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About john42t

  • Birthday 06/22/1978

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    software, mathematics, movies, philosophy
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    John Tyson
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    Star Wars, Firefly, Watchmen

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  1. john42t


    I've given my opinion about schools more than once already, so I'm rather with you guys here. I don't find Carol's argument about all teaching being an enabling of auto-didactics convincing. In my book, auto-didactics means voluntary, self-driven learning with a self-chosen curiculum. Nothing kills curiosity more than a curriculum one hasn't chosen and one isn't interested in at the time when it's being chosen. The majority can only learn that way, so they advocate that system for everyone. "All stones are cobblestones to you." (Kira in We, the living.) They don't care about about the injustice this implies. I don't hate any particular teacher of mine any more and I didn't know my hatred to be just when I still did. Today, I blame the masses who are advocating government in education and since that's nearly everyone, I can't practically point a finger to anybody. People, including many of those who embrace the label of Objectivism, are sometimes referring to "common decency" or that there are some things so unjust that everyone "just knows" it to be wrong. I'm sometimes accused of being heartless for not sympathizing then. But it's really very simple. We live in a world in which almost all people advocate a school system that sacrifices a few children that they usually don't know. At least they won't know who those children are. They do that because they know that school was good for themselves - they wouldn't have been auto-didactic. Also, advocating public schooling in particular makes them feel warm and altruist - it's not their money, after all. There is no "common decency". Indecency is the common case. There's "common good manners", and I try hard to comply to them. I know what's good for me. And there's kindness and love to people one knows to be worthy and that can always only be an exception. I'm not a Randroid in the sense that I run around and spit in people's faces. But it's still necessary to spell things out every once in a while to keep good manners from descending into the betrayal of one's values.
  2. Few people call mothers who care for their young altruistic, which would be the human case of the kin selection you're referring to. So no, I can't see that term to be particularly fudgy. The altruist Zeitgeist that was particularly strong in the social structures I was raised in. Moderatly satisfied for a short while. Like a fraud today.
  3. You hammer on uncertainty except for a theory that seemingly undermines certainty - even though I don't think it even does. Clearly it's impossible to "calculate" the future with certainty out of sheer complexity, Rand knew that as much as any 5 year old. It's only special classes of events that are predictable, such as planetary orbits. I can't see what difference quantum mechanics adds to this. I'm not in opposition to most of the facts you present, I'm suspicious of the way you emphasize things and thus your motives. It might be that you're just playing the devil's advocate here and somewhat trolling around. Fair enough. But I'm curious, are you conscious about where the opposition (such as Michael's) is coming from?
  4. Which premise would that be in Ayn's case? All of her applied political premises. The most important political premise would be that capitalism is the only moral political system. More specifically the importance of individual rights, especially property rights, to man's proper functioning and the necessity of strong legal system and government to ensure those against foreign and domestic threats. I know you don't disagree with this, so maybe it's in the word "applied". But what's an applied premise?
  5. He was much more consistent in advocating big government across ideological borders.
  6. Altruism. Altruism in the "Objectivist" sense? Is there another? I did it out of a belief that my purpose was to make the world better / help others / etc. I thought it would make me a good person.
  7. Just saying that Rand must have been very lonely.
  8. There are people who see the doubt on the side of nature though, and those are what I would call the scepticists. The above statement is what I call absolutism.
  9. In the sense that perihelion rotation "refutes" Newton? Yes, but that's not the kind of "refutation" I was talking about. Newton's mechanics will be just as useful as they are now in all millenias to come. They will not suddendly stop working (because the laws of physics change). They don't change. Reality is knowable.
  10. Yes I know. I was referring to the video style in general and the curious fact that Ron should approve of it.
  11. Thank you. I thought of them all by myself!
  12. That's not the definition you are using, see below. You are telling me that you are able to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings of many people simultaneously, people you don't know, people you have never met? In no case this is empathy, which would require direct contact to a human being who provides the feelings to recognize. I donated to flood victims once, empathy had nothing to do with it.