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Peter last won the day on March 28

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    Peter D. Taylor
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  1. Ah. Sweet words from my 20 year "online crush." Perhaps NZ or Australia? Peter Grind, Grind. Michael, if you make rules, live honorably by your rules. Those “rules” may be the basis for civilianized interaction on Objectivist Living. The name of your site should mean something. For you say the hell with it, anybody can expletive, expletive based on whatever equivocation you come up with at the time . . . well, I’m outa here. Read your own g.d. rules. Just one more suggestion. Peter From: Jimmy Wales To: atlantis Subject: ATL: David Kelley on civility Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 08:33:13 -0800/ Here's a fairly long quote from David Kelley that is directly applicable to questions about why a civility policy is a good idea on a mailing list which makes an effort to be creative, open, and intensely intellectual. From ”Un-rugged Individualism’: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence, p. 38: The forms of civility, and the broader realm of manners, are therefore dismissed by some people as arbitrary. "Why should I confirm to arbitrary social standards? I am an individualist." But while the forms are conventional, what is conveyed through those forms is not. If my argument so far has been correct, then it _is_ objectively important to acknowledge each other's independence in some way or other, whether by saying 'please,' or 's`il vous plait," or by some gesture understood to have that meaning. It doesn't matter which forms we use to convey this, any more than it matters which sounds we use to express a given concept in language. But insofar as civility has a communicative function, it does matter that we use the same forms. Someone who does not practice these forms is rude. We can assume that his failure to comply reflects indifference to what the forms express (unless he is ignorant, as in the case of a foreigner). A similar answer can be given to the complaint that the forms of civility are inauthentic. "What if I don't like the present Grandma gave me and I don't really feel any gratitude? Am I not falsifying my feeling if I say thank-you nonetheless?" The purpose of that thank-you is not to convey one's specific feelings about the gift, or the person who gives it. Its purpose is to acknowledge that it was a gift, from an autonomous person, not something owed one by an underling. (If Grandma wants more than this, and makes it clear that she really wants to know whether one liked the gift, then one should tell her, as tactfully as possible.) Civility, then, may be defined as _the expression -- chiefly through conventional forms -- of one's respect for the humanity and independence of others, and of one's intent to resolve conflicts peacefully_. From Bing. Jimmy Wales · Net worth $10 million USD (2016)
  2. I think I will say so long for now.
  3. But, but, but, they wear gloves at McDonald’s, food stores, immediate medical care facilities and liquor stores. ThatGuy.. Say it ain’t so Joe! By the way, 2000 Americans have now died at around midnight, Saturday night. Rest in peace. I hope I don’t get it. I do wash my hands, etc. etc. etc. Is it still a conspiracy, you morons? I predict Biden will select a younger woman who was running for Prez but it isn't Elizabeth Warren. Peter. From The L.A. Times: Former Vice President Joe Biden is calling for an immediate nationwide stay-at-home order to contain the spread of the coronavirus, saying the main mistake that leaders can make in a pandemic is "going too slow." The Democratic presidential candidate told CNN on Friday that he agreed with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates that the uneven patchwork of state and local lockdowns in effect in the United States will inevitably cost lives and prolong the economic catastrophe. "Why would we not err on the side of making sure that we are not going to have a repeat?" Biden said from his home in Wilmington, Del. President Trump has urged Americans to practice social distancing but has declined to issue a nationwide stay-at-home order, leaving it to governors and local officials to decide whether to shut down nonessential businesses. He said this week that he'd like to have the country "opened up and just raring to go by Easter," which is just over two weeks away. Biden said he'd watched Gates' appearance on CNN on Thursday night and found him "really insightful." "I thought Bill Gates knew what he was talking about
  4. I was playing computer scrabble and I noticed rai was a word. It reminds me of rap or something from an Indiana Jones movie. But boy is it monotonous. Peter Check out the following. Algerian Rai: Music of Resistance. Rai, the folk music that put Algeria on the international map, originated in 1930 in a small Bedouin Shepherds village in the city of Oran. Rai is a musical genre mixed with Spanish, French, African and Arab music that is listened to by the Algerian population. Algerian Rai music - Cheb Hichem _Yahyou Khayasha nta3 spania
  5. From Rolllng Stone. Coronavirus Is Spreading — And So Are the Hoaxes and Conspiracy Theories Around It The government introduced the coronavirus in 2018, and Bill Gates was also somehow responsible. There is a vaccine or cure for coronavirus that the government won’t release Coronavirus originated with Chinese people eating bats When it comes to major world events, it’s not uncommon for enterprising sleuths to dig deep into fictional sources to find a premonition, however tenuous it may be. (Remember when people thought that Back to the Future II predicted the Cubs’ big World Series win? Or Trump?) In that same vein, last month a screengrab of a passage from author Dean Koontz’s 1981 novel The Eyes of Darkness went viral on Twitter, as the passage appears to allude to the creation of a deadly virus known as Wuhan-400, named after the city from which it originated. Aside from the reference to Wuhan, however (which didn’t even appear in the first edition of Koontz’s book), there are no similarities between Wuhan-400 and COVID-19. Unlike COVID-19, which has about a 2% fatality rate, Wuhan-400 kills 100% of its victims, mostly by creating a “toxin that literally eats away brain tissue,” rendering victims without a pulse. So while it may be tempting for proponents of the COVID-19 as bioweapon theory to point to Koontz’s book as a harbinger of events to come, it appears the parallels between the two are tenuous at best. Still, there’s no shortage of other works of fiction for armchair COVID-19 detectives to point to, up to and including… The Simpsons predicted the coronavirus Because The Simpsons has been on the air for more than 30 years, there’s been no shortage of elaborate plotlines for internet sleuths to point to as harbingers for various world events, to the degree that “The Simpsons predicted it” is now more of a meme than anything else. Case in point: screengrabs allegedly from the 1993 episode “Marge in Chains” about an outbreak of a mysterious illness, with one appearing to show a newscaster delivering a report about a “corona virus.” Although the episode in question is legit, it focuses on an illness called “Osaka flu” (with Osaka obviously being in Japan, not in China), and the screengrab, which is from another episode entirely, actually reads “Apocalypse Meow,” not “coronavirus.” So chalk this up to Photoshopping and morbidly wishful thinking on internet commenters’ parts. A “miracle” bleach product can cure coronavirus. In one of the most sickening examples of conspiracy theorists taking advantage of the panic surrounding coronavirus to sell a product, supporters of the elaborate far-right conspiracy theory QAnon have been telling people to drink Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), a bleach-based product that has been touted by anti-vaxxers for years, as an effective means of warding off coronavirus. The product contains toxic chemicals and can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and acute liver failure if ingested in large amounts. (Horrifyingly, in the past some mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder have been known to administer it to them as a “cure.”) Although YouTube instituted a ban on videos promoting MMS last year, as Rolling Stone reported in January, it was not difficult to find such content on the platform, illustrating the immense difficulties platforms have faced in attempting to curb the spread of COVID-19-related misinformation. The country will be placed in a nationwide quarantine effective immediately. If you can’t hold your breath for 10 seconds without coughing, then you have coronavirus. Vitamin C can help you ward off coronavirus Coronavirus will go away by summertime.
  6. What Happened to Amelia Earhart? The disappearance of Amelia Earhart is, perhaps, aviation’s greatest mystery. Unsurprisingly, it has led to the appearance of numerous theories and notions regarding her fate following her doomed 1937 flight around the world. Typically, the most accepted view is that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, died after crashing their Lockheed Model 10 Electra. Whether this happened somewhere over the Pacific Ocean or on an island is unknown. Some believe that Amelia Earhart perished at the hands of the Japanese because she was, actually, an American spy enlisted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Japanese military either killed her when they downed her airplane or captured Earhart and held her prisoner on the island of Saipan for the rest of her days. There was even a notion that the aviatrix was forced to become a Tokyo Rose – an English-speaking woman who spread Japanese propaganda to the Allies during World War II. Her husband, George Putnam, investigated this claim. He listened to numerous such recordings but never recognized his wife’s voice. There have also been several notions that Earhart survived the crash and lived under a new identity. One book alleged that she became Irene Bolam from New Jersey. Bolam sued the publisher, settled out of court and got the book withdrawn. The Phantom Time Hypothesis. Without a doubt, one of the strangest historical conspiracy theories is the phantom time hypothesis. It asserts that part of the Middle Ages never actually happened and was manufactured in order to advance time a few centuries and place the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Otto III in the year 1000. According to this hypothesis, the time period between AD 614 and 911 never took place. Charlemagne never existed and neither did the Carolingian Dynasty. The year is actually 1722. As far as motivation goes, it is usually presented as a conspiracy plot masterminded by King Otto III and Pope Sylvester II. However, some believers assert that those extra centuries could have been added by mistake or by misinterpretation of documents. If this was all an accident, it likely happened during the Gregorian reform when Pope Gregory XIII enabled the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. There are many ways to debunk this idea, but astronomy seems to work just fine. We have historical observations of cosmic events such as solar eclipses and the passing of Halley’s Comet. Astronomers can calculate with certainty when they have taken place and would notice if they were off by a few centuries. The Lost Dauphin. King Louis XVI of France and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were sent to the guillotine in 1793. Although the French Revolution brought about the fall of the monarchy, there were still loyalists in the country who considered the young Dauphin of France, Louis-Charles, to be the rightful ruler. Therefore, the heir apparent was imprisoned where he seemingly died of scrofula in 1795, aged 10. Not everyone was convinced that this actually happened. Rumors soon sprouted that crown sympathizers successfully broke Louis out of prison and that somebody else was buried in his place. This idea became particularly commonplace two decades later when the monarchy was briefly restored. Dozens of men came forward claiming to be the “Lost Dauphin.” Their descendants continued their claims for centuries that they were part of the House of Bourbon. Modern technology invalidated those claims. Philippe-Jean Pelletan was the surgeon who performed the autopsy on the young body purported to be that of Louis-Charles. He smuggled and preserved the heart of the boy in the hopes that it would be given a royal burial later. The relic has been in the same crystal urn for almost 200 years. DNA tests in the early 2000s showed that it really belonged to Louis and the “Lost Dauphin” was nothing more than a legend.
  7. Michael quoted, “No matter how bad you think something is, when you look into it, it's always worse." That sounds like a “deep” generalization but taken by itself it is twaddle. For that to make sense you would need to explain what “something” is. Michael wrote: But that's enough to make my point--that taking seriously a potential conspiracy is not the same thing as being batshit crazy. (Besides, this is getting so long, I'm not sure you will read it all. ) end quote I skimmed it. But I will skim it again, Kemo Sabe. I saw that Rhode Island is considering a ban on New Yorkers crossing into their state. How would Ayn Rand view that? Peter Notes. “Man’s Rights,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 96. . . . . Any undertaking that involves more than one man, requires the voluntary consent of every participant. Every one of them has the right to make his own decision, but none has the right to force his decision on the others. end quote And in her article, "The Left: Old and New" in The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, [p. 89] Ayn Rand wrote: In regard to the political principle involved: if a man creates a physical danger or harm to others, which extends beyond the line of his own property, such as unsanitary conditions or even loud noise, and if this is *proved*, the law can and does hold him responsible. If the condition is collective, such as in an overcrowded city, appropriate and *objective* laws can be defined, protecting the rights of all those involved -- as was done in the case of oil rights, air-space rights, etc." end quote Tonto called the Lone Ranger "quien no sabe" (he who knows nothing) and the Lone Ranger called his sidekick "tonto" (fool). NOTE: Tonto called the Lone Ranger "Kemo Sabe" which was actually a bastardization of the spanish "Quien no sabe". The writers were trying to come up with a phrase that meant "he who no one knows".
  8. Brant! I can't decide for you, laddy.
  9. I will stop debunking with this last word from Sherlock Holmes. Is a person epistemologically deficient if they believe much of what they read, put 2 and 2 together, and see 17? Peter An analysis of the evidence, according to the findings first published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine, shows that the novel coronavirus "is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus," with the researchers concluding "we do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible." . . . . Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, supported the study’s findings, writing on his blog, "This study leaves little room to refute a natural origin for COVID-19." Researchers concluded that the novel coronavirus is not a human creation because it does not share any "previously used virus backbone." It likely arose, the study said, from a recombination of a virus found in bats and another virus, possibly originating from pangolins, otherwise known as scaly anteaters. MORE: Coronavirus live updates: US now leads world with over 82,000 cases COVID-19 is 96% identical to a coronavirus found in bats, researchers said, but with a certain variation that could explain what has made it so infectious. "We know from the study of other coronaviruses that they’re able to acquire this [variation] and they can then become more pathogenic," Garry told ABC News. "This is a good explanation as to why this virus is so transmittable and has caused this pandemic." Notes. "You will not apply my precept," he said, shaking his head. "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? We know that he did not come through the door, the window, or the chimney. We also know that he could not have been concealed in the room, as there is no concealment possible. When, then, did he come?" The Sign of the Four, ch. 6 (1890) Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of the Four (Doubleday p. 111)
  10. I try to keep my tone light and frivolous. I hope it doesn’t bother anyone. Are you scared yet? That is a big “one day” death total rise, in The Big Apple. Spiderman, one of New York’s finest, is bravely singing, “New York, New York, it’s my kind of town.” Stay safe Spidey! Notes. From Reuters: Cuomo said 44,635 people have tested positive in New York, up about 7,400 from Thursday, and that 519 New Yorkers have died from the virus, up from the previous day's total of 385 deaths. "We are battling a deadly virus," Cuomo said. "It's the worst news but it's not unexpected news either." A total of 2,996 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks, including the 19 terrorist hijackers aboard the four airplanes. Citizens of 78 countries died in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. At the World Trade Center, 2,763 died after the two planes slammed into the twin towers.
  11. I type in "coronavirus updates." And I report what I see. You decide.
  12. If you ever wanted to see a “supposed fact” that has been “peer reviewed” it is the origins of the coronavirus. I found some oldies that might be of interest. How do we know anything? If it interests you feel free to read these letters from our own Ellen Stuttle, Ghs, etc. Peter Excerpts from Fact check: Did the coronavirus originate in a Chinese laboratory? USA TODAY Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has suggested to Congress and Fox News that there may be a connection between the Wuhan lab and the origin of the virus. And conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh wrote in an article in February that “it probably is a ChiCom (Chinese Communist) laboratory experiment that is in the process of being weaponized.” . . . . There is no evidence to suggest that the virus was created in a Chinese laboratory. People who have claimed it started in a lab cite only the geographical proximity of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a research lab in Wuhan, and the market where some researchers believe the virus transferred from animals to humans. Richard Ebright, a professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, said in an interview with The Washington Post: “Based on the virus genome and properties, there is no indication whatsoever that it was an engineered virus.” Notes. From: "George H. Smith" To: "*Atlantis" Subject: ATL: Re: The facts of reality – Bill Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 11:38:21 -0500. Ellen Moore wrote: "I am aware of the passages you quote. But I do not understand them to say that you think they mean. Somewhere in the seminars, Rand said, " 'fact' is an epistemological tool." Your quotes reinforce that meaning, i.e., when we say that something is a "fact", we are saying that our epistemological statement corresponds to the concretes in existence." It has long been my understanding that Ayn Rand regarded "fact" as metaphysical concept, and "truth" as an epistemological one. A "fact" is that which is, regardless of anyone's knowledge. A "truth" is the identification (or "recognition") of a fact, and is therefore contextually dependent of a given state of knowledge. I believe Ellen is confusing the two concepts, as Rand used them. Ghs From: Ellen Moore To: Atlantis Subject: ATL: Re: The facts of reality - Bill and George Date: Sat, 19 May 2001 17:36:28 -0500. Perhaps this post will annoy you both: I admire both of you for your detailed examination of the "fact as metaphysical" and "fact as epistemological" discussion. I have to admit that, based on your premises both metaphysical and epistemological, there is nothing either of you conclude that I disagree with. Except for one issue of I think is more fundamental and more important. I don't accept the idea that you are ~fundamentally~ correct about the entire issue concerning "facts" as viewed by Ayn Rand. Ellen Stuttle claims that neither her husband nor others "could swear for sure what she did mean", and ES maintains that Rand "wasn't immune to ambiguity". Let me suggest that their inability to grasp her meaning may not have been Rand's "ambiguity", but resulted from their own failure to decipher the distinction between metaphysics and epistemology as they sat around talking. My point is this. Aside from human beings in the universe, there is no entity sitting around talking about "facts of reality". The concept "fact" and the phrase "facts of reality" are fundamentally statements made by a human consciousness about human knowledge of entities. Everything pertaining to human cognition is epistemology. Absolutely all such linguistic references are instances pertaining to human epistemology. Epistemology allows humans to differentiate between what they say about entities in the universe, and call that a "physical fact". They can talk about the factual nature of reality and call that "a metaphysical fact'. They can talk about the "truth or falsity" of their propositions, and call that an "epistemological fact". None of these statements are necessarily ambiguous [as long as we all know what each one of us is talking about]. I believe that Bill's and George's discussions here are about semantics. George said, "A 'fact' is that which is, regardless of anyone's knowledge." But, "that which is is" is also, and must be, an objective epistemological statement of someone's human knowledge of metaphysics. George cannot stub his actual toe on "fact" - he can stub his toe on a rock. If he said, "Damn, I stubbed my toe on a rock", he is referring to his knowledge of the concrete event. A very complex combination of "existents" like the American Revolution pertains to a series of actual physical events that did exist in the past. To say they existed, and to name them as such, is a "fact" pertaining of our epistemological knowledge of concrete events. This is precisely the meaning Rand identified and used But the fundamental premises remains firm. Only concrete entities, their attributes, actions and relationships, are existents in reality. All human statements pertaining to human knowledge of existents, "facts", belong in the category of epistemology. This is the meaning I have understood from Rand's statements to the effect that, " 'Fact' is merely an epistemological convenience." It is a necessity of a fallible human consciousness in discussing the distinction between our knowledge of "truth", and "error". Ellen M. From: Ellen Stuttle To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Re: The facts of reality - Bill and George Date: Sat, 19 May 2001 19:26:35 -0400. Ellen Moore says: >Perhaps this post will annoy you both [Bill and George]: Perhaps this post will annoy everyone concerned. Insofar as I think I understand the view of "fact" which EM is presenting (and, Ellen M., I usually do have trouble understanding your posts, make of this whatever epistemological sins on my part you will), I think I agree with *her* viewpoint -- though I disagree that there aren't ambiguities in what Rand said during the seminar. Indeed, I have some additional evidence for believing that Rand herself viewed "fact" as metaphysical, indirect evidence: At about the same time as her epistemology seminar, I guest-attended a seminar on the philosophy of science which Leonard Peikoff was giving at Brooklyn Polytechnic (he was on the faculty there at the time). To the best of my recollection -- and Larry, who also attended LP's seminar, has the same recollection -- Peikoff presented "fact" as metaphysical, and I doubt that he'd have enunciated a view which he thought was at variance with Rand's. Ellen S. From: "George H. Smith" Reply-To: "George H. Smith To: "*Atlantis" Subject: ATL: Re: The facts of reality - Bill and George Date: Sat, 19 May 2001 19:28:14 -0500. Ellen Moore wrote: "My point is this. Aside from human beings in the universe, there is no entity sitting around talking about "facts of reality". The concept "fact" and the phrase "facts of reality" are fundamentally statements made by a human consciousness about human knowledge of entities. Everything pertaining to human cognition is epistemology. Absolutely all such linguistic references are instances pertaining to human epistemology." Nor, apart from human beings, is there any entity (that we know of) sitting around and talking about rocks and trees and birds. So are these merely epistemological concepts as well, with no metaphysical referents? Ellen wrote: "George said, "A 'fact' is that which is, regardless of anyone's knowledge." But, "that which is is" is also, and must be, an objective epistemological statement of someone's human knowledge of metaphysics. George cannot stub his actual toe on "fact" - he can stub his toe on a rock. If he said, "Damn, I stubbed my toe on a rock", he is referring to his knowledge of the concrete event." Nor can I stub my toe on causation, or identity. So if I say "X caused Y," is this merely an epistemological statement, or does it have a metaphysical referent? Of if I say, "A thing is what is it," am I merely referring to my own epistemological concepts, devoid of any metaphysical referent? Come to think of it, I have never stubbed my toe on an "existent" – but Ellen apparently views this concept as metaphysical. So the positivistic test of "toe-stubbing" doesn't seem to hold up, even by Ellen's standard. Ellen wrote: "But the fundamental premises remains firm. Only concrete entities, their attributes, actions and relationships, are existents in reality. All human statements pertaining to human knowledge of existents, "facts", belong in the category of epistemology." To say that "all human statements pertaining to human knowledge of existence...belong in the category of epistemology" is to say that *all* concepts and propositions, by definition, are epistemological and *none* are, or can be, metaphysical -- since all concepts and propositions "pertain" to human knowledge in some way. This kind of ambiguity will take you headlong into a representationalist theory of knowledge (such as we find in Descartes and Locke), wherein knowledge is conceived as a correspondence between abstract ideas, rather than as a correspondence between epistemological propositions and metaphysical facts. . The point is: To what does a concept *refer*? As Prof. B put it in a statement with which Rand expressed her full agreement, "It's not that the fact refers to the knowledge; it refers to the reality known, or possibly known." What does Ellen suppose this statement *means*? And what would it mean, on Ellen's account, to say that "truth" is the "identification" or "recognition" of a fact, or that a true proposition "corresponds" to a fact of reality? Does this mean that truth is the recognition of an "epistemological convenience"? Or that a true proposition is one that corresponds to a "linguistic reference"? Ellen's confusion on the matter, as trivial as it may seem, is the same kind of confusion that has led many past philosophers down the royal road of epistemological subjectivism, in one form or another. Ghs
  13. John Le Cockroach is demented. Seriously. And Evil. My minor subterfuge didn't work, alas. I was hoping he would say his name was spelled without an H aa in "Jon" instead of "John." But the joke didn't work and he is still infesting OL. His two boys hate him. His wife barely tolerates the son of a bitch. What a loser and monster. He never served in the military. He is evil incarnate. He will destroy this bastion of freedom if he stays.
  14. World wide the U.S. now has the most "confirmed" coronavirus cases.
  15. I do apologize if my attempts at humor on this site and others have seemed a bit manic. No. I am not under the influenza (or influenza) of any drugs or illnesses. I just like to have fun in an “idea park” where it is safe, philosophically right, and just fine if you think of things under the influence and tutelage of Ayn Rand. Peter