties in this type of online community is that we only get to see words...sometimes pictures. As a result, we lose the ability to convey nonverbal communication or pick up on varying inflections which place emphesis on words and such. Although italics, underlining and bolding help, it still has the chance at missing the mark. It is why I prefer to interact personally due to the full range of sensory input that comes with being face to face. Online forums will always lack that (presently).

    I would suggest using more basic language. We all started there - again, the common denominator.

    ~ Shane