Aaron

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About Aaron

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    Male
  • Location
    Atlanta
  • Interests
    computers, physical sciences, economics, politics, ethics, psychology

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  • Full Name
    Aaron Bilger
  • Description
    Objectivist and custom hardware and software engineering design consultant, I live in Atlanta, GA. Periodically I become more frustrated by/interested in the effects of philosophy in the real world, such as the 'New New Deal' now being fed to America.
  1. MSK- I'm thankful you have created and maintained an active Objectivist forum, complete with 'Events and Happenings' area. This seemed a perfect place to announce ATLOSCon. I tend to avoid spending time or focus on most Oist personal or philosophical conflicts or schisms, and as a result am generally unaware of them. When I posted I did not know of such a conflict concerning Diana Hsieh or other speakers vs yourself or Objectivist Living. Looking for 'False Friends of Objectivism' now, I find the page http://www.dianahsieh.com/ff/. It does not appear to name you or OL, though regardless, I believe you concerning there being substantial conflicts. If you consider them sufficient reason to not list this year's ATLOSCon on OL, please let me know and I can remove the posting. Thanks- Aaron
  2. Phil- Thanks for sharing that, and for your graciousness and attitude. It makes me hope to meet you more, maybe at a future ATLOSCon or other conference. Chris- Thanks for the positive comments on lodging and under-25 discount. I'm sorry the speaker line-up will keep you a way this year, but hope you will still consider coming in the future.
  3. I just noticed that you are considering coming with Phil, so just wanted to say that whatever your concerns with certain speaker(s) you are definitely welcome to come, and I'd like to meet y'all.
  4. James - I hope you do make it! I'd love to meet you. Shea's session is definitely on my list too. Phil - Thanks for your comments and vote of confidence. I definitely am encouraged by more 'grassroots' regional organizations and conferences - Atlanta of course, but also more activity in Chicago, Denver, Baltimore, Kansas City, etc. (Think globally, act locally?) For the record- Atlanta Objectivist Society (AOS or ATLOS) may be distributing promotional flyers from various Objectivist organizations who send us materials, but is not ARI or TAS sponsored. ATLOSCon is organized by Kelly Elmore, and other ATLOS functions are organized either by her or by Jenn Casey, with many other local ATLOS members volunteering and assisting. ATLOSCon is not OCON, nor is it intended to be. This is a labor of love by people who are passionate about Objectivism as well as other diverse interests, and want to meet and share these values with others.
  5. Treating this sincerely, yes, many of us (locals and out-of-towners) are into working out and hiking, in addition to pursuing other values. Concerning music, there's not a formal session (other than 'Math of Music), though at the evening party there's likely to be some Objectivist-themed filking. It's a fun, eclectic group. Aaron
  6. I do not know Diana Hsieh well, having just met her recently at SnowCon, though I like what I've seen and like her work on projects like OLists. I understand that - like many Objectivists - she has been involved in various scuffles and has her opponents. I have no interest or time for arguing about anyone's personal values or faults, but do hope that if any potential attendees are not a fan of a particular speaker, they do not let it turn them off from the whole conference and all the other great sessions and events. (Sometimes I fear every Objectivist gathering will be empty otherwise)
  7. I do not know Diana Hsieh well, having just met her recently at SnowCon, though I like what I've seen and like her work on projects like OLists. I understand that - like many Objectivists - she has been involved in various scuffles and has her opponents. I have no interest or time for arguing about anyone's personal values or faults, but do hope that if any potential attendees are not a fan of a particular speaker, they do not let it turn them off from the whole conference and all the other great sessions and events. (Sometimes I fear every Objectivist gathering will be empty otherwise)
  8. The Atlanta Objectivist Society is thrilled to announce that it’s time to register for our second annual conference, ATLOSCon! The conference will be held on Memorial Day weekend, May 26-30, 2011. We have many different classes to choose from, ranging from Objectivist epistemology to swing dancing, including business, philosophy, art, exercise, sex, parenting, and science. We also have a large variety of social events planned, including hiking, eating, partying, and working out together. Many of the classes have limits on the number of attendees, so if you are coming (and we hope you are!), we recommend that you sign up as soon as possible. We can house a limited number of out-of-towners, so if the cost of lodging would keep you from coming, please email Kelly Elmore for more information. If you are under the age of 25, we have a 20% discount available. Email Kelly Elmore for more details about how to get the young ‘uns discount (before you register). For more information, see the conference schedule, class descriptions, and speakers at http://www.atlantaobjectivists.com/atloscon-schedule/. The registration page can be found at http://www.rsvpbook.com/event.php?403563. I hope to see you there! Aaron
  9. I was just about to post saying class schedule and registration was up. Thanks for beating it to me here! Aaron
  10. ATLOSCon 2011 planning has begun! This year, our Atlanta Objectivist Society’s summer conference will be held on Memorial Day weekend, May 26-30, 2011, and we are currently accepting proposals for talks. The talks should be an hour in length (we might make a few exceptions, if you can prove that you are super fascinating for longer than that), and they should be of general interest to an Objectivist audience, though they need not be about Objectivism itself. In order to give a talk, please send a paragraph describing your talk to kellyelmore79@gmail.com by Feb 1. Our committee will choose the talks, and only if your talk is chosen will you need to send in more detailed info about your talk. Please know that you need not be an expert on your topic. Many of our speakers last year were laymen with a strong passion for their subject, and they were fabulous talks. Here is a list of topics to give you an idea of the kinds of things that we are looking for, but please don’t limit yourselves to these. Talk about anything you are passionate about! Any topic for beginner Oists from any branch of philosophy or any application More advanced philosophical talks from metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, or art Science talks Art or Literature talks Atheism Benevolent Universe Premise A Talk about an Ayn Rand essay Lead a Discussion about: Politics, Personal Experiences in Oism, activism, economics, etc. Dealing with Family Rationally Cooking or Nutrition Exercise/Crossfit Free Market Alternatives to Government Services Lead a Discussion of an article Goal Setting/GTD/Productivity Parenting/Education Atlas Shrugged presentation or discussion Talk about your Career Psychology Financial Planning You get the idea; go wild with creativity! Our speakers will not be paid, but they may be able to attend the conference for free, if ATLOSCon generates enough income. Mostly you will be paid in fun and fame!
  11. Of course. To think that there will never be murder is unrealistic and utopian - but that doesn't mean we shouldn't oppose and try to prevent or punish murder. With regard to government specifically, I'd say that anyone who truly thinks it will be reduced to zero (or who thinks whatever government exists will be all good) is also being utopian. However, that doesn't mean it's not worth trying to diminish what we have and keeping a system which does not institutionalize coercion as an ideal and target. Aaron
  12. After traversing the road from minarchism to anarchocapitalism and back, I don't know whether your statement is incredibly cynical - but I do think it's true. Aaron
  13. MSK- I don't imply anything psychological such as getting glee from targeting innocents. But terror bombing was about that and not about targeting a bad guy and accidentally getting a bystander as a casualty - as you implied incorrectly with your phrase 'avoiding killing the wrong person'. What I said concerning bystander deaths in an act of defense being on the aggressor was clearly in the context of aimed response at an aggressor and accidental bystander casualties. I even gave the specific individual level example of shooting back at a mall shooter. The concept is badly abused by some Oists who'd attempt to argue that turning Iran, Pakistan, Japan, USSR, etc. into glass would be/would have been OK, but that's a mockery of the idea. I find it very ironic that you're trying to associate me with that abusive view (which I've repudiated before) especially given our respective views on the acceptability of bombing population centers. James- Thanks for the comments. I wouldn't use her for argument from authority and I expect Rand and I would have specific disagreements on this topic, but I do think her approach on modern foreign affairs would have been closer to mine than the interventionist and 'total war' views widespread in Objectivism now. Brant- Ba'al makes you, MSK, Yaron Brook, etc. look like bleeding heart pacifists. I vacillate between viewing him as psychopath or troll, but I know he's not an Objectivist and am not nearly as concerned with his "kill 'em all, salt the earth" rants as with the views of other Objectivists. Aaron
  14. Brant, MSK- The latest posts are orthogonal to mine, and unless I just wanted to repeat previous questions I'm not sure what else to say. I am drained by the new reminder of the widespread Oist views on war. I remember being surprised and appalled 5 years ago when seeing Yaron Brook speak when he called for (before leaving Iraq to invade Iran) picking some Iraqi city to level and kill all inhabitants as an example. I've argued against the Brook/Epstein views plenty, and struggled with finding myself so at odds and that I'm more likely to have, say, JR or GHS agree with me than other Oists. However, I've come to be secure that my views being the proper ones from Objectivist ethics, and the widespread advocacy of targeting innocents (be it by specific rationale of collective guilt, pragmatism, or considering morality inapplicable) is a big mistake and to the detriment of the modern Objectivist movement. It's still disturbing to run into such ideas, though the surprise is gone. Aaron
  15. Obviously I don't agree with your simple statements that targeting innocents '[was] justified'. Are you arguing that the actions were moral, such as due to collective guilt? Or that morality didn't apply and 1941-1945 was anything-goes? I don't think you're fair to the options at hand, e.g. Japan was already attempting negotiated surrender, albeit unfortunately attempting to use USSR as the mediator without knowing the dealings at Yalta and that the USSR had no interest in brokering peace. Further, you're not being creative. Let the Russkies do more of the fighting and dying in Asia, assassinate, aid coups. Or you could take the Japanese living in America with families back in Japan - many already conveniently rounded up in camps - and start the policy of torture, rape and murder of one per day til the Japanese government surrendered. You could drop leaflets about the plan, and then photos or newsreels of each day on Japan when enacted. Certainly I find this idea antithetical to individual rights, and utterly horrific. Yet I do not see how anyone considering it moral to intentionally kill innocents (or who's discarded morality as inapplicable) could do so. What do you think? Aaron