1277: "Ayn Random"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
Monika
Welcoming Aarvark
Posts: 3672
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:03 am UTC
Location: Germany, near Heidelberg
Contact:

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Monika » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:09 pm UTC

TIL: When a post has been moderated one can see what it said when quoting it.

capefeather wrote:One thing that bothers me is when people try to define words as broadly as possible, while also trying to maintain the emotive power of those words. "Theft" is not an inherently evil word. [...]


ucim wrote:That's not quite what's happening. The idea of "broad definition" is a red herring. The word is deliberately being abused in order to attach the pre-existing emotional appeal of a perfectly good word for an evil act, to an act that is not (anywhere near as) evil.[...]


I like both argumentations.


@addams: Are these poems?
#xkcd-q on irc.foonetic.net - the LGBTIQQA support channel
Please donate to help these people

User avatar
eran_rathan
Mostly Wrong
Posts: 1842
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:36 pm UTC
Location: in your ceiling, judging you

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby eran_rathan » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:41 pm UTC

I like to think that the way she types is the way that addams speaks ~ I imagine her as Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, but older and wiser.

(I am probably wrong, that happens a lot.)
"Does this smell like chloroform to you?"
"Google tells me you are not unique. You are, however, wrong."
nɒʜƚɒɿ_nɒɿɘ

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 6860
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby ucim » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:16 pm UTC

addams wrote:4.7 trillion divided by 300 million.
I am not good at exponent.

The zeros give me trouble.
Math Guys! What is that number?
First line it up:

300 million is .3 billion.

so, we're looking at 4.7 / .3 or 47/3 or pretty close to 15 somethings.

The" something" is "trillion / billion". There are a thousand trillion in a billion, so a trillion/billion = a thousand

So, we each owe about 15 thousand dollars, on average. But to whom?

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Heartfelt thanks from addams and from me - you really made a difference.

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10268
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby addams » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:39 pm UTC

Thank you for being able to read.
Not all people can.

Did this conversation begin to unravel and expose our Religious Beliefs about education?
Does The State have the right to require all person learn to read and write?

Read and write, What?
I remember listening to some people I thought were Normal.

There were disagreements much as there are disagreements on xkcd.
One man stole more hearts than, just, mine.

He said, "We will teach them to read. What they read is up to them."
Is that so charming? I spoke to him. Or; He spoke to me.

He was one of those Content of the Human Character types.
Those people argue in favor of education.

As that woman from Brown said, "An education is for the soul, not the pocket book."
She also acknowledged that educated persons tend to go through more money than the uneducated masses.

Fundamentally we are responsible for our minds. Is the soul not in the mind?
The idea of having a soul is in the mind. Without a mind does it have a soul?

Have you ever met a person that can not read?
Have you ever met a person that if functionally illiterate?

I have. Is it too late for adults that can not read?
When do we give up on our people?

There is nothing wrong with a man with a Yale degree enjoying children's poems and stories.
There is something very wrong with people that can not read that don't want you to either.

Some people read the Wall Street Journal.
Some people prefer "One Fish, Two Fish; Red Fish, Blue Fish."

Some people must learn all from oral traditions.
Who is talking to those people? The TV and the internet?

I am so glad xkcd seems to be able to read.
I don't want to understand Blake's Tiger.
It is ok with me for you to know more than I do.

Maybe we can all read a child's book and agree to agree.
or; a little song. "Inch worm, inch worm; Do you know how beautiful they are?"

I may have been hanging around with the wrong illiterates.
Thank you for being able to read.

My nation paid people to teach me to read.
I am grateful. I may have picked it up sooner or later, anyway.

Would you have read if you had not gone to school?
Not if you were born in 1998 or after?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 5447
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:43 pm UTC

Klear wrote:One of the problems of this is that it is relatively easy to come up with a system which is more fair and overall better on paper, but the subject we are dealing with here is so large and there are so many factors, it's pretty much guaranteed that you're overlooking something critical which would make the whole thing come crashing down hard. And it's not just a matter of thinking about it harder. I believe that with any sufficiently different governance system there would be some unprecedented and almost unforseeable consequences, which makes empirical testing the only reliable way to test a system's viability. Obviously, empirical testing of such a system is probably a very bad idea.

So everything should forever stay exactly the way it is because it might get worse if it changes?

I'm not suggesting radical change. That is, I'm not saying "scrap everything we're doing now and put this in place instead". I would want any changes made to be as gradual and reversible as possible so that if we find problems we can either work around them or pull back from that approach in time to avoid catastrophe. But it's just as ludicrous to suggest that what we have now is the best we could ever possibly have, as it is to suggest we should scrap everything we've got now and try something completely different at once. We need to make progress, but it needs to be conservative progress, i.e. it needs to protect what's good about what we've already got while trying to fix what's bad.

The Great Hippo wrote:I think my point was fairly clear, and I don't see how you got to "Ayn Rand thinks property laws are inviolable" rather than "Ayn Rand thinks our right to property is inviolable", but yes -- that thing you said is not what I said.

Rights have implications on what laws should be. Saying that we have such-and-such rights suggests that we should have such-and-such laws. But since I apparently misunderstood you and you were just saying "there are no natural rights to property", never mind this thread.

You said you haven't met many people who have given thought to how to eliminate taxes while maintaining a functional society. Anarcho-capitalists have put some thought into this.

I guess I wasn't very clear with the scare-quotes indicating "what the other guys call" the quoted thing. There is a camp of people who equate "civilization" to a certain level of government services, e.g. people who call the U.S. "uncivilized" because it doesn't have universal health care. Those tend to be the same sort of people who argue that there is absolutely nothing wrong with taxation. Conversely the sort of people who argue that there is a problem with taxation, including many anarcho-capitalists, tend to be the kind to argue that we can do very well without those kinds of government services.

To rephrase the "two camps" without the scare quotes shorthand, they are:
- Those who say that if we can't have what-they-call-civilization without what-others-call-theft, then what-others-call-theft must be ok.
- Those who say that if we can't have what-others-call-civilization without what-they-call-theft, then what-others-call-civilization must be unnecessary.

The anarcho-capitalists I'm familiar with largely fall into the second camp. I'm pushing for a third position:

- We must somehow achieve what-the-first-camp-calls-civilization without what-the-second-camp-calls-theft, because what-the-second-camp-calls-theft is not ok, but what-the-first-camp-calls-civilization is necessary.

Or maybe we say it's impossible because we have considered the problem.

Then I would expect there to be at least some literature examining the problem and dismissing it. I would expect there to be some argument on record somewhere between people who say it's possible and those who say it's not, even if the latter group won. I'm generally more familiar with political philosophy than your average man on the street and I'm not familiar with any such debate having happened, so if it has happened it's been only in rarefied circles well-hidden from public view. I am trying to stir up a broader public debate about it. If you have any pointers to those less-well-known debates you think have happened I'd welcome them, but the only debates I'm familiar with are between the "we can get by without taxes, just kill all those social programs" camp and the "we can't kill social programs, so we have to have taxes" camp, who are both in the "it's not possible" camp of the argument I'm pushing to have.

(It's like there's an argument between metaphysical-libertarians and hard-determinists over free will, and somehow nobody has ever suggested compatibilism, and I'm sitting here wondering how in the hell I seem to be the only one who has even thought of compatibilism, that nobody's even bothered to shoot it down much less defend it).

Kit. wrote:I'm not sure what is scarier: a government as a market player (as opposed to a market regulator - or, worse, just combining both functions), or top managers of huge companies largely owned by a government but not controlled by it, - but it's definitely not "taxation".

The reason government as a market player is scary is that the government has all kinds of special powers that we would not want a market player to have, for very good reasons. But the problem being posed is how to fund a government that doesn't have those kinds of special powers, so in that context what is there to be afraid of?

I hope you do realize that people can only sell their labor if there are jobs for them.

What impact do you think my suggestion would have on the availability of jobs?

And what people rarely rent what they can buy unless there are some economic perks that pay for the inconvenience of renting.

Of course, but the point is that the availability of rent as an option distorts the market to create a situation where people can't buy. Without the rental option, owners would have no profitable option but to sell on some kind of terms former-renters could afford. It's like when you remove the option of slavery, plantation owners still need people to work their fields, and the former slaves still need to work for a living, but plantation owners suddenly have to start hiring people to work the fields, and paying them more than they can get from other plantation owners to attract the best workers, and things generally get better for the former-slaves now that enslaving them is not an option for the owners.

Pfhorrest wrote:
Kit. wrote:The only way to convince someone else in the validity of your "oughts" is by using "ises" you both share.

There are lots of ways to convince someone of anything, but the only valid justification for an "ought" is an "ought", and the only valid justification for an "is" is an "is". In either case at some point you will need to share some common premises of the relevant type in order for an argument to get off the ground.

Are you claiming that you have no way to make me knowingly and willingly join your "taxation is wrong" society, and can only get me there by trickery and/or coercion?

I have no idea how you read that into anything I wrote.

I am claiming that to get you to "knowingly and willingly" agree with me about any normative issues, I need to appeal to some normative opinion we already have in common. I could try to stir up normative opinions I suspect we have in common with intuition pumps, or by explicating the implications of your professed opinions to show them problematic (either contradictory or implying something else you would more strongly reject) and get you to abandon them for other ones until you land on ones I agree with. But there's no way I can say "things are like such, therefore they ought to be like so" without either letting (or helping) you breeze over a gap in the logic, or appealing to at least some tacit assumption about how things ought to be. Even something as simple as "you shouldn't touch that open flame, because it will hurt you" relies on the tacit assumption that you shouldn't generally do things that hurt you.

(In a similar way that an "is" argument like "this thing exists, you can go here and see it" relies on the tacit assumption that you should generally believe your eyes).

Pfhorrest wrote:
Then both the plausibility of your method and the selection of your ises can be questioned by your opponents.

And how is the selection of "ises" any less problematic than the selection of "oughts"?

At least some of the "ises" are empirical evidence. There is no (known) empirical evidence among "oughts".

And (though some people we both disagree with would argue otherwise) there can't be strictly-speaking empirical evidence for "oughts" because empirical evidence only gives you "is"-type information.

But I'd argue there can be something analogous to empirical evidence for "oughts", if we examine what exactly empirical evidence is. A piece of empirical evidence is a feature common to everyone's sensory experience. It's an observation that I can make with certain sensors of a certain system in a certain state, and then you can go and observe that same system in the same state with the same sensors and you will observe the same thing. An empirical observation is notably not just a perception or a belief; those are already laden with interpretations on what that observation implies. But, at the bottom, empirical observations are still in a sense "subjective", in that they are made by subjective observers; it is just their commonality to all observers (looking at the right system in the right state with the right sensors) which makes their use unbiased.

I don't want to go into too much detail because this post is long enough as it is and I have to leave soonish, but I think there is a useful place to ground "ought" claims in something analogous to that. Something which is notably not a preference or intention or a want or a desire, which are already interpretation-laded and so make a horrible basis to ground "ought" claims. Something which is still subjective, but only as subjective as empirical observations are. Things which are common to the experience of all people with certain features in certain circumstances. There doesn't seem to be a common name for this, though I've got one I use, so I can't just say "what it is" here beyond giving this description of it, and naming a few notable examples of it: pain, hunger, thirst, etc. You might call them "hedonic observations" by analogy to "empirical observations".

Of course, relying on those requires the earlier step of agreeing that others' "hedonic observations" matter just as much as your own, even if you're not currently sharing them; just so long as you would, if you were a person like them in their circumstances. But we have to make a similar leap for using empirical observations, assuming a world with three-dimensional permanent objects which literally looks different to different kinds of people with different literal perspectives, rather than there being just a flat world of those ephemeral things we personally are observing right now. We could argue further about making that leap, but my point here is just that it's the same leap for either "is" or "ought" claims.

ucim wrote:
capefeather wrote:One thing that bothers me is when people try to define words as broadly as possible... [... theft...]
That's not quite what's happening. The idea of "broad definition" is a red herring. The word is deliberately being abused in order to attach the pre-existing emotional appeal of a perfectly good word for an evil act, to an act that is not (anywhere near as) evil. It's like the way the word "piracy" has been abused to refer to illegally copying a song, or like any number of other examples you can easily come up with when people draw emotions into a discussion.

The misuse of the word "piracy" is a horrible analogy here. Piracy is literally an act of robbery committed at sea. Copyright infringement does not in any way meet that definition, and there's no way to extend the definition of piracy to include just copyright infringement without also including a whole host of other activities, or else sticking two different ad-hoc definitions together and saying "piracy is this thing, or this other completely unrelated thing".

On the other hand theft is literally taking someone else's property against their will. You have to specifically make exceptions to that general definition in order to get taxation to not meet that definition, e.g. adding "unlawfully" before "taking". (But then the government can take anything it passes a law saying it can take, and what is left of the concept of property then?) That general definition is not being made overly broad to include taxation within it; it's just a straightforward definition which, it so happens, taxation falls under. You could argue that "theft" needs to be defined more narrowly in order to make sure that taxation does not fall under the definition, but then you need to make an argument for why that needs to happen, and the burden of proof is then on you to make that argument.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

User avatar
Quizatzhaderac
Posts: 1798
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:28 pm UTC
Location: Space Florida

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:57 pm UTC

addams wrote:I did not finish that stupid book. Atlas Shrugged
What a wonderful title. Atlas held the world on his shoulders.
Classically, Atlas held the sky (Uranus) on his shoulders, and stood on the earth (Gaia). He only did it under compulsion from Zeus.
Today in the 21st century a Woman can do math if she is born with the Math Gene.
I knew a woman that was born with the Math Gene.
She was something and then some. I liked her. What a mind. What a body.
That is what killed her. Having a body is required and it is the absolute fatal flaw.
Anyone that has a body can die. That is, just, fact. She died while being herself.
If the bar to an education is set too high, some people will still be reading Tails of Long Forgotten.....
Unless you're suggesting that it's unreasonable to restrict higher education subsidies to the living, I'm quite confused on how this fits.
Monika wrote:
NiteClerk wrote:If the state is going to give them food then it should be mostly beans and rice. Not pizza and steak.

This is not something that can be argued about. Seriously, beans and rice?! You sound like a psychopath. Making plans in your head to lock some person whom you deem lazy up in your basement and punish them by deprivation. You seem to hate poor people a lot.
I find I generally agree with you about things like right to health care and base income, but I find it quite amusing that you seem to consider Puerto Rican food a war crime; I'd personally prefer a traditionally seasoned plate of rice and beans over 95% of German dishes.
The Great Hippo wrote:
NiteClerk wrote:..... In the meantime don't complain about being poor while you have a smart phone, $60/month data plan, cigarettes, alcohol, cable t.v. and air conditioning.
Under what circumstances are the poor allowed to complain about being poor? Could you list those circumstances for us? We're very interested in knowing, and will make sure to send out a memo outlining those circumstances to all the poor people so they can stop bothering you.
Assuming you're serious, and acknowledging you two never agreed on a definition of "poor": I can't speak for Niteclerk, but I think the generally agreed upon list looks something like this:
  • When you (or your dependents) are unable to afford food.
    • housing
    • healthcare
  • The serious and frequent risk of those above.
  • Needing to work inordinately long hours/ multiple jobs
  • Lacking the means/opportunity to improve your situation
For the record: I do believe many people genuinely do need aid or have good reason to complain.
Pfhorrest wrote:I've got plenty of disgust to go around. What boggles me is that there are statistically at least 30 million people in America alone smarter than me, and I'm sitting here cranking out one suggestion after another for ways to have economic liberty and free markets without runaway inequality and no social safety net, while it seems everyone else just says "it's impossible" without considering the problem. I want to challenge all the bright people here: if you found out right now that your life depended on coming up with a workable way of having a stateless government, or even the smaller problem of funding social programs without taxes, where would you start? I don't care how good the idea is right now, just throw out the start of an idea.

Here's some of mine:
Well, you do seem to fail to argue a couple of things: First: that we want a stateless government, or the abolishment of involuntary taxes. Second: that no government service is inherently state-full; i.e. the military as a concept without a monopoly (or internal war), or special privileges (like dropping bombs). I suppose those things might be taken as a given on an anarchist forum, but here they need to be argued. Although I will grant your not being boring, and if you split this into a new thread I'll likely follow.
On the other hand theft is literally taking someone else's property against their will. You have to specifically make exceptions to that general definition in order to get taxation to not meet that definition
That's a weakness in the formalization (dictionary definition) of theft, not in the concept it symbolizes. There are significant differences between theft (in the descriptivist sense) and taxation, even if it's just due to social constructs
Last edited by Quizatzhaderac on Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:38 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

User avatar
Klear
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:43 am UTC
Location: Prague

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Klear » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:05 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Klear wrote:One of the problems of this is that it is relatively easy to come up with a system which is more fair and overall better on paper, but the subject we are dealing with here is so large and there are so many factors, it's pretty much guaranteed that you're overlooking something critical which would make the whole thing come crashing down hard. And it's not just a matter of thinking about it harder. I believe that with any sufficiently different governance system there would be some unprecedented and almost unforseeable consequences, which makes empirical testing the only reliable way to test a system's viability. Obviously, empirical testing of such a system is probably a very bad idea.

So everything should forever stay exactly the way it is because it might get worse if it changes?

I'm not suggesting radical change. That is, I'm not saying "scrap everything we're doing now and put this in place instead". I would want any changes made to be as gradual and reversible as possible so that if we find problems we can either work around them or pull back from that approach in time to avoid catastrophe. But it's just as ludicrous to suggest that what we have now is the best we could ever possibly have, as it is to suggest we should scrap everything we've got now and try something completely different at once. We need to make progress, but it needs to be conservative progress, i.e. it needs to protect what's good about what we've already got while trying to fix what's bad.


I really don't think that is possible. Even if you want to do the changes gradually, the outcome you are looking towards (government not relying on taxes) is so distant from what we have here, you'll have to make some sort of jump at some point. This kind of political engineering can't be done safely, and can't be simulated beforehand.

speising
Posts: 2353
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:54 pm UTC
Location: wien

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby speising » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:07 pm UTC

regarding tax: actually, the state doesn't take your money. it's just that there are laws that compel you to pay them. for, in principle, various communal services. this is a clear difference to theft.

User avatar
eran_rathan
Mostly Wrong
Posts: 1842
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:36 pm UTC
Location: in your ceiling, judging you

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby eran_rathan » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:19 pm UTC

addams wrote:Have you ever met a person that can not read?
Have you ever met a person that if functionally illiterate?
...
Would you have read if you had not gone to school?
Not if you were born in 1998 or after?


Mt father-in-law. :( It makes me sad. Give him an engine, though, and he can rebuild or fix just about anything.
"Does this smell like chloroform to you?"
"Google tells me you are not unique. You are, however, wrong."
nɒʜƚɒɿ_nɒɿɘ

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 6860
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby ucim » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:39 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:...On the other hand theft is literally taking someone else's property against their will...
But you are presuming that the property is "theirs" to begin with.

How is it not theft for the state to force you to surrender your property to another person at the end of a contract dispute which you lose? Either you concede that the property in dispute "isn't yours", or you grant that some forms of involuntary property seizure do not count as theft (the same way that some forms of killing do not count as murder). However you answer that question, you can apply it to taxation, wherein one reasonable view is that some of your income is due to externalities, and thus not yours to begin with. It is the same way that some of the profits of the company upstream of me is due to the externalities of their dumping waste into the river which I drink from - it's the basis of the fracking debate. Those profits are not "rightfully theirs" either.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Heartfelt thanks from addams and from me - you really made a difference.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:11 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:Assuming you're serious, and acknowledging you two never agreed on a definition of "poor": I can't speak for Niteclerk, but I think the generally agreed upon list looks something like this:
  • When you (or your dependents) are unable to afford food.
  • * housing
  • * healthcare
  • The serious and frequent risk of those above.
  • Needing to work inordinately long hours/ multiple jobs
  • Lacking the means/opportunity to improve your situation
For the record: I do believe many people genuinely do need aid or have good reason to complain.
I wasn't being serious. NiteClerk was stating that only certain people should complain about being 'poor'; I find that idea very silly. I don't think people 'should' complain only if they meet certain qualifications; I think people should complain when there's shit they want to complain about. The things you listed are all things I think people should complain about.
Pfhorrest wrote:- We must somehow achieve what-the-first-camp-calls-civilization without what-the-second-camp-calls-theft, because what-the-second-camp-calls-theft is not ok, but what-the-first-camp-calls-civilization is necessary.
Right. I'm saying there are anarcho-capitalists who put a lot of thought into how to do that.
Pfhorrest wrote:Then I would expect there to be at least some literature examining the problem and dismissing it.
Are you very familiar with anarcho-capitalist literature and responses to it?

webgiant
Posts: 252
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:36 pm UTC

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby webgiant » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:40 am UTC

Antior wrote:I wonder what a Randall number generator would be like.

Anyway, can someone explain in simple terms who Ayn Rand was, what she did, and why it's funny to make fun of her?

Wikipedia isn't very enlightening to me on this subject, but I did find out she was apparently a big influence in America, ignored by academics, and way less known in Europe.
She wrote some books and started a movement. She seems to have had rightist views without the Republican crazy extremist Christian stuff, so way closer to European Right (liberalism). Which doesn't sound that bad to me.

Is that about right? So why is it funny?

Ayn Rand's problem is that she was not only a bad writer, her political and economic views were colored by experience with Soviet Russia, making her believe that unfettered capitalism was just intrinsically better than any other system of economics. Her characters are distinctly one-dimensional, women might as well not bother trying to succeed in an Ayn Rand Universe unless they are girlfriends with the Ayn Rand MALE Hero, and if someone puts in a great deal of genius level hard work, but Ayn Rand has decided that he will fail, he fails.

Meanwhile, a railroad laborer making approximately $5,000 a year, at a job requiring ten hour days and getting very little vacation time, can nonetheless somehow ride the trains all over the country, wining and dining rich industrialists in the style to which they are accustomed (see "her political and economic views were colored by experience with Soviet Russia", above) and is accepted by those same rich industrialists as one of their own. Incidentally, in Ayn Rand's universe, the people at the top were the folks who invented everything at the company, while the employees are mere drones with no good ideas of their own.

So the humor is that any random number generator made in the style of Ayn Rand will favor some "numbers" more than others, because she favored some characters more than others despite them breaking many of her rules about who should succeed and who should fail.

Two novel bits of trivia about Ayn Rand: first, Ayn Rand, despite condemning the whole policy of Social Security and Medicare, accepted Social Security and Medicare herself under her real name, Tina O'Connor, so as not to hurt sales.

Second, there was a book in 1956 about a rich genius who invented a device which the whole world wanted. Government and industry all tried to steal his invention, but in the end he won out over the government and the industry because he was just too smart. This book was called "The Driver", by Garet Garett, published in the 1930s, and it went public domain in 1956. In 1957, Ayn Rand published a book, "Atlas Shrugged", about a rich genius who invented a device which the whole world wanted. Government and industry all tried to steal his invention, but in the end he won out over the government and the industry because he was just too smart. Ayn Rand's fans insist that she did not plagiarize anything from "The Driver".

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10268
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby addams » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:39 am UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
addams wrote:Have you ever met a person that can not read?
Have you ever met a person that if functionally illiterate?
...
Would you have read if you had not gone to school?
Not if you were born in 1998 or after?


Mt father-in-law. :( It makes me sad. Give him an engine, though, and he can rebuild or fix just about anything.

Yes. I have seen people that are very thoughtful with machinery and not at all interested in dusty old books.

There is a cultural current in the US that is Not that.
It is expressed in many ways.

It is so sad. People that know everything can't learn anything.
I have had people that do not know very much tell me they know everything they need to know.

I know what it is to have my head be full.
I have told people, "No. No, don't tell me anything. Don't make me read anything. No. My head is full."

After a little time goes by and I get some sleep, my head has some more room, usually.


Today I saw It repeated, again.
It is like the Great Depression out there.

Such want. Such poverty.
Our people do not deserve to suffer so much.

This was a wealthy nation. We had it going on.
Today I spoke to a nameless, homeless young man.

Some of the homeless people are not tame and are a little dangerous.
Not all. Not by a long shot is it all of our poor are dangerous.

We could use some structured programs.
Structure. Not oppression.

huh. When the government gets up and running again.
What about a grant for Spa Days for the Poor and Unknown?

Like Normal people. Take a few days at the Spa; Then make a new plan Stan.
I think it is a good idea. No problems. Clean everything and a hot bath that lasts for hours.

I think it is a good idea. Like Ayn Rand said, when you have every good thing it is easy to understand how well deserved it is.
Every once in a great while a person might want to move from Spa Day everyday to a day of work to break up the monotony.

Who knows? Spa Day could produce some deep thinkers.
It would provide something different for that bunch to think about.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

Epistemonas
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:58 am UTC

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Epistemonas » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:59 pm UTC

speising wrote:regarding tax: actually, the state doesn't take your money. it's just that there are laws that compel you to pay them. for, in principle, various communal services. this is a clear difference to theft.

The word is also used as an informal shorthand term for some crimes against property, such as burglary, embezzlement, larceny, looting, robbery, shoplifting, library theft and fraud.

nitePhyyre
Posts: 1280
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:31 am UTC

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby nitePhyyre » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:45 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Similarly, we can have a discussion about how an ideal government would function, including admitting such things as that taxation is theft and theft is inherently wrong, while at the same time acknowledging that we have mission-critical social infrastructure built upon that "bug" and we can't just scrap it without a replacement in place. But we should be admitting that it is a bug and we should be working on finding ways to implement the mission-critical functionality of government in a way that doesn't rely on theft. That may be a hard problem, but I've scarcely ever met a single person who even considers it a problem worth thinking about, and that's frankly disgusting.
That's probably because it isn't a problem worth thinking about. Mostly because it isn't really a problem. It's not a bug, it's a feature.
Or, rather, the only bug here is your understanding of what taxes are. Taxes aren't 'theft', they are 'user fees'.

Pfhorrest wrote:People either say "you can't have a civilized society without 'theft', so 'theft' must be ok" or "you can't have 'civilization' without theft, so fuck your 'civilization'". Can't anybody even give the question "how can we have civilization without theft?" a thought?
Am I really the first person you've come across who says "We already have that!" ?

Pfhorrest wrote:
ucim wrote:"Stateless government" sounds like an oxymoron to me. What is it? (That is, if it matters... we're going way off topic here).
No, that's a very good question.

A state is a monopoly on the "legitimate" use of force. That is, it's an organization which (claims that it) has special liberty to use force: its agents, when properly authorized through whatever mechanisms it operates by, are allowed (by it, and the people who support and tolerate it) to use force in ways that ordinary people are not allowed to.

A government is an organization that provides various services to keep society running nicely, such as courts to mediate disputes, police and military to defend people from violence, and in more recent times social welfare programs, large infrastructure projects, support of the arts and sciences, etc.

A stateless government would be an organization of the latter type which is not an organization of the former type. An organization which provides social services like the above, without claiming any agent of it has any authority to do anything that any citizen couldn't do, or conversely that any citizen has any less authority than its own agents. Exactly how much authority over what that is, which is to be shared equally between all citizens whether or not they work for the government, is an open question for the purposes of just defining "stateless government".

One of the biggest problems facing the proposition of such an entity is where it will acquire funding from. States claim special authority to steal -- tax -- and draw their funding that way. In a stateless government either everyone must be granted equal authority to steal -- a prima facia ridiculous solution but one nevertheless effectively proffered by some anti-propertarian anarcho-socialists -- or else some means of funding such an organization without resorting to theft must be found.
I don't like this state/government terminology, but I'll run with it for the sake of discussion. When people say that the state has a 'monopoly on the "legitimate" use of force' what we are talking about is running the 'courts to mediate disputes, police and military to defend people from violence'. So, the biggest problem is still: "Stateless government" sounds like an oxymoron to me. What is it?
Right now it seems that 'state' means the uses of force that Pfhorrest happens to disagree with and 'government' seems to mean the uses of force that Pfhorrest happens to agree with.

The second biggest problem is: What happens to the state? If you were able to come up with an actual difference between state and government, and the state actually contained all uses of force, and the government had no force, what happens to the state? Who ever happens to hire the biggest paramilitary force gets to wield stately power? If not, and the government can't use force, who would stop them?

I'm sure that if we got a better definition of what these differences actually are,m I'll come up with a bunch of other problems more critical than 'how to fund it'.
sourmìlk wrote:Monopolies are not when a single company controls the market for a single product.

You don't become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard you become great in the process.

Kit.
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:14 pm UTC

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Kit. » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:03 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Kit. wrote:I'm not sure what is scarier: a government as a market player (as opposed to a market regulator - or, worse, just combining both functions), or top managers of huge companies largely owned by a government but not controlled by it, - but it's definitely not "taxation".

The reason government as a market player is scary is that the government has all kinds of special powers that we would not want a market player to have, for very good reasons. But the problem being posed is how to fund a government that doesn't have those kinds of special powers, so in that context what is there to be afraid of?

If you give a (huge) market player additional obligations, it gets a competitive disadvantage unless you give it special powers that can improve its market position - and then it becomes scary.

Pfhorrest wrote:
I hope you do realize that people can only sell their labor if there are jobs for them.

What impact do you think my suggestion would have on the availability of jobs?

At first glance, the availability of credit increases the consumption and thus the need in production. There could be second-order effect that would compensate for it in the long run... or make the things even worse.

Pfhorrest wrote:
And what people rarely rent what they can buy unless there are some economic perks that pay for the inconvenience of renting.

Of course, but the point is that the availability of rent as an option distorts the market to create a situation where people can't buy.

It also reduces the barriers of entry.

Besides, the right to lease can be considered a property right.

Pfhorrest wrote:Without the rental option, owners would have no profitable option but to sell on some kind of terms former-renters could afford. It's like when you remove the option of slavery, plantation owners still need people to work their fields, and the former slaves still need to work for a living, but plantation owners suddenly have to start hiring people to work the fields, and paying them more than they can get from other plantation owners to attract the best workers, and things generally get better for the former-slaves now that enslaving them is not an option for the owners.

(I would expect it to also create the opportunities for smaller farmers because it reduced the barriers of entry, but I'm too lazy to search for the relevant statistics)

However, it was the move in the exactly opposite direction. Instead of buying the sources of labor, the "employers" were forced to rent them.

Pfhorrest wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
Kit. wrote:The only way to convince someone else in the validity of your "oughts" is by using "ises" you both share.

There are lots of ways to convince someone of anything, but the only valid justification for an "ought" is an "ought", and the only valid justification for an "is" is an "is". In either case at some point you will need to share some common premises of the relevant type in order for an argument to get off the ground.

Are you claiming that you have no way to make me knowingly and willingly join your "taxation is wrong" society, and can only get me there by trickery and/or coercion?

I have no idea how you read that into anything I wrote.

I'm asking: if you going to implement your society from the principles that some of your citizens consider morally wrong, and their views are as logically consistent as your views, and you know this, how are you going to counteract their protests?

Because I believe that there might be rational (although not logical) ways to come into agreement by modifying our views, even if they were logically consistent before, and you seem to believe that there are not.

Pfhorrest wrote:(In a similar way that an "is" argument like "this thing exists, you can go here and see it" relies on the tacit assumption that you should generally believe your eyes).

Actually, it relies on the (tacit or not) assumption that you should generally believe your consistent (or rather "coherent", to distance from the notion of logical consistency) observations.

Pfhorrest wrote:But I'd argue there can be something analogous to empirical evidence for "oughts", if we examine what exactly empirical evidence is. A piece of empirical evidence is a feature common to everyone's sensory experience. It's an observation that I can make with certain sensors of a certain system in a certain state, and then you can go and observe that same system in the same state with the same sensors and you will observe the same thing. An empirical observation is notably not just a perception or a belief; those are already laden with interpretations on what that observation implies. But, at the bottom, empirical observations are still in a sense "subjective", in that they are made by subjective observers; it is just their commonality to all observers (looking at the right system in the right state with the right sensors) which makes their use unbiased.

I have mixed feelings about this idea, but at least it would allow for some non-logical, but still rational ways to get into agreement on our "oughts" (like: "go there and see by yourself!").

Pfhorrest wrote:On the other hand theft is literally taking someone else's property against their will. You have to specifically make exceptions to that general definition in order to get taxation to not meet that definition, e.g. adding "unlawfully" before "taking".

Or you can adjust the definition of "will".

After all, if you refuse the right of passage to firefighters based on your incorrect assumption that it's not your house that is burning, won't you be happier later if they ignore you and "infringe" on your property rights?

Spoiler:
It does not mean that I consider property rights morally just in this interpretation. I'm only showing the possible ways to do it in your framework.

Personally, I still consider them biased local approximation of the security rights, abused by the rich in order to make their security rights appearing more valuable than the security rights of the poor... I'm not saying it cannot be "good" for the society as a whole, but it doesn't let me consider them universally valid rights.
Last edited by Kit. on Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:23 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

operagost
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:23 pm UTC

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby operagost » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:45 pm UTC

Is there any way to post here without being flagged as spam?

operagost
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:23 pm UTC

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby operagost » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:46 pm UTC

Seriously, I didn't include any URLs; just text. This board is an abomination.

operagost
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:23 pm UTC

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby operagost » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:46 pm UTC

Maybe I just keep posting to increase my post count. Sorry, people.

operagost
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:23 pm UTC

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby operagost » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:47 pm UTC

Jackpot777 wrote:I just wanted to add the most fun you can have around Ayn Rand aficionados (the ones that relate to the philosophy, not the literature)...

Tell them that Rand applied for social security and Medicare at the end of her life. Fair enough, people say, she paid into the system so she should get out what she put in... which is when you drop the bombshell. The amount she needed, to pay for her treatment for lung cancer caused by her smoking (a connection she spoke against in her life), was more than her total income: "Doctors cost a lot more money than books earn and she could be totally wiped out"...[/url]

This only works if your argument is, "Ayn Rand was a wonderful, totally selfless human being," rather than, "objectivism is a valid philosophy".

Claiming that her political and economical theory was invalid because she didn't follow it to the letter is just an ad hominem.

It's also really hard to be an objectivist (I'm defusing the counter "no true Scotsman" fallacy here) in a system that demands everyone participate in socialism-- which is the case in every Western nation. You have to let the system take the lion's share of your productivity and property through taxes and regulation, yet somehow become successful with the crumbs to demonstrate that your libertarian view works. It's much like how every corrupt CEO is held up as evidence that "the free market doesn't work" when, invariably, that corruption was enabled by crony policies (like subsidies or favorable regulations) that simply wouldn't exist with weaker government (specifically, a weaker federal government in the USA) and an actual free market.

operagost
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:23 pm UTC

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby operagost » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:59 pm UTC

addams wrote:Would you have read if you had not gone to school?
Not if you were born in 1998 or after?

Born in 1973. My mother taught me how to read by age 2 1/2. This frustrated my Kindergarten teacher. Our school had an experimental two-track system. She tried to put me through the "slow" track. There is no logical explanation for this behavior in an adult. My mom met with the principal and fixed it.

My wife was born in 1976. She learned how to read before Kindergarten. Her teacher yelled at her mother for doing this. My wife's teachers largely ostracized her for being ahead of the class, and made education an unpleasant experience for her. Her mother never defended her, and never taught her younger siblings how to read. This, along with busing policies that put her in a school where people of her race were persecuted, robbed, and assaulted, caused her to leave school just a credit or two short of graduation, and eventually get a GED.

We both learned to read with absolutely no help from the failed public school system.

Our public school system essentially does not work unless parents go to war for their kids. Maybe... sometimes the parents are then persecuted.

webgiant
Posts: 252
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:36 pm UTC

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby webgiant » Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:23 am UTC

operagost wrote:
addams wrote:Would you have read if you had not gone to school?
Not if you were born in 1998 or after?

Born in 1973. My mother taught me how to read by age 2 1/2. This frustrated my Kindergarten teacher. Our school had an experimental two-track system. She tried to put me through the "slow" track. There is no logical explanation for this behavior in an adult. My mom met with the principal and fixed it.

My wife was born in 1976. She learned how to read before Kindergarten. Her teacher yelled at her mother for doing this. My wife's teachers largely ostracized her for being ahead of the class, and made education an unpleasant experience for her. Her mother never defended her, and never taught her younger siblings how to read. This, along with busing policies that put her in a school where people of her race were persecuted, robbed, and assaulted, caused her to leave school just a credit or two short of graduation, and eventually get a GED.

We both learned to read with absolutely no help from the failed public school system.

Our public school system essentially does not work unless parents go to war for their kids. Maybe... sometimes the parents are then persecuted.

Weird. I was born in 1971, learned how to read before kindergarten, and experienced none of this crap about being ostracized for knowing more than the other kids, nor did my folks have to fight to keep me out of the special-ed class. In fact, I ended up in the gifted program the instant one existed. Perhaps anecdotes are no substitute for real studies.

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10268
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby addams » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:22 am UTC

webgiant wrote:
operagost wrote:
addams wrote:Would you have read if you had not gone to school?
Not if you were born in 1998 or after?

Born in 1973. My mother taught me how to read by age 2 1/2. This frustrated my Kindergarten teacher. Our school had an experimental two-track system. She tried to put me through the "slow" track. There is no logical explanation for this behavior in an adult. My mom met with the principal and fixed it.

My wife was born in 1976. She learned how to read before Kindergarten. Her teacher yelled at her mother for doing this. My wife's teachers largely ostracized her for being ahead of the class, and made education an unpleasant experience for her. Her mother never defended her, and never taught her younger siblings how to read. This, along with busing policies that put her in a school where people of her race were persecuted, robbed, and assaulted, caused her to leave school just a credit or two short of graduation, and eventually get a GED.

We both learned to read with absolutely no help from the failed public school system.

Our public school system essentially does not work unless parents go to war for their kids. Maybe... sometimes the parents are then persecuted.

Weird. I was born in 1971, learned how to read before kindergarten, and experienced none of this crap about being ostracized for knowing more than the other kids, nor did my folks have to fight to keep me out of the special-ed class. In fact, I ended up in the gifted program the instant one existed. Perhaps anecdotes are no substitute for real studies.

True.

The levels of functional illiteracy are staggering.
Failed educational system or failed citizens?

If it is working for you, then it is working.
If it is not working for you, then it is broken.

If you can read, you may have been able to figure it out on your own.
I could not. Maybe, some day I would have figured out how to read

A teacher helped me. Then I was able to ask question of other people.

Today our people have screens.
The written word is not required for day to day living.

I know people are still learning to read.
A seven year old child read to me last week.

The 25 year old brother and 50 year old father of the child are not able to read.
The father can read the words up to about 6th grade. He can not understand the meaning of whole passages.

The brother is embarrassed and that makes him angry. He thinks he is too old to learn.
I think a person can learn in adulthood. But; The individual must want to.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

Kit.
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:14 pm UTC

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Kit. » Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:35 am UTC

operagost wrote:This only works if your argument is, "Ayn Rand was a wonderful, totally selfless human being," rather than, "objectivism is a valid philosophy".

Claiming that her political and economical theory was invalid because she didn't follow it to the letter is just an ad hominem.

It's also really hard to be an objectivist (I'm defusing the counter "no true Scotsman" fallacy here) in a system that demands everyone participate in socialism-- which is the case in every Western nation.

The question is... is it possible to be a honest and consistent objectivist outside of a specially constructed self-inconsistent paper world? What is the value of this "valid" philosophy if it seems to be inapplicable to the real world?

operagost wrote:You have to let the system take the lion's share of your productivity and property through taxes and regulation,

How do you evaluate the share that is taken? Can you provide a comparison of "your" productivity with taxes and regulations with "your" productivity without those taxes and regulations protecting you? Won't it be more honest to say that it's you who take a share of the productivity of the system?

operagost wrote:Our public school system essentially does not work unless parents go to war for their kids. Maybe... sometimes the parents are then persecuted.

Maybe your country is not socialist enough. As far as I know, the socialist ones usually value the quality of their teachers.

User avatar
PM 2Ring
Posts: 3713
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:19 pm UTC
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby PM 2Ring » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:46 am UTC

addams wrote: How much debt do we each have?

4.7 trillion divided by 300 million.
I am not good at exponent.

The zeros give me trouble.
Math Guys! What is that number?

I see that ucim has already answered this, but for future reference, Google Calculator can solve things like that for you.

Just paste

4.7 trillion divided by 300 million

into the Google search box.

You can even ask it
4.7 trillion dollars divided by 300 million

Sadly, it won't solve
$4.7 trillion divided by 300 million

rmsgrey
Posts: 3633
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:51 pm UTC

webgiant wrote:Weird. I was born in 1971, learned how to read before kindergarten, and experienced none of this crap about being ostracized for knowing more than the other kids, nor did my folks have to fight to keep me out of the special-ed class. In fact, I ended up in the gifted program the instant one existed. Perhaps anecdotes are no substitute for real studies.


I grew up in the UK, a decade later, where my schools invented gifted programmes to put me on...

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:07 pm UTC

I've been off my meds for several days -- and rereading some of my posts here -- I see that I might have been a bit of an asshole. I apologize.

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10268
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby addams » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:59 pm UTC

Fifteen thousand dollars each?
umm. Can we do that?
Many have less than zero.

Some of us could Pony up.
Then we would all be back at Zero.

Is that a good idea?
It is a better idea than printing money. Is it not?
Printing money to cover debt was frowned on, in the past.

I listened to a man tell us that is what Germany did.
Maybe things are different, now.

Maybe that man was wrong. Printing money may be fine.
Maybe killing strangers without just cause is the cause of inflation.

That is so stupid.

Don't yell at me. I don't do macroeconomics.
Macroeconomics is really hard and soooo boring.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

User avatar
Klear
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:43 am UTC
Location: Prague

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Klear » Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:59 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I've been off my meds for several days -- and rereading some of my posts here -- I see that I might have been a bit of an asshole. I apologize.


For what it's worth, I didn't notice.

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10268
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby addams » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:20 am UTC

Klear wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:I've been off my meds for several days -- and rereading some of my posts here -- I see that I might have been a bit of an asshole. I apologize.


For what it's worth, I didn't notice.

Gee, Hipo;
Are you ok in 3D?
I thought you were fine in 2D.

What did you write? Something really mean or something too nice?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

User avatar
Eternal Density
Posts: 5580
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:37 am UTC
Contact:

ljetj'somwgjalkfmng's;gdoj'aerkln'sd;khja'Elkn

Postby Eternal Density » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:03 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:Yeah, at the very least, we need to stop to consider the consequences of giving this ideology such a central role in the American legislature.

You win the thread!
Play the game of Time! castle.chirpingmustard.com Hotdog Vending Supplier But what is this?
In the Marvel vs. DC film-making war, we're all winners.

User avatar
eran_rathan
Mostly Wrong
Posts: 1842
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:36 pm UTC
Location: in your ceiling, judging you

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:39 pm UTC

operagost wrote: It's much like how every corrupt CEO is held up as evidence that "the free market doesn't work" when, invariably, that corruption was enabled by crony policies (like subsidies or favorable regulations) that simply wouldn't exist with weaker government (specifically, a weaker federal government in the USA) and an actual free market.


Hm. I can point to a specific country with a very weak federal government and an arguably free market, yet we see even worse corruption in those places than we do here in the US.

Spoiler:
Somalia, for one. Sudan, for another.
"Does this smell like chloroform to you?"
"Google tells me you are not unique. You are, however, wrong."
nɒʜƚɒɿ_nɒɿɘ

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:41 pm UTC

Also, because I simply cannot resist:
operagost wrote:It's also really hard to be an objectivist (I'm defusing the counter "no true Scotsman" fallacy here) in a system that demands everyone participate in socialism-- which is the case in every Western nation. You have to let the system take the lion's share of your productivity and property through taxes and regulation, yet somehow become successful with the crumbs to demonstrate that your libertarian view works. It's much like how every corrupt CEO is held up as evidence that "the free market doesn't work" when, invariably, that corruption was enabled by crony policies (like subsidies or favorable regulations) that simply wouldn't exist with weaker government (specifically, a weaker federal government in the USA) and an actual free market.
This is true -- but it's also true that it's really hard to be a Conan the Barbarianist in a system that punishes me for wanton pillaging, looting, and raping -- which is the case in nearly every Western nation.

In short: The failure of the world to enable your crazytalk does not make your crazytalk any less crazy.

User avatar
eran_rathan
Mostly Wrong
Posts: 1842
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:36 pm UTC
Location: in your ceiling, judging you

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:45 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Also, because I simply cannot resist:
operagost wrote:It's also really hard to be an objectivist (I'm defusing the counter "no true Scotsman" fallacy here) in a system that demands everyone participate in socialism-- which is the case in every Western nation. You have to let the system take the lion's share of your productivity and property through taxes and regulation, yet somehow become successful with the crumbs to demonstrate that your libertarian view works. It's much like how every corrupt CEO is held up as evidence that "the free market doesn't work" when, invariably, that corruption was enabled by crony policies (like subsidies or favorable regulations) that simply wouldn't exist with weaker government (specifically, a weaker federal government in the USA) and an actual free market.
This is true -- but it's also true that it's really hard to be a Conan the Barbarianist in a system that punishes me for wanton pillaging, looting, and raping -- which is the case in nearly every Western nation.


Unless you go into politics. :wink:
"Does this smell like chloroform to you?"
"Google tells me you are not unique. You are, however, wrong."
nɒʜƚɒɿ_nɒɿɘ

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:46 pm UTC

DAMMIT Hippo, Conan wasn't just a brute, he was an existential adventurer. I'm tired of this Barbarianismism! I'll be in Cimmerea forging steel and glowering at Crom.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10268
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: ljetj'somwgjalkfmng's;gdoj'aerkln'sd;khja'Elkn

Postby addams » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:50 pm UTC

Eternal Density wrote:
Copper Bezel wrote:Yeah, at the very least, we need to stop to consider the consequences of giving this ideology such a central role in the American legislature.

You win the thread!

Amen.
What was the original statement?
A quick word search of the forum tells me, 'We think a great many things have a Central Role.'
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

User avatar
Crissa
Posts: 294
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:06 pm UTC

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Crissa » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:55 pm UTC

Gedatsu wrote:Why should I, as an individual actor, care more about the global minimum than my own rational self interest?

Very simple: Because you desire other people to.

If you don't want other people to, there's many places in the world to move to where your pollution and piracy will do no damage to those who would prefer there not be pollution and piracy.

-Crissa

operagost wrote:Claiming that her political and economical theory was invalid because she didn't follow it to the letter is just an ad hominem.

[citation needed]

User avatar
Monika
Welcoming Aarvark
Posts: 3672
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:03 am UTC
Location: Germany, near Heidelberg
Contact:

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Monika » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:46 pm UTC

While we are redefining theft to mean any kind of "taking your stuff away" so that we can put the emotional meaning on theft on that:

Capitalism is theft. The only way the owner of a company (= of the means of production) can make any profits is by not paying zir employees fully and instead keeping some of the earnings (produced by those employees) to zirself. (Marx calls this Ausbeutung = exploitation instead of theft.)

Taxes are at least democratically legitimized and, in their current form, do not oppress a minority/marginalized group, either (which democracy alone doesn't insure, e.g. a white majority making laws to only tax people of color would be totally democratic and totally wrong). Taking the profits from the poorer and hard-working and less powerful people and giving them to the richer and in some cases hard-workig and in some cases not-so-hard-working and very powerful people is not democratically legitimized (unless the workers in your company get to vote on what the profits will be invested in) and while the workers are not a minority, they are certainly the less powerful/marginalized group.

So: Stop theft! Full communism now!
#xkcd-q on irc.foonetic.net - the LGBTIQQA support channel
Please donate to help these people

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:53 pm UTC

Sorry, I fell asleep a little reading that gibberish.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Quizatzhaderac
Posts: 1798
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:28 pm UTC
Location: Space Florida

Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:35 pm UTC

I'm think Monika was arguing by contradiction/ridiculousness; as in theftsuper broad definition implies something ridiculous (all capitalism is theft, as well as Pforrest's all taxes are theft) therefore the concept of theftsuper broad definition as theft is ridiculous.
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: da Doctah, DwayneSa and 54 guests