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  1. I was curious how objectivists feel about the ferengi. They were created as the new villian for TNG, replacing the Kligons who were now the federation's ally. They were supposed to be the dark side of 'yankee capitalism' but they went so over the top they became more of a parody then a dark reflection. It is no wonder they were quickly replaced by DS9 did a much better job because they used them more as a supporting role, rather then an antagonist. Personally, I think Quark is a good exploration of the duel nature of capitalism. His constant scheming and plotting often causes problems the rest of the cast have to solve, but his talents have also solved his own share of problems and every now and then he sets profit aside for what he considers more important. All and all, a very deep and well rounded character.
  2. Wow! 118 replies, looks like i really started something, didn't I? Anywho; I was not driven off so much as I got busy and forgot to come back. I was not trying to be condescending in my introduction, but I was trying to be honest. There is a lot of Rand I don't understand and I disagree with a lot of what I can follow. To me, this brings up an obvious question; what am I doing here? If I am not an objectivist/randian, and I am not a fan of her work, then why I am on a forum devoted to Ayn Rand? The short answer is 'I'm practicing what I preach.' I believe you should consider other perspectives because it lets you see a new way of approaching a problem and coming up with a better solution. I felt a little hypocritical, telling people they should 'draw wisdom from different sources' but refusing to do so myself and so here I am. I guess you could say I am giving objectivists a fair chance.
  3. I think we talked about this in school and what the experiments might mean for the question of free will. The instructor said it probably was a bad idea to read too much into it. As a counter argument, I suggested that the scientists might be confusing 'conscious decisions' with 'unconscious reflex.' I mean, are you consciously aware of what your fingers are doing as you type out a message? Or do you just think about the words and your fingers do the rest automatically? Am I consciously thinking about the 40 muscles I am flexing just to type this up? To me it seems a lot happens on a subconscious level, otherwise doing two simple tasks, such as walking and speaking, would be next to impossible.
  4. I feel like Trump will go down in history as either the beginning of a new trend in American politics, or simply as one more blip before it just continued on as it had before. The thing is, a president can do almost anything the real problem is making it stick. So what happens after Trump leaves office? Whether it is next year or four, if he can't find someone to carry one it will all be undone, not all at once but in time. There have been several presidents that seemed to make huge changes, only for it all to crumble years later. Andrew Jackson is a good example of this, supposedly he said his greatest achievement was beating the bankers, and here we are with a central bank and paper currency. The great success of FDR is not that he got the new deal through, its that it last after he died.
  5. I get the feeling we are heading in this direction, given the expanding power of automation. When machines are doing 95% of the labor and the final price has dropped to where its almost 'too cheap to meter' we would be in such a state by default anyway. Granted, it is probably going to take a few more generations to get there, we probably won't see it, not unless they figure out how to put our brains in a robot body.
  6. I had thought, just as an experiment, about a society where the property law was based around that old phrase 'we do not inherit the earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children.' You could legally own anything you produce yourself, such as crops, textiles, etc. But you cannot own anything that you did not make, such as the air, the soil, or the water. You are basically renting those from the state who is holding them in trust for the next generation so that then their turns comes they will have clean water, clean air and fertile soil just like you did. You could argue that you can't own such things because 1. You did not create them, merely found them and 2. they were here long before you were born and will be here long after you are dead and gone. Of course, one obvious snag is something like metal ore? You did not create it, but its not going to do anyone any good until someone cuts it out and smelts it.
  7. As someone who has seen the movie, it is very much about ideas of identity. They see themselves as Wakandans, first and last, the idea of them being anything else is almost inconceivable. While the villain sees himself only as an African and he hates the hero because he does not see himself that way. I especially liked the part where T'Challa had to go to the mountain tribe for help who reluctantly agree. You get the feeling there is a long and troubled history between the two, but in the end they are both Wakandans.
  8. I got my BA in journalism and during one of my classes we were discussing news stories from the local stations and one of them was how the university had decided the campus was no a no fly zone, meaning you could not fly a drone over university property. Some of the students seemed to think it was silly and then i pointed out the privacy issue. "How hard would it be to have a drone hover outside the window of a women''s dorm with a camera?"
  9. Personally, what has me worried is not robots rising up against humanity so much as people using robots and A.I. for their own purposes. Who needs mercenaries or hit-men if you can program a drone to take someone out for you? Seriously, it would not surprise me if soon we start to see suicide drones instead of suicide bombers.
  10. Is that really the impression I gave?
  11. (Oh I love this! It's like being back in English Composition. I write a statement to convey something and when you show me how far off I was I have to go back and rework it to get closer to my actual meaning. It's kinda Socratic in a way.) I have this habit of trying to imagine a conversation before it actually happens. In the case of writing, trying to see through my readers' eyes and how they would respond, what questions they will be asking. This probably got reinforced as I was working on my Bachelor's of Arts in Journalism. My instructor told me that when you conduct an interview for a news story you are standing in for your audience asking the questions that they can't. So a good reporter has to get into the minds of their audience and anticipate what concerns they will have. One reason I enjoy posting on forums like this is it makes me think long and hard about what I am going to write. Although I suppose I am not thinking long or hard enough...
  12. I am tempted to pick this apart, but I really shouldn't. It was written in a different time and for a particular purpose. When Rand wrote this Panzers were rolling a crossed Europe and bombs and the Japanese were sweeping over Indo-China and the Philippines. Today we have the benefit of hindsight, we know how all this finally turned out and can clearly see how Hitler's dreams were very much a long shot. But all and all, it just goes to show you the history is rarely on anyone's side, most of the times its on its own side.
  13. First, I searched for 'objectivist forum' on Bing and this was at the top of the list. Second, I wanted to show I was not here to be an internet troll. I have seen people who join forums just to talk about how stupid everyone was, like someone going to a political rally just to tell everyone how dumb they are for supporting this candidate or party. Still, someone who is very apolitical might go to a rally to learn more about a party and particular candidate, and I wanted to show I am here more of the ladder than the former. Thirdly, you have a section here for introductions so I thought I would do that. Also I was a little curious what the reaction would be, how this community would react to someone who takes a very moderate position. Before you ask, I was not expecting anything in particular, which was all the more reason to try it.
  14. Let me begin with a simple statement. I am not an objectivist. I do not consider myself a objectivist because I have trouble agreeing with Rand on several points. I will be the first to admit that I have not made an exhaustive study of her writings, nor am I a philosophy major. Speaking for myself, however, and what I have read of her work, it seems to range from naive to foolish. Some of it is just confusing, but I did not study philosophy so that might be why. So why then am I on a forum dedicated to a philosophy I personally do not subscribe to. The simplest answer is that I am trying to 'practice what I preach.' In the words of a certain general... So here I am, trying to draw wisdom from a new source. Ayn Rand, in what I have read of her work, does have some good points, but she also seems to have just as many bad points. I also do not believe in the idea that any system, political, philosophical, economic or whatever, must be accepted or rejected in its totality. I think one can find wisdom in objectivism without being an objectivist, just as someone could find wisdom in collectivism without being a collectivist.