Extropy

Matias Volco

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Hello!

My name is Matias Volco and I'm new to this forum. I'm in my mid 20s and I reside in Argentina sometimes Uruguay. I've been a moderately active member of Objectivism Online since 2007 and now I want to have another valid frame of discussion of Objectivism for several reasons, if not simply because two hive minds think better than one.

One of the reasons I strongly feel in need of another "place" to discuss intellectual issues is a certain psychological milieu I've found in the aforementioned forum. Mildly ironic phrasings like the one above, "hive mind" in a forum dedicated to individualism, are taken, I think, irrationally serious. While I understand that Objectivism implies a straight-forward direct discourse, those, perhaps "schizoid" reactions to sarcasm or twists in commentaries seem to be only the tip of the iceberg. A few examples of what lies underneath pure reason are the several taboos surrounding Ayn Rand's personal background, an unspoken ban on attempting to discuss her mental state throughout her life, and of course attempting to suggest (in order to hopefully analyze!) whether something collectivist, that reminds one of sectarian behaviour, surrounds recently "ordained" online Objectivists. I would like to know whether I am invited to and free to discuss in this forum, in public, what I discuss with members of O.O. in private.

That said, I feel grateful towards Objectivism Online for years of providing me with a frame of intellectual discussion throughout the process of digesting Ayn Rand's ideas. The boards are huge and well populated so there is a lot of value in the interaction that goes on. I have made acquaintances with some members there and I will continue lurking and posting at that forum as usual. But I have broken what I now realize was another unspoken rule of that forum, and I will now, if invited, be active in these boards as well.

A special note to user Barbara Branden: I am extremely grateful that for whatever reason you chose to publicly provide light into the story of Ayn Rand's philosophy, with first hand experience. It is certainly not the reclusive or, ivory tower behaviour of less notorious people. Cheers!

- WHY AND WHENCE I FELL IN LOVE WITH AYN RAND -

My favorite word as a child was imperial but what I really meant was heroic. I could see it equally in luxury like a hotel or in infrastructure like a big vertical parking lot. A ship, particularly a cruise ship or Ro Ro joined both aspects.

Then I passed to skyscrapers changing the scape fo the cities and to American corporations changing landscape of the economy and human individual creative possibilities. It was the golden 90s, liberalization, and I was in my teens. When I was 12 I watched a badly trasnlated documentary on Ayn Rand. I was lucky to have some sort of internet connection and I could ratify that this woman was indeed both an Atheist and an idealist, that she believed in guiltless human happiness and building height. That she experienced some particular sort of pleasure I experience when I get to see a bridge being built. That she knew that after our biological programming, the maximum pleasure was in self realization, production, what I had known all my life as a 7 year old frustrated writer.

To be continued

Matias Volco

Edited by Extropy

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Matias,

You make me feel a tender sense of nostalgia about my own past.

All I can say is that the stifling feeling will get a lot better.

Of course, you are welcome on OL to discuss whatever you like--within the posting guidelines. (Things like promoting spam, hate speech, etc. are not cool, nor is the kind of Branden-bashing popular in fundy places, although you are certainly more than welcome to disagree with them. I also don't allow people to insult me or Kat to our faces--our forum and our prerogative. Other than that, it's all fair game. I try to allow a good balance to prevail so people don't hog the forum with a deluge of inane stuff like preacher-types are wont to do, but that's very rare. You will find more flexibility here than rigid rules. I'm a big fan of common sense.)

You mentioned discussing the stuff you discuss offline at other places. I don't know what that is. If you feel you have to vent, that's OK. But be aware that OL is not in competition with OO, nor is there any kind of interforum hostility that I am aware of. OO and OL each have their own nature.

The policy on OL is that each person speaks for himself. I also try to encourage people to think for themselves, even when they disagree with me. Honest thinking and goodwill attempts to grok what others mean are music to my ears.

I'm confused about what you mean re inviting you. This is a public forum, so everyone is invited to sign up and post. Within that context, consider yourself invited. :)

(Also, I lived in São Paulo for over 30 years, and I'm a bit homesick for South America. It's good to see someone from down there--even if you are from the dastardly Argentina. :) )

Welcome aboard.

Michael

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Thank you for joining us. I am sure you can find some Rand writing to translate into Spanish.<br><br>I wonder what Rand's position on Las Islas Malvinas would be.<br><br><br>

Edited by Chris Baker

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Matias, welcome to OL:

Sniff, sniff...what is that smell...No it is not the sulfur of George Bush, but the internal rot of marxism!

How much of this article on Chavez can you confirm or clarify?

On top of 23 percent inflation and growing government debt, worsening blackouts have emerged as a serious dilemma, forcing Chavez's government to announce rationing measures including rolling power outages in some parts of the country.

During more than 12 years in office, Chavez has been joined by increasing numbers of left-leaning leaders in Latin America, and has enjoyed close ties with presidents from Bolivia's Evo Morales to Argentina's Cristina Fernandez.

Yet Chavez has also increasingly faced unfavorable public opinion in countries such as Peru, where President-elect Ollanta Humala, once an open admirer of Chavez, has since distanced himself and indicated he favors the moderate, business-friendly policies of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

A poll in 18 countries last year by Latinobarometro, an independent Chile-based organization, found that on average people gave Chavez a 3.9 on a scale of 1 to 10 - the second-worst score on the list after his ally and mentor Fidel Castro.

AP article here

Adam

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Matias,

You make me feel a tender sense of nostalgia about my own past.

All I can say is that the stifling feeling will get a lot better.

Of course, you are welcome on OL to discuss whatever you like, within the posting guidelines. (Things like promoting spam, hate speech, etc. are not cool, nor is the kind of Branden-bashing popular in fundy places, although you are certainly more than welcome to disagree with them. I also don't allow people to insult me or Kat to our faces--our forum and our prerogative. Other than that, it's all fair game. I try to allow a good balance to prevail so people don't hog the forum with a deluge of inane stuff like preacher-types are wont to do, but that's very rare. You will find more flexibility here than rigid rules. I'm a big fan of common sense.)

We wont have any problems with that as I'm fascinated by Ayn Rand and extenuated by the in-politics of her philosophy come movement. I really want to discuss skyscrapers, art and whether I can be CERTAIN of living in an objective universe rather than take part on sectarian battles. That said, I AM interested in the history of Objectivism and in "meta-Objectivism" that is studying Objectivism and what it provokes in different individuals from an abstracted (objective?) point of view.

I am a big fan of common sense too! I just don't find it that pervasively common! Shall we call it "good" sense?

You mentioned discussing the stuff you discuss offline at other places. I don't know what that is. If you feel you have to vent, that's OK. But be aware that OL is not in competition with OO, nor is there any kind of interforum hostility that I am aware of. OO and OL each have their own nature.

Sounds good. See, If I were to discuss i.e. the role of Judaism, or Slavism, in Ayn Rand's life and its inevitable impact on her philosophy I'd have it to do it in private at O.O to get honest feedback. It's tedious. I'm hoping I can do it openy here. As an avid reader of "troll" sites from good old Adequacy to ED I am well familiar with "flames" and "trolls" to know how to avoid such phenomena and not let controversy be confused with instigation.

The policy on OL is that each person speaks for himself. I also try to encourage people to think for themselves, even when they disagree with me. Honest thinking and goodwill attempts to grok what others mean are music to my ears.

I'm confused about what you mean re inviting you. This is a public forum, so everyone is invited to sign up and post. Within that context, consider yourself invited. :)

I just meant that I recognize this is after all costy server time and someone, perhaps you, is paying for it, and therefore I am but an invitee. If we make that explicit at the beginning I'm sure it'll all go a lot smoothly later on.

(Also, I lived in São Paulo for over 30 years, and I'm a bit homesick for South America. It's good to see someone from down there--even if you are from the dastardly Argentina. :) )

Now that comes as somewhat of a surprise (might have read about it somewhere?). Do you falas Portugu'es? Southern Brazil, up to SP that is to say the "gauchos", they speak a different language but share the same culture with Buenos Aires. Euro and Japanese immigrants adapting to this ex Iberian countries. People from Sao Pauo, Curitiba, Montevideo and Buenos Aires are more genetically and culturally alike than "us" and either Central and Northern Brazilians or Hispanic Americans from elsewhere including inland Argentina. From Santos/Sao Paulo to Buenos Aires lies an informal area of European settlement much like the Cape in S.Africa or Australia and NZ. It is certainly not a coincidence that one of the Heroes of the West from Atlas Shrugged comes from Argentina, although I must say, with lots of inaccuracies (the d'Anconias could never have been that old a New World family and that free of mind at the same time, but there is an element to it).

Welcome aboard.

Michael

Really, honestly, thank you! I do feel welcome! :)

Thank you for joining us. I am sure you can find some Rand writing to translate into Spanish.<br><br>I wonder what Rand's position on Las Islas Malvinas would be.<br><br><br>

Thank you Chris!

re Spanish: I've translated Francisco's money speech and made it circulate among some somwhat powerful mailing lists in Argentina. Is that what you meant? Most of Ayn Rand is already translated by Editorial Grito Sagrado, based in Buenos Aires, and for that matter most Latin Americans interested in Objectivism are already fluent in Lingua Franca Libertatis (English).

re Falklands. Malvinas should not be used as a name but if you are curious it comes from home town of the first settlers of those islands, neither Spaniards or Britons but Frenchmen from Saint Malo, hence, Iles Malouines, populated from people of Saint Malo (Atlantic Loire or Britanny). I know perfectly what Ayn Rand would have said of the war, she wrote about it. She wrote that initiation of force is immoral and illegal. She wrote that governments should not rape their citizens but grant them some protection (like Habeas Corpus for instance), and she was even more specific about the proper relationship between the custodian of weapons and enforcer of law (government) and the citizen (patron, owner). In 1982 a non totalitarian dictatorship that did not grant Habeas Corpus or due process before torturing and ultimately executing the individuals that it illegally kidnapped; invaded a sovereign territory of the British Commonwealth which by 1982 fully granted Habeas Corpus and due process to the inhabitants and residents, the Falkland Islands. What else is there to it?

Margaret Thatcher's greatest display of honor was retaking those islands for the only crown in the world that somewhat respects its subjects. I don't really believe in God or in Monarchy, and I wasn't alive when the Argentine Military Junta drafted civilians and invaded British territory; but this whole issue makes me shout from the core of my heart "God Save the Queen!"

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Matias, welcome to OL:

Sniff, sniff...what is that smell...No it is not the sulfur of George Bush, but the internal rot of marxism!

How much of this article on Chavez can you confirm or clarify?

On top of 23 percent inflation and growing government debt, worsening blackouts have emerged as a serious dilemma, forcing Chavez's government to announce rationing measures including rolling power outages in some parts of the country.

During more than 12 years in office, Chavez has been joined by increasing numbers of left-leaning leaders in Latin America, and has enjoyed close ties with presidents from Bolivia's Evo Morales to Argentina's Cristina Fernandez.

Yet Chavez has also increasingly faced unfavorable public opinion in countries such as Peru, where President-elect Ollanta Humala, once an open admirer of Chavez, has since distanced himself and indicated he favors the moderate, business-friendly policies of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

A poll in 18 countries last year by Latinobarometro, an independent Chile-based organization, found that on average people gave Chavez a 3.9 on a scale of 1 to 10 - the second-worst score on the list after his ally and mentor Fidel Castro.

AP article here

Adam

Hello Adam,

When talking Chavez we need to have a foreword about oil.

As you can verify looking at a map, Venezuela is at the opposite corner of the continent I live in. It's demographics, culture and history are also somewhat opposite. That said, Venezuela has more barrels of oil per capita than any other South American nation. Brazil is yet to catch up and, unlike Venezuela's Orinoco Basin, at its own offshore hi tech exploration cost. In Venezuela they are just catching up that they had been sitting in a coffer of black gold and "allowing" the Americans to take the biggest profit margin for the last 80 years. In Brazil they have the technology and manpower to exploit their own offshore oil which by the way has only just been fully discovered. After all Brazil is a country that is able to produce successful commercial aircrafts, it can surely manage its oil production. In Argentina oil is plenty but not exaggerate, we're not exporters. On the contrary we import natural gas from Bolivia to heat our homes in the winter (because past generations used to just let the nat gas escape to the atmosphere when drilling for oil (!) this is the land of the plenty, the land of the extensive, not intensive, production, the land of waste).

Now Geo-politically you may notice that all Mercosur coutries except Chile, like Russia, India, China and some parts of Africa are the only places on Earth exempt from direct American control - regardless of whether that would be a good thing.

That makes the traditional Mercosur countries (Brazil Argentina and its satellites Paraguay and Uruguay) the only sovereign territories in the Americas outside the control of Washington. Venezuela is in this case used as a spearhead from Brazil. Let Chavez be the tough guy that keeps half of South America "sovereign" (EuroBrazilian) while shocasing Brazil as the friendly American partner and challenger.

Argentina is not that traditionally pro American or even familiar with America like VEnezuela is. For Argentines English speakers means British as we always favored Brit capital over American to the point that in 1933 Argentina requested (and was denied) to be a part of the Commonwealth - in the framework of Keynesian protectionism Argentina needed to be a political part of what it was already a trading partner)

So now we have Chavez torturing its own population and "redistributing" oil income in the form of bonds - which seems to be a scheme to try and get the Central Bank of South America going.... a benchmark of the European Union and its Euro.

I am not surprised that people in Caracas or elsewhere in Venezuela suffer the price of bribing Chavez's buddies like my president. We have no blackouts here, we wouldn't tolerate it as urban Argentina is after all in the service sector. We get our energy from domestic and imported gas, nuclear power (two plants and one in construction), and the second or third biggest hydroelectric dam in the World. The soil is black and rich.

Any other proof that geographical resources have nothing to do with human prosperity?

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Now Geo-politically you may notice that all Mercosur countries except Chile, like Russia, India, China and some parts of Africa are the only places on Earth exempt from direct American control - regardless of whether that would be a good thing.

That makes the traditional Mercosur countries (Brazil Argentina and its satellites Paraguay and Uruguay) the only sovereign territories in the Americas outside the control of Washington. Venezuela is in this case used as a spearhead from Brazil. Let Chavez be the tough guy that keeps half of South America "sovereign" (EuroBrazilian) while showcasing Brazil as the friendly American partner and challenger.

Argentina is not that traditionally pro American or even familiar with America like Venezuela is. For Argentines English speakers means British as we always favored Brit capital over American to the point that in 1933 Argentina requested (and was denied) to be a part of the Commonwealth - in the framework of Keynesian protectionism Argentina needed to be a political part of what it was already a trading partner)

So now we have Chavez torturing its own population and "redistributing" oil income in the form of bonds - which seems to be a scheme to try and get the Central Bank of South America going.... a benchmark of the European Union and its Euro.

I am not surprised that people in Caracas or elsewhere in Venezuela suffer the price of bribing Chavez's buddies like my president. We have no blackouts here, we wouldn't tolerate it as urban Argentina is after all in the service sector. We get our energy from domestic and imported gas, nuclear power (two plants and one in construction), and the second or third biggest hydroelectric dam in the World. The soil is black and rich.

Any other proof that geographical resources have nothing to do with human prosperity?

Matias:

Thanks for the insights. I agree that having a surplus of natural resources is no guarantee of human prosperity.

I was not aware of the "Mercosur countries" as a distinct bloc founded in 1991 by the Treaty of Asunción, . For any OLers who are not familiar with this see wiki link on Mercosur.

The objectives were the promotion of the Southern Common Market:

  • The free transit of produced goods, services and factors between the member states. Among other things, this includes the elimination of customs rights and lifting of nontariff restrictions on the transit of goods or any other measures with similar effects;
  • Fixing of a common external tariff (CET) and adopting of a common trade policy with regard to nonmember states or groups of states, and the coordination of positions in regional and international commercial and economic meetings;
  • Coordination of macroeconomic and sectorial policies of member states relating to foreign trade, agriculture, industry, taxes, monetary system, exchange and capital, services, customs, transport and communications, and any others they may agree on, in order to ensure free competition between member states;
  • The commitment by the member states to make the necessary adjustments to their laws in pertinent areas to allow for the strengthening of the integration process. The Asunción Treaty is based on the doctrine of the reciprocal rights and obligations of the member states. Mercosur initially targeted free-trade zones, then customs unification, and finally a common market. The common market will allow (in addition to customs unification) the free movement of manpower and capital across the member nations, and depends the grating of equal rights and duties to all member countries. Because member states will implement the trade liberalization at different speeds, during the transition period the rights and obligations of each party will initially be equivalent but not necessarily equal. In addition to the reciprocity doctrine, the Asunción Treaty also contains provisions for the most-favored nation concept. This concept is that after the common market is formed, member nations are to automatically extend to the other members any advantage, favor, entitlement, immunity or privilege granted to a product originating from or intended for countries that are not party to the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI).

Fascinating.

Thanks.

Adam

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I just meant that I recognize this is after all costy server time and someone, perhaps you, is paying for it...

Matias,

Yup. That is correct and there is the yearly cost of a license for proprietary software.

But it's not all bad. We have a "Donate" button at the bottom that on rare occasions gets used. So, to be fully transparent and to use a phrase from Kat's favorite band, we "get by with a little help from our friends."

Do you falas Portugu'es?

Fluentemente mal. :)

Foi tradutor técnico durante mais de dez anos.

(Translation for other readers: Fluently bad. :) I was a technical translator for over ten years.)

The Argentina thing comes from local rivalry. I don't know about the Argentina to Sâo Paulo perspective, but I am intimate with the other way around. I saw a lot of hostility towards Argentina--especially during World Cup times. :)

Regarding the Ayn Rand issues, no problem.

Truth has no agenda, but fundies sure do. :)

Anti-Rand folks, too. Once in a while I have to restrict snarky preacher-type Rand-bashers qua Rand-bashers who makes a gazillion rapid-fire one-liners just to constantly dump on her--or on Objectivists--and derail discussions. You might be interested in the method I found that does a really good job of keeping things going smoothly. I stumbled on it by accident.

Rather than moderate machine-gun snarky posters, I restrict them to 5 posts per 24 hours. Those who are not interested in discussion, but only want attention, tend to move on. The prospect of 5 posts only doesn't get them the high they seek, so off they go to greener pastures for their fix. The more serious people start making more thoughtful posts and--for these--I end up releasing the restriction without being asked. I've only had to outright moderate very few posters. And this was after several warnings about the posting guidelines.

All in all, I think the atmosphere here is pretty fertile for intelligent discussions and sporadic inflamed passions. Like I said, I value balance and common sense.

Michael

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Seleno,

I don't mind turning my introduction into an Americas geopolitical discussion. As a matter of fact I'm "Asperger-like" fascinated with maps, academically love and study geography and history, and I value nothing above knowing about the fuzzy cloudy truth of the Geopolitical situation (it's rightfully complicated because it doesn't stop at the institutions, it stops at the very individuals they control or represent).

-----

Maybe the only thing I value more is a good architectural design as I have studied architecture, sketched all my life (cruiseships when 4 skyscrapers when 14), and am a frustrated architect expecting to fulfill one of my professions when I reach the maturity to be an actual ARCHITECT. Hopefully like Kenzo Tange, a boxer who could only be an architect, the god complex profession later in life, or more likely like Shoei Yoh who was an economist until he could achieve being an ground breaking architect at age 40+. Ironically I have the opportunity to build my own design. I need psychological help in making that happen as I'm not taking full advantage of the opportunity. Later I'll request help on that.

-----

Back to topic, I am honestly (hope that my English deficiency counterweights any smugness in this comment) surprised that you guys, interested in a philosophy that promote American values in CONTRAST to the rest of the World, and Human (individual) equality in respect of nationality (Ayn Rand immigrant, USA land of foreign settlers), aren't more familiar at what is going on your own back yard, or the whole World for that matter.

After WWII America established military bases to contain communism. However, like during WWII, there were some countries, like Sweden or Argentina, that were not aligned with either Nazism, Communism or their respecting allies.

Unlike Argentina Brazil was always an ally of the Anglo World. The Portuguese crown was a commercial political and Royal-marital ally of Britain since Tudor times. During WWII Brazil contributed troops to the invasion of Italy and previously contributed to the ally effort. Argentina remained neutral until only a month before the Axis powers were defeated, well after the invasion of Normandy. German ships in the South Atlantic flocked to Argentina to "surrender" to a more amicable "enemy" state than Brazil or the Commonwealth countries.

Since Argentina (and for that matter Brazil) has been ruled by a semi-fascist ideology, Peronism (integralism in Brazil, later Vargas, in any case national socialism), it standed during the Cold War as an anti communist state. That was the only time that Argentina, the only other integral part of Mercosur other than Brazil, standed along with the United States, during the anti communist guerrilla campaign which consisted of state sponsored Nazis killing subversive Commies. That delightful incident (1976-1983) lasted until the Nationalists decided to attack the United Kingdom as if war was an honorable gesture worthy of 19th century diplomacy. The Falklands war made the World notice how Fascist and militarist anti-communism can turn, and in a matter of months the military junta was calling for elections as if the PEronist/Marxist threat never existed. At the time Perestroyka was not even insinuated.

Meanwhile the War on Drugs served as a good smoke curtain for the States to secure Andean America, that is Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and specially Chile under its sphere of influence. The rest, Brazil, Paraguay (to an extent), Uruguay and Argentina, unified in the Mercosur block, which like India is a democratic, British related power that is now rubbing shoulders with the former enemy, Russia, Iran.

Brazil has a right a history and a future of expansionist life loving determination, and it really does not need the USA. But in the process of asserting itself as the "other" America, it is using Latin American 21 Century Socialism (Chavez) discourse to convince the people and voters (don't forget Democracy!) that Capitalism equals the American Army, and that both are equally bad.

Latin America isn now divided into two block of influence: Mexico which is now almost equal to the USA, Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile are on the Asian Pacific and American side.

Argentina Brazil are the axis of the sovereign union. Venezuela and BOlivia the new acquisitons of such axis. PAraguay is a commercial memebr of Mercosur but allows US bases in its territory. Uruguay is a Mercosur country but foreigners have the same rights as natives in every term except voting, we can own property, receive free medical care, invest, and live indefinitely, so it is informally a pro Western and thus pro American citizens.

Chile is the only country that has abided by American standards and directions for the last decades. It's certainly not nbad fpr the Chileans who recently elected a Right wing candidate and many Chilean leftists I know now admit that their anti communist cruel dictator Pinochet ironically saved the country. It is to be noted that these people have a very low regard of ordinary people.

[quote name=Selene' timestamp='1308626690' post='137599'

Matias:

Thanks for the insights. I agree that having a surplus of natural resources is no guarantee of human prosperity.

I was not aware of the "Mercosur countries" as a distinct bloc founded in 1991 by the Treaty of Asunción, . For any OLers who are not familiar with this see wiki link on Mercosur.

The objectives were the promotion of the Southern Common Market:

  • The free transit of produced goods, services and factors between the member states. Among other things, this includes the elimination of customs rights and lifting of nontariff restrictions on the transit of goods or any other measures with similar effects;
  • Fixing of a common external tariff (CET) and adopting of a common trade policy with regard to nonmember states or groups of states, and the coordination of positions in regional and international commercial and economic meetings;
  • Coordination of macroeconomic and sectorial policies of member states relating to foreign trade, agriculture, industry, taxes, monetary system, exchange and capital, services, customs, transport and communications, and any others they may agree on, in order to ensure free competition between member states;
  • The commitment by the member states to make the necessary adjustments to their laws in pertinent areas to allow for the strengthening of the integration process. The Asunción Treaty is based on the doctrine of the reciprocal rights and obligations of the member states. Mercosur initially targeted free-trade zones, then customs unification, and finally a common market. The common market will allow (in addition to customs unification) the free movement of manpower and capital across the member nations, and depends the grating of equal rights and duties to all member countries. Because member states will implement the trade liberalization at different speeds, during the transition period the rights and obligations of each party will initially be equivalent but not necessarily equal. In addition to the reciprocity doctrine, the Asunción Treaty also contains provisions for the most-favored nation concept. This concept is that after the common market is formed, member nations are to automatically extend to the other members any advantage, favor, entitlement, immunity or privilege granted to a product originating from or intended for countries that are not party to the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI).

Fascinating.

Thanks.

Adam

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I just meant that I recognize this is after all costy server time and someone, perhaps you, is paying for it...

Matias,

Yup. That is correct and there is the yearly cost of a license for proprietary software.

But it's not all bad. We have a "Donate" button at the bottom that on rare occasions gets used. So, to be fully transparent and to use a phrase from Kat's favorite band, we "get by with a little help from our friends."

Do you falas Portugu'es?

Fluentemente mal. :)

Foi tradutor técnico durante mais de dez anos.

(Translation for other readers: Fluently bad. :) I was a technical translator for over ten years.)

The Argentina thing comes from local rivalry. I don't know about the Argentina to Sâo Paulo perspective, but I am intimate with the other way around. I saw a lot of hostility towards Argentina--especially during World Cup times. :)

Regarding the Ayn Rand issues, no problem.

Truth has no agenda, but fundies sure do. :)

Anti-Rand folks, too. Once in a while I have to restrict snarky preacher-type Rand-bashers qua Rand-bashers who makes a gazillion rapid-fire one-liners just to constantly dump on her--or on Objectivists--and derail discussions. You might be interested in the method I found that does a really good job of keeping things going smoothly. I stumbled on it by accident.

Rather than moderate machine-gun snarky posters, I restrict them to 5 posts per 24 hours. Those who are not interested in discussion, but only want attention, tend to move on. The prospect of 5 posts only doesn't get them the high they seek, so off they go to greener pastures for their fix. The more serious people start making more thoughtful posts and--for these--I end up releasing the restriction without being asked. I've only had to outright moderate very few posters. And this was after several warnings about the posting guidelines.

All in all, I think the atmosphere here is pretty fertile for intelligent discussions and sporadic inflamed passions. Like I said, I value balance and common sense.

Michael

I can smell the freshness of these new pastures. Your method for troll-control sounds organic and a lot more effective than the OCD reactions I'm used to and have alienated so many intelligent albeit rude minds I've come to known and would have wished to keep as interlocutors. But what can I say, the last I heard from O.O. is that politeness is not considered a value after all... I don't identify with that.

Speaking of Organic, I believe Ayn Rand qua Ayn Rand is not very organic, but if depured can be made so. How much of this would be adulteration and are you at all getting what I'm talking about or maybe I should rephrase this tomorrow.... yes.

Eu tampoco falo bom portugues mais lo comprendo e me fago comprender (in terribly bad portuguese> I don't speak good Portuguese eihter but I understand it and can make myself understood).

I'll consider donations and honestly could spare a few bucks and might do so anonymously like the Torah says but I suspect there might be more profitable ways to sustain this. Still thinking.

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Hello. Are you an Extropian transhumanist? I was a member of that group in its early days.

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[double post]

Edited by Eudaimonist

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Hello. Are you an Extropian transhumanist? I was a member of that group in its early days.

Sorry for the unbelievably late reply: I love the concept of extropy. I discovered the word early in childhood when I was explained the Second Law of Thermodynamics and noticed that life in general behaves in the opposite way. The struggle for the ultimate value is therefore the struggle against but within nature. Much later, and after reading Ayn Rand and one particular essay by Patri Friedman I realized how the best examples of applied volition are an act of Exttropy. Writing a book is a good example. I'm certain the digital age will multiply that sort of achievement exponentially. But I believe that the concept of the Singularity has a bit of a religious rapture-like element to it, or was otherwise co-opted by it, being merely a hypothetical paradigm shift.

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