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Peter

Science, technology, and philosophy

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From Statista: The statistic shows the total number of mobile phone users worldwide from 2015 to 2020. In 2019 the number of mobile phone users is forecast to reach 4.68 billion. end quote

 

As Carl Sagan was reported as saying, “That’s *billions* with a *b*,” and there are now 7.7 billion humans on the planet. Will wide spread cell phone usage and linked-in computer usage finally cross a line from which humanity will never retreat? Has human technology pushed us past the era (and error) of indoctrination and propaganda and placed us into an Eden where enlightened humanity will forever exist? I hope so.

Yes, there are still “cult like pockets” of people who are enslaved, as in North Korea or in religious cults. And there are Third World pockets of poverty where computer and cell phone usage are beyond their gross domestic products. But the vast majority of humanity is now able to “surf” for the truth. It is my fervent hope that the genii of knowledge and accessibility is never put back into the bottle.

I am not cutting enlightened philosophies like Objectivism out of this PROFOUND revolution of the new enlightenment but without the world wide technology it would be a much slower march to a superior, more united human race. We defeated the Axis nearly 70 years ago. We lessened the impact of totalitarianism like communism through retaliatory force and economics. Now is our time to thrive. So, which is more important to humanity’s rise in the short run? Perhaps technology. And for the long term the truth is out there. Does the following have ‘dated relevance? Peter

From “Goddess of the Market, Ayn Rand and the American Right” by Jennifer Burns pages 192 and 193. Rand’s first published work of nonfiction, For the New Intellectual, set worth the creed her young fans would follow in the coming decades. Most of the book consisted of excerpts from Rand’s already published fiction, except for the title essay, which called for a cadre of “New Intellectuals” who would work together with business to celebrate the achievements of industrialism and capitalism. In the essay Rand identified three categories of men who had clashed throughout history: Atillas (despotic rulers), Witch Doctors (priests and intellectuals), and Producers (spiritual forerunners of American businessmen). The first two terms, she noticed, had been coined by Nathaniel Branden, whom she formally thanked for his “eloquent designation.” She traced their conflicts through Western history until the Industrial Revolution, when two new social types were born: the modern businessman and the modern intellectual. According to Rand, the two were supposed to work in tandem to manage, direct, and explain the changes stemming from the Industrial Revolution. But intellectuals had committed “treason” in the face of this grave responsibility, choosing instead to hold down Producers by promoting altruism as an ethical imperative.

Rand’s essay mixed history, philosophy, and polemic into a bewitching brew while her typologies bore a clear resemblance to traditional divisions between proletariat, capitalists, and revolutionary vanguard, she centered these differences in mental outlook, not economic position. Producers were different from Witch Doctors and Attilas because they were independent and rational rather than mystical. Even though she avoided the language of economic determinism, Rand saw history as a kind of spiritualized class struggle. She took readers on a rapid tour of Western intellectual history, quickly summarizing and critiquing several major schools of philosophy.

Rand then paused to clarify her most misunderstood and controversial idea, her attack upon altruism, or “moral cannibalism,” as she liked to call it. She explained that she used the word as did the French philosopher August Compte, to mean “self-sacrifice.” This usage was philosophically precise, but potentially very confusing. Most of Rand’s critics took the word in the more colloquial sense, as broadly meaning concern for or caring about other people. This meant that Rand seemed to be attacking even goodness itself. Once again, as she had with selfishness, Rand was redefining words to match her philosophical concepts. It was not, she thought, her fault that she was sometimes misunderstood, and in any even she relished her iconoclastic persona. If her audience thought she was violating all standards of human decency, so much the better.

Rand presented herself as a serious philosophical thinker and analyst of American history, but could not fully escape her innate penchant for provocation and emotional invective. Her high-minded discussion of philosophy was punctured by colorful and occasionally bizarre metaphors. She described contemporary intellectual discourse as “a sticky puddle of stale syrup” and referred to “chickens hiding their heads in the sand (“ostrich” is too big and dignified a metaphor for this instance).” Still, she effectively charged her readers with a world-historical-task: her New Intellectuals must challenge and replace the left-leaning supporters of socialism and the welfare state. end quote

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As long as humans have Free Will stupidity, laziness and short-sightedness  is always possible.  There is no Eden for Man.  For us to be in a good place we have to work to get there and work to stay there.

 

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On 2/10/2019 at 5:16 PM, BaalChatzaf said:

As long as humans have Free Will stupidity, laziness and short-sightedness  is always possible.  There is no Eden for Man.  For us to be in a good place we have to work to get there and work to stay there.

 

Are any new dictatorships happening or are the existing ones the last?

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22 hours ago, Peter said:

Are any new dictatorships happening or are the existing ones the last?

N. Korea still exists.  PRC  has gone from Marxism to more or less conventional political thugism.  In the  "Darwinian"   struggle  for survival  mixed economies are winning out over totalitarian states. In Steven Pinker's latest  book  "Enlightenment Now"  he makes are fairly strong case that enlightenment and humanistic values have  been advancing and are currently on the rise.  Pinker's books are always a good read.  He is a very intelligent and witty writer..

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3 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

N. Korea still exists.  PRC  has gone from Marxism to more or less conventional political thugism.  In the  "Darwinian"   struggle  for survival  mixed economies are winning out over totalitarian states. In Steven Pinker's latest  book  "Enlightenment Now"  he makes are fairly strong case that enlightenment and humanistic values have  been advancing and are currently on the rise.  Pinker's books are always a good read.  He is a very intelligent and witty writer..

So then, few “new” dictatorships are sprouting as in Venezuela. I would not want America to “get into the business” but as Rand said, yes, it is moral to kill a dictator. Sincerely, double oh seven.     

Here are the answers from the New York Times Sunday puzzle dubbed “Zoospeak.” Try and think of the clue.

Common caws. Baabaa shop.  Coo de grace. Purr former.  Moo vie star.  Neigh sayer. Modern hiss story. Roar schack test. And this is not on theme but from the same puzzle. Clue: ancient mall. Answer: agora. I had to think about that but then, be-ding! I bet it was like shopping at the mall way back then.  

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I just heard that the people in China "creatively go to" the official Fearless Leader's site on their phones and the internet to gain brownie points. They still fear the communist state, unfortunately. But the times they are a'changin' 

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