Do you have a people?

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2006-02-15 02:16

Some people define themselves by what they call 'their people.' Do you have a people? 'Professional Maori' Willie Jackson says he's spent his life looking out for "his people" -- when resigning as a Labour MP Tariana Turia declared "it came down to a question of integrity and I had to act for my people" -- her present Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples said in his maiden speech to parliament that "the hurt to my people" in being called "haters and wreckers" by [Prime Minister] Helen Clark was "very deep."

So Willie, Tariana and Pita seem to think they have 'a people,' and they're basing it on their race. They are making a virtue of their skin colour, about which they have no choice, but because of which they demand special 'race-based' favours. Such is the mistaken value of ethnicity:


ETHNICITY: The elevating of one’s racial identity and associated cultural traditions to a position of supreme importance – a racist version of collectivism, under-pinned by post-modernism in philosophy, and still very fashionable in academia.

How about you then? Do you have 'a people'? If so, on what basis do you decide who that 'people' is. Think about it for a minute, and while you do, let me ask you a question and offer you a proposition.

Recent Comments:
— by Ciro D Agostino on Thu, 2006-02-16 01:13

Some cultures deserved to die out

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2006-02-15 02:11

Not every culture is worth saving or preserving. There are some cultures that deserved to die out -- the Maya were just one, and on this as so much else Jared Diamond's book Collapse has it wrong again. As a tragic loss, they weren't, and Roger Sandall is right on the money. "I don’t care if the Maya civilization did collapse," says Sandall. "I don’t think we should shed a single retrospective tear":


When Passive Verbs Attack

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2006-02-15 02:09

What's a passive verb? It's a way of writing that removes from what is written both writer and passion. Compare for example: 'You cannot do this' (active) with 'This cannot be done' (passive). Passive verbs are used to soften the sense of a phrase, and too often to camouflage an opinion as being the writer's own. It's a way of speaking for the speechless without appearing to.

Why does this matter? Well, how many times do you hear these phrases used like a stop sign:

It is considered that...

Recent Comments:
About your Verbally-Abusive article... — by Rowlf on Wed, 2006-04-12 02:43
The article is misguided. — by tdh on Thu, 2006-02-16 19:55
Shane Jones — by Phil Howison on Thu, 2006-02-16 12:49

71 Million Murderous Muslims

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-02-14 22:06

[... with apologies to Captain Haddock, from whose lips the above might well have sprung]

I think David Farrar has made a slight error in his estimate, in that he's confusing total population levels with adult population levels. So I put my estimate, based on his figures, at around 71 million.

That's still 71 million too many.

Recent Comments:
Statistics, anyone? — by Rowlf on Wed, 2006-04-12 02:50
Blood Feud — by Senator Willcox L. CO on Wed, 2006-02-15 23:14
Interesting ... — by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-02-15 22:00

No Blood For Oil!

Submitted by wngreen on Tue, 2006-02-14 22:04

Check out this story about socalist dictator/thug Hugo Chavez and socialist representative/thug-wanna-be Bernard Sanders have made a deal to sell Venezuelan oil to 'low-income' Vermonters at a 40 percent discount, with an additional 108,000 gallons going to homeless shelters for free. Where is Ragnar Danneskjöld when you need him?


Technical Analysis (Investing)

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Tue, 2006-02-14 19:21

I have never understood the draw of technical analysis. Making investment decisions based upon this or this or trend or indicator doesn't strike me as a prudent investment method. In fact, I wouldn't call it investment at all. I would call it speculation. I also think that day trading is silly. Does anyone out there employ these techniques and do you believe that they actually work?

- Jason

Recent Comments:
Technical Analysis — by Sam Erica on Sat, 2006-03-18 17:25
Investment Strategies (Part B) — by Ashley Chan on Sat, 2006-03-18 08:12
Investment Strategies (Part A) — by Ashley Chan on Sat, 2006-03-18 08:10

( categories: )

Lennox on Axioms

seddon's picture
Submitted by seddon on Tue, 2006-02-14 15:16

In this article I would like to raise five points about Jim Lennox’s paper, “Ayn Rand as Aristotelian: Axioms and their Validation,” which he delivered at the American Philosophical Association meeting in New York City on Dec. 29, 2005.

1. THE NECESSITY OF AXIOMS: On p. 3 of his paper Lennox quotes Rand approvingly, (All four speakers ALWAYS quote Rand approvingly) “But what will come out of this is an arrangement of the whole in a logical system, proceeding from a few axioms in a succession of logical theorems. The axioms will be necessary—even mathematics has them—[because sic.] you can’t build something on nothing. . . .(Harriman 1997, 72) Lennox then gives the “you can’t get something from nothing” argument. You need axioms because you can’t get something from nothing. But he gives no argument for identifying the “something” as “axioms.” He also gives no argument for equating a non-axiomatic foundation with nothing.


( categories: )

A Valentine's Day poem

Casey's picture
Submitted by Casey on Tue, 2006-02-14 09:24

For guys for their gals today, and for all you gals reading this...

HER

If gathering all Desire’s flowers,
And blending them all with mystical powers
And honey and ivory and rubies and milk
And gold and berries and music and silk
And the airy sigh of the waterfall
And the liquid shimmer of nightfall
And the birdsong in spring forests
And the phosphor of phosphorous
And with extra angels leavened
The potent tears of storming heavens
And diamonds, pearls, perhaps a mink fur
Could make one replica of her —
What a shy price would be squandered
For the prize Pygmalion pondered.

Recent Comments:
Claudia, — by Casey on Fri, 2006-06-16 02:00
Thankyou — by Olivia on Fri, 2006-06-16 01:54
Claudia, the answer is a — by John M Newnham on Thu, 2006-06-15 16:03

( categories: )

The inevitable first blog post

Andrew Bissell's picture
Submitted by Andrew Bissell on Tue, 2006-02-14 07:39

I suppose it had to happen sooner or later. I get quite a bit of enjoyment reading my friend's blogs, and I *love* hearing myself talk, so it was only natural that eventually I'd start one of my own, especially once I was handed an audience of fellow travelers to marvel at my own online navel-gazing.

So, here goes.

Throwing parties is a new hobby of mine, so this past Friday, in my cramped little university apartment, my roommate and I put away all our furniture and various geegaws that were lying around, hung a mirror ball and a Vertigo light (which shoots out colored beams to the beat of music that is playing) from our ceiling, and put on a full-blown retro-70s disco party. It was a blast, and, despite the simultaneous presence of two handles of tequila, two liters of vodka, and two dozen college students, nothing (and nobody) wound up broken, stained, or poisoned. I attached a little picture of the festivities.

Recent Comments:
Jesus, Deputy! — by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2006-02-14 09:01

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT THOUGHTS

CapitalismGear.com's picture
Submitted by CapitalismGear.com on Tue, 2006-02-14 07:29

Ah yes, it's that time again...The last minute rush to buy flowers, chocolate and other assundry things for that someone special in our life...

Here's a CAPITAL idea for everyone who loves capitalism and the free market:

Buy a stock (or 10) in a company that you value.

Who knows? If you choose wisely, your gift may appreciate in value...

Although my other-half may disagree, it sure beats the heck out of roses that are going to be dead in three days anyway!

Good shopping to you!

peter@capitalismgear.com


Rand and "Black Hate Radio"

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Tue, 2006-02-14 00:22

http://www.citypaper.net/artic...

Philadelphia City Paper recently ran an article called "Black Hate Radio", about a radio show "Star and Buc Wild". The show airs weekday mornings on urban station Power 99 FM. The show's star, Troi Torain, according to the City Paper, "spits epithets at everyone: "'spics,' 'asslickers' (homosexuals), 'hoes' and 'bitches.' Kanye West is a 'nigger.' Whites are especially despised: 'whitey' was recently blamed collectively for choosing February as Black History Month, it being the shortest."

Now for the punchline: "Torain hates everyone, though not equally. A disciple of Ayn Rand, the formerrecord company exec spouts a creed of self-interest he calls "Objective Hate." By attacking all the 'losers' around you, says Torain, one can find personal fulfillment, and much wealth. Among Torain's biggest losers are black people, especially black women. Torain, who disavows his own African-American heritage, dismisses black identity as 'modern day tribalism.'"

Recent Comments:
Yes — by Jason Quintana on Wed, 2006-02-22 20:00
Yeah, — by Casey on Wed, 2006-02-22 18:30
Oh Henry — by Ed on Fri, 2006-02-17 09:55

( categories: )

Machan's Musings—Free Speech's "Least Attractive Practitioners"

removed's picture
Submitted by removed on Mon, 2006-02-13 22:01

Over the last several days I have been thinking and writing about the
furor surrounding the Danish cartoons that many Muslims have found so
offensive. I have noted that even if they are offensive and grievously
insulting, this doesn’t justify the sort of violence we have witnessed in
response to it often perpetrated against people who haven’t had anything
to do with the cartoons. Justice must be proportional—one doesn’t hit
another because one’s been insulted by him and certainly one doesn’t just
vent against innocent bystanders. At most insults may be met with
comparable insults and the targets must be those who issued the original

Recent Comments:
Another perspective — by sjw on Tue, 2006-02-14 18:40

( categories: )

Coupla Things!

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Mon, 2006-02-13 07:56

It's that time again when FreeRad is being readied for the printer, so no Daily Linz in the interim. When it resumes it'll include Fundamental Stuff again. (I know you're all hanging out for that. Smiling)

I'm disestablishing the position of editor because to all intents & purposes there's no longer anything to edit. With the instant access folk have to the front page with their personal SOLO blogs etc. no one seems to want to write articles as such. So I'm going with the flow on this one. But I'm not disestablishing Mr Bissell. He becomes Deputy-Principal, someone for me to chew the fat with, help me set goals, etc.

Recent Comments:
Dear Confused-of-Auckland — by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2006-02-14 23:46
Confused — by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-02-14 22:50
Fool — by Andrew Bissell on Tue, 2006-02-14 07:24

Beyond Emotion: The Gestalt Theory of Music

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Mon, 2006-02-13 02:34
Recent Comments:
Jmaurone — by 0 on Sat, 2009-01-03 11:43
Correction — by Jmaurone on Fri, 2009-01-02 22:41

( categories: )

Gustav Mahler -- Who Likes Him?

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Mon, 2006-02-13 00:58

My favorite composer (along with Brahms) is Mahler. Mahler took the symphonic medium to its limits and wrote some of the most glorious music of all time. Have the final passages of any piece of music ever matched the final minutes of Mahler's Symphony #2?

So if you do like Mahler, what is your favorite piece by him, and why?

- Jason

Recent Comments:
Kaplan's new recording — by Jason Quintana on Tue, 2006-02-14 19:08
I have a special affinity — by eprime75 on Tue, 2006-02-14 02:22
My writing partner — by Casey on Mon, 2006-02-13 10:26

( categories: )

Epistemology and Artificial Intelligence

Submitted by wngreen on Sun, 2006-02-12 02:57

I just finished "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology" (skiped the Q&A for now) and I have to admit this was my first in depth presentation on epistemology. I have wondered what the consequences are on a field I have always found facinating: Artificial Intelligence. The pragmatic definition of AI has always been 'that which has not been pinned down by Computer Science', and so we started with the (flawed) turing test, Chess games (which brought us game theory),  pattern recognition (Optical Character Recognition (OCR), speach recognition, face recognition, biometrics), and computer modeling (weather prediction, nuclear modeling). I have wondered what consequences IOE has on the field of AI and the progress it has made. This led me to stumble accross some (older) papers on just this subject

Recent Comments:
IOE & AI — by sjw on Sun, 2006-02-12 06:13

Freedom in Medicine

Submitted by wngreen on Sat, 2006-02-11 15:04

I have to admit that I got my hopes up. I saw a commercial that touted that medical care improves, patients recover faster, doctors operate better -- when more freedom is brought into medicine. I was dissapointed when I found out the commerical was for some 'Liberty' HMO in N. Virginia and not an ad advoicating less government in medicine. Why doesn't the industry stand up and say get out of the way?

Recent Comments:
But Objective Reality Still Wins — by Bikemessenger on Sun, 2006-02-12 08:09
The mentalty of business in a mixed economy — by Jason Quintana on Sat, 2006-02-11 17:18

More Sacriligeous Images of the Prophet Mohammad!!!

Robert's picture
Submitted by Robert on Fri, 2006-02-10 23:37
Recent Comments:
Heh I've been chuckling for — by Andrew Bissell on Tue, 2006-02-14 07:26
Here are a few more... All — by Robert on Sat, 2006-02-11 07:37
Nah, just kidding, — by Robert on Fri, 2006-02-10 23:45

( categories: )

Brit humour

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-02-10 22:01

Subject: Fw: British Humour

The train was quite crowded, so a U. S. Marine walked the entire length looking for a seat, but the only seat left was taken by a well dressed, middle-aged, French woman's poodle.

The war-weary Marine asked, "Ma'am, may I have that seat?"

The French woman just sniffed and said to no one in particular, "Americans are so rude. My little Fifi is using that seat."

The Marine walked the entire train again, but the only seat left was under that dog.

"Please, ma'am. May I sit down? I'm very tired."

She snorted, "Not only are you Americans rude, you are also arrogant!"

Recent Comments:
Linz, I love it! Did you — by James Heaps-Nelson on Fri, 2006-02-10 22:14

parecon--have you heard of it?

dvo's picture
Submitted by dvo on Fri, 2006-02-10 13:38

Have you all heard of "parecon"? (Short for "participatory economics.") It seems to be a new variation on the idea of economic planning and socialism. The parecon homepage has a quote from Noam Chomsky endorsing it. Maybe it's catching on, because a friend of mine spontaneously told me about it a couple days ago.

Here are some quotes about it from Wikipedia:

"Promoters of participatory economics hold that it is inequitable, and also ineffective, to remunerate people on the basis of their birth or heredity, their property, or their innate intelligence. Therefore, participatory economics advocates as a primary principle reward for effort and sacrifice. Therefore someone who works in a mine — which is dangerous, uncomfortable, and confers no power whatsoever on the worker — would get a higher income than someone who works in an office the same time, thus allowing the miner to work less hours and the burden of highly dangerous and strenuous jobs to be shared among the populace."

Recent Comments:
Rehashing Is'nt Out- running — by Bikemessenger on Sat, 2006-02-11 08:45
Used to it? — by Charles Henrikson on Sat, 2006-02-11 06:40
This is just disgusting. — by Landon Erp on Sat, 2006-02-11 01:38

( categories: )

Two ARI Talks - Bernstein on Capitalism and Binswanger on Immigration - at USC

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Fri, 2006-02-10 08:15

I recently received the following announcement from David Gulbraa of ARI:

We wanted to alert you about two upcoming free live events at USC in Los
Angeles.

University of Southern California
Friday, February 17, 2006
Global Capitalism: The Solution to World Oppression and Poverty
Dr. Andrew Bernstein
SGM (Seeley G. Mudd) 123
6:30 PM, Doors open at 6:00 PM
This event is FREE to the public.

Description:
Capitalism is the system of individual rights. The enormous success of
capitalism in Asia in the 20th century's second half, and the beginning of its
positive impact in contemporary Latin America add to the evidence accumulated in


( categories: )

Daily Linz 26—Death to Hate Speech Laws!

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-02-10 03:59

“It is not very inspiring to fight for the freedom of the purveyors of pornography or their customers. But in the transition to statism, every infringement of human rights has begun with the suppression of a given right’s least attractive practitioners. In this case, the disgusting nature of the practitioners makes it a good test of one’s loyalty to a principle.”

-—Ayn Rand, Censorship: Local and Express.

For “purveyors of pornography,” substitute “advocates of hate-killing.”

On Monday, I wrote “Death to Islam,” describing Islam as “murderous maggotry” and calling for a philosophical crusade by decent, rational men and women everywhere to shame it into oblivion.

Recent Comments:
It is war — by Richard Wiig on Sun, 2006-05-07 19:26
Commanding the Armed Forces — by AdamReed on Mon, 2006-02-13 05:33
I agree that FISA was set up — by wngreen on Mon, 2006-02-13 02:21

( categories: )

For Capitalists only: Capitalismgear.com is now online

CapitalismGear.com's picture
Submitted by CapitalismGear.com on Thu, 2006-02-09 23:52

Attention all Capitalists, Fighters for the Free Market, and Defenders of Liberty!

CapitalismGear (www.capitalismgear.com) is now online! Place an order to help Capitalism spread!

SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER: FREE SHIPPING & HANDLING ON ALL ORDERS ON OR BEFORE MARCH 17, 2006!

As a new company on the apparel scene, our collection of business and casual apparel is designed to bring freedom and fashion together! With new apparel being designed daily, our focus is on giving you, today’s capitalist, a clothing company built exclusively for you!

Be sure to check out our apparel collections for men and women:

Recent Comments:
ARI Affiliate? — by Teresa on Fri, 2006-02-10 17:39
Link... — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-02-10 00:36
Good luck fellas! — by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-02-10 00:35

Sometimes, China does things the right way ...

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Thu, 2006-02-09 23:31

The scenario: a man arms himself with two kitchen knives, and takes two children hostage, perched in a fifth-floor window.

Recent Comments:
roger — by Wes on Fri, 2006-02-17 14:22
Don't get me wrong ... — by Duncan Bayne on Thu, 2006-02-16 20:54
Aren't they all... — by Wes on Thu, 2006-02-16 14:00

What are the best books on Economics?

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Thu, 2006-02-09 21:34

In past economics discussions among Objectivists I've seen all manner of different opinions on the subject.   Usually the discussions break down without anyone coming to a clear idea about what the other person is trying to say.

  • A large population of Objectivists are supporters of this or that variant of Austrianism.  Many learned their economics from Hazlitt or Mises.  Some are Rothbardians and others got their economics from reading Hayek.  Some of the younger Objectivists got their economics education from Reisman.  
  • I have seen several Chicagoites among Objectivists quoting people like Friedman or Sowell. 
  • I have even seen a fair number of (gasp!) Keynesians among Objectivists who probably got their education on the subject from university courses.

Because of these differences I've found that discussions can be difficult even among hardcore capitalists like Objectivists because of the differing methodologies, epistemologies and terminology utilized by their teachers.  So instead of arguing about theory we can start out by arguing about who the best teachers are.   Here are the books that I think are the best :

Recent Comments:
Re: Marx — by Rick Giles on Tue, 2006-04-11 02:20
Re: Marx, — by Chris Cathcart on Tue, 2006-04-11 01:22
The value of — by Rick Giles on Tue, 2006-04-11 00:01

( categories: )

Yahoo implicated in the arrest of two Chinese dissidents

James Heaps-Nelson's picture
Submitted by James Heaps-Nelson on Thu, 2006-02-09 15:23

Yahoo has now been implicated in the arrest of two Chinese dissidents. The craven nature of this collaboration is appalling. One wonders if Yahoo founder Jerry Yang wouldn't have rather lived under Mao than here in America. The hypocrisy is utterly breathtaking.

http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/0...

Recent Comments:
Incredible — by jtgagnon on Thu, 2006-02-09 18:53
Cowards — by sjw on Thu, 2006-02-09 17:20

( categories: )

Daily Linz 25—SOLO, TOC ... and KASS!

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2006-02-09 03:19

Note from Linz—Yes, I'm cheating. This is a reprise. I thought with all the discussion raging here about PARC, ARI, TOC, SOLO, the Brandens, etc., and the TOC Summer Seminar coming up, with me among the presenters, it would be timely to re-run this. It's reprinted exactly as it orginally appeared—no ARI-type airbrushing! Smiling

I have just returned to New Zealand from The Objectivist Center's Summer Seminar in Vancouver. I am feeling the blues that must inevitably accompany a return to the world of nihilism from one of exuberant rationality. Yes, "exuberant"! Yes, TOC! Just as you, dear reader, thought you'd never see me saying that, so too did I never think I'd be writing it. Fact is, the Seminar was a blast.

Recent Comments:
Kassless — by James Heaps-Nelson on Fri, 2006-02-10 18:24
Thanks for the thanks! :-) — by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-02-10 17:41
TOC, SOLO and KASS — by James Heaps-Nelson on Fri, 2006-02-10 15:15

( categories: )

Why another blog?

Submitted by wngreen on Thu, 2006-02-09 02:41

Don’t be deceived by the title: this isn’t meant to convince you why you should read another blog. I am trying to record my reasons for starting another one. I have haphazardly kept a livejounral since early college but I never really examined why. Ever since I noticed the ‘my blog’ link I’ve thought that this would be an experience I could get something out of in a community that fits my values. Linz’s article “Daily Linz 24 - It's the Integration, Stoopid!” made me stop and think for a while about examining my life and integrating a value driven lifestyle throughout it. So back to the question, why write another blog? I want to list the reasons right now, at the beginning so I can hold myself accountable.

Recent Comments:
Great, William! — by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2006-02-09 19:22

I SUPPORT DENMARK in its struggle for the freedom of speech

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Thu, 2006-02-09 02:31
I SUPPORT DENMARK in its struggle for the freedom of speech

I was about to add the "I Support Denmark" poster/image to my personal blog - but I would rather see it closer to the masthead.

Recent Comments:
Perhaps this should actually go on the front page ... — by Duncan Bayne on Thu, 2006-02-09 23:23

Cartoons, and the Forum of Ideas

Alex Sagan's picture
Submitted by Alex Sagan on Thu, 2006-02-09 02:26

Cartoons:

Aren't they great? I especially like how the Road Runner outwits Wile E. Coyote each time, not matter what force Mr. Coyote employs...perhaps, if instead of bird-seed as bait, he could leave a letter explaining his views on said Runner, which Mr. Runner would read: they could then get together and have a lively discussion on the behavioral interactions of predators/prey.

Okay, we know what cartoons I'm talking about. But it really isn't all that different from the good old days (though this point is contentious) of Looney Tunes. It's starting to look mighty 'Looney Tunes' out there, if you ask me. And, since this is a blog, you don't have to, I'll just say what I please. Comment: free speech = good, though usually not easy; violence = bad, and usually extremely easy.

Recent Comments:
Cartoons are great...and so is free speech... — by jtgagnon on Thu, 2006-02-09 04:53

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