Saturday, September 15, 2012

Notre Dame at MSU

vs. Notre Dame
Day: Saturday
Date: Sept. 15, 2012
Location: East Lansing, Mich.
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
No. 10 Spartans Take On No. 20 Notre Dame In Prime-Time Showdown

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Mass Presidential Knife Fight To the Death (and Panel Discussion)

My colleague R.B Probst linked via Facebook to a wondrous and magnificent blog entry about the concept of a "Mass Knife Fight to the Death" involving every President of the United States in American history. (This was based on a Reddit thread that I never bothered to read and I doubt I will). The general consensus is that the end of it, the final three Presidents would be Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, and Abraham Lincoln. Most who read this pick Jackson as the last one standing. The scenario is as follows:
  • Every president is in the best physical and mental condition they were ever in throughout the course of their presidency. Fatal maladies have been cured, but any lifelong conditions or chronic illnesses (e.g. FDR’s polio) remain.
  • The presidents are fighting in an ovular arena 287 feet long and 180 feet wide (the dimensions of the [1] Roman Colosseum). The floor is concrete. Assume that weather is not a factor.
  • Each president has been given one standard-issue [2] Gerber LHR Combat Knife , the knife [3] presented to each graduate of the United States Army Special Forces Qualification Course. Assume the presidents have no training outside any combat experiences they may have had in their own lives.
  • There is no penalty for avoiding combat for an extended period of time. Hiding and/or playing dead could be valid strategies, but there can be only one winner. The melee will go on as long as it needs to.
  • FDR has been outfitted with a [4] Bound Plus H-Frame Power Wheelchair, and can travel at a maximum speed of around 11.5 MPH. The wheelchair has been customized so that he is holding his knife with his dominant hand. This is to compensate for his almost certain and immediate defeat in the face of an overwhelming disadvantage.
  • Each president will be deposited in the arena regardless of their own will to fight, however, personal ethics, leadership ability, tactical expertise etc., should all be taken into account. Alliances are allowed.
Now I have read the blog entry and aside from the last three standing I disagree necessarily about who will go down in what order, in part because FaceInTheBlue is unfamiliar with John F. Kennedy's near-debilitating back injury and the fact that Abraham Lincoln was physically powerful and loved a good tussle.
Now I have skimmed the comments of the blog entry. I loved what Mr Probst had to say although I recall little in the way of discussion. I know Radley Balko posted it on his Faceboo and the exchange was less awesome than one would hope. Just before Mr Balko posted the link to his I arranged a Panel Disccusion!

The panelists include Brian Koss, Jonathan Farley, Darrin Moore, and Chuck Dixon.
  • Brian Koss, is a Republican political activist, philosopher, generally described as a happy warrior. His favorite American president is Andrew Jackson, a man that has bears very few similarities with the modern members of his Party. His kind of Democrat is the sort of political partisan that modern Democrats scorn and modern Republicans wish they were on their best day. I say all of that despite some occasional evil committed on his part.
  • Jonathan Farley is a Navy veteran, foreign policy maven and historical wunderkind. His favorite American President is Theodore Roosevelt and knows and understands far more about Teddy Roosevelt than Glenn Beck ever will, including why Teddy Roosevelt is to be praised and respected. 
  • Darrin Moore is co-founder out of the New Centurions, bent and determined to carry on the work and legacy of Russell Kirk. His ultimate intention is to better Americans' understanding of Conservatism so that we do not take our own First Principles for granted. 
  • The final panelist is Chuck Dixon. Mr Dixon is an action writer. His usual chosen medium is comic books. He created Bane, the character that broke Batman's back in the early nineties, as well as the antagonist of the film The Dark Knight Rises. His knowledge of war, warriors, tactics, and violent American Presidents is not to be underestimated. He was one of the key Batman writers in the last twenty years; he has written Airboy; he currently writes G.I. Joe for IDW.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln would be the final survivor. Typically people lean towards Roosevelt and Jackson because Teddy was the consummate warrior and Jackson is a deadly and somewhat murderous savage. It is important to recall that at the time of his Presidency Teddy Roosevelt was the youngest of the Presidents of the United States and thus closer to his physical prime than Andrew Jackson, who was in his seventies when he was in the office.
The Panelists' interjections were short; busy weekend I suppose.

Brian Koss:
No question in my mind it comes down to Andrew Jackson and Teddy Roosevelt!
Darrin Moore:
Reagan would turn the knife-fight into a gunfight, start an arms race that would bankrupt the others, so that all he had to do to was bitchslap them and they'd commit suicide.
Jonathan Farley:
This is a tough call. Ok, so as much as it pains me to say, I think I have to give it to Jackson. He killed more people (if memory serves) and he got drunk and burned a tavern down. But it's a close call.
Chuck Dixon came later, and I think I persuaded him:
I'd go with Lincoln. He was probably proficient with a knife and certainly (as a former Indian fighter) not afraid of a fight with blades. And reach is everything.
Mr Moore does not quite stick to the parameters of the conflict. That said his assessment of President Reagan's character is accurate.

Ultimately I would say that Abraham Lincoln will win because he was a strong and powerful scrapper, but mostly because even in his Presidency he was not merely lanky but strong nad tall. He had reach. If we are talking a knife fight then the man with the longest arms would defeat Teddy Roosevelt and even the most savage Andrew Jackson, whose biggest handicap would be his age. I hope at a later time I can parse out with more detail. I believe that the Presidents Bush would go far, as well as President Washington, but this may be an analysis for later. To say Lincoln would win rests on the idea that reach is everything.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Dystopic Posthuman Automotivity

This reminds me of something.
Google's self-driving autos are the first step towards the post-human, autonomous vehicle dystopia envisioned by Pixar's CARS. Seriously, watch the movies... They have sidewalks! Humans ONCE roamed those streets, until the sentient cars consumed them for biofuel. Like the Cylons, the cars took certain characteristics of their human creators, but were still merciless in wiping them out. Hence the "faces" and the desire for romantic love. And the vestigal organs like doors.
-- Joshua Elder, August 19, 2012

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Mike Huckabee on DNC2012 calling out GOP Nazis

Mike Huckabee hits his stride early in the day:
The Chairman of California’s Democratic Party, John Burton, was the first at their convention to call Republicans Nazis. He compared Paul Ryan to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels at a breakfast before the convention even began. Now, a top Kansas delegate has already one-upped him. She told a reporter that when Republicans say voter ID laws are to prevent voter fraud, not suppress minorities, that, quote: “It’s like Hitler said, if you’re going to tell a lie, tell a big lie.” So now, the name-calling has escalated from Goebbels to Hitler -- and it’s only day two! You know, they really need to learn to start out a little lower with the scurrilous name-calling. Now, all that’s left is to call Mitt Romney Satan on Wednesday, and that leaves them no place worse to go on Thursday. They might actually be forced to talk about how their own policies have worked out. And avoiding that is the whole reason that politicians call their opponents Nazis in the first place.

Kobus on DNC2012 voter fraud

I think the most ironic part of the Democratic Convention is two-fold. #1: The Democratic Party subverted the democratic process by ramming through platform changes even though the voice vote of credentialed delegates was opposed to the change. #2: For the party that claims there is no voter fraud, they blatantly committed voter fraud in full view with that same 'vote'.
-- Chris Kobus, 2012-09-06

Policy Continuity and Continuity Revision, Retroactive continuity

Travis Norton on President Clinton's Democrat National Convention 2012 speech:
Okay folks, I had enough of Bill Clinton's revised economic history speech. In economic terms, the 1990s was a decade that loosened banking regulations and allowed "fractional reserve lending to rapidly grow from 10 to 1, to 100 to 1, and then to over 1,000 to 1." It's now 10,000 to 1. What does this mean? It means the Federal government pumped trillions of dollars into the economy, allowed for more student loans, home loans, and gave the US economy a brief bump of prosperity. Then in 2007...well we all know how that ended the fairy tale economy.

Basically President Clinton raised the credit limit on America's credit card knowing damn well that America's economy wouldn't even be able to pay the minimum monthly balance, hence the US Government currently borrowing more money each month just to pay off it's debt. Imagine using a credit card to pay the monthly minimum payment on another credit card. CRAZY, HUH!

So when you hear the Democrats advocating to increase America's credit card limit for more student loans and mortgages, be scared. Very, very scared
I did not see the speech. I imagine there is a bit of continuity revision. There are two points to make derived from this analysis, if not the speech.

The first is that we should see all of this less as history and more as continuity because we are talking about policy more than human events. Bills passed lead into laws for following administration.

The second point is that these employees of ours, as Clint Eastwood said, are stewards of wealth and resources and power. Certain politicians see the power as theirs and the choices as theirs. In the end they report that they made stuff happen, regardless of whose property was wielded to make stuff happen. The other kind see it as their responsibility but not their material.

Addressing the first point, only briefly, the simple fact is that a bill passed into law under one administration leads into events occurring "under the watch" of another.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Joe Biden does not think very much of his mother

This is from a Barack Obama Presidential campaign social media site.

I am going to assume that Vice-President Biden actually said this and his phrase "it's just that simple" is not how he refers to himself in the third person.
Here is my quick-dash response to it on left-wing counterpart Chad Guerrant's Facebook wall:
What a nasty thing to say about your own mother. Also telling that he wouldn't help his mother and the choices in his head are "government" or "mom is on her own and screwed"
Yes, Joe Biden did indicate that his own mother is incompetent, whether it be addled by age or simply addled by Joe Biden it is difficult to say.

Humor aside the Leftist message is that our citizens reach a point where their faculties decline at an automatic age point and thus 'the freedom to make a difficult choice' is suddenly less virtuous to have than the 'freedom from making a difficult choice'. That is one sample of the Essence of Leftism in contrast to the Right. The Right raises as one of its highest to tenets "freedom to" and the Left embraces "freedom from".

As I noted before Joe indicated he will not help his mother. It is never strictly implied whether he was too busy or she had simply outlived him; I bet the latter.

The Left is very quick and insistent to claim that if the Federal Government, the highest level of government and bureaucracy, is not directing, determining, and "helping" you with very specific details of the difficult parts of the life of the common individual citizen, that individual citizen will be alone and as a result be in trouble. In this paradigm there are no loved ones to help an individual divine the best plans or devices. This paradigm especially dismisses the presence of a community or more local level of government, eschewing all sorts of helpful interaction with the real citizen, insisting that only the highest hand of human power is between the hypothetical elderly and destitution.

That really says that either Joe Biden and his fellows think so little of the American spirit of Generosity OR that these Leftists wish to dissuade you from helping others as an individual effort of your own free will.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

from Socrates to Aristotle (explained by someone else)

When I was a nineteen-year-old would-be philosopher I was among many students that went through Martin Zinman's introductory course on western political philosophy. I hope it was Dr Zinman's course; otherwise my memory betrays me. I any case it was how James Madison College presented the descendent nature of western political philosophy that informed one of my own dogmas: that each line of thought or system of thought, or thinker, is descended intellectually from a specific influence or certain influences, as those were from another. In other words, one idea led to another and then another. These ideas were either derived from their prior philosophers' or made in response to those philosophies. Unfortunately the course did not, according to memory, give further memetic links from Aristotle to the present day. Likely such a task would have been impossible given such a short time. Although it is this approach to tracking the history of a given a track of philosophy that attracts me to Russell Kirk, as he studied and explained the history of Conservative thought in his The Conservative Mind, and Jonah Goldberg for his Liberal Fascism. Mr Goldberg's work appealed to me as he constructed a compelling argument that modern American leftist thought was directly influenced by European fascism and that Conservative philosophers and philosophies lacked the corresponding links. In either case I leave it to Steven Kreis's The History Guide to explain how Socrates leads to Aristotle.

Further details about SocratesFrom the ranks of the Sophists came SOCRATES (c.469-399 B.C.), perhaps the most noble and wisest Athenian to have ever lived. He was born sometime in 469, we don't know for sure. What we do know is that his father was Sophroniscus, a stone cutter, and his mother, Phaenarete, was a midwife. Sophroniscus was a close friend of the son of Aristides the Just (c.550-468 B.C.), and the young Socrates was familiar with members of the circle of Pericles. In his youth he fought as a hoplite at Potidaea (432-429), Delium (424) and Amphipolis (422) during the Peloponnesian Wars. To be sure, his later absorption in philosophy made him neglect his private affairs and he eventually fell to a level of comparative poverty. He was perhaps more in love with the study of philosophy than with his family -- that his wife Xanthippe was shrew is a later tale. In Plato's dialogue, the Crito, we meet a Socrates concerned with the future of his three sons. Just the same, his entire life was subordinated to "the supreme art of philosophy." He was a good citizen but held political office only once – he was elected to the Council of Five Hundred in 406 B.C. In Plato's Apology, Socrates remarks that:
The true champion if justice, if he intends to survive even for a short time, must necessarily confine himself to private life and leave politics alone.
What we can be sure about Socrates was that he was remarkable for living the life he preached. Taking no fees, Socrates started and dominated an argument wherever the young and intelligent would listen, and people asked his advice on matters of practical conduct and educational problems.
Socrates was not an attractive man -- he was snub-nosed, prematurely bald, and overweight. But, he was strong in body and the intellectual master of every one with whom he came into contact. The Athenian youth flocked to his side as he walked the paths of the agora. They clung to his every word and gesture. He was not a Sophist himself, but a philosopher, a lover of wisdom.

In 399 B.C., Socrates was charged with impiety by a jury of five hundred of his fellow citizens. His most famous student, Plato, tells us, that he was charged "as an evil-doer and curious person, searching into things under the earth and above the heavens; and making the worse appear the better cause, and teaching all this to others." He was convicted to death by a margin of six votes. Oddly enough, the jury offered Socrates the chance to pay a small fine for his impiety. He rejected it. He also rejected the pleas of Plato and other students who had a boat waiting for him at Piraeus that would take him to freedom. But Socrates refused to break the law. What kind of citizen would he be if he refused to accept the judgment of the jury? No citizen at all. He spent his last days with his friends before he drank the fatal dose of hemlock.

The charge made against Socrates -- disbelief in the state's gods -- implied un-Athenian activities which would corrupt the young and the state if preached publicly. Meletus, the citizen who brought the indictment, sought precedents in the impiety trials of Pericles' friends. Although Socrates was neither a heretic nor an agnostic, there was prejudice against him. He also managed to provoke hostility. For instance, the Delphic oracle is said to have told Chaerephon that no man was wiser than Socrates. During his trial Socrates had the audacity to use this as a justification of his examination of the conduct of all Athenians, claiming that in exposing their falsehoods, he had proved the god right -- he at least knew that he knew nothing. Although this episode smacks of Socrates' well-known irony, he clearly did believe that his mission was divinely inspired.

Socrates has been described as a gadfly -- a first-class pain. The reason why this charge is somewhat justified is that he challenged his students to think for themselves – to use their minds to answer questions. He did not reveal answers. He did not reveal truth. Many of his questions were, on the surface, quite simple: what is courage? what is virtue? what is duty? But what Socrates discovered, and what he taught his students to discover, was that most people could not answer these fundamental questions to his satisfaction, yet all of them claimed to be courageous, virtuous and dutiful. So, what Socrates knew, was that he knew nothing, upon this sole fact lay the source of his wisdom. Socrates was not necessarily an intelligent man – but he was a wise man. And there is a difference between the two.


Plato ResourcesSocrates wrote nothing himself. What we know of him comes from the writings of two of his closest friends, Xenophon and Plato. Although Xenophon (c.430-c.354 B.C.) did write four short portraits of Socrates, it is almost to Plato alone that we know anything of Socrates. PLATO (c.427-347 B.C.) came from a family of aristoi, served in the Peloponnesian War, and was perhaps Socrates' most famous student. He was twenty-eight years old when Socrates was put to death. At the age of forty, Plato established a school at Athens for the education of Athenian youth. The Academy, as it was called, remained in existence from 387 B.C. to A.D. 529, when it was closed by Justinian, the Byzantine emperor.

Our knowledge of Socrates comes to us from numerous dialogues which Plato wrote after 399. In nearly every dialogue – and there are more than thirty that we know about – Socrates is the main speaker. The style of the Plato's dialogue is important – it is the Socratic style that he employs throughout. A Socratic dialogue takes the form of question-answer, question-answer, question-answer. It is a dialectical style as well. Socrates would argue both sides of a question in order to arrive at a conclusion. Then that conclusion is argued against another assumption and so on. Perhaps it is not that difficult to understand why Socrates was considered a gadfly!

There is a reason why Socrates employed this style, as well as why Plato recorded his experience with Socrates in the form of a dialogue. Socrates taught Plato a great many things, but one of the things Plato more or less discovered on his own was that mankind is born with knowledge. That is, knowledge is present in the human mind at birth. It is not so much that we "learn" things in our daily experience, but that we "recollect" them. In other words, this knowledge is already there. This may explain why Socrates did not give his students answers, but only questions. His job was not to teach truth but to show his students how they could "pull" truth out of their own minds (it is for this reason that Socrates often considered himself a midwife in the labor of knowledge). And this is the point of the dialogues. For only in conversation, only in dialogue, can truth and wisdom come to the surface.
Plato's greatest and most enduring work was his lengthy dialogue, The Republic. This dialogue has often been regarded as Plato's blueprint for a future society of perfection. I do not accept this opinion. Instead, I would like to suggest that The Republic is not a blueprint for a future society, but rather, is a dialogue which discusses the education necessary to produce such a society. It is an education of a strange sort – he called it paideia. Nearly impossible to translate into modern idiom, paideia refers to the process whereby the physical, mental and spiritual development of the individual is of paramount importance. It is the education of the total individual.

The Republic discusses a number of topics including the nature of justice, statesmanship, ethics and the nature of politics. It is in The Republic that Plato suggests that democracy was little more than a "charming form of government." And this he is writing less than one hundred years after the brilliant age of Periclean democracy. So much for democracy. After all, it was Athenian democracy that convicted Socrates. For Plato, the citizens are the least desirable participants in government. Instead, a philosopher-king or guardian should hold the reigns of power. An aristocracy if you will – an aristocracy of the very best – the best of the aristoi.

Plato's Republic also embodies one of the clearest expressions of his theory of knowledge. In The Republic, Plato asks what is knowledge? what is illusion? what is reality? how do we know? what makes a thing, a thing? what can we know? These are epistemological questions – that is, they are questions about knowledge itself. He distinguishes between the reality presented to us by our senses – sight, touch, taste, sound and smell – and the essence or Form of that reality. In other words, reality is always changing – knowledge of reality is individual, it is particular, it is knowledge only to the individual knower, it is not universal.

Building upon the wisdom of Socrates and Parmenides, Plato argued that reality is known only through the mind. There is a higher world, independent of the world we may experience through our senses. Because the senses may deceive us, it is necessary that this higher world exist, a world of Ideas or Forms -- of what is unchanging, absolute and universal. In other words, although there may be something from the phenomenal world which we consider beautiful or good or just, Plato postulates that there is a higher unchanging reality of the beautiful, goodness or justice. To live in accordance with these universal standards is the good life -- to grasp the Forms is to grasp ultimate truth.
The unphilosophical man – that is, all of us – is at the mercy of sense impressions and unfortunately, our sense impressions oftentimes fail us. Our senses deceive us. But because we trust our senses, we are like prisoners in a cave – we mistake shadows on a wall for reality. This is the central argument of Plato's ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE which appears in Book VII of The Republic.

Plato realized that the Athenian state, and along with it, Athenian direct democracy, had failed to realize its lofty ideals. Instead, the citizens sent Socrates to his death and direct democracy had failed. The purpose of The Republic was something of a warning to all Athenians that without respect for law, leadership and a sound education for the young, their city would continue to decay. Plato wanted to rescue Athens from degeneration by reviving that sense of community that had at one time made the polis great. The only way to do this, Plato argued, was to give control over to the Philosopher-Kings, men who had philosophical knowledge, and to give little more than "noble lies" to everyone else. The problem as Plato saw it was that power and wisdom had traveled divergent paths -- his solution was to unite them in the guise of the Philosopher-King.


Aristotle ResourcesPlato's most famous student was ARISTOTLE (384-322 B.C.). His father was the personal physician to Philip of Macedon and Aristotle was, for a time at least, the personal tutor of Alexander the Great. Aristotle styled himself a biologist – he is said to have spent his honeymoon collecting specimens at the seashore. He too was charged with impiety, but fled rather than face the charges – I suppose that tells you something about Aristotle.

At the age of eighteen, Aristotle became the student at the Academy of Plato (who was then sixty years of age). Aristotle also started his own school, the Lyceum in 335 B.C. It too was closed by Justinian in A.D. 529. Aristotle was a "polymath" – he knew a great deal about nearly everything. Very little of Aristotle's writings remain extant. But his students recorded nearly everything he discussed at the Lyceum. In fact, the books to which Aristotle's name is attributed are really little more than student notebooks. This may account for the fact that Aristotle's philosophy is one of the more difficult to digest.

Regardless, Aristotle lectured on astronomy, physics, logic, aesthetics, music, drama, tragedy, poetry, zoology, ethics and politics. The one field in which he did not excel was mathematics. Plato, on the other hand, was a master of geometry.

As a scientist, Aristotle's epistemology is perhaps closer to our own. For Aristotle did not agree with Plato that there is an essence or Form or Absolute behind every object in the phenomenal world. I suppose you could argue that Aristotle came from the Jack Webb school of epistemology – "nothing but the facts, Mam." Or, as one historian has put it: "The point is, that an elephant, when present, is noticed." In other words, whereas Plato suggested that man was born with knowledge, Aristotle argued that knowledge comes from experience. And there, in the space of just a few decades, we have the essence of those two philosophical traditions which have occupied the western intellectual tradition for the past 2500 years. Rationalism – knowledge is a priori (comes before experience) and Empiricism – knowledge is a posteriori (comes after experience).

It is almost fitting that one of Plato's greatest students ought to have also been his greatest critics. Like Democritus, Aristotle had confidence in sense perception. As a result, he had little patience with Plato's higher world of the Forms. However, Aristotle argued that there were universal principles but that they are derived from experience. He could not accept, as had Plato, that there was a world of Forms beyond space and time. Aristotle argued that that there were Forms and Absolutes, but that they resided in the thing itself. From our experience with horses, for instance, we can deduce the essence of "horseness." This universal, as it had been for Plato, was the true object of human knowledge.

It perhaps goes without saying that the western intellectual tradition, as well as the history of western philosophy, must begin with an investigation of ancient Greek thought. From Thales and the matter philosophers to the empiricism of Aristotle, the Greeks passed on to the west a spirit of rational inquiry that is very much our own intellectual property. And while we may never think of Plato or Aristotle as we carry on in our daily lives, it was their inquiry into knowledge that has served as the foundation for all subsequent inquiries. Indeed, many have argued with W. H. Auden that "had Greek civilization never existed we would never have become fully conscious, which is to say that we would never have become, for better or worse, fully human."

Did Rand derive her law of identity from Aristotle?

I'm hardly a Randian scholar.

Some would say that I am barely a scholar at all. This blog is never about me.

I have heard that Rand derived much of her ideas from Aristotelian or Aristotelean thought. I cannot prove or disprove it. As stated my familiarity with Objectivism is through various ideas floated around Steve Ditko and Ayn Rand. Most of what I have read confirms my knowledge that Objectivism rejects the notion of unseen spiritual worlds, that we can only deal with the world(s) that we can detect or discern using whatever tools are at our disposal. The other basic element that is relevant to me is that a healthy individual acts in the proper self-interest of that individual. A facet of that basic element is that individuals should not bare the interests of strangers on their own backs, nor should they force their own interests upon the backs of others.

Most people like to frame Randian Objectivism as simply license to be a selfish jerk but in light of the libertarian notion of not using force to finance your ideas with another person's resources it seems rather benign.

I have not finished my research regarding Ayn Rand. I may never.

Now I read that "A is A", the law of identity is a tenet derived from Aristotle. That is difficult for me to confirm directly, easily, or simply from my experience.

Back in 2000 or 2001 standard reading from James Madison College was Aristotle and his work Politics.

What we were taught, and this informs my understanding of how political philosophy works, is that philosophers tend to beget other philosophers, philosophically if not genetically speaking. Socrates inspired Plato. Plato taught Aristotle. Aristotle is a father of logic and political philosophy as we know it. Socrates wrote nothing. But he was a character in Plato's work, The Republic. Aristotle wrote Politics. Many philosophers for thousands of years take off from there, some directly, and many taking their lead from others that took from others that eventually took from Aristotle. Given that it is not unreasonable to state that Ayn Rand incorporated Aristotelian thought into her doctrine. How Rand incorporated it is my question. But the last time I studied Aristotle, and this was his published stuff, was ten years ago. So I have limited direct research of one philosopher's writings and limited memory and research of another's and I am attempting to find a link between the two? And I wanted to do it quickly and shortly? That is madness!

My research and readings suggest that it lies in "Metaphysics" but I have my doubts.

NEXT: I reprint someone else's research regarding Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

NEXT in my series on Aristotle and Aristotelian thought -- I attempt to parse just what the philosopher meant by "Logic".

Monday, September 03, 2012

Can you hear these 170 Clint Eastwood quotes?

Because I can't!

Clint Eastwood speaks at the 2012 Republican National Convention

others' words work

I am aware that the past posts for a certain period of time are merely others' work instead of my own. I'm building something here.

Longer Randian quoteable regarding Identity


To exist is to be something, as distinguished from the nothing of non-existence, it is to be an entity of a specific nature made of specific attributes. Centuries ago, the man who was—no matter what his errors—the greatest of your philosophers, has stated the formula defining the concept of existence and the rule of all knowledge: A is A. A thing is itself. You have never grasped the meaning of his statement. I am here to complete it: Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification.
Whatever you choose to consider, be it an object, an attribute or an action, the law of identity remains the same. A leaf cannot be a stone at the same time, it cannot be all red and all green at the same time, it cannot freeze and burn at the same time. A is A. Or, if you wish it stated in simpler language: You cannot have your cake and eat it, too.
Are you seeking to know what is wrong with the world? All the disasters that have wrecked your world, came from your leaders’ attempt to evade the fact that A is A. All the secret evil you dread to face within you and all the pain you have ever endured, came from your own attempt to evade the fact that A is A. The purpose of those who taught you to evade it, was to make you forget that Man is Man.
from For The New Intellectual

Randian quoteable concerning identity

"James you ought to discover some day that words have an exact meaning."

--  Fransisco d'Anconia

from Atlas Shrugged

Ronald Reagan and the oranges

As the 1980 presidential campaign wound down, Ronald Reagan got into the habit of rolling oranges down the main aisle of the press section of his aircraft.

One of the reporters mentioned to Reagan that he may soon have to start autographing the oranges.

Reagan assured the reporters he'd have plenty of time, arguing that: "once I've cancelled social security and started the war, what else is there to do?"