There is no such thing as IP [was: Paley's other watch]

Richard Goode's picture
Submitted by Richard Goode on Tue, 2012-01-24 15:29

In his book Natural Theology: or, Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity, Collected from the Appearances of Nature, first published in 1802, William Paley wrote

In crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone and were asked how the stone came to be there, I might possibly answer that for anything I knew to the contrary it had lain there forever; nor would it be very easy to show the absurdity of this answer. But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place. I should hardly think of the answer which I had given before, that for anything I knew the watch might have always been there. Yet why should not this answer serve for the watch as well as for the stone? Why is it not as admissible? When we come to inspect the watch, we perceive—what we could not discover in the stone—that its parts are framed and have been put together.

We notice more: we find a series of wheels, the teeth of which catch in, and apply to, each other, conducting the motion to the balance and from the balance to the pointer. Further, we notice that the wheels are made of brass to prevent rust; the springs of steel (no other metal being so elastic); that over the face of the watch there is placed a glass, a material employed in no other part of the work, and without which the hour could not been seen without opening the case. This mechanism being observed, the inference, we think is inevitable: the watch must have had a maker, and been designed for a purpose.

Paley's question was, "Does the watch have an intelligent designer?"

My question is, "Does the watch belong to someone?"

[Cross-posted from Eternal Vigilance.]


( categories: )

"I thought you were a devout

Leonid's picture

"I thought you were a devout Objectivist?"

I am. Pick up the watch, try to find the owner, but if you couldn't-it's yours-according to the all theories of property, including that of Rand.

Cornell

Michael Moeller's picture

You wrote:

"Where are you getting your info on Ron Paul's domestic policy?"

You said you read the Ron Paul Traitor thread, yet you keep asking me for information that I outlined in that thread multiple times. I suggest you reread and grasp it a little deeper. I don't mind further explaining myself, but I hate repeating myself when my arguments and sources can be easily gleaned from another thread.

In any event, my source for Ron Paul's domestic policy is his actual budget postedon his campaign website. Go check it out, and you will see my claims are valid and why Ron Paul is one of the weakest fiscal candidates in the race.

If you go to that thread, you will also further grasp my 10th Amendment argument vis-a-vis Ron Paul.

As to the IP argument with Goode, I have no idea what you are trying to say. I lay out my position on that the previously linked thread as being in favor of IP as a form of property, and rejecting the scarcity definition of anarchists.

Michael

Just Saying...

Michael Moeller's picture

Goode wrote:

"He differs from the communist only in degree, not in principle."

Let us see Goode lay out those principles, because, from my standpoint, screaming "You're a Commie!!" ain't much of an argument, as is typical of Goode.

On the other hand, Goode accepts many of the principles of anarchists. Oh yes, apparently he likes the appeasement policies of Ron Paul and the like. He also does not think IP is property.

It is starting to trickle out that Goode shares much in common with anarcho-libertarians.

Michael

We hold these truths to be self-evident

Richard Goode's picture

The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible.

— Ayn Rand, 1963

They (Native Americans) didn't have any rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights which they had not conceived and were not using. What was it that they were fighting for, when they opposed white men on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence, their 'right' to keep part of the earth untouched, unused and not even as property, but just keep everybody out so that you will live practically like an animal, or a few caves above it. Any white person who brings the element of civilization has the right to take over this continent.

— Ayn Rand, 1974

Filch first, ask questions later

Richard Goode's picture

Why don't you just take it?

Because it might belong to someone.

When actress Winona Ryder was convicted of shoplifting in 2002, one of the terms of her probation was, "May no longer walk into stores and just take things." Likewise, Leonid, you may not walk on heaths and just pick things up that don't belong to you.

the inference, we think is inevitable: the watch must have had a maker, and been designed for a purpose.

I thought you were a devout Objectivist? But you reject Rand's production theory of property? If the watch has a maker, it must also have an owner, according to Rand's production theory of property.

"Paley's question was, "Does

Leonid's picture

"Paley's question was, "Does the watch have an intelligent designer?"
My question is, "Does the watch belong to someone?"

Why don't you just take it? As Dalai Lama said " When you come to the fork on the road...pick it up"

I'm afraid I don't quite see

Cornell's picture

I'm afraid I don't quite see the connection.

The future is already written

Richard Goode's picture

Well, I don't agree with that, but I can see how he got there. He sees IP as ...

You can see how he could have got there, had he been aware of my current views on IP at the time. (The thread is here. Read it for an illustration of the point I was making in my comment here.)

No You're Not

Cornell's picture

And I suspect, once you stop, your portion is with the damned.

"As a libertarian, I find the whole idea of IP deeply concerning."

Well I think you were on the right track with the whole "the ends do not justify the means" idea. Because untangible (and now, non-scarce) products and services are created by mental production, I think it is pretty clear that IP is a valid concept, but we must be vigilant against enforcing it at the expense of other individual rights.

Thank God

Richard Goode's picture

Figuring this out as I go.

I'm not the only one.

As a philosopher, I find the whole idea of IP deeply fascinating.

As a libertarian, I find the whole idea of IP deeply concerning.

Don't feel bad.

Cornell's picture

Took me a second to work it out, too.

Figuring this out as I go.

Oops

Richard Goode's picture

My theory of initial use does cover it, because if noone can claim the property, then the geneaology of ownership is broken.

My bad.

Not True

Cornell's picture

My theory of initial use does cover it, because if noone can claim the property, then the geneaology of ownership is broken.

It only remains for me to point out

Richard Goode's picture

Yes.

It only remains for me to point out that neither Rand's production theory of property, nor Cornell's initial use theory of property, covers this particular case. The scarcity theory of property, however, does.

Yes.

Cornell's picture

But if you know who it belongs to, then this does not apply.

Paley's other watch

Richard Goode's picture

If it's not on someone's property and there's noone to claim it...then no. It's up for grabs.

So if I grab it before you do, it's mine?

He differs from the communist only in degree, not in principle.

Cornell's picture

Well, I don't agree with that, but I can see how he got there. He sees IP as identical, legally and ethically, to scarce property, so for you to say that IP should be allowed to be distributed without limitation, is, from his perspective, similar in principle to Communism.

Where are you getting your

Cornell's picture

Where are you getting your info on Ron Paul's domestic policy?

"If you read the thread, you can see where I point out that Ron Paul places no limitations on the powers of the state governments, including the ability of a state to force an individual to buy and sell a good (see individual mandate). This is not capitalism, this is not capitalism at all. He has merely shifted the debate to the level of government he would allow to violate your rights. No thanks."

If you push everything down to the states without "equalizing" things on the federal level, eventually, Capitalism wins, because those states which practice it do well; those that do not, well, reality becomes their punishment. Texas is the Germany of the USA. Pennsylvania is its Greece.

Commie bastard

Richard Goode's picture

I do think that his attitude toward you is a little unfair, if understandable.

It was Moeller who began the character attacks on me during the Folate thread two years prior.

He differs from the communist only in degree, not in principle.

Just saying.

Cornell

Michael Moeller's picture

You wrote:

"Huh?! I could understand your foreign policy argument, but this statements does seem off the wall to me. Ron Paul is by far the most free market capitalist candidate we've had in years -- at least since Ronald Reagan.

Did you read the thread? His tax policy is to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. This is extremely weak when you have candidates in the race with flat tax proposals.

His approach to entitlements is the status quo, increasing SS and Medicare at significant clips over his four year budget. This is substantially worse than those proposing to voucher and privatize SS and Medicare. His one plus is discretionary spending, but other candidates propose that (to a lesser degree) and it is a one-shot deal. Entitlements is the meat and a restructuring plan is needed, and he does nothing but increase them. I lay all this out in that thread.

As to his overall foreign policy, here is a good summary.

As to his constitutional ideas being Jeffersonian, no they are not. Besides, Jefferson was overseas and didn't play a very big role in the constitutional debates, save for his correspondence with Madison. Madison and the Federalists carried the day. Ron Paul's pure states' rights theories were expressly rejected by the Federalists, and are disastrous in practice.

If you read the thread, you can see where I point out that Ron Paul places no limitations on the powers of the state governments, including the ability of a state to force an individual to buy and sell a good (see individual mandate). This is not capitalism, this is not capitalism at all. He has merely shifted the debate to the level of government he would allow to violate your rights. No thanks.

As to the IP issues, the argument with Goode starts here.

Michael

"His fiscal policy is

Cornell's picture

"His fiscal policy is probably the worst of any of the candidates (see his tax policy and approach to entitlements), "

Huh?! I could understand your foreign policy argument, but this statements does seem off the wall to me. Ron Paul is by far the most free market capitalist candidate we've had in years -- at least since Ronald Reagan.

"his foreign policy is a disgrace,"

I read the rest of that thread. Your concerns are not irrational, but you are looking at him in the harshest possible light. The truth is, his forgein policy is determine what is most conducive to long-term American well-being given the effect that our foreign policy choices have on the perceptions and attitudes of those abroad. He's definitely a "give peace a chance" kind of guy, but he's not hippie. He did vote to go after the 9-11 terrorists. What he's not for is escalating things to the point where war is the only option.

"and his constitutional ideas are aligned with anarchists."

How so? I see him as more of a Jeffersonian.

"As to "first possession" that ONLY refers to acquisition of unclaimed property, i.e. it is one aspect of the right to property. And first possession is just one of the problems for the anarchist scarcity definition. I lay out the whole definition in that thread. To put it simply, property is defined by the relationship of certain human actions (i.e. exclusive possession, use, and disposition) to some object (i.e. the product of one's effort). The attack on IP acts as if the creator ceding one aspect of property (i.e. exclusive possession) means the creator has ceded all aspects, including the right to exclusively use and dispose of said property. This is false."

Which thread was this in?

Well, according to Rand, art

Cornell's picture

Well, according to Rand, art is "selective recreation of reality." Under that definition, the POS in question is art -- art which depicts a hateful view of reality.

My definition of art is a little more broad, but the upshot is still the same in this case.

Cornell

Michael Moeller's picture

One does not have to look too hard for reasons not to like Ron Paul. His fiscal policy is probably the worst of any of the candidates (see his tax policy and approach to entitlements), his foreign policy is a disgrace, and his constitutional ideas are aligned with anarchists. I consider him on the same level as Rick Santorum.

As to "first possession" that ONLY refers to acquisition of unclaimed property, i.e. it is one aspect of the right to property. And first possession is just one of the problems for the anarchist scarcity definition. I lay out the whole definition in that thread. To put it simply, property is defined by the relationship of certain human actions (i.e. exclusive possession, use, and disposition) to some object (i.e. the product of one's effort). The attack on IP acts as if the creator ceding one aspect of property (i.e. exclusive possession) means the creator has ceded all aspects, including the right to exclusively use and dispose of said property. This is false.

Michael

Hahah

Jules Troy's picture

Shock and awe pomowanking nihilist "art" in all its fecal glory is what that is, to call it art is absurd compared side by side with Caravaggio is an abomination to objective reality.

 

Well...that is true in a

Cornell's picture

Well...that is true in a literal sense.

I'm not going to say it's not art, but boy, it's not good.

I do think that his attitude

Cornell's picture

I do think that his attitude toward you is a little unfair, if understandable.

I will read the thread and get back to you, but I can say that you seem to want to dislike Ron Paul. It's not that the things you say are totally off the wall -- they're not; but you do seem intent on finding a reason to dislike the man. You certainly don't give him the benefit of the doubt. Like I said, I will read your thread, but even if it's true that Ron Paul isn't 100% genuine (and I believe he is), it is still the case that he's head and shoulders about the other candidates.

"He gives you, Cornell, credit for the "initial use" argument, which is more broadly know as "first possession" in property law."

I looked up that principle (thanks for that, btw). My idea is actually somewhat different from this principle (in the cases of land and resources, including frequencies; not in the case of individual items, such as a watch) because the basis of legal seizure is active use. In that sense, it is not dissimilar to the Lockian "labor theory" of property, except that once you have acquired it, you are free to do or not do what you want with it, whereas Locke bemoaned the accumulation of property and resources.

Goode

Michael Moeller's picture

You can do whatever you want. I will continue on as I am, and will pay you no mind as long as you stop with your baseless character attacks. And this includes exposing the facts about Ron Paul. If you don't like it, that is your problem. If you continue with your malice, then I will continue to steamroll over you. It was you who began the character attacks on me during the Ron Paul Traitor thread. If you stay out of my way, we will not have a problem.

As long as Linz allows you here, the rest is up to you. I think Linz is at the very least being negligent in allowing you to continue as you do, but it is his website and his choice.

Michael

Friends of Freedom

Michael Moeller's picture

Cornell,

Indeed, Richard Goode and I have nothing in common, and we never will. He says I am in favor of a police state? Because I am against Ron Paul?

Ron Paul is no advocate for the Constitution or liberty. Ron Paul uses them as buzzwords, and those unwilling to look any deeper are living in a delusion. If they do not want to look at the facts -- that is their problem -- but they should not expect anybody else to ignore them. Start at the very beginning of the Ron Paul Traitor thread and read from there, not to mention all the other threads in which I have discussed Ron Paul. Judge for yourself who has the facts and arguments re Ron Paul.

I have laid out the case against Ron Paul's false constitutional ideas, his fiscal plan, and his foreign policy -- and in great detail. Go look at Richard Goode's arguments in regard to the issues I brought up. Notice anything? No, you don't, because he did not argue a thing on substance. So his case for Ron Paul amounts to jack squat. (Even on this thread he is being duplicitous. He gives you, Cornell, credit for the "initial use" argument, which is more broadly know as "first possession" in property law. I already pointed that argument out to him(read whole thread), as against the scarcity definition of property, and used his own marijuana growing example. Now I am a "dung beetle" because he is ignorant, and he can't even come up with an original insult.)

And this is par for the course for Goode. He couldn't beat a jello mold in an argument, yet he is some big advocate for freedom? Give me a break. The day he can write something like this or this is the day I die. Point blank: Goode is an intellectual zero, which would be fine as long as the creep wasn't busy unleashing malice on others.

But what did Goode comment on in the Ron Paul Traitor thread? When I brought up the issues of Ron Paul's newsletters and his unsavory associates. He did, and Scott did, what all the Paulbots are doing -- issuing character attacks on those who make an issue of Ron Paul's character (see their vicious attacks on Mark Levin for having the guts to point out the inconvenient facts re Ron Paul, including racial slurs). Notice that it is not a few who think Ron Paul has been duplicitous about the newsletters and has creepy associates and followers; no, the agreement on those issues spans the entire political spectrum, including many libertarians.

Questioning Ron Paul's character is not only perfectly legitimate, it is a MUST. In the last election, the left ran interference and failed to vet Obama, such as his intellectual history and associates. Now the Paulbots are doing the same thing on the right, and issuing character attacks on anybody who points out the facts regarding Ron Paul's character. In short, the Paulbots are the mirror image of ObamaDrones, and I will have none of it.

These creatures are notorious for deluging websites and issuing groundless character attacks, but I will not be silenced by them.

Michael

Hrrrm

Jules Troy's picture

Art.  http://www.caravaggio-foundation.org/Pieta-large.html

Crap.  http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/kuspit/kuspit9-11-08_detail.asp?picnum=6

"In fact it is my belief and

Cornell's picture

"In fact it is my belief and many others that the spark of the rebirth of a second renaissance will be expressed in the form of uplifting art that is a celebration of life and the goodness of man. "

That has always existed in some form or another. Such art does not appeal to everyone -- not everyone is good, and some men who are good are profoundly tortured.

"If you are staring at a piece of "art" and are left scratching your head thinking "wtf is that" it isnt art."

Here, I disagree. I consider art to be anything which is meant to be experienced for its own sake. But not all art is artistic -- "artistic" meaning: valuable as an experience unto itself.

"I think all children start out as scientists and artist but the lessons of education teach them simply not to think but only to conform to "liberal doses of liberal political correctness". Some of us survive that with our brains still in one piece."

Well, that's not false.

Pretty Muchh

Jules Troy's picture

People above all else are individuals, even if they share the same basic tenets they all have different likes and dislikes.  You also have to account for the way different people process information, thier strengths and weaknesses.  For example someone who is extremely artistic can express himself by producing a masterpiece sculpture.  However he has not a clue about particle physics. In fact it is my belief and many others that the spark of the rebirth of a second  renaissance will be expressed in the form of uplifting art that is a celebration of life and the goodness of man.  Pomo-art were the "artist" has to explain the "meaning" of the pile of dogcrap smeared on canvas on the other hand is exactly that..dogcrap mind dulling poison.

If you are staring at a piece of "art" and are left scratching your head thinking "wtf is that" it isnt art.  Art that is art jumps out at you and sends tingles of joy up and down your spine and takes your breath away.  Some of us are scientists, as children we were always asking why why why and how does this work, or how can I make this math formula shorter and were wondering "why aren't the other kids into this and why do thier eyes look so empty".

I think all children start out as scientists and artist but the lessons of education teach them simply not to think but only to conform to "liberal doses of liberal political correctness". Some of us survive that with our brains still in one piece.

Enough Jules ranting I gtg back to work lunch is over.

"There are no conflicts among

Cornell's picture

"There are no conflicts among rational men."

Depends on what you mean by "conflict."

And rational men can differ. We are all presented precepts and experiences, yet no two sets of these are identical, and two men may interpret different things from the same precepts. What we sense is much, much smaller than what there is, so we all have to deal with a degree of ignorance. Thus, some allowance can be made for a divergence in premises, even among rational men. What determines rationality is whether we can identify where, how, and why they diverge.

"However if there is to be a battle of ideas it is often best to allow people to hang themselves simply by giving them enough rope."

I agree with that statement. I've run a couple of blogs. It is not difficult, with some practice, to identify and pick apart a faulty argument -- if the argument is, in fact, faulty.

Actually, she appealed to the

Cornell's picture

Actually, she appealed to the Homestead Act, which was similar to this, in practice, though not explicitly so in principle.

And I appreciate the props.

Cornell

Jules Troy's picture

There are no conflicts among rational men.

Some people on this objectivist site are not objectivists, Linz shows alot of latitude allowing people to express thier views even if they are poor ones.  These same people would be banned or relegated to dissent on other objectivist sites as they do more harm or feed off of the strife they cause.

However if there is to be a battle of ideas it is often best to allow people to hang themselves simply by giving them enough rope.

 

 

 

 

 

Another refutation of Rand's production theory of property

Richard Goode's picture

Property rights in electromagnetic frequency bands exist.

The initial use theory of property accounts for these property rights.

The production theory of property does not.

Therefore, the production theory of property should be rejected in favour of the initial use theory of property.

(This refutation is due to, but not owned by, Philip John Cornell.)

Michael

Richard Goode's picture

You know, I'm not usually a "can't we all just get along" kinda guy, but the kind of infighting that takes place on this site is kind of sad.

How about a ceasefire?

THERE we go! He'll have to

Cornell's picture

THERE we go!

He'll have to vote for Ron Paul to be able to do that, though.

Pass the peace pipe

Richard Goode's picture

Peace pipe

...lol.

Cornell's picture

...lol.

;-)

reed's picture

Well, I can say this much for him: if he errs (and he does), it is not from lack of love for country.

You know, I'm not usually a

Cornell's picture

You know, I'm not usually a "can't we all just get along" kinda guy, but the kind of infighting that takes place on this site is kind of sad. If there is a reasonable consensus to be had, it is here, with the non-religious Objectivists. If you guys are this divided here, then I don't hold out much hope for the freedom movement in this country in general.

I'm not saying it's your fault.

I'm not saying it's his fault.

I'm saying: it is what it is.

Land of the free

Richard Goode's picture

if he errs (and he does), it is not from lack of love for country.

Love for America qua UPSA? Or love for America qua what America stands for, i.e., freedom? You mean the latter, obviously.

Well, he has a funny way of showing it.

Ron Paul is a patriot. He's a freedom-fighter. It's all very well to fault Ron Paul by presenting arguments to the effect that his policy proposals are misguided and would likely be counter-productive if implemented. But it is unacceptable, in my book, to conduct a smear campaign against a fellow patriot by repeatedly making unsubstantiated accusations against him.

I said as much. Moeller's response was to launch a smear campaign against me. I'm happy to divert Moeller's attention away from Ron Paul, who is way more important than me in the bigger scheme of things. Nonetheless, I'm not happy to be the target of Moeller's attacks.

What has Michael Moeller ever done for freedom? I don't know, although I suspect next to nothing. But I'm a freedom-fighter. Not much of one, perhaps, but nonetheless a real one, with a proven track record. Michael Moeller has never presented arguments to the effect that my policy proposals are misguided and would be detrimental to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness if implemented. But he has done his utmost to blacken my reputation. Get this.

Richard Goode is undoubtedly the most immoral person I have ever seen on any internet forum, and this includes that some really despicable characters.

Next time Richard Goode runs for public office, I hope this stuff is brought to light. ("This stuff" being Moeller's ugly smears against me.)

To call Michael Moeller scummy is to show civility in the face of evil, which is no virtue. With friends of freedom like Michael Moeller, who needs enemies?

Well, I can say this much for

Cornell's picture

Well, I can say this much for him: if he errs (and he does), it is not from lack of love for country.

PJ

Richard Goode's picture

You have raised the level of debate to such a vertiginous altitude that Michael Moeller now looks like a tiny dung beetle wallowing in the ocean of his own fetid muck far below.

Rand conceived man as a heroic being, with productive achievement his noblest activity. On that note, I must leave. But I'll be back.

My theory accounts for it

Cornell's picture

My theory accounts for it (not sure how thoroughly aligned it is with "prodcution theory," but anyway):

Initial Use.

If you encounter unused resources that have no geneaology of ownership, then you are entitled to claim as much of it as you are prepared to immediately and actively use. Once you have done so, it is yours to use, buy, or sell; however, you cannot "horde" property under initial use. I.e., you cannot stop exploiting the aquizition and exploit new aquizitions for the sake of seizure. You must actively, and consistently be using all initial use acquizitions in order to rightfully claim additional acquizitions under initial use.

That accounts for frequencies. Incidentally, it also accounts for unclaimed land and resources.

Not-quite-so-short version

Richard Goode's picture

Property rights in electromagnetic frequency bands exist.

The scarcity theory of property accounts for these property rights.

The production theory of property does not.

Therefore, the production theory of property should be rejected in favour of the scarcity theory of property.

Paley's other watch

Richard Goode's picture

But we can talk about Lewis Carroll, should you desire.

Or we can talk about Paley's other watch. Does it belong to someone? Is it property? Or is it just a watch?

*incredulous stare*

Richard Goode's picture

I assume you are talking about Lewis Carroll.

No, David Lewis.

David Lewis

Marcus

ding_an_sich's picture

"I assume you are talking about Lewis Carroll."

Actually, I do not know who Goode was referring to; I thought he was referring to David Lewis. I am referring to David Lewis, but for all I know Goode may or may not be referring to a different man whose first or last name is "Lewis". But we can talk about Lewis Carroll, should you desire. Smiling

"On the contrary, I have not been reading enough Lewis."

Marcus's picture

I assume you are talking about Lewis Carroll.

Goode

ding_an_sich's picture

"A watch cannot exist only as a mental construct.* Nothing can exist only as a mental construct, except a mental construct.

Atheists who insist that God is only a mental construct exasperate me. If God is a mental construct, then He exists! The view that God is a mental construct is theism, not atheism!"

Whoops! I should have said, "I have a mental construct of the watch, which refers to the watch, or some sum of parts which make the watch." It's funny how one little word (in this case, 'of') can make such a difference. Thanks for that. Smiling

"You've been reading too much Lewis."

On the contrary, I have not been reading enough Lewis. I disagree with him enough to warrant an excessive reading of him, so I can refute him without attacking any straw men.

Baade

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Maybe, Christ-like, we don't like to fight unarmed opponents.

Electromagnetic frequency bands

Richard Goode's picture

Do I have to spell out why the existence of property rights in the electromagnetic spectrum is a problem for Rand's production theory of property?

Where are Rand's intellectual heirs? Have they abdicated their minds? Have they evicted themselves from the realm of reality?

Who's up for a battle of ideas?

Ding

Richard Goode's picture

Of course the watch exists, but perhaps only as a mental construct.

A watch cannot exist only as a mental construct.* Nothing can exist only as a mental construct, except a mental construct.

Atheists who insist that God is only a mental construct exasperate me. If God is a mental construct, then He exists! The view that God is a mental construct is theism, not atheism!

Or perhaps it exists in a possible world.

You've been reading too much Lewis.

A refutation of Rand's production theory of property

Richard Goode's picture

Electromagnetic frequency bands.

My question

Richard Goode's picture

Does the watch belong to someone?

Actually ...

Richard Goode's picture

... Rand's explication of nothink resembles Marcus's modus operandi remarkably:

Thinking is man’s only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the willful suspension of one’s consciousness, the refusal to think—not blindness, but the refusal to see; not ignorance, but the refusal to know. It is the act of unfocusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape the responsibility of judgment—on the unstated premise that a thing will not exist if only you refuse to identity it, that A will not be A so long as you do not pronounce the verdict “It is.” Non-thinking is an act of annihilation, a wish to negate existence, an attempt to wipe out reality. But existence exists; reality is not to be wiped out, it will merely wipe out the wiper. By refusing to say “It is,” you are refusing to say “I am.” By suspending your judgment, you are negating your person. When a man declares: “Who am I to know?” he is declaring: “Who am I to live?”

Dropping below the level of a savage, who believes that the magic words he utters have the power to alter reality, they believe that reality can be altered by the power of the words they do not utter—and their magic tool is the blank-out, the pretense that nothing can come into existence past the voodoo of their refusal to identify it.

It is not any crime you have ever committed that infects your soul with permanent guilt, it is none of your failures, errors or flaws, but the blank-out by which you attempt to evade them—it is not any sort of Original Sin or unknown prenatal deficiency, but the knowledge and fact of your basic default, of suspending your mind, of refusing to think. Fear and guilt are your chronic emotions, they are real and you do deserve them, but they don’t come from the superficial reasons you invent to disguise their cause, not from your “selfishness,” weakness or ignorance, but from a real and basic threat to your existence: fear, because you have abandoned your weapon of survival, guilt, because you know you have done it volitionally.

If devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking. I think I'll go take a bow.

Marcus

ding_an_sich's picture

"...ever thought of becoming a politician? As Orwell said, politics is the art of giving solidity to pure wind. You'd be perfect."

Ever thought of responding with a rebuttal instead of an ad hominem? Laughing out loud

Besides... I am far better at pushing symbols around (which is what math and physics involve) and proving points (which is what logic and philosophy involve). Last time I checked, politicians do neither. So I think I will stick with Philosophy and Physics.

Actually ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... Orwell's explication of doublethink resembles Baade's modus operandi remarkably:

To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself -- that was the ultimate subtlety; consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink. ...

The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them....To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies - all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

Ding...

Marcus's picture

...ever thought of becoming a politician? As Orwell said, politics is the art of giving solidity to pure wind. You'd be perfect.

Marcus

ding_an_sich's picture

"...it doesn't exist. It is hypotheitical, not actual."

An object that is not actual by no means entails that it does not exist. Of course the watch exists, but perhaps only as a mental construct. Something that I bring forth. Or perhaps it exists in a possible world. In the former, it exists actually, as a construct that I bring forth, and it exists possibly in the latter case, as an object that is part of some possible state-of-affairs. Nevertheless, the watch exists.

Marcus

Richard Goode's picture

Talk to the Rand.

Goode God...

Marcus's picture

...stay off the pot, will you?

Marcus

Richard Goode's picture

Try to imagine an immortal, indestructible robot, an entity which moves and acts, but which cannot be affected by anything, which cannot be changed in any respect, which cannot be damaged, injured or destroyed.

Does the robot have any values? Does it have anything to gain or to lose? Can it regard anything as for or against it, as serving or threatening its welfare, as fulfilling or frustrating its interests? Can it have interests or goals?

No it doesn't because...

Marcus's picture

...it doesn't exist. It is hypotheitical, not actual.

Marcus

Richard Goode's picture

Does the watch belong to someone? Is it property? Or is it just a watch?

Goode God...

Marcus's picture

It was just a hypotheitical analogy, Dykehead!

Marcus

Richard Goode's picture

Paley was unfamiliar with the theory of evolution, otherwise he would have realised his fatal blunder.

Never mind Paley's watch. I'm talking about Paley's other watch. Can you make the inference that the watch belongs to someone? Or would that be a fatal blunder?

Paley was unfamiliar...

Marcus's picture

...with the theory of evolution, otherwise he would have realised his fatal blunder.

Evolved life is not as old as the stone.

Production vs. scarcity

Richard Goode's picture

Perkins argues for an Objectivist view of property rights according to which, "contrary to the view of libertarians opposed to intellectual property, the essential basis of property is not scarcity -- it is production."

In the case of tangible goods, the Objectivist's production theory of property and the anarchist's scarcity theory of property agree.

In the case of intangible goods, the two theories part company.

If we find an example of something which anarchists consider to be property but which is not property according to the scarcity theory, we have a reductio ad absurdum refutation of the scarcity theory of property. Likewise, if we find an example of something which Objectivists consider to be property but which is not property according to the production theory, we have a reductio ad absurdum refutation of the production theory of property.

Needless to say ...

Natural rights vs. conventional rights

Richard Goode's picture

Natural rights are those rights with which men are "endowed by their Creator" (God or nature, according to taste).

Conventional rights are those rights with which we are endowed by virtue of the existence of certain social conventions. If those conventions have a moral basis, then conventional rights are moral rights and stand alongside natural rights. Property rights are conventional rights. Stephan Kinsella explains their basis.

Let us take a step back and look afresh at the idea of property rights. Libertarians believe in property rights in tangible goods (resources). Why? What is it about tangible goods that makes them subjects for property rights? Why are tangible goods property?

A little reflection will show that it is these goods' scarcity -- the fact that there can be conflict over these goods by multiple human actors. The very possibility of conflict over a resource renders it scarce, giving rise to the need for ethical rules to govern its use. Thus, the fundamental social and ethical function of property rights is to prevent interpersonal conflict over scarce resources. ...

Others [in addition to Hoppe] who recognize the importance of scarcity in defining what property is include Plant, Hume, Palmer, Rothbard, and Tucker.

Nature, then, contains things that are economically scarce. My use of such a thing conflicts with (excludes) your use of it, and vice versa. The function of property rights is to prevent interpersonal conflict over scarce resources, by allocating exclusive ownership of resources to specified individuals (owners).

The Declaration of Independence

Richard Goode's picture

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Rand says

There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man's right to his own life.

Perkins says

The immediate corollaries of the right to life are the rights to liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.

Perkins is wrong. The right to property is not a corollary of the right to life, and it is not an unalienable right.

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