We Erred Rand

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    James J. Allen
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  1. Amigo, you show uncommonly good sense, as well as good taste. I approve!
  2. But not every traffic accident that took a human life is deemed a crime. Even in cases of manslaughter, there is a "mens rea" requirement ("a guilty mind"). In the case of a traffic accident, it makes a whole lot of difference if the unintentional taking of life occurred because lightning struck a tree, causing it to fall into the middle of the road, and causing a driver to veer suddenly; or if the unintentional taking of life occurred because the driver had been drinking, or texting, or was in some way simply inattentive to the road, and is thus, partly guilty. Same with miscarriages. If it's simply a spontaneous abortion of the pregnancy because the body sensed something wrong, that's one thing; if it miscarriages because the woman is a crack addict, a smoker, a drinker, or intentionally took undue physical risks, that's another. Additionally, it's often difficult enough establishing "mens rea " in manslaughter traffic accidents; it is even more so in miscarriages. The law often looks the other way in the many instances in which it is simply a matter of practical impossibility to establish guilt. And finally, the law often sees the unintentional loss of a fetus as punishment enough to a woman who engages in risky behavior like drinking, smoking, drug/substance abuse, etc. Marotta copied his rhetorical question above from an old blog-post by economist George Reisman. Reisman was wrong then, just as Marotta is wrong now.
  3. Honestly, Stewed, it's difficult to do the former without simultaneously doing the latter on a site like this. Apparently, you prefer contributors who dumb themselves down in order for you and other regulars to protect your egos, and keep your fragile self-esteem intact. Sorry if I can't accommodate that. I'm selfish enough to believe that other people's self-esteem is best kept intact by them, not by me. Of course, if you're trying to find a subtly oblique way of asking for a reading list that you would find both interesting and enlightening, I'd be very happy to accommodate you. Most happy, indeed! Anyway, you seem to believe that if little Bobby beats the crap out of little Sammy on a playground in order to steal his baseball glove — or simply for the fun of it — that this is the same thing as being a "natural born leader." Quite incorrect. Leadership rests on persuasion, not threat of force. And the point, of course, is that there are different models of "human nature", Freud's being only one. Golding accepted that model as an accurate description of reality. Do you?
  4. Any evidence for that claim? Additionally, 1) If nothing is preventing Huckabee from walking away from the GOP and forming a 3rd party, it's equally true that nothing is preventing young people, entrepreneurs, and Hispanics from forming a 3rd party. Interesting that they don't do so. 2) Hispanics tend to be Catholic and socially conservative. They are predominantly against gay marriage and abortion. Obviously, since they are here rather than in Mexico or Guatemala, they are in favor of open immigration and amnesty for those who sneaked across the border and came to the U.S. "without documents", i.e., illegally. Third parties are ineffective in the U.S., including categories like "Independent." The GOP should stick together and work out their differences, which is not impossible, except for the fact that most its politicians are simply not very smart, and most of them agree with the basic idea of the welfare state and rent-seeking. It's a fairly straightforward argument that if one is against abortion (to take one key issue), they key to reducing it radically is to get the federal government out of it entirely. Many individuals are against abortion and therefore many state's would ban it or strictly limit it — e.g., North Dakota is considering a bill to ban the procedure entirely. So if a North Dakotan lass gets herself knocked up and wants to murder her fetus, she can go to California to have it done. California could use her money. If government got out of the marriage business entirely, marriage would return to being a covenant, and not merely a state-enforced contract with a secular-property aspect to it, and without doubt, many churches and synagogues would simply decline to perform same-sex unions at the insistence of its members. If a member dislikes the policy, he is free to leave and to join a church or synagogue that more closely conformed to his values. Many people, including self-styled Objectivists, seem to be unaware that minorities such as blacks used to be overwhelmingly Republican. Martin Luther King, Jr., for example, was a Republican his entire life. The reason is that, to blacks, the Democratic Party had been the party of pro-slavery in the 19th century, and the party of pro-segregation, Jim Crow laws in the 20th. White labor unions were strongholds of the Democratic Party, and they were anti-black (and anti-woman) to the core.* Allegiance to the GOP began to crumble only with the LBJ administration and the implementation of various "Great Society" welfare programs. The Democratic Party essentially bought the allegiance of blacks by convincing them that all of their problems were traceable to discrimination by whites, which could be alleviated by "special consideration" (welfare payments, affirmative action) guaranteed to them by the federal government. The only way to wean people off of getting "free stuff" from government is to convince them that they'd do even better without the government; that government is actually standing in their way of better opportunities. It's absolutely true, of course, but it's a hard sell, and it usually requires someone as knowledgeable, politically deft, and charismatic as a Reagan to pull it off. Someone like Rand Paul might have it. We'll see. * In fact, it was labor unions that originally advocated the implementation of the federally-mandated minimum wage. The purpose was to find a way of making potential competition in the field of unskilled labor — women, children, and blacks (i.e., those just starting to enter the workforce) — too expensive for an employer to hire given their lack of experience compared to a union member. In other words, unions lobbied (eventually successfully) on behalf of imposing the equivalent of a domestic tariff on low-priced, unskilled labor.
  5. So much for man's life being the standard of value. Clearly, Marotta believes that only some men's lives serve as standards of value; other men's lives, by definition, have no value at all.
  6. No, it isn't true to human nature; it's true to one specific model of human nature, namely, Freud's model. William Golding accepted Freud's mechanistic division of the human psyche into an Id, an Ego, and a Super-ego, and the characters in the novel are modeled after that division. The novel isn't just fiction; it's allegorical fiction, with the characters being symbolic representations of abstractions.
  7. Yes, he must have had the requisite DNA since we still have them. Nipples are part of an organism's overall body-plan or architectural shape. Current understanding in biochemistry today is that DNA does not specify an organism's body-plan. DNA does not specify that a structure called an arm goes here, a structure shaped like a leg there, and a structure like a nipple somewhere in between. Those specifications appear to be done by something else, still unknown. DNA is a macro-molecule that stores information on protein synthesis in a 4-symbol chemical code; the symbols are the four nucleotides (Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine, Thymine, or AGCT), and the code is their sequential order along the sugar double-helix (composed of ribose). Each triplet of nucleotides (called a "codon") symbolically represents some amino acid in the cell cytoplasm. Thus, DNA is a storage molecule — the "hard drive" of the cell — for storing and transmitting hereditable information regarding protein synthesis. But it appears not to have anything to do with questions regarding "phenotype", i.e., why is a human arm shaped the way it is? Why is there an opposable thumb? Why are there nipples? etc. Botanist and biochemist Rupert Sheldrake has long claimed that the overall shape of an organism is determined by the biological equivalent of a "field" which he calls the "morphogenic field." The significance of his assertion — which has generated more heat than light in scientific circles — is mainly the admission by him, and by the majority now in biochemistry, that even a full understanding of DNA will not lead to a full understanding of living organisms. The important role of DNA is now seen as quite limited. So even if we have the same DNA as Adam, that still doesn't explain why we or Adam have nipples, nor does it explain why nipples appear where they do, nor why they have the shape they do. It simply explains that the particular proteins necessary for nipples get stored and transmitted generation after generation.
  8. The only thing an independent observer observed in this study was the raw data, comprising answers to questions by the study participants. It wasn't up to the researchers to observe the study subjects in their daily lives in order to determine "objectively" if something "objectively definable" as "bullying" was occurring or not. The only thing that matters is whether the subjects believed themselves to have been the victims of "bullying". That's the basis on which they will answer the question; i.e., what the subjects believe about their own experiences, not what the researchers believe about those experiences.
  9. The participants in the study didn't think so. And that's all that matters. Just "dominant."
  10. Maybe you're a woman. You did answer "Not Telling" in your profile for gender.
  11. That would also apply to any definition of "bullying", including your use of the phrase "normal dominant and submissive personalities." The point, of course, is to define the term clearly, and in such a way that participants in the study understand it and can answer the question. Terms do not require "medically objective" definitions to be valid; they just need to be defined and understood by the research team, the study participants, and by those reading the final results. Thanks! Like you, I'm "arrogant and accommodating" when necessary.
  12. I'd be delighted to answer! I clean latrines at a transgender escort service in a major city in "Middle America" inhabited by the "rural poor." And although your picture doesn't do you justice, I can't help but inquire: Haven't I seen you before? Are you one of the regular patrons? Or are you one of the irregular "gurls?" (Hope you enjoy those studies I linked to. Greatly looking forward to reading your usual pithy, trenchant analysis.)
  13. The author explains how he controls for it. By "control" he means, a question that can be answered by a respondent, and then quantified as part of the pool of raw data. He explains it immediately after the sentence you put in red bold and underlined. Additionally, I controlled for having been bullied*, ... the measure for which was asked as follows: “While growing up, children and teenagers typically experience negative interactions with others. We say that someone is bullied when someone else, or a group, says or does nasty and unpleasant things to him or her. We do not consider it bullying when two people quarrel or fight, however. Do you recall ever being bullied by someone else, or by a group, such that you still have vivid, negative memories of it?”
  14. I see. You broached the episode in AS about Ragnar's handing a bar of gold to Rearden, claiming that it was done with the exhortation, or at least the implied intention, that Rearden spend the bar of gold "on consumption", i.e., on his own pleasure. I then asked, "And did he?", meaning, "And did Rearden in fact spend this bar of gold on his own pleasure?" You answered above, "Yes. On Dagny . . . The pear-cut ruby…" As if to claim that the episode with the pear-cut ruby occurred after the episode with Ragnar and the bar of gold, as well as an effect of that meeting. But according to my edition of Atlas Shrugged — hardcover version, Random House, 17th Printing, and autographed by Miss Rand to me personally ("To We Erred Rand — Cordially, Ayn Rand") — the bit about the pear-shaped ruby occurs on page 367, and the long bit about the gold bar from Ragnar ends on page 584, more than 200 pages later; obviously, my TechnoGoth friend, the latter event could not have been the cause of the former. Additionally, the long episode with Ragnar ends with this: "He bent, picked it up and walked on" "He" is Rearden; "it" is the bar of gold wrapped in burlap. Nowhere in the novel does Miss Rand tell us what Rearden did or did not do with that bar of gold. That's why I asked originally above, "And did he?", i.e., and did Rearden, in fact, spend that bar of gold on nothing but consumption and his own pleasure? You answered confidently, "Yes." In fact, the only intellectually honest answer consistent with what's in the novel (as opposed to what you're projecting in your head) is, "We don't know. Miss Rand doesn't say." You noticed that? You're sharp! The fact is, I don't think you have any character whatsoever.
  15. Not only did it not "plunge humanity into hundreds of years of stagnation" (an Enlightenment-era stereotype of the so-called "Dark Ages") but it made further advance possible by (among other things) carefully preserving what it could of classical learning. >>>The whole strict adherence to the scriptures thingy, or do I misunderstand history? You misunderstand history. Read: "Inventing the Middle Ages" Norman F. Cantor http://www.amazon.com/Inventing-Middle-Ages-Norman-Cantor/dp/0688123023/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365072045&sr=1-1&keywords=inventing+the+middle+ages and, "The Thirteenth, Greatest of Centuries" James J. Walsh http://www.amazon.com/Thirteenth-Greatest-Centuries-James-Walsh/dp/0979660726/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365072194&sr=1-1&keywords=the+thirteenth+greatest+of+centuries