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Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 11:59amSanction this postReply
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Life is the continuance of relations.  Death is the discontinuence of those relations, as the material changes its relations into something new.  If it were not for death, "life" would be stagnant, and there would be neither "good" nor "bad", just sameness. Death is necessary for there to be "good" or "right", because it creates the contrast: where the good still live and the bad discontinue. Death is natures final judgement that you have critically failed to sustain yourself.  Verses living is continual proof that you have so far succeeded in continuence.

 

What each individual chooses to sustain and hence use as a measure of "good" and "bad" is as varied as there are 3D permutations of molecular configurations of vast collections of material from the periodic table of elements.  Using oneself's lifespan as a measure of "good" and "bad" is just one of the arguably infinite.  We do not measure the value of a life form by the number of years it has lived, otherwise we'd value individuals within certain species of trees more than our own.  One could also measure "good" by quantity and quality of achievements.

 

Certainly some duration of life is necessary to attain some quantity and quality of achievements.  But living forever?  Its a worthwhile pursuit for some of us for sure, especially when funded by voluntary means. But surely for most, living forever is not their primary goal, and hence they work towards other things. Just for one example, there is natures more natural way of life extension: reproduction, distribution, and diversification.  These processes increase reliability of continuance of relations through parallel and exponential growth rather than by attempting to increase the longevity of one extant.

 

One problem with trying to extend your own life rather than working towards raising children and teaching them the best of your knowledge is...  concentration of value and problems that arise when faced with competition that does not respect your property cliams.  If men have the goal to live forever, then they are unable to risk their lives to fight for the freedom of their children.  Hence they become slaves to those who those who are willing to die.



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Post 1

Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 1:56pmSanction this postReply
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Life is the purposeful pursuit of values.  You can desire to defeat the diseases of aging without immortality being your highest value.  However, if immortality is your highest value it would require running and hiding.  A hollowed rock in the Oort cloud with all the technology to create the energy and food to sustain your life indefinitely would be a possible minimum working solution.  Boring.  Would be the same level of life as the rock you mentioned a while back.



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Post 2

Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 6:25pmSanction this postReply
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Greetings, Mr. Gores.

 

Your thoughts are interesting – as far as I can see, original among the responses I have received to this book. I will address them in turn.

 

If evil or non-good is the absence of good, then the absence of good is not required for good to exist. Likewise, the absence of life (or the termination of existing life) is not required for life to exist or develop. A living organism exhibits growth and dynamism not because of the threat or eventuality of its annihilation, but because of its physical characteristics and interactions with the external world. Death is the dissolution of something intricately complex, orderly, and functional – the living organism – into components that are much simpler and less functional, which do not exhibit the self-sustaining and self-generating properties of life. It is not just changing into something new; it is degeneration and decay – by definition.

 

The amount of good or value in the world does not diminish by there being more good or value (indeed, just the opposite occurs!) – so the longer one lives, the more one can pursue and achieve in any realm that one considers worthwhile. Whether or not one’s primary aim is to live longer, it is undoubtedly the case that, once one is no longer alive, one ceases to have the ability to achieve anything or to experience or even remember the fruits of one’s achievement. Ayn Rand correctly noted that the fact of being alive is the precondition to the pursuit of any other values; it may not be sufficient for a good life (i.e., flourishing consists of pursuits beyond mere survival), but it is necessary.

 

Having children is entirely compatible with pursuing indefinite longevity for oneself (I do not have any – but not because I see any kind of conflict here); indeed, children could help with that pursuit. My decision to write and publish a children’s book on indefinite life extension was made to inspire the next generation of scientists and philosophers, whose efforts may benefit those of us who are adults today, so that they might pursue the acquisition of the necessary skills while they still have ample energy and leisure time. However, having children is not a substitute for one’s self-perpetuation. One cannot experience the world through the vantage point of one’s children, and it is direct experience and direct awareness of reality that I find the most fundamental, irreplaceable condition of an individual’s life.

 

There are memories and legacies, to be sure, but even those are forgotten or diluted sooner than most would like to think. Children remember their parents, but how many people remember (or are even aware of the identities of) their great-great-great grandparents? One can influence the future, but, if one is dead, one does not really know how one’s influence turned out; one can only speculate, and is likely to be very wrong in one’s speculations. One has to live the future to really know what will happen.

 

Why do most people not pursue indefinite longevity? I think the answer is not that they simply prefer other values; it is that they genuinely do not see the attainment of indefinite longevity as feasible – and they have been culturally conditioned over millennia to put the idea out of their minds, acknowledge the finitude of their lifespans, and spend their time pursuing other goals. Historically, during eras when technologies were indeed insufficient for radical life extension, this was an understandable attitude to take in order to render everyday life psychologically tolerable and to enable smaller-scale but worthwhile pursuits that eventually raised our civilization to its current level of prosperity and advancement. However, now, these same attitudes are counterproductive in that they could retard technically feasible developments to lengthen human lifespans (for lack of public support and funding, as well as the ability of traditional attitudes to motivate restrictive legislation and regulation that could stifle medical progress).

On seeking to avert threats to freedom, I think that the longer a person expects to live, the longer-term a perspective that person would take. The incentive to go out and steal a neighbor’s property or kill him diminishes greatly if one has more to lose thereby. (Hence the growth of commerce has been one of the greatest enablers of peace and toleration throughout history.) If one personally expects to be alive for a very long time, one would be more invested in making sure that existence is hospitable to human values and virtues during the long term. Incentives to “game the system” for short-term gains (be it through expropriation, laws restricting competition, war, pollution, etc.) would dwindle if one had to live with the long-term consequences. Yes, people speak about seeking a better world for their children and grandchildren – but I suspect that, for most, this is partly rhetorical only, and their efforts are in fact much more intense when they see the better situation as attainable for themselves directly. Will the incentive to fight diminish for longer-lived people? Most likely. But it will diminish among those who would threaten liberty also, and I strongly suspect that incentives for aggression for decline to a far greater extent than incentives for defensive action against any aggression that remains.

 

Mr. Erickson: With regard to your comment, I acknowledge that some degree of risk is inescapable in today’s state of the world, and this qualitative statement will hold for the foreseeable future. However, there are degrees of risk, and there is already much one can do to avoid unnecessary risk while accepting unavoidable or calculated risk. I do think that far too many people thoughtlessly undertake far too much risk, which they would have rejected if they conducted a genuine rational examination.

 

It is true that radically longer lifespans would dramatically affect the proportions of risk seeking and risk aversion among humans. For more of my thoughts on this issue, I invite you to read my article “Life Extension and Risk Aversion”. But it is both feasible and desirable for the amount of everyday risk to which we are exposed to asymptotically approach zero (even if it never gets there), while increasing technological possibilities enable us to continue to create works of great value without exposing ourselves to physical danger. (Think of possibilities for autonomous vehicles, videoconferencing, and increased telecommuting to reduce mortality from the ubiquitous act of driving to work or going on a business trip.)

 

Sincerely,

G. Stolyarov II



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Post 3

Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 7:23pmSanction this postReply
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G. Stolyarov II,

 

Sorry.  "Death is Wrong" is a good provocative title.

 

I was being nitpicky in coming up with cases where one's own death might be considered "good".  And of course there are cases where one would consider other's deaths as good, although that's not very policitally correct to talk about.  I'm personally very encouraging towards work for life extension.  Honestly I feel like one of the main reasons I dislike socialism is due to its resultant reduced spending available for technological invention, particularly in life extension technology.  Significant technological development is delayed due to reduction of capital goods being under control by producers.

If evil or non-good is the absence of good, then the absence of good is not required for good to exist.

Which leads me to wanting to define what "good" and "evil" means.  I don't agree with this.  "Good" is increased goal attainment for a goal seeker.  "Bad" is decreased goal attainment for a goal seeker.  "Evil" would be a personification of the thing that causes "bad".  So... absence of "good" could very well be "neutral", which is neither good nor bad, but right in the middle.  But that's if the goal seeker wants to have some kind of effect on the world... if the goal seeker has a rule based ethics exclusively (such as the 10 commandments or NIOF principal), then "good" would be not breaking the rules, and "bad" would be breaking the rules...  so kind of opposite of what you said:  Good would be the absense of evil.  I guess the opposite also is possible with rule based ethics:  John 3:16 implies that you must do something to be "good" otherwise you are "evil", which would go along with your quote where you have to accept Jesus (good) otherwise you are in absence of good (evil).

Likewise, the absence of life (or the termination of existing life) is not required for life to exist or develop.

I agree.  By the way, let me offer more of my definitions:  Living: performing actions that extend one's own life.  Dying: performing actions that shorten one's own life.



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Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 8:39pmSanction this postReply
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Dean,

"Good" is increased goal attainment for a goal seeker. "Bad" is decreased goal attainment for a goal seeker.

That's a problem.  People can have goals that are badly flawed, illogical and contradictory. Like Hitler's goal to exterminate all Jews. It is the worst kind of relativism or subjectivism that would make any goal held by anyone at anytime 'good' or 'bad' just because it is there goal and they are attaining it.  If I hold the goal of making a lot of money, and that is considered to be a good thing, then does it become a bad thing if the stock market drops and don't attain it?

 

There must be an objectively derived standard for 'good' and 'bad.' It must, in this context, be universal and for that it has to derive from human nature.

 

To call something 'rule based' is not the same as saying it is illogical, irrational, or dogmatic. The key element to look at in reference to rules is how they are derived (rationally or irrationally?) and how they are adopted (thoughtfully or dogmatically?) and if they serve a useful purpose for the person.
-----------------

...let me offer more of my definitions: Living: performing actions that extend one's own life. Dying: performing actions that shorten one's own life.

A definition of living would also have to include those actions that don't increase ones longeveity, but simply continue being alive. It would have to deal with what is the defintion of life.  Do you agree with Rand's defintion of life? "Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action."

 

Even a dying person is still alive and therefore living.  And I wouldn't define dying in such a way that would include eating something high in fat content. The person might not have anyway to know at the time that they will develop issues with their arteries later in life. Eating the ice cream might be life threatening, but that implies that they are living (with higher risk quotients) not dying.  

 

So if a person forms a goal of eating every kind of ice cream that is made, and they are being successful in attaining that goal, and they do it knowing that it is killing them because of a heart condition, does that make their goal 'good' (goal attainment) and an example of dying ('actions that shorten their life') - all at once?  Dying as a good thing?

 



Post 5

Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 9:54pmSanction this postReply
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Greetings, Mr. Gores, and thank you for your follow-up commnent.

 

I completely agree with you regarding the effects of socialism in hampering technological innovation, which does not thrive under a command-and-control structure. I also think that, in practice, we would support virtually the same endeavors undertaken by researchers to lengthen human lifespans and combat disease. Indeed, Death is Wrong is a provocative title – which I used to help drive the discussion on life extension forward in the eyes of the general public (by whom it has been woefully ignored until very recently). So far, I have had some success, and I strive to do what I can for this to continue.

 

I think it is reasonable to say that some aspects of reality are morally neutral – e.g., a rock that is lying on the ground and not interfering with anything. For the discussion of death, perhaps the better formulation would be “Bad is the undermining or destruction of the good” – and this is the sense in which death is wrong; it destroys the individual – the goal seeker – and thus makes the pursuit of the good, under whatever peaceful hierarchy of goals or values, impossible for that individual. If something destroys the morally neutral rock, there is no reason to condemn that act per se, but if something destroys a rational, moral agent, then that is a profound loss of good.

 

On living and dying, the discussion here is interesting. My thought is that improvements in the organism’s physical condition – whether or not they are volitionally driven – constitute movements in the direction of strengthening one’s life. Deteriorations in the organism’s physical condition – whether caused by self-destructive actions or unfortunate accidents or illnesses – constitute movements in the direction of death. If these deteriorations are irreversible, then they constitute dying. If they can still be reversed through effort, and the condition is not terminal, then the deteriorations are perhaps not dying in themselves, though they are unwelcome movements toward that irreversible threshold of the terminal, and could turn into dying if the individual does not take active steps in the direction of greater health. This view would prevent one from characterizing everyday fluctuations in an otherwise-healthy person’s physical condition as dying.

 

Sincerely,

G. Stolyarov II



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Monday, March 10, 2014 - 7:58amSanction this postReply
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Steve,

There must be an objectively derived standard for 'good' and 'bad.' It must, in this context, be universal and for that it has to derive from human nature.

Instead, I would say that when communicating, a person communicating moral judgements like "good", "bad", etc, really should include who's perspective the moral judgement is evaluated with.  Rand's caricature of generalized humans as compared to animals is one perspective (an important one that you and I default to when we don't specify).  I disagree that such is "universal", since clearly there are humans who deviate from the generalization, and there are other species.

Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action.

I don't think its necessary to include "self-generated", its succinct without it.  Imagine for example a person who is lying on a hospital bed, with kidney failure, now needing the dialysis machine to stay alive (or a kidney transplant).  Until the patent gets a new kidney, one could consider the nurse that operates the machine, the machine, and the patent all as a life form sustaining the patient.  Of course normally we draw the line for what is included within a life form around the exterior of skin...  but there is no reason why we can't draw the line elsewhere.  If you did draw the line at the skin, then the dialysis machine and the nurse would then not be performing the process of "life" due to the self-sustaining part not being applicable.

Even a dying person is still alive and therefore living.

Rather I'd say that in some ways we are dying and some ways living at the same time...  but overall we may be more dying than living, or vice versa, but still a life form until permanently dead.  I agree this does not correspond well with the layman definitions of life and death, living and dying... but never the less, my definitions are more informative and work better for talking about the underlying processes, especially in the context of talking about medicine and life extension.

And I wouldn't define dying in such a way that would include eating something high in fat content. The person might not have anyway to know at the time that they will develop issues with their arteries later in life. Eating the ice cream might be life threatening, but that implies that they are living (with higher risk quotients) not dying. 

Again, you may be living in some ways and dying in some ways at the same time.  If you would alter this to say "excess sugar, particularly fructose" instead of "fat" then you would be correct biologically.  http://objectivetranshumanism.org/CardiovascularDisease if you want my little refresher on the cause of CVD...  sorry you would have to study the subject yourself I didn't include references.  Consuming animal fat and cholesterol is unrelated to the cause of CVD, or more correctly, saying fat is the cause of CVD is like saying that cliffs are the cause of falling.  Let me just summarize right here: when eating excess sugar, your liver turns the sugar into fat, which it sends to fat cells with lipid carriers called HDL/LDL/VLDL (which the liver also puts cholesterol in), and fructose is a highly reactive molecule that messes up the HDL/LDL/VLDL identifiers, which prevents the liver from being able to recognize them and recycle them once the fat cells are finished collecting fat out of them.

 

"Fats" needs to be further reduced into kinds of lipids.  There are natural ones and unnatural ones.

Unnatural:

  • Vegetable oils (which are unnaturally industrially condensed from vegetables)
  • Hydrogenated vegetable oils (unnaturally altering lipid structure to cause the lipids to have extra bends to make them solid at room temperature) are healthy.
  • Excess short chain fats resultant from consuming excess sugar/carbohydrates (glucose polymers) as the liver converts excess sugar into short chain fat.

Natural:

  • Animal fat, qualified: The best fat is from animals who eat their evolutionary natural diet (such as cows eating grass and chicken eating whatever they find in the pasture).  Grain fed animals severely lack in certain nutrients, including essential fatty acids.

I would be surprised actually to find a study that found that eating an excess of natural fat source would be harmful to humans, given my understanding of human microbiology.  Oh, I guess there is always the case of too much of a good thing, even water can kill a person if drank in excess.  But healthy animal fats surely don't cause CVD.  And eating excess healthy animal fat would be very expensive.  On that note, I wonder if maybe there are elite manipulators who know what is healthy... but they tell the masses that unhealthy things are healthy (seeds, fiber) and healthy things are unhealthy (cholesterol, animal fat)... just as a way to make it easier to kill the masses off and make precious farm land that grows health food lower in price for them to purchase.  A conspiracy, its probably true to some extent, but for most in power its probably not so premeditated.



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Post 7

Monday, March 10, 2014 - 8:01amSanction this postReply
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G. Stolyarov II,  I agree with what you've said here.  Cheers, Dean



Post 8

Monday, March 10, 2014 - 8:30amSanction this postReply
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Mr. Stolyarov,

Thank you for your comments.  I read and enjoyed your article.  I have given some thought to the implications of having an indefinite life span.  The idea of starting over appeals to me, after 65 years of living and having the experience and means to make a better start the second time around.  I was not being critical of the idea of life extension, I have in fact visited several sites concerning life extension the last 2-3 years, I receive the "Fight Aging" newsletter and carefully read selected articles.  I think the technology is too new and undeveloped to benefit me personally at my age and state of health, other than the well known techniques of diet and exercise and intermittent fasting.  I also think the bigger problem, as far as ordinary people being able to take advantage will be the expense and the backlash against the technology ["against nature!", "Not God's will!", "Not fair to common people!", "Overpopulation inevitable!", "Old people need to get out of the way of new generations!", "Not enough room  on the earth!", etc].  The is much room for political manipulation because of the emotion laden arguments that strict regulation of the technology is inevitable.  I have had conversations regarding life extension with a few people, only those I thought might be receptive and with the intelligence to have a considered opinion.  I haven't found a receptive person.  They either believe it's impossible or they aren't interested.  "I don't want to be 100" [a retired person with arthritis and high blood pressure].  "People should get out to the way for young people" [a person with two young children].  The medical profession as practiced today does not give one confidence either.  I have a torn meniscus, my doctor recommends I don't get surgery "at your age it might not heal and you'd need a knee replacement" and "don't squat".  I mention stem cell injections [per Regenexx], he says "too new, insurance won't pay for it, probably doesn't work, no studies.." etc.  I believe the average MD is not very healthy themselves, they prescribe medication for symptoms, their idea of treating a person is if you're somewhere near a statistical average for your age, there's nothing wrong with you.  If something hurts, take a pill, and stop doing whatever it was that made it hurt.  There is a very long way to go to convince the medical profession to advise their patients to do anything but give in to the maladies of age.  Slow down, take pills, get your affairs in order.  I've been told by an ex-primary care physician "don't look stuff up on the internet".  And this is before Obamacare.   I'm afraid life extension technology will be underground if and when it is developed, and possibly available only to a privileged elite.  Given the way the political winds have been blowing I imagine eventually an advanced technocracy run by a powerful elite group running and controlling everything from birth to death of everyone.  These rulers I'm certain would not see an advantage in the cattle having long lives, long enough to realize the situation they're in.  For themselves though, imagine a Kim Jong un with a lifespan of 1000 years.  I'm also concerned about the capacity of our brains to integrate and remember hundreds of years of life experience.  If you are a thousand years old would you even remember the first 800 years?  Technology for archiving our life experiences and memories would needs be developed simultaneously with life extension.

 

I would be delighted to be persuaded to a more optimistic (to say nothing of less cynical) point of view.

 

Best Regards,

Mike Erickson



Post 9

Monday, March 10, 2014 - 10:27amSanction this postReply
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Dean,

Rand's caricature of generalized humans as compared to animals is one perspective (an important one that you and I default to when we don't specify). I disagree that such is "universal", since clearly there are humans who deviate from the generalization, and there are other species.

A caricature is an exaggeration of some features of a person or of an argument to make it look absurd or comic. To phrase Rand's description of human nature in that fashion is insulting, but I'm assuming you didn't intend it to be. You need to be specific about what she said was human, but isn't present in all humans... and thus isn't universal.

 

If you are going to say "the rational capacity" you would be wrong to say that it isn't present in all humans, even though some choose not to exercise it. I have the capacity to speak even when I'm remaining silent.  If you are going to say, "But there are some people who are in coma - they aren't 'choosing.' " They are still humans, just as an automobile is still an automobile even if it isn't running because something broke down in the engine. And we all know that there are other species, but that doesn't apply to those arguments that are about humans based upon what is unique to their nature and the implications that has for them.  If I were attempting to research what is a proper diet for humans, I won't include things that are eaten by earthworms as if they were also humans.
-----------------

 

I mentioned that Rand defined life like this: "Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action." And you said, "I don't think its necessary to include 'self-generated', its succinct without it."

 

Here is Rand elaborating on that:

Only a living entity can have goals or can originate them. And it is only a living organism that has the capacity for self-generated, goal-directed action. On the physical level, the functions of all living organisms, from the simplest to the most complex—from the nutritive function in the single cell of an amoeba to the blood circulation in the body of a man—are actions generated by the organism itself and directed to a single goal: the maintenance of the organism’s life.

That makes clear the difference between self-generated versus self-sustaining. A robot could be imagined that was engaged in self-sustaining actions if it can make repairs to itself or head off to the electrical outlet to plug itself in.   I've written software routines that enabled an application to make limited repairs to itself, and that's self-sustaining, but I was the one who generated those actions, defined those goals, put that train of actions into motion.

----------------

Imagine for example a person who is lying on a hospital bed, with kidney failure, now needing the dialysis machine to stay alive (or a kidney transplant). Until the patent gets a new kidney, one could consider the nurse that operates the machine, the machine, and the patent all as a life form sustaining the patient. Of course normally we draw the line for what is included within a life form around the exterior of skin... but there is no reason why we can't draw the line elsewhere. If you did draw the line at the skin, then the dialysis machine and the nurse would then not be performing the process of "life" due to the self-sustaining part not being applicable.

That is an unnecessary and arbitrary redrawing of a conceptual boundry that confuses the issue and introduces ambiguities. The machine doesn't become a life form. If we include the electricity the dialysis machine needs, and the electrical transmission system carrying the current, and the coal-fired plant that generates the electricity, and the train that carries the coal, and the coal dug out of the ground, and the minors who were digging the coal, and the...

 

See why it doesn't work to drop the proper genus in a definition? Those actions that are going on for the dialysis patient that are generated by the patient are the ones that are part of his life. If he generated the choice to get dialysis, then that could be seen as part of the collection of self-generated, self-sustaining actions that are life for him at that time.  His thinking about it, his choosing, his making and carrying out the arrangements, etc.  And, all the time, his other functions that are working fine: liver processes, breathing, blood flow, etc.  But his skin still stays the external boundry of what IS this life form - this human.



Post 10

Monday, March 10, 2014 - 3:46pmSanction this postReply
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Steve,

 

Re: caricature:  I didn't mean a negative connotation. Only the "enhance and focus on the difference" as comparing humans to animals.

 

Re: rational capacity: Its not all or nothing. Some humans are genius. Some have less ability than chimpanzees.  And this is not just due to accidents that cause coma, also "mentally disadvantaged".

 

So when I say that people deviate from the generalization, I mean deviation in every ability and deviation in ambition for all different kinds of goals.



Post 11

Monday, March 10, 2014 - 4:19pmSanction this postReply
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Dean,

 

Re: rational capacity: Its not all or nothing. Some humans are genius. Some have less ability than chimpanzees.

Nope. Its all or nothing. That's because of the word "capacity" - what is meant is that there is a human mode of cognition, the use of whatever senses are opertating to whatever degree in a human, the automatic formation of percepts, and the choice to reason, or not, in forming and using concepts. That is the category we are talking about. It is possessed by a human genius, and by an idiot who barely knows how to scratch his ass. It is not possesed by a chimpanzee who doesn't have a rational capacity - it has a somewhat different cognitive capacity - a somewhat different kind of awareness and deciding mechanism.

 

Because one person uses their rational capacity better than another doesn't change anything anymore than the difference in speed and handling doesn't mean the Ferrari is a car, but a Chevy volt is some kind of non-car. They are both cars. You appear, with your definitions to have completely abandoned Rand's understanding of concept formation and definitions.

So when I say that people deviate from the generalization, I mean deviation in every ability and deviation in ambition for all different kinds of goals.

I have typed this sentence you are reading, but you have no idea how many typos, if any, were corrected, or if I type fast or slow. But we can communicate about typing and we both understand what the concept subsumes- and we agree that it was indeed typed, that it is an example of typing. Even if I were using some speech to text software, or some copy-paste technique, we understand that we are talking about my introducing text to a media.  

 

We aren't talking about "generalizations" we are talking about concepts and defintions and how they allow us to have structured, logical knowledge.  And you have left epistemology as Rand speaks of in ITOE.



Post 12

Monday, March 10, 2014 - 6:02pmSanction this postReply
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Steve, I'm concerned more about being consistent with reality than Rand. I would say that you/Rand are fabricating a logical mathematically valid system, much like mathematicians do, that may be logically self consistent but has no or limited relation to reality. In real, things are much more fuzzy/varied than your Platonic abstractions.



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Post 13

Monday, March 10, 2014 - 7:15pmSanction this postReply
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Dean,

 

If you don't nail down an intended meaning for your words, then you are not going to stay consistent with reality, and you won't even be consistent with yourself.

 

If at anytime, my assertions are not consistent with reality, then they are wrong and that is what you should point out. But I have to say, as I imagine that you will use words to communicate, but don't bother to have logical defintions then you are just spewing floating abstractions that don't connect to anything but fuzzy ideas in your mind.

 

In real life there are no actual Platonic abstractions. That's as unreal as unicorns. There are existents, and there are our concepts where we grasp the properties of those existents, and logic where we work to keep our concepts consistent with each other, and with every bit of evidence we have of the existents. And saying I'm in agreement with Rand and then saying I run around with Platonic abstractions is an example of how fuzzy your thinking has become.  If you are going to toss aside Rand's epistemology, then you need to present your own beliefs, or describe the philosopher whose epistemology you do agree with.

 

You do know that you should no longer use the word "Objectivist" to describe yourself - not with a capital "O" - not when you've gone so far from her theories - In epistemology and in ethics.



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Post 14

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 12:42amSanction this postReply
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A children's book! Amazing! Conquer the world thru the kids! But seriously....my congratulations to Gennady Stolyarov on this remarkable achievement. I hope his success here goes on and on. With quality children's books of this type, this often happens. And I think his book will be on the cutting edge for quite some time.

 

There are many wonderful lines in the video lecture: "We need this [fight against death] to happen yesterday." (8:10) "We each have precious individual universes inside us that deserve -- and indeed demand -- preservation." (8:55) "We must remember that we are cosmic revolutionaries -- not stooges conscripted to advance the Natural Order that kills everybody." (9:10) 

 

It's odd that Objectivists talk so little about the very possible Singularity of around 2045; or about very doable Transhumanism. What could be more important?

 

I've long thought that death is a moral abomination -- an evil beyond compare. It needs to be rapidly, ruthlessly, and summarily crushed.



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Post 15

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 5:56amSanction this postReply
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"Daddy, I can't sleep. I'm scared."

"OK, let's read a story about how horrible dying is."

 

This book is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. It's like a parody of what a psychotic with no social sense would read his children.



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Post 16

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 11:38pmSanction this postReply
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You would, why does it not surprise me Robert.  Psychotic? As in hammering into children the tenets of the bible? Now that is psychotic.



Post 17

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 5:11amSanction this postReply
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Jules - I hope that was your attempt at humor. I would never read my children this book, just as I wouldn't read them a book about sex or any other mature subject matter.



Post 18

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 7:45amSanction this postReply
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Santa? 

Good ole Christmas cheer stuff?  Gotta love the original Christmas Aka Saturnalia! 



Post 19

Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 5:03pmSanction this postReply
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I noticed a Slashdot headline on your book today. Grats on that publicity boost.



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