James Heaps-Nelson

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Everything posted by James Heaps-Nelson

  1. Yep. It's painful to see such good games marred by disastrous execution of what should be routine plays.
  2. Look at that primary/caucus calendar. Newt better win Florida because he's not going to get very much else for a while. Nevada and Arizona are Mormon heavy states. Minnesota, Maine and Michigan should go to Romney. Jim
  3. Bob, This TSA action violates the spirit, if not the letter of Article 1 Section 6 of the Constitution. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same. Senator Paul returns the unused portion of his operating expenses to the Treasury every year. This year it was $500,000. Jim
  4. I agree with Adam. The race in South Carolina is tightening. I want to see a long drawn out 3 way race between Romney, Gingrich and Paul with brokered convention. Jim
  5. Phil, people have different ways of going about this. I think some of the best forms of activism are brought about by creating something new and leading by example. Wikipedia, Atlasphere and the Atlas Shrugged movie are examples of this. I think Patri Friedman's folk activism criticism was apt. The straightforward, direct roboactivism is a dead end. It is positive from the standpoint of self-assertion and affirming your values, but the results are negligible politically and culturally. You have to find some way to exert extended leverage in a way that is sustainable and self-generating and only a few will succeed at doing that. However, I think that what Diana and Paul, Craig Biddle and others are doing is important for the Objectivist movement in that the more unofficial choices and outlets will shift power away from just a few people in the movement. The more decentralized all parts of the Objectivist movement become, the better. An Objectivist movement where people can seek out and find people to discuss any subject at a high level is vitally important. It is also important in terms of innovation, more of which is sorely needed. Jim
  6. Sure, Jonathan. On my keyboard pressing escape allows me to use Wikipedia. However, the point is flex muscle and get a flood of calls in to lawmakers. Wikipedia has accomplished that and their blackout is a much stronger show of resolve than Google or facebook. Since Wikipedia is the biggest major nonprofit website they can organize a stronger and effective response than anyone else. I also imagine it will only take a few keystrokes for them to back it out tomorrow. Jim
  7. Huntsman showed by this action that he was not running a real race, just angling for another gig with his supporters' money. Jim
  8. Adam, Surprising playoffs! There probably wasn't another team in the playoffs that could've taken down the Packers.Next week will be very entertaining. Jim
  9. Wow! The NFC championship game will be in SF. You've got to hold on to ball in the NFL... Jim
  10. The Packers/Giants game is reminiscent of the 2007 Super Bowl. This is why the best offenses need at least some running game. You can't just let a defensive line pin their ears back and go after the quarterback. Eventually you will run into a really good line like the Giants and get your quarterback killed. Jim
  11. It's a new generation of coaches. You would never see this under Landry or Noll. Earlier in the season Jason Garrett even iced his own kicker. Jim
  12. I lost by the spread in the Ravens/Texans game. Dang! The Patriots/ Ravens game will be entertaining, clearly the best 2 teams in the AFC. Hope Green Bay wins, we'll see shortly. Jim
  13. Phil, one of the things I am most frustrated with high school education today is the emphasis on continuous function mathematics to the exclusion of discrete mathematics, probability and statistics. These are the most useful topics for non-physicists, non-econmists and non-engineers and they rarely get taught in high school. Jim
  14. Picks for next week: New England 41 Denver 20 Baltimore 23 Houston 3 Green Bay 45 New York 17 San Francisco 24 New Orleans 20 The one hard to pick game next week is the SF New Orleans game. I think SF's balanced offensive attack will chew up the clock and keep Brees on the sidelines. Jim
  15. That was impressive! Tebow did it when it counted. 4 long strikes down the field and a rushing touchdown to decimate the #1 defense. This was also a coaching problem. The Steelers defensive brain trust needed to make an adjustment. You don't just continue to let your corners get roasted in man-to-man coverage. Ben Roethlisberger also showed a lot of guts. Great game all around. Next week: reality. Tebow has to match wits with Bill Belichick and outduel Tom Brady. Still, he more than redeemed himself with this one game. Jim
  16. Well, Tim Tebow had about as awful a performance as you can have today. The Broncos lost 7-3, only managing a field goal all game. The Borncos have lost their last 3 games, but managed to win the division at 8-8 on a tiebreaker. The Broncos are also dead last in the league in passing yards. Somehow I don't think divine intervention is going to help when the 12-4 Pittsburgh Steelers come to Denver next Sunday. The donkeys better come up with something superior to this week's performance, that's for sure. Jim
  17. Around eight years ago I toyed with the idea of writing a book titled Happiness in a Godless World. I planned to include a chapter on NB's ideas but had not kept current with his work, so I wrote to Nathaniel asking him to recommend some later books that deal with theory, and not simply with "practical" matters and therapeutic techniques. Nathaniel kindly sent me copies of three books: The Six Pilllars of Self-Esteem (1994), Taking Responsibility: Self Reliance and the Accountable Life (1996), and The Art of Living Consciously. (1997). Although I recommend all three books, my favorite is Taking Responsibility, which contains a succinct overview of Branden's views on philosophical psychology. If Phil is seriously interested in Branden's later ideas, he should read that book. Ghs Thanks, George. I should probably reread it as well. It's been nearly 15 years and I was reading it at that time for what I could get out of the book. Branden's insights that awareness and acceptance come before and are more basic to psychology than identification and evaluation are very important and distinct from Rand. I do hope Branden's books on psychology get critical review, but I think that will come later as it did with Rand. I think most academic psychologists aren't quite ready to take on his body of work just yet. Jim
  18. Phil, I do not have the time for a detailed review of Branden's work. However, I think Branden's most valuable strain of thought has been to focus on something Rand did not write about: developmental psychology. Branden's thrust in stressing that personal growth can be significantly aided by a set of personal practices that stress awareness and acceptance of emotions is an important insight and a significantly different take on self esteem than that advanced by Rand. My favorite Branden books are Psychology of Romantic Love and The Six Pillars of Self Esteem. The latter is important because it presents the definitive outline of Branden's theory of self-development. He presents the pillars as self acceptance, self-assertiveness,purposeful living, self-responsibility, living consciously and personal integrity. I think the major areas in which Branden expands on Rand are self-acceptance and living consciously. In Psychology of Romantic Love, you can find Branden's most complete discussion of psychological visibility. I think The Psychology of Self Esteem is Branden's weakest book on psychology, but this weakness includes problems that are also endemic in Rand. In general, I think Branden presents an overly simplistic model of anxiety. A complete treatment of anxiety would include biological as well as psychological determinants of well-being. However, this book must be evaluated by the state of medical knowledge at the time it was written. In the case of clinical anxiety, medical knowledge was still fairly rudimentary. Sorry for the brief response to your initial call for comment, but this will have to suffice for now. Jim
  19. Buechner omits any mention of consumption or destruction of wealth in his characterization of the subject, thereby cherry-picking the definitions to include only that which he wishes to focus on.
  20. Phil, there is something you are reaching for here and it is somewhat mixed in with the Open/Closed debate in Objectivism. Richard Feynman in the second chapter of his book The Character of Physical Law describes 2 different kinds of approaches to mathematics as they are applied in physics. One is the Greek approach where you reason from a set of axioms to theorems etc. The Babylonian approach was to start with a bunch of theorems and connections without the benefit of underlying axioms. There are parts of Objectivism that are very Greek and there are parts of Objectivism that are Babylonian in the sense described above. Because many of the disparate parts of Objectivism are tied together in an axiomatic way, many people feel it should all be tied together that way. So when they find that it isn't, disllusionment sets in. I don't think the answer to this is to do lots and lots of study of Objectivism down to all of the various minutiae. I think it is much more profitable to compare Objectivism to systems of knowledge in other domains and test the rigor of the argument based on that standard. Also, I think that you will find with the birth of complexity economics, a very strong pull of the liberty movement in the Hayekian direction. I don't think this is something to be lamented, but then I'm not an activist in the purist sense. I expect that Rand will convince different people on different issues and a big part of respecting the virtue of independence is coming to a level of sanguinity about that. Jim
  21. I too rejoice at this capture, but I think the biggest joke on the Boston authorities will be when Whitey starts singing like a canary. They're going to have to open cells for lots of Boston cops, Massachusetts State Police and the odd FBI agent. This trial will take forever and I'll predict Boston will wish they'd never brought him back. Jim
  22. That's just what I don't understand, what people who are conformists find appealing in Objectivism. Is it simply the appearance of its providing "all the answers" ready-made? I once, back in '99, discussed the question of all the conformists with Nathaniel and he said that he thinks many who gravitate to Objectivism feel that by adopting it they therefore become the sort of hero/ines Rand portrays. I think few scientists are drawn to Objectivism. For one thing, career scientists are awfully busy first learning all the math and the basics in their field and then pursuing their subject specialty. But more fundamentally, I think many of a scientific disposition recognize something inimical to the never-ending seeking of the scientific endeavor. Ellen Ellen, As a chemist/chemical engineer type, I'll just say that the type of thinking necessary is very different than what Rand portrays. In addition to being able to be "rational", you also have to be able to generate interesting/fruitful hypotheses. The Objectivist system is pretty sterile when it comes to this. When it comes to economics, biology, or chemistry there is enough for a creative person to do that is fertile and doesn't come with the preset axiomatic limits Objectivism has in place. When a certain type of person encounters a Kary Mullis or Richard Feynman or John Von Neumann, they get what they need and Rand doesn't penetrate for them. Jim
  23. I saw the movie tonight. I made the mistake of thinking I could go to the early showing without an advance ticket. It was sold out and I had to wait a couple hours to see it. It met my expectations and more. I'll have more to say later. Jim