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Atlas Shrugged - Where are we right now? Pretty near end

Posted by $ jbrenner 2 weeks, 5 days ago to News
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Family members (particularly descendants) of producers turn into looters and moochers (i.e. the Reardens & Francisco d'Anconia during his shrug) - check, long ago
The rising up of Wesley Mouches and Orren Boyles - check, long ago
The Non-Commercial (government, particularly the State Science Institute, and non-profits good; for-profit companies bad) - check, long ago
Academia (except me) going toward anti-Objectivist philosophy and toward looting and mooching from government - check, long ago
"Great" philosophers (with rare exceptions like Hugh Akston) become anti-thought - check, long ago
Collapse of energy production after Wyatts and Danaggers leave - for coal producers, check during Obama era; for natural gas producers, check earlier this year when price of oil actually went negative for a few days!
The Aristocracy of Pull - my entire lifetime
White Blackmail - for a while, but never more than right now
The Sanction of the Victim - for quite a long time, but never more than now
Account Overdrawn - for quite a long time, but in 2008 and 2020, this became obscene!
Miracle Metal - The modern parallel to this is the posting of every technology, but most particularly 3D printing, that should be capitalized upon on the Internet.
The Moratorium on Brains - definitely are seeing that right now
Anti-Smoking (from The Sign of the Dollar chapter) - That happened over a decade ago.
The Utopia of Greed - Entitlement to my money defines today's party of looters and moochers. That has been persistent, but the Green New Deal really takes the cake in this respect.
Anti-Greed - Rioters OK, people who want to go back to work bad. Check.
Anti-Life - You must stay locked up in your house due to the pandemic. Check.
Your Brothers' Keeper - "We are all in this together." - the mantra for this year. Check.

I think we are getting close to the end, but the reason that Atlas Shrugged is over 1100 pages is because, just when it seems like things couldn't get any worse, ... they do.


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  • Posted by term2 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    AR wrote what she thought would happen if collectivism became mainstream. It HAS, and her predictions are coming truer day by day.

    The issue now for us is what sort of horror shows will happen specifically in the future and what can we do (if anything) to insulate ourselves from the bad effects. This is THE issue of the day, IMHO.
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  • Posted by KevinSchwinkendorf 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    Brilliant list of current conditions. Where are we with respect to the book? As I remember, it was the second-to-the-last page where all the lights went out (the electrical grid collapsed) because of all the fires, and there was nobody left to put them out or to repair the damage. President Thomson's lights then went out and he couldn't (or wouldn't) understand why. American cities are now burning. If these riots spread (and they WILL - until they are PUT DOWN!) its only a matter of time. The last page claimed that all those who were "on strike" and hiding out in the Gulch would return to the world and rebuild things according to their image. In the "real world" who will rebuild?
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  • Posted by $ mshupe 2 weeks, 5 days ago
    These are great examples, but didn't we see this in the 1960s? The novel is no longer non-fiction except for one thing, the men of the mind are not going on strike anytime soon. I think what's really happening is that society is becoming overwhelmed with mindless thugs, products of government schools and media.
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    • Posted by term2 2 weeks, 4 days ago
      The 'strike" was accentuated in AS in terms of a few very notable people.
      What we see today is that an increasing number of people, individually not as important as the ones in AS, are just pulling back and not trying as hard as they might have, or switching to more menial and unimportant jobs.

      I can tell you that I used to design and manufacture medical devices, but I made a specific decision in the early 90's to sell off what I had done to the big companies and get out of medical devices for good (once the FDA got their hooks into it). Thats one small instance of "striking". I started a small company in off road LED lighting which was unregulated. I havent seen a government inspector since that time, but there are NO new medical device ideas that come from me, probably forever.

      Multiply that by probably hundreds of people who have made similar decisions and its easier to see a current "strike" .

      This pandemic where certain industries were deemed "essential" (politically preferred), and the rest "non essential" shows the aristocracy of pull in action.

      My small company was deemed "essential" for some reason, so I got to stay open. If it had been deemed to be "non essential", we would have closed down and eliminated all employees forever in order to preserve whatever assets were there.

      The governor of Nevada, a true uneducated democratic idiot, just makes proclamations that we are supposed to just accept and follow. The latest is that nearly all of us need to wear masks while outside our houses or inside public or private businesses. He actually said the requirement was being delayed ONE day so businesses could get ready for it. How nice that HE says what business should adapt to and how fast they should adapt.

      This is getting close to a situation where more people will just make permanent changes in their lives, which in the aggregate could be considered a "strike".

      .
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      • Posted by $ 2 weeks, 4 days ago
        I am sort of like Quentin Daniels in that I teach at an "institute of technology". I am partly a biomedical engineer and am starting up a new company based on a range of UV LED (instead of the usual one lamp or LED) wavelengths to kill ALL pathogens.

        Today is the fifth anniversary of my mother's death due to a C. difficile infection. To kill C. diff, you need a shorter wavelength than the 254 nm used in home HVAC systems.

        We have built a modified Roomba to use UV LED's to clean floors, are building a sterilizer box that provides visual and/or spectroscopic validation of whatever is put inside it (originally meant to clean the Roombas), and have put together CAD drawings and wiring diagrams for a UV dry cleaning for hospital and lab coats, and with minimal modification, for grocery carts. For the "UV dry cleaning", we will need additional funding, hopefully from customers via crowdsourcing, but perhaps from additional investors who see the value in what I create (and definitely not from The State Science Institute or other looting governmental entities).

        I know that you just hinted that you are on strike, but if you would like to either a) be on my university program's advisory board or b) be an affiliate or investor in my company, contact me via private messaging. My university, Florida Tech, isn't quite the Patrick Henry University, but it is about as close as you are likely to find.

        In some respects, I am a bit like Dagny in that I have a hard time giving up on humanity, but I prefer to think that what I am doing is preparing for the return of the productive to society. I know that, in the past, I have wondered in this forum why would anyone return to society after the Atlas Shrugged complete collapse. Here, I admit my biggest contradiction, but probably not my only one. I enjoy producing and teaching others to produce so much that I have a remarkably hard time completely shrugging. If I were to not produce and teach others to produce, my mind and body would quickly atrophy to the point that life would no longer be worth living. Every time that I take a break of over a couple of days, I get sick!!
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        • Posted by term2 2 weeks, 4 days ago
          I too have a hard time not being creative and productive. I am a mechanical/electronic engineer ever since graduating from MIT years ago. I have started and sold a number of companies (except for the current one which makes LED lighting for offroad and industrial applications

          I left medical devices about 10 years ago for two reasons 1) the need for FDA approvals before you can sell a medical device. That can take a long time and is subject to the whims of the state science institute- making it mostly impractical from a money making standpoint, and 2) the fact that the company is always under the gun and can be shut down for simply not producing the item in accordance with FDA good manufacturing practices- you work years building it up, only to have it shut down because the FDA inspector doesnt like you.
          I am willing to help you out in terms of experience and advice at any time, or course.
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          • Posted by $ 2 weeks, 4 days ago
            FDA approval for my UV disinfection products would be a bonus, but hardly is necessary for what I plan to sell. If anyone here is good at frequency doubling, then I have a project for you. This sounds like a job for John Galt!
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  • Posted by edweaver 2 weeks, 5 days ago
    Ayn Rand had quite the insight on our times when she wrote AS. I have a weard feeling the worst is yet to come. I see no easy way out of what is happening. Our governor finally is calling up the national guard to protect " state property". He doesn't give a rats ass about all the private property that's been destroyed. Wisconsin is in trouble. We need a gulch.
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    • Posted by term2 2 weeks, 4 days ago
      I think the most important issue for us is to figure out just what IS coming in terms of reactions of our government (fed and state and local) to increasing violence, economic collapse, and attempts of citizens to insulate themselves from the government controls and directives.

      Obviously the dollar will depreciate due to federal reserve actions. The question is what will they do and how can we best insulate ourselves from the effects, and which of those things will be forbidden. For example, buying gold might be a good thing, but FDR forced citizens to sell their gold to the government at a low price under penalty of being a criminal if you kept it.
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      • Posted by $ 2 weeks, 4 days ago
        I have bought a significant amount of gold as an inflation hedge. If I become a criminal for keeping it, then so be it. When a society allows foreign national rotters to enter illegally but denies foreign nationals who proceed via a legal immigration process of mutual benefit, when a society allows rioters to wantonly destroy history when storeowners and other producers can't even re-open their businesses, when "news organizations" become lying propagandists, and someone who is obviously senile is leading presidential polls, that society is on a COVID-contaminated respirator.
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    • Posted by $ 2 weeks, 5 days ago
      Come join us in Melbourne, FL.

      You are in Wisconsin. There is a bastion of production left there. Today's American Motor Company pre-shrug is Generac. I can tell you why in a more private forum, but I might be traveling up to Milwaukee, because of what they have accomplished.
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      • Posted by term2 2 weeks, 4 days ago
        you guys better hope Trump is re-elected and the repubs win back the house and keep the senate. I have grave worries if semi-senile biden wins, or the dems win again in the house (they will restart impeachment) or somehow win a majority in the senate.
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        • Posted by chad 2 weeks, 3 days ago
          Since Trump instituted the shut down by instigating the shut down with an executive order that authorized 'The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act' and hasn't rescinded it I doubt re-electing him will do anything to avert the coming disaster.
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          • Posted by $ 2 weeks, 3 days ago
            Perhaps so, perhaps not. While Trump's philosophy is far from perfect, it at least offers a chance of returning to enterprise. A vote for Biden is a death sentence for America even more sure than chants from overseas. A great conundrum that Atlas Shrugged poses is whether we should persist to the end like Dagny Taggart or shrug quickly and hasten the end like John Galt or just retire like Dan Conway.
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            • Posted by chad 2 weeks, 3 days ago
              Trump's philosophy isn't a matter of being far from perfect; it is a matter of being diametrically opposed to liberty while pretending he is trying to change the destination. He is no less than any other pretender who is actually directing the country toward total statism.
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              • Posted by $ 2 weeks, 3 days ago
                I disagree with Trump on a lot, but he is not "diametrically opposed to liberty". He has done more to reduce governmental regulation than anyone since Newt Gingrich.

                However, Trump's willingness to spend like a Democrat is a major problem.
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                • Posted by chad 2 weeks, 3 days ago
                  I would not cite deregulation when he is the man who instigated the Medical Emergency Health Care Plan instituting the shut down of the economy and house arrest of its citizens. Careful examination of what these people do (all government agents and officials) always reveals that their reputation for what they do and what they actually do are not the same.
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                  • Posted by $ 2 weeks ago
                    I disagree with some aspects of how Trump reacted to the COVID situation. However, if he had not reacted like an Objectivist and said "You're on your own." like I would have preferred, he surely would have been impeached again. Trump's theme music from The Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" is certainly appropriate, especially the part about "But if you try sometimes, well, you might find
                    You get what you need."

                    Is that Objectivism? Of course not, but can you imagine what would happen if an Objectivist were elected president?

                    I recently compared rioting and looting to metastatic cancer and a healthy transformation rate associated with tissue engineering of bone as requiring some, but not ridiculous rates of, resorption

                    Perhaps a better analogy would be to look at ecosystem recovery after a devastation. Certain species, including a lot of weeds, take over right after the devastation before more productive and stable species can evolve.
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                  • Posted by $ allosaur 2 weeks ago
                    Trump is the first president who told our wonderful bureaucracy to subtract two regulations if they perceived a need to add one.
                    And because Trump, for not being a doctor and listening to so-called medical experts, reacted to a perceived emergency (unlike how Sweden did), I would cite deregulation as being a Trump asset.
                    Yet I can also see where your opinion is coming from. So in my opinion I don't think you deserve that zero I'm staring at. +1.
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                • Posted by Dobrien 2 weeks, 3 days ago
                  He is spending the Fed bankers money , ever since Trump took control of the Federal Reserve.
                  The system has been corrupt and beyond repair for years, he is squeezing it dry.
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          • Posted by term2 2 weeks, 3 days ago
            Interesting. So far, Trump has increased small business taxes by changing the lowest rate from 15% to 21%, repealing the "domestic production" tax credit, and instituting the tariffs WE all pay- I would say he hasnt really done much FOR me or my business. This shutdown has hurt us all a lot, and for essentially no benefit. I cant imagine what the dems would do in 2021 if elected, but it would be worse than Trump by all estimates.
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            • Posted by chad 2 weeks, 2 days ago
              The worst destruction of constitutional liberty has often come under the direction of those that 'appear' conservative. Under G. Bush the Patriot Act, the TARP program which he claimed he had to do; "to save the free market he had to abandon the free market" was his quote. Under Trump the Covid19 response instituting the Model State Emergency Health Care Plan which authorizes federally the response of the governors to control movement of people, the right of businesses to remain open, people who get to work. The direction never changes no matter who is in the lead. Under Obama (whom my communist daughter believed the war on terror would stop) it continued and expanded and he expanded the Patriot Act. All things he promised to end. He took over the healthcare of America so it was easy under the MSEHP to close down hospitals, except for the treatment of the plandemic victims. Choosing between the politicians keeps the populace busy believing they are making a change. It is choosing between Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacey. Who would you choose?
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              • Posted by term2 2 weeks, 2 days ago
                I have to agree. Not sure who is worse.
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                • Posted by CEGamache 2 weeks ago
                  I agree. We are being asked to choose the lesser of two evils (yet again), it is the only choice we are ever given when voting for politicians, because they don't think for themselves, but are the mouthpieces of whatever special-interest groups and PACs have purchased them through campaign donations.
                  Anyone who actually ran for a government office with the intention of getting the government out of the way would never make it to getting the nomination of either party... Just another example of how our political and economic system is beyond repair in its current state.
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                  • Posted by term2 2 weeks ago
                    I think the “parties” are just marketing organizations for groups of special (often hidden) interests. They look for a candidate who can attract the votes of - majority of electoral college delegates. Once elected, for a first term the only thing that drives their presidency is getting re-elected.

                    Both parties hated Donald trump because they knew he was uncontrollable . The repub party was pretty much desd so they reluctantly fell in behind him because of his popular support. Once elected in 2016 he started pandering more and more to the “party” in an attempt to get support from the party members. Too bad actually as the deep state repubs still hate him

                    The Democratic Party is in shambles this tine. All they could come up with is a senile and malleable candidate (Weekend at bernie’s) who might be able to get a black woman To take over in a year or so.

                    Great end to a once great country. I will vote fir trump in an “ attempt” to slow down collectivism a little for a few years more In 2024 we will reach very close to the end of times as depicted in AS. Could be in a few months if trump is not re elected or if the dems win both houses
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        • Posted by $ 2 weeks, 4 days ago
          We have been working on an exit strategy for years here in Galt's Gulch, but there isn't a consensus yet on where it should be.

          https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...

          For now, Melbourne, FL isn't Atlantis, but it is surprisingly well shielded from the negative parts of the outside world, perhaps due to the high concentration of people who understand how to do satellite communications around here.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 2 weeks, 3 days ago
    It makes me sad to hear conservatives say that if Biden is elected, all of the mobs and destruction will cease. Nothing could be further from the truth. I realize their statements come from wry cynicism, but they don't comprehend that this anarchy isn't going to stop until the looters are sure that every last gasp of resistance is stamped out. It won't stop as long as there's one "red" state that defends our constitutional rights, standing in the way of a totalitarian government. This situation is worse than Rand could have imagined. We are witnessing our own version of the Bolshevik rebellion, and the state imposed if they win will crush any effort to maintain individual freedom.
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  • Posted by ycandrea 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    It is all unfolding before our eyes. It will get much, much worse, I fear. I see a civil war coming.
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    • Posted by Abaco 2 weeks, 1 day ago
      I never really thought a civil war would happen. But...here's what I see a great possibility.... The other night I learned via law enforcement that some "demonstrators" had said they planned to come to my community. I slept in the front room with one of my guns at my side. I would not stand for somebody to invade my property or endanger my family. I wanted to leave but my wife was opposed. Anyway...many have seen the footage of the lawyer couple in St. Louis actually pointing their guns at the BLM marchers who bused through their neighborhood gate.

      I think this kind of thing will blow up, big-time. You'll see pockets of citizens pulled from their homes and killed much like what we aren't seeing in our news about South Africa. But, many Americans will be armed and will stand their ground. Those Americans will be reported as racists, most likely, and their demise will be encouraged by the media. I don't know if I'd call that a "civil war", but it's close. This is what I see as a potential development. I hope it doesn't happen.
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      • Posted by $ 2 weeks ago
        You had talked about retiring, or at least moving, somewhere else. It is time to speed up those plans. I know you would be a worthwhile addition to my company. Just saying ...
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    • Posted by $ 2 weeks, 4 days ago
      The previous "civil" war was not civil, and the coming one will be less so. The biggest problem will be the loss of morale on our side.

      This is precisely why the MORALITY of Objectivism needs to be promulgated. We should not and cannot afford to apologize for standing up for own rights as individuals. Collectivism needs to be trashed as being the immoral non-thought that it is.
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  • Posted by $ brightwriter 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    True solutions to society's problems, those that not only work but also drastically reduce the income of the goons and leeches who are allegedly paid to work on solving them, are repressed.

    Evidence: Intravenous hydrogen peroxide, known by anyone familiar with biochemistry (cytochrome enzyme chain) to partially substitute for inhaled oxygen, remains illegal and would be of obvious benefit against COVID-19 (it afflicts lung function; H2O2 was noted in the Lancet a century ago as helpful against the flu) thanks to the FDA Fool and Dunce Administration. When I wrote to Trump and Senators about it earlier this year, the substance of my recommendation to use it was ignored.

    Evidence: Inspired partially by a former girlfriend who had been badly damaged by being raped by her father as a two-year-old, I put together a short DVD based on conservative and libertarian principles intended for the use of motivated pedophiles: if they can be reformed, so much the better for them, also their reform would prevent children from being mishandled in the future. Meanwhile, if my approach is proved to be successful then the income of sex-offender-registry workers and perpetually needed counselors would be erased. The Maine medical board gave me a very hard time for my efforts; call (207) 287-3601 and ask about Complaint CR10-206 for details. I let my Maine medical license lapse and, thereafter out of its reach, put the DVD's content into a book. When I later had to go to jail in Maine (bad divorce), the jail staff didn't want the book although I offered it. It's at http://www.harshman.name/brightwriter....
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    • Posted by mccannon01 2 weeks, 2 days ago
      Regarding intravenous hydrogen peroxide. A few years ago I was at a garage sale in my neighborhood and was rifling though a box of old papers and photos because I like reading early documents (19th century steam age machinery and electronic items) and picked up and skimmed through a treatise written by a research doctor in 1911 where he was experimenting with intravenous hydrogen peroxide therapy for emphysema patients and was having some success. To be honest, at the time I simply thought that "therapy" would kill you and regarded it as one of the many weird fake cure all methods of the time period. I didn't buy the document, but now wish I had because your post made me do a search on intravenous hydrogen peroxide and found out it is a real thing! Thanks.
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      • Posted by $ 2 weeks, 2 days ago
        Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful free radical former and generates lots of "reactive oxygen species". In very small quantities, like NO or even CO, H2O2 can be therapeutic, but also like NO and CO, it can be quite deadly in too high a concentration.
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        • Posted by mccannon01 2 weeks, 2 days ago
          It was the intravenous application that made me think of snake oil. However, about 35 or 40 years ago a dental hygienist, after I complained about the tediousness of flossing, said "you didn't hear this from me" then told me to brush thoroughly and then gargle/rinse with a normal sized application of mouthwash with a cap full of hydrogen peroxide mixed in for about 20 to 30 seconds and then spit it out (don't swallow it). She said rinsing with water afterwards was optional, but leaving it on the teeth and gums afterwards is basically harmless and may even help. The foaming of the mixture helps clean and sterilize between the teeth. I'm 68 now and have not had a cavity or toothache during all that time and I still have all my original teeth in excellent condition. I normally brush and use this procedure twice a day - after breakfast and before bed.

          Edit add: I understand about the deadly effect in too high a concentration because I've worked in some facilities where concentrated hydrogen peroxide was used as a cleaner/sterilant.
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  • Posted by BCRinFremont 2 weeks, 2 days ago
    Maybe, as in 2016, the polls are wrong. Maybe, the propaganda of the media is being rejected. Maybe, the looters are a nasty, powerless minority of spoiled, mom’s basement dwelling nihilists. Ayn Rand wrote that the politicians and bureaucrats had enough hutzpah to follow through on many of their socialist and fascist ideas. Do our current “leaders” have the guts to continue the implosion? Can they face the anarchy that they are fueling? As I often say to those defending the destruction; “You are dreaming if you think that you will be a member of the ruling class.”
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    • Posted by $ 2 weeks, 2 days ago
      The rate of change will allow certain people to have their 15 minutes of fame before living in infamy for reasons that will seem innocuous now, or for no reason at all.
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  • Posted by BCRinFremont 2 weeks, 3 days ago
    The development and use of battery technology ala Tesla as miracle metal? Elon Musk as Reardon? Let’s see how long his technology and space adventures are allowed to develop. I see a canary for this coal mine we are in....and the bird is not wearing a mask...
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    • Posted by $ 2 weeks, 3 days ago
      Elon Musk is a producer. While he lacked the philosophical basis for being a Rearden, at least until recently, there are certainly signs that he is learning. He could turn into a Rearden.

      I have several former students working at SpaceX. What they have done is truly remarkable. I appreciate the desire for independence from government funding more than just about anyone, but SpaceX's mission is so monumental in both engineering magnitude and cost that it is hard to envision how you could raise that much capital AND achieve that engineering mission in one's lifetime without some sort of government funding. This is the moral and philosphical challenge, and it is not an easy one.
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      • Posted by chad 2 weeks, 3 days ago
        To believe that any project or product can only be achieved by plundering others and is therefore not subject to the same moral considerations is to give permission to the state to then follow up with any plundering for any cause and use of violence to get compliance. That you do not believe that enough capital could be raised for any project that you deem worthwhile does not give you the right to plunder me for your goal.
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        • Posted by $ 2 weeks, 3 days ago
          I agree, and this is the challenge that the Stadlers of the world face. Few resist the temptation to become Stadlers, because the reward system in society favors them to become Stadlers so thoroughly. Not becoming a Stadler has cost me massively in my career, but I understand why others choose the moochers' path. It is the expectation for those in academia.
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  • Posted by BCRinFremont 2 weeks, 3 days ago
    I’ve always wondered if real life Unions would react the same as the Unions in Atlas Shrugged? When I listen to Union bosses, I think that they might. Could this strange knight in tin armor come to the rescue? I wonder if Ms Rand saw them as portraying some level of Objectivism in the face of the socialist insanity?
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  • Posted by BCRinFremont 2 weeks, 3 days ago
    Some disjointed thoughts:

    Will it be a saving grace that the Looters and Moochers inevitably eat their own? They also have no ability to produce anything except utopic hallucinations and scapegoats. I still have hope that in an honest election, they will not win....hence, the effort to set up elections that can be manipulated. In California, these nitwits cheat even when they would win anyway.
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    • Posted by $ 2 weeks, 3 days ago
      The rate at which looters and moochers inevitably eat their own will always be less than the rate at which they are generated. Their reproductive rate is similar to that of bacteria. It takes more effort to create a producer, and the rate of producing producers is consequently much lower. No, it will not be a saving grace that the looters and moochers inevitably eat their own.

      How are things in Fremont? I enjoyed the portion on the History Channel's The Men Who Built America: Frontiersman series on John Fremont and Kit Carson.
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