1277: "Ayn Random"

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ghanburighan
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby ghanburighan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:49 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
ghanburighan wrote:Might the apparent popularity of authoritarian governments among mathematicians

[citation needed]

ghanburighan wrote:order imposed from a central authority

[citation needed]

ghanburighan wrote:anyone calling a follower of Ayn Rand a lunatic

[citation needed]

In short: no.


I'm curious, Kit. Are you quite sure you know what 'citation needed' means? Oh it does look very impressive and Wikipedia-like, but it doesn't actually constitute an argument. I thought you actually knew what it meant, and that it had escaped your attention that I was positing an hypothetical question (hence the repeated internal disclaimers) but then your last one was a dead giveaway. I need to supply a citation for someone calling a follower of Ayn Rand a lunatic? Have you even READ this thread, or is this simply a Ctrl+V shrink-wrapped pseudo-reply? If this constitutes intelligent debate, civilization is f*****d.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Klear » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:54 pm UTC

As Belial said. What happens here is people saying: "If you agree with Rand, you are a terrible person." That's just an insult. Ad hominem would be "You are a terrible person, so if you agree with Rand, Rand's philosophy must be bullshit."

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Belial » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:58 pm UTC

Precisely.

"You are wrong and also an asshole" = Unkind, and unsupported, but not logically fallacious.

"You are an asshole and therefore wrong" = Ad Hominem.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby ghanburighan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:03 pm UTC

Belial wrote:You're not super clear on what ad hominem means. It's rather specific.


Well, I've always understood argumentum ad hominem to be an attack against the person espousing ideas one disagrees with, rather than actually arguing against the ideas themselves. Ie. using personal epithets, character attacks, presumptions of intention, etc., instead of arguments. Not that it is intellectually unacceptable to assign a personal descriptor to someone. A 'fool' or 'lunatic' or 'horrible person', for example. But is has to be the logical conclusion to an argument, and not the argument itself.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Kit. » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:23 pm UTC

ghanburighan wrote:
Kit. wrote:
ghanburighan wrote:Might the apparent popularity of authoritarian governments among mathematicians

[citation needed]

ghanburighan wrote:order imposed from a central authority

[citation needed]

ghanburighan wrote:anyone calling a follower of Ayn Rand a lunatic

[citation needed]

In short: no.


I'm curious, Kit. Are you quite sure you know what 'citation needed' means? Oh it does look very impressive and Wikipedia-like, but it doesn't actually constitute an argument. I thought you actually knew what it meant, and that it had escaped your attention that I was positing an hypothetical question (hence the repeated internal disclaimers) but then your last one was a dead giveaway.

In case you have missed it (as you seem to have)... I've just provided your "hypothetical" question with an equally "hypothetical" answer: let's assume that you are wrong. That will perfectly explain it all.

ghanburighan wrote:I need to supply a citation for someone calling a follower of Ayn Rand a lunatic?

Yes, please.

ghanburighan wrote:Have you even READ this thread,

Well, if you think that you can provide a better explanation of my confidence that you were the first in this thread to come with a word 'lunatic' (or its equivalent), go for it. Just make sure that it corresponds to the facts at least as well.

ghanburighan wrote:or is this simply a Ctrl+V shrink-wrapped pseudo-reply? If this constitutes intelligent debate, civilization is f*****d.

So, you haven't yet realized that you heavily offended me with your presupposition that a mathematician must equate authoritarianism with order, haven't you?

But don't worry, you haven't made me think that the humanity is fucked. I knew it beforehand.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby learsfool » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:30 pm UTC

Klear wrote:Couldn't the same be said of any ideology, say, Marxism? (hah! dodged a Godwin there) I mean, Communism as such is was a pretty neat idea before it was kinda... tested experimentally. Nowadays we have enough empirical evidence to safely proclaim today's followers of such doctrines as lunatics.

Nicely done there ;)

However, how about I toss out a curve ball.

Currently nobody chooses their nationality, nor what economic or governmental systems they contribute to. So nations tend to be 'lowest common denominator' solutions in most cases.

What happens if people get options (and the options can choose them, like recruitment), so the Socialists can all have their own little nation state, the Capitalists can have theirs, and the Randians can have theirs?

A lot of our failed tests are because not all of the citizenry are choosing to be part of said experiment.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby endolith » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:43 pm UTC

ghanburighan wrote:popularity of authoritarian governments among mathematicians and art majors


o_O

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Gedatsu » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:45 pm UTC

KarenRei wrote:
StClair wrote:For me, Objectivism has always fallen down at the stage of "first, find a perfectly rational and objective human being" - an entity which exists only in the same realm as the ideal gas, the frictionless surface, the perfect black body, etc etc. Which is, of course, pretty much exactly what this comic is taking a poke at.


I don't get how any geek could be a Randian. I mean, isn't the Prisoners' Dilemma / elementary game theory known by pretty much every geek in existence? Everyone acting in their own rational self interest will indeed head towards a *local* minimum, but that can be far from a *global* minimum, even if it is quite easy, when the problem is analyzed as a whole, to determine how to get to the global minimum.

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

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Belial » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:50 pm UTC

ghanburighan wrote:
Belial wrote:You're not super clear on what ad hominem means. It's rather specific.


Well, I've always understood argumentum ad hominem to be an attack against the person espousing ideas one disagrees with, rather than actually arguing against the ideas themselves. Ie. using personal epithets, character attacks, presumptions of intention, etc., instead of arguments. Not that it is intellectually unacceptable to assign a personal descriptor to someone. A 'fool' or 'lunatic' or 'horrible person', for example. But is has to be the logical conclusion to an argument, and not the argument itself.


The presumption that everyone is always making an argument might be your issue here.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:57 pm UTC

learsfool wrote:Currently nobody chooses their nationality, nor what economic or governmental systems they contribute to.


Not true. It just takes a while and is expensive.

How to become an American citizen.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby BlitzGirl » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:57 pm UTC

Belial wrote:The presumption that everyone is always making an argument might be your issue here.

That's a terrible argument.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby JudeMorrigan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:01 pm UTC

Oh! I'm sorry! This is abuse! No, you want room 12A, next door.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Weeks » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:01 pm UTC

BlitzGirl wrote:
Belial wrote:The presumption that everyone is always making an argument might be your issue here.

That's a terrible argument.
Well, so's your face.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby BlitzGirl » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:03 pm UTC

Weeks wrote:
BlitzGirl wrote:
Belial wrote:The presumption that everyone is always making an argument might be your issue here.

That's a terrible argument.

Well, so's your face.

That's true. Faces are not very good arguments.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:04 pm UTC

BlitzGirl wrote:
Belial wrote:The presumption that everyone is always making an argument might be your issue here.

That's a terrible argument.



M: Oh look, this isn't an argument!
O: Yes it is!
M: No it isn't!
...
M: An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
O: No it isn't!

-Monty Python

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby lgw » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:11 pm UTC

Gedatsu wrote:
KarenRei wrote:
StClair wrote:For me, Objectivism has always fallen down at the stage of "first, find a perfectly rational and objective human being" - an entity which exists only in the same realm as the ideal gas, the frictionless surface, the perfect black body, etc etc. Which is, of course, pretty much exactly what this comic is taking a poke at.


I don't get how any geek could be a Randian. I mean, isn't the Prisoners' Dilemma / elementary game theory known by pretty much every geek in existence? Everyone acting in their own rational self interest will indeed head towards a *local* minimum, but that can be far from a *global* minimum, even if it is quite easy, when the problem is analyzed as a whole, to determine how to get to the global minimum.

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


That's a great question! It's amazing how seldom it gets asked. The answer is, you should care because the global minimum happens to affect your personal self interest. This is because society is a bit more complex than these game theory puzzles (I don't mean that sarcastically, I believe people are pretty simple decision-making devices, and society is just a bit more complex). Far and away, your standard of living is more influenced by the baseline of your society than how well you do relative to your society (and IMO that's mostly a function of technology). Most people living in any modern industrialized nation live better than anyone could through most of history - we live in an age of wonders. How well society as a whole functions, and especially how well it engenders technological progress, matters.

So many silly debates over economic systems ignore this simple truth. The difference between e.g. the richest and poorest 5% in America is nothing compared to the difference technological and other progress has made to our lives compared to just a few centuries ago. Heck, just dentistry alone would be enough to support this conclusion.
Last edited by lgw on Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:13 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Klear » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:11 pm UTC

learsfool wrote:
Klear wrote:Couldn't the same be said of any ideology, say, Marxism? (hah! dodged a Godwin there) I mean, Communism as such is was a pretty neat idea before it was kinda... tested experimentally. Nowadays we have enough empirical evidence to safely proclaim today's followers of such doctrines as lunatics.

Nicely done there ;)

However, how about I toss out a curve ball.

Currently nobody chooses their nationality, nor what economic or governmental systems they contribute to. So nations tend to be 'lowest common denominator' solutions in most cases.

What happens if people get options (and the options can choose them, like recruitment), so the Socialists can all have their own little nation state, the Capitalists can have theirs, and the Randians can have theirs?

A lot of our failed tests are because not all of the citizenry are choosing to be part of said experiment.


Such states would last at best only one generation. The problem with communism is partly that it falls apart if not everybody is 100% (or more) committed to the idea, but mostly because people who don't have the advantage. If people were free to choose a state with the government type of their liking, the states would not only attract people who believe in that system, but also people who plan to profit from those who do. Oh, and if you try to enforce it, you'll get a police state faster than you'd get it normally.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Mikeski » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:18 pm UTC

Anyone who thinks Ayn Rand's every word is gospel probably has an I.Q. generated by a fair random number generator*.

And anyone who thinks that everything she's written is made of horse apples also has an I.Q. generated by a fair random number generator*.

Of course, like any philosophy/religion/political-system, all arguments for and against will be made in this all-or-nothing form. This keeps people like me, who design the hardware that runs this giant shouting match we call "the Internet", gainfully employed. So, keep at it, folks! And remember, if you really believe what you're saying, podcasts are better than forum posts!

* - specifically, 12d6.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Kit. » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:33 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:...has an I.Q. generated by a fair random number generator*.
...
* - specifically, 12d6.

Mean 42, std.dev.<6? That's not a lot of people.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby lgw » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:38 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
Mikeski wrote:...has an I.Q. generated by a fair random number generator*.
...
* - specifically, 12d6.

Mean 42, std.dev.<6? That's not a lot of people.


So you'd think, but have you ever read YouTube comments? Somebody's math must be off somewhere.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Gedatsu » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:42 pm UTC

lgw wrote:
Gedatsu wrote:
KarenRei wrote:
StClair wrote:For me, Objectivism has always fallen down at the stage of "first, find a perfectly rational and objective human being" - an entity which exists only in the same realm as the ideal gas, the frictionless surface, the perfect black body, etc etc. Which is, of course, pretty much exactly what this comic is taking a poke at.


I don't get how any geek could be a Randian. I mean, isn't the Prisoners' Dilemma / elementary game theory known by pretty much every geek in existence? Everyone acting in their own rational self interest will indeed head towards a *local* minimum, but that can be far from a *global* minimum, even if it is quite easy, when the problem is analyzed as a whole, to determine how to get to the global minimum.

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


That's a great question! It's amazing how seldom it gets asked. The answer is, you should care because the global minimum happens to affect your personal self interest. This is because society is a bit more complex than these game theory puzzles (I don't mean that sarcastically, I believe people are pretty simple decision-making devices, and society is just a bit more complex). Far and away, your standard of living is more influenced by the baseline of your society than how well you do relative to your society (and IMO that's mostly a function of technology). Most people living in any modern industrialized nation live better than anyone could through most of history - we live in an age of wonders. How well society as a whole functions, and especially how well it engenders technological progress, matters.

So many silly debates over economic systems ignore this simple truth. The difference between e.g. the richest and poorest 5% in America is nothing compared to the difference technological and other progress has made to our lives compared to just a few centuries ago. Heck, just dentistry alone would be enough to support this conclusion.

As the Iterated Prisoner's dilemma shows, one can often derive the most personal gain by cooperating with others. What I am asking is why, instead of maximizing my own benefit, I should maximize the total benefit, if that implies my own will be somewhat less as a result. In absolute numbers. None of the society-improving technological progress made so far would ever have happened if it didn't explicitly benefit the inventor.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby capefeather » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:48 pm UTC

Wow, it's been over nine months since I last checked this forum, and I think I've gotten a few things a bit more straightened out. The bulk of my last few posts were in Serious Business and they were about libertarianism, and I've learned a bit since then.
Andromeda321 wrote:Where I don't get Ayn Rand in ways many apply it to life is I'm pretty sure the woman had Asperger's, as none of her characters ever seem to have anything resembling emotion or compassion (and people who knew her earlier in life say she was quiet and never had friends and quite a few other Aspie tendencies).

I'd just like to say that this is a really unfair characterization of people with Asperger's. People with Asperger's feel emotion and compassion, but many just don't know how to express it properly. Some are quiet, others are loud. It makes no more sense to identify Asperger's as a possible cause than it makes sense to identify atheism as Hitler's motivation to do everything he did. (Yes, I know Hitler was a Christian. That's the point.)
ghanburighan wrote:Ok, a very leading (and poorly parsed) question.

So don't ask it. It's a straw man relying on the notion that either you're a pure anti-statist or you're a fascist or something. If anything, you're the one making ad hominem fallacies here.
endianx wrote:I don't think it was right for dipique to refer to those things as "intrinsically" better. Productivity is virtuous, not intrinsically, but because it furthers you life. In fact, it is necessary to sustain your life. So you ought to be productive, not because productivity is magically good, but because your life requires you to take action to sustain it. Rand specifies numerous virtues, but they are good for a reason, due to the nature of man and reality, and are not intrinsic.

You're just kicking the can by moving the intrinsic value from productivity to the reality of needing to sustain one's life. If you're trying to say that productivity is a moral imperative because that's just how it is in reality, you're committing the just-world fallacy. Reality is not inherently moral.
Gedatsu wrote:Why should I, as an individual actor, care more about the global minimum than my own rational self interest?

Because you're not a psychopath? At least I'm presuming you're not a psychopath.

lgw's response is trying to say that altruism is good for one's self-interest, but I think that that's a self-defeating argument. Is it that hard to believe that people have empathy and therefore act in ways that are beneficial to others rather than themselves?

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Psydekick » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:02 pm UTC

My personal take on the regex alt-text. I'm a horrible programmer/coder. If you're trying to figure it out on your own, don't click the spoiler.

Spoiler:
I don't know what the slash, backspace (\b), and i are for.
Ok, so slashes surround the actual regex and JavaScript uses "i" to ignore case. Got it. The "evaluator" I was using was automagically ignoring case (though it has a configuration option). JRX: real-time JavaScript RegExp evaluator v1.1b16

I still don't know what the purpose of the backspaces are fore, but it works fine.

Original regex:

Code: Select all

/(\b[plurandy]+\b ?){2}/i

Modified regex:

Code: Select all

([plurandy]+ ?){2}

Alt Modified regex

Code: Select all

(\b[plurandy]+\b ?){2}

String to match:

Code: Select all

Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Ann Druyan, Paul Rudd, Alan Alda, Duran Duran

Matches:

Code: Select all

0:>Ayn Rand<                                                                (0->8)
1:>Paul Ryan<                                                             (10->19)
2:>Rand Paul<                                                             (21->30)
3:>Ann Druyan<                                                            (32->42)
4:>Paul Rudd<                                                             (44->53)
5:>Alan Alda<                                                             (55->64)
6:>Duran Duran<                                                           (66->77)


So in theory we could take a random number between 0 and 6 inclusive to find the actual Cult name.
Last edited by Psydekick on Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:27 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:04 pm UTC

capefeather wrote:Because you're not a psychopath? At least I'm presuming you're not a psychopath.

lgw's response is trying to say that altruism is good for one's self-interest, but I think that that's a self-defeating argument. Is it that hard to believe that people have empathy and therefore act in ways that are beneficial to others rather than themselves?

I think that is Gedatsu's point: that thinking egoism is false is different from thinking that egoism requires you to consider how well-off other people are. Gedatsu is criticizing one particular argument, but not (so far) claiming that there is no reason to care about others.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby endolith » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:06 pm UTC

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


because humans are a social species and evolved to care about the well-being of other humans?

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Kit. » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:12 pm UTC

capefeather wrote:(Yes, I know Hitler was a Christian. That's the point.)

So much for Klear's efforts...

But I digress.

Gedatsu wrote:As the Iterated Prisoner's dilemma shows, one can often derive the most personal gain by cooperating with others. What I am asking is why, instead of maximizing my own benefit, I should maximize the total benefit, if that implies my own will be somewhat less as a result. In absolute numbers.

I'm not going to claim that you should maximize the total benefit, but just to mention that you are more likely to be born in a society that will coax you into believing in "your own benefit" that is better aligned with its total benefit - or will neutralize your detrimental effect on its own total benefit by making you a subject of the Prisoner's dilemma.

Because such societies are more likely to survive.

Gedatsu wrote:None of the society-improving technological progress made so far would ever have happened if it didn't explicitly benefit the inventor.

That's quite a bold claim.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby learsfool » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:13 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
learsfool wrote:Currently nobody chooses their nationality, nor what economic or governmental systems they contribute to.


Not true. It just takes a while and is expensive.

How to become an American citizen.

That's hardly the 'freedom to choose' I was alluding to.

Also, what if one prefers to be something OTHER than an American Citizen? Suppose they want a fairer economic system or are opposed to a government that spends so much on their military?

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Mikeski » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:17 pm UTC

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

Because you're not a psychopath? At least I'm presuming you're not a psychopath.

lgw's response is trying to say that altruism is good for one's self-interest, but I think that that's a self-defeating argument. Is it that hard to believe that people have empathy and therefore act in ways that are beneficial to others rather than themselves?

You've answered your own question. People who don't feel good when being altruistic (have no empathy, are "psychopaths") aren't likely to be altruistic. (Though a bad Hollywood mastermind type might think "no one would suspect the guy whose name is on all the orphanages of being the serial killer"...)

Being altruistic is in your own self-interest, whether that's because you're a Very Nice Guy who feels all warm & fuzzy when he donates to charity (and that may have other psychosomatic health benefits beyond what you could gain spending that money on yourself), or because you're a Big Weiner Head who wants to show off his largesse in front of others. (Or because you're a pure starve-the-beast libertarian who'd rather have the tax writeoff than the money, or because your reward will be greater in Heaven, or possibly some other reason.)

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Gedatsu » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:18 pm UTC

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

Because you're not a psychopath? At least I'm presuming you're not a psychopath.

lgw's response is trying to say that altruism is good for one's self-interest, but I think that that's a self-defeating argument. Is it that hard to believe that people have empathy and therefore act in ways that are beneficial to others rather than themselves?

I think people have empathy because it serves their self-interest. I think that when people act in ways that are beneficial to others, it is because they are also acting in ways that are beneficial to themselves. I don't think people would act in ways beneficial to others, if it did not provide any benefit to themselves whatsoever, or if they did not at least subconsciously expect that it would.

Keep in mind that personal benefit includes intangible and/or indirect things such as favors owed or future reciprocation, as well as status or goodwill earned.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby wiserd911 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:19 pm UTC

BlitzGirl wrote:That's true. Faces are not very good arguments.


Reductio prima facie?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prima_facie

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby endolith » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:22 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:Being altruistic is in your own self-interest, whether that's because you're a Very Nice Guy who feels all warm & fuzzy when he donates to charity (and that may have other psychosomatic health benefits beyond what you could gain spending that money on yourself), or because you're a Big Weiner Head who wants to show off his largesse in front of others.


or because you're showing off to potential mates that you have a surplus of fitness and natural resources at your disposal

http://www.amazon.com/The-Mating-Mind-S ... 038549517X

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Thesh » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:22 pm UTC

Klear wrote:Couldn't the same be said of any ideology, say, Marxism? (hah! dodged a Godwin there) I mean, Communism as such is was a pretty neat idea before it was kinda... tested experimentally. Nowadays we have enough empirical evidence to safely proclaim today's followers of such doctrines as lunatics.


The only place communism was ever tested was in tribal societies, which were quite successful.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby endolith » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:26 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:The only place communism was ever tested was in tribal societies, which were quite successful.


Acts 4:32-35 New International Version (NIV)

The Believers Share Their Possessions

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Kit. » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:30 pm UTC

endolith wrote:or because you're showing off to potential mates that you have a surplus of fitness and natural resources at your disposal

Which is not necessarily in your best interests as of a rationally-minded person.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby BlitzGirl » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:31 pm UTC

wiserd911 wrote:
BlitzGirl wrote:That's true. Faces are not very good arguments.

Reductio prima facie?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prima_facie

Pardon me while I flashback to high school policy debate. That's what comes to mind whenever I hear that phrase.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby endolith » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:32 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
endolith wrote:or because you're showing off to potential mates that you have a surplus of fitness and natural resources at your disposal

Which is not necessarily in your best interests as of a rationally-minded person.

huh?

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:33 pm UTC

Gedatsu wrote:I think people have empathy because it serves their self-interest. I think that when people act in ways that are beneficial to others, it is because they are also acting in ways that are beneficial to themselves. I don't think people would act in ways beneficial to others, if it did not provide any benefit to themselves whatsoever, or if they did not at least subconsciously expect that it would.

Keep in mind that personal benefit includes intangible and/or indirect things such as favors owed or future reciprocation, as well as status or goodwill earned.
What about the simple pleasure of acting in another's interest?

This is something that's often missed by the perspective you're discussing: That there's a certain pleasure people find in the very act of doing a good deed; that no further reciporcation -- expected or otherwise -- is necessary for the good deed to have value to them. Sometimes, I like to give money anonymously; sometimes, I do a good deed and don't tell anyone I did it.

How does this benefit my status? How does this add to any good will?

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Mikeski » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:36 pm UTC

endolith wrote:
Kit. wrote:
endolith wrote:or because you're showing off to potential mates that you have a surplus of fitness and natural resources at your disposal

Which is not necessarily in your best interests as of a rationally-minded person.

huh?

I believe he was sayin', and I apologize for quoting a terrible show, "bitches be crazy".

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby obfpen » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:40 pm UTC

Gedatsu wrote:What I am asking is why, instead of maximizing my own benefit, I should maximize the total benefit, if that implies my own will be somewhat less as a result.

There are plenty of answers—and you've had a few—but I get the feeling you want something rational rather than the emotional/morality-driven if-you-don't-care-about-others,-you're-an-asshole, society-driven response. So:—

Insurance typically involves reducing your own benefit somewhat now in return for a guarantee against a significant loss that may occur in the future. Helping out society as a whole can be seen as equivalent to taking out an insurance policy, albeit one without a formal contract.

There's something else to be said for the if-you-don't-care-about-others-then-you're-an-asshole option, though. Most people place a value on how others view them. The exchange rate varies between individuals, however.

Gedatsu wrote:I don't think people would act in ways beneficial to others, if it did not provide any benefit to themselves whatsoever

Then you are wrong. I'm a regular blood donor. I'm interested in what you think the benefit to me is, because blood loss is generally considered not to be beneficial.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby learsfool » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:42 pm UTC

Gedatsu wrote:As the Iterated Prisoner's dilemma shows, one can often derive the most personal gain by cooperating with others. What I am asking is why, instead of maximizing my own benefit, I should maximize the total benefit, if that implies my own will be somewhat less as a result.

See, we need to let those of us who don't think that way to be able to have place where we're free from the influence of those who do.

In absolute numbers. None of the society-improving technological progress made so far would ever have happened if it didn't explicitly benefit the inventor.

Actually, as one of those who's done a bit of invention and creation, my best moments were generally when I was simply financially stable but had a problem that I saw needed solving and had the opportunity, autonomy, and ability to make it happen. . . never when I was worried about personal benefit. Heck, in probably more than half the cases I was taking a risk that could have a negative impact on me but I did it regardless.

This fits in with actual science that is available to us now but Ms. Rand was unaware of, and is more applicable to the real world than game theory.

http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html

So . . . yeah, we're doing it wrong.


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