Passive Citizenship

Posted by coaldigger 1 year, 3 months ago to Culture
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I have always argued for maximum freedom for everyone and one of the basic differences between libertarians and objectivists that I had to do the most thinking on was the role of government. I am constantly reminded of how brilliant Ayn Rand was and as I have discovered her approach is the most rational. In order to have a modern society with maximum individual freedom, a government to protect their individual rights is absolutely critical. It remains to be seen if a government will ever be satisfied to stay within those guidelines but we, in America, came the closest to doing so.

I thought that Objectivism would take hold and preserve what we had begun but it has not. I understood that ultimately altruism would have to be eliminated in public policy and that it was born of and fed by religion but I thought that that could be eroded gradually and people would see that not only was the welfare state not necessary it was evil. I argued with some objectivist scholars that we needed to stop being so demanding of a purity of approach and gradually win them over and they said it would never work. After much struggle I came to the same conclusion and unfortunately there is zero chance of our winning the battle as long as they have producers that refuse to stop producing against all odds. In other words Atlas Shrugged is real. No individual or number of individuals with similar beliefs will form into a force large enough without a John Galt and he does not exist. We are INDIVIDUALS and as such will not form a tribe, a collective, a party or any kind of group. We are strong, rational, intellectual, ambitious, productive, energetic but we are loners, individuals and we meet every obstacle as a power of one. We will not join together and go on strike.

I have now concluded that there is a silver lining and that is that mankind is a collection of traits that we are born with in different proportions. Men of the mind will not die out. Their offspring will carry on the traits to be born over and over. When the inevitable dark ages return they will slowly return to lead a renaissance. The ancient Greeks had steam engines but the knowledge was lost until the 1800's. Sadly, in 3,000 years some Marconi might be broadcasting lyre music on vacuum tube transmitters.

I am too old to worry about it any longer. Collectivism is like the tide and you can't keep it from covering the beach by bailing with a bucket.


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  • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 3 months ago
    Don't sell vacuum tubes short. Good tube amps sound better than solid state in many ways (and still work after an EMP.)
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    • Posted by 1 year, 3 months ago
      Sitting on a filing cabinet behind me is a DYNA SCA-35 Stereo Amplifier that I built from a kit in 1965 that compares to the Denon in my theater but with fewer speakers. I didn't mean to dis on tubes but I often create simplistic metaphors to spice up my rants.
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  • Posted by $ Abaco 1 year, 3 months ago
    Well, the dark age is here now. You are right in that men of the mind will not go extinct. But, they'll need to lay low starting now. This is the period where many of us will do what the name of Atlas Shrugged was originally going to be..."The Strike". To some degree many of us Objectivsts will do it our own way...we're individualists. I'm quitting engineering this summer after a long, fascinating career. I'm doing equity analysis and portfolio design, which is a lot of fun, and will probably continue in that. All will be done with a big smile on my face...as will the golf and fishing. My engineering work has repeatedly pushed me into interactions with the upper echelons of government and had me perform duties that should be done by an attorney. I've grown to absolutely hate it. And I'm not taking the bullshit any longer. I've fallen prey to the pareto principal for too long. I also won't live in state with an income tax anymore. F*&k them. I just want to take care of family members, have fun and make money.
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    • Posted by 1 year, 3 months ago
      I have decided to apply for every "free" thing I can get from them. I am 79 and not a producer so I will be a destroyer. I am thinking of solar panels, any thing Medicare will provide, and anything I can find to bankrupt these SOB's as soon as possible. In the meantime I will and can afford to reduce my income to reduce the amount that I pay in taxes. Instead of maximizing income I will minimize taxes and suck up benefits. That will be my war and I will not have to fire a shot.
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      • Posted by $ Abaco 1 year, 3 months ago
        My dad used to say the same stuff - haha. We lost him in August due to COVID. So Coaldigger - take everything except the vaccine collection offered via Medicare. That's what ultimately killed my dad as his immune system was in shambles. Cheers to you...And, I really appreciate your words shared on this thread.
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  • Posted by $ jbrenner 1 year, 3 months ago
    The challenge that we face with regard to self-governance with a minimalist, but effective, government is that such a condition is thermodynamically unstable. To be stable, it has to be a minimum energy state. A self-governing system requires constant vigilance. President Reagan said that we are never more than one generation away from tyranny. ... Now we are far less than a generation away from tyranny.
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    • Posted by 1 year, 3 months ago
      I agree 100%. Did you see the question I asked re colleges in Fla for my granddaughter?
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      • Posted by $ jbrenner 1 year, 3 months ago
        Dear Coaldigger,
        No, I don't remember seeing that. I am a professor at Florida Tech, a private university where I am in charge of the nanotechnology minor, teach chemical, biomedical, and materials engineering, teach students how to make things, and have even started my own company. If you remember Quentin Daniels from Atlas Shrugged, that pretty much describes me. It is not a conflict of interest for me to talk about this in the Gulch, as that is precisely why I have the shopping cart next to the jbrenner. For more info, e-mail me at jbrenner@fit.edu.

        Florida Tech does accept Bright Futures scholarships like the public/government universities. The student gets the same money, but we aren't subsidized by the state.

        By the way, I used to be in many different aspects of the energy industry, including coal, but I shrugged from those when my clients who wanted to absolve their environmentalist guilt but provide me value-for-value exchange left to take the Solyndra freebies from then candidate Obama. Thus, my faculty position is my "shrug job", and my "cover" is sufficiently deep that no one at my university realizes that it is a "shrug job" except for those who belong here in the Gulch (and there are a few).
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        • Posted by 1 year, 3 months ago
          In 1961, my roommate and I spent the summer working for a plumbing contractor in Eau Gallie. We lived in a coal town owned by US Steel that usually hired local engineering students in the summer but the economy was either down or there could have been a labor strike, anyway there were no jobs. He had an aunt that lived in Melbourne that told him to come down, stay with them until we found summer employment and enjoy the beaches. Her husband's first name was Sterling and he owned an advertising agency but was a strong supporter of Brevard Engineering College from its inception. We worked hard, got tanned, spent all our money on beer and things on the weekends and went back to school n the fall. I knew someone on this site was a professor at Fla Tech but I forgot who. This COVID mess could not have happened at a worse time for Grace as she just graduated Summa Cum Laude from North Fort Myers and with an Associates Degree. She looked at UF real hard but I think she was intimidated by the size of it and didn't want to leave the state so she was going to go to FAU. They, being so close to Miami seemed to be very restricted due to the virus so she was just staying at home and working. As things have loosened up somewhat she is now taking classes at Florida Gulf Coast. she seems to be in a better mood but this is not nearly an optimal path for her. Her parents are well of but her dad is a little old fashioned in his view of smart educated women (maybe from having to live with my daughter). I try not to give unsolicited advise but I am concerned by so much brainpower going undeveloped.
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          • Posted by $ jbrenner 1 year, 3 months ago
            Eau Gallie is between home and work for me. Brevard Engineering College is now Florida Tech. I am the only professor from Florida Tech on this site, to my knowledge, but Thoritsu and maybe CircuitGuy has ties down here. Thoritsu had a relative who was a professor here, as I recall.

            FAU is pretty big, too. I have several colleagues at Florida Gulf Coast in their biomedical engineering program. They are implementing some of the things there that I developed at Florida Tech (also called FIT). What does your grandchild want to do?
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            • Posted by 1 year, 3 months ago
              I am not sure that she knows what she wants. Part of her drive seems to be a lack of confidence. She says she is not good in math because she has to work for her grades but she only gets A+'s in advanced placement college level courses. She always says she is doing poorly in every class, again A+. Her GPA was some crazy number due to advanced placement points and the value of the +. She is sociable but doesn't have close friends or boyfriends like her diva sister. She does volunteer work at a nursing home and works as a barista at a espresso bar. She is very competitive and constantly challenges her grandpa in whatever I am doing. I am only willing to put so much effort in trying to keep her from beating me but she is relentless. We bought a stock market board game at a flea market and she plays like it is real money. I just hope the world opens back up and she can find her challenges and keep going on her path.
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              • Posted by $ jbrenner 1 year, 3 months ago
                One thing I have noticed about South Koreans is that they consistently underestimate their abilities, while most Americans think they are better at many skills than they in fact are.

                Have your granddaughter e-mail me at jbrenner@fit.edu.
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  • Posted by $ BobCat 1 year, 3 months ago
    You put it very well, We are individuals and loners ...

    I might add: and as such we struggle to survive against a sea of lazy, mindless sheep.
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  • Posted by $ Markus_Katabri 1 year, 3 months ago
    I suggest Harry Browne “How I found freedom in an unfree world.” In the end the individual has to act in their own best interest.
    Accept that without a rational society some things are just not “on the menu” anymore. It’s not your fault. Unless you want to go around cracking skulls until people see things “the right way”. That’s the route that a certain “idea” that dresses all in black is taking.
    Some here seem to advocate beating up the purple haired kid down the street because he held a BLM sign during the 4th of July parade. But that really doesn’t accomplish anything beyond feeding the fire.
    If we were to truly stop waiting for, or coercing, everyone else to “Go Galt” and just do it for ourselves the individual would see instant benefits. Who cares what happens to the greater world. Leave them to it. Time and sanity is what matters. Not this green fiat. And I think that’s going to become very apparent in the next decade.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 1 year, 3 months ago
    Limited Government that only protects the country and individual rights was the goal of our forefathers and yes, Rand championed that concept.
    Altruism on the other hand was always an individual choice and rationally could only be expressed once the individuals needs were satisfied.
    Ayn Rand used the phrase: Selfishness. I think this was a mistake to use a phrase that already projected an impression of something along the lines of hubris and greed.
    She should have used the concept of: Cellfishness while explaining the nature of cells and how that undeniably referrers to the behavior of the individual if able and allowed to.
    Each and every cell in the body of yourself is entirely responsible for the survival of self and once those conditions are met, excess value, (different for each individual) is passed on in the culture medium. In the body, that culture medium is the blood. In physical life that medium is the , family unit, the neighborhood, the community and so on.
    This my friend is what the teachings are all about as observed by, nature, Rand, our constitution and the teachings of Christ and some eastern philosophy's.
    The organizations of these teachings, religions and progressive governments use the concept of individual altruism to Control the individual instead of supporting that individual right given by our own nature.
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    • Posted by VetteGuy 1 year, 3 months ago
      I also have problems with use of the term 'selfishness' due to negative connotations. I prefer the term 'rational self-interest'.
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      • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 1 year, 3 months ago
        But the left and the sheeple do not understand what that means to be rational...that is why I integrated Rands phrase with the function of the cells in the body. Of Course, the other problem is that they do no recognize their own bodies, they think (sar) the 1/2 of their brain can make their bodies what ever they can make up, moment by moment.
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  • Posted by JohnRandALL 1 year, 3 months ago
    Yes, very well said. Depressing, but true. Ayn Rand could not believe that all the movers and shakers would sell out to the evil. But they have. There are not enough Atlases to shrug, the weight is too great.
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    • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 3 months ago
      There are plenty of Atlases. Together we shrug and the movers and shakers businesses collapse.
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      • Posted by VetteGuy 1 year, 3 months ago
        I hope you are right, but I don't see much evidence of it. I watched 'The Social Dilemma' last night, and it described my children and their spouses pretty accurately. I fear their whole generation, and those that follow, will become the sheep of facebook/twitter/google/etc. I do not have a facebook or twitter account, and less interest than ever in getting one.
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        • Posted by $ Dobrien 1 year, 3 months ago
          http://Gab.com with me now, Andrew Torba. How are you, Andrew?

          Andrew Torba: I’m doing well, Peter. How are you?

          PB: Terrible, awful! We could do with a revolution. Or. more accurately, a counter-revolution.

          AT: Listen, I've been where you are right now. You will get through this. And you know, this is the reason that I started Gab back in 2016. I saw this stuff coming. I was living and working in Silicon Valley. I know these people very well. And I know what they're capable of. And I've seen it firsthand.

          Just this past week alone, Peter, we see what's happened to you guys. We ourselves were blacklisted by Visa for “hate speech.” Gavin McInnes was banned from YouTube. E. Michael Jones has his books censored by Amazon. Katie Hopkins is banned by Twitter. Carpe Donktum was banned by Twitter. And of course, the President himself had his tweets censored.

          So, my question is: where are our leaders? What are they doing? This is happening to U.S. citizens. This is happening to U.S. corporations. Where are our leaders? Why are they allowing this Tech Tyranny to happen?

          And you know what? What I've realized over the past four years is that no one is coming to save us. Right? No one is coming to save us. We must save ourselves. And I believe the way to save ourselves is by building. And that's exactly what we've been doing at Gab.

          We've built our own web browser. We've built our own hosting infrastructure. We've built our own payment processing infrastructure. Our own email infrastructure. You name it, we've been banned from it; and I've had to build it.

          But that has made us very resilient to attacks. And we don't really have many dependencies on Third Party providers. We're only dependent on ourselves.

          PB: For the benefit of the Boomers who are watching this, can you explain exactly what Gab is?

          AT: Gab is a free speech social network. We welcome all people and we have millions of users from around the world of all different creeds, beliefs, backgrounds, etc. And you can say what you want, as long as it is protected by the First Amendment of the United States of America.

          So you can't make threats of violence, you can't post illegal content like child pornography, common sense basic stuff, the way that the internet really has been for the past 20 or 30 years, this laissez faire kind of Wild West where the best ideas thrive.

          An actual debate of ideas versus this controlled atmosphere that is artificial and props up some ideas while silencing other ideas (which is what we're seeing happen on Big Tech right now). I mean, just this week—and not a lot of people are talking about this—Project Veritas and James O'Keefe: they have a Facebook content moderator on camera—multiple people from Facebook's content moderation team that are saying things like, “If someone's wearing a MAGA hat, I'm going to delete their content, or I'm going to suspend them for terrorism.”

          Right? So you know, these companies are loaded with far-Left lunatics who think that just wearing a MAGA makes you a terrorist. This is insanity
          Link for full interview https://vdare.com/articles/gab-s-torb...
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        • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 3 months ago
          I don't see much evidence of Trump supporters being willing to do anything for their freedom except post online and go to a rally. But it's early . Once the Buy-dem SHTF the numbers willing to boycott all the enemy companies should increase. If it doesn't then boomers should be ashamed that they are not willing to fight for freedom.
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          • Posted by 1 year, 3 months ago
            Trump supporters are mostly people reached on an emotional level. At the core he is a statist and so are they just for a different state than the liberals. I do not see intellectual support for the Trump movement other than a few individualists wanting to use the Trump wing's muscle to bump the intellectual collectivists out of the way. In a war of ideas there are no loud voices for ours.
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          • Posted by $ Dobrien 1 year, 3 months ago
            Where are you anyways. On social media Gab and telegraph are many posts. They are calling people to be boycotting Amazon/Walmart/ and big tech/ bed bath and beyond. Bartering communities being organized plenty of discussions about Bitcoin , as well as a huge call to join school boards county commissions and city politics. Those type of posts have 20-25,000 likes.
            Plenty are rejecting masks and many videos of them standing up to the mask Nazis. Where are you getting your evidence? Twitter and Facebook exodus is also very frequently discussed.
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            • Posted by 1 year, 3 months ago
              So I went to Gab.com and signed up so I can look around and I see many of the people that went from Twitter to Parlor are there. I will need some time to see if it is a fit for me. I am leery of friends that are just as destructive as enemies.
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              • Posted by diessos 1 year, 3 months ago
                I also signed up, introduced myself, and said I was interested in objectivism/Ayn Rand.... got this...

                "There are problems with objectivism. First it assumes a static universe, which isn’t true. The initial conditions are always in flux. That is especially true in human affairs as technology is rapidly changing. It is even a stretch to assume human nature is static as we continue to evolve.

                The second is that it assumes reality can be known. It can be approximated, but no amount of observation is sufficient to know it.

                Anyway, enough philosophizing. Welcome to Gab."

                What a great "welcome"....
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                • Posted by $ Dobrien 1 year, 3 months ago
                  Nothing is perfect except the breath of air you suck into your lungs to keep you alive, even Objectivism is imperfect. The welcome you recieved certainly isn’t perfect, but you have the ability to argue your philosophy freely. Whom ever responded is not the voice of the Gab populace , it is just an individual. Gab is not Galt’s Gulch online.
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            • Posted by 25n56il4 1 year, 3 months ago
              I like the idea of getting in the faces of the 'Left' but on the other hand, the longer we ignore them, the more worried they will get. That is human nature. People don't like to be ignored. I told my friend who was attacked verbally by one and it's making the old girl crazy that my friend just smiles at her and walks down the sidewalk. The other neighbors are ignoring her also.
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  • -1
    Posted by CircuitGuy 1 year, 3 months ago
    It remains to be seen if a government will ever be satisfied to stay within those guidelines
    I wonder if limited government is possible when people move to the frontier. They’re far enough away to make it difficult to be intrusive but near enough to allow trade. In science fiction, space is the next frontier, but sci-fi absurdly downplays the costs of getting to space. It would be easier and cheaper to build a colony floating on the water or even submerged under the water. So for right now, living on land is the only option.

    I argued with some objectivist scholars that we needed to stop being so demanding of a purity of approach and gradually win them over
    I think some people prefer the empty calories of self-righteousness to liberty.

    We are strong, rational, intellectual, ambitious, productive, energetic but we are loners, individuals and we meet every obstacle as a power of one.
    Do not underestimate the power of one! When I got into electronics in the 80s, the RF spectrum was regulated by the government with users licensed to use certain frequencies in certain areas. So a system in one area would only interfere with users in other areas when rare conditions allowed the signals to travel farther than normal. They opened the ISM bands to all users in the 90s, and shortly thereafter you have frequency hoppers coexisting with high-throughput OFDM Wi-Fi signals. The bands became packed with everything from home/office Wi-Fi networks to signals controlling municipal water pumps over several-mile links. They coexist by collection avoidance. They listen before transmitting and if a transmission doesn’t get through, they wait a random delay and try again. In any populated area, you can hook an antenna up to a spectrum analyzer and see those free-for-all bands being packed with users getting effective service and with no need to think about the fact that anyone can transmit on the band without a license.

    Something similar happened with Wikipedia, which is not perfect but is an amazing example of what many lone individuals can accomplish. We might be seeing it happen with blockchain, removing the ancient problem of needing central authorities for authentication.

    I do not think the world will go backward in technology and productivity. It’s gone up so much in my lifetime. When I was a kid I felt like there were hopelessly poor areas of the world that couldn’t get agriculture working and would never industrialize. They’re able to trade services over the Internet now, and world poverty decreased. There is a huge problem of socialism, which I think may be due to technology hiding exchanges of value. Many of these people who claim to support socialism have a strong understanding that individuals should be free to travel and keep what they produce, without regard to race, sex, or other physical traits. It wasn’t long ago when most people thought rights flowed naturally from God, to kings, and then to subjects whom the kings granted rights. So I am far from giving up. I am hoping that cryptocurrencies allow people to trade independently of central authorities and tools that run on cryptocurrency will lay bare the exchanges of value that currently happen when subscription services charge their customers’ cards. I don’t know that will happen. We are far from the demon-haunted, impoverished world of most of human history and also far from a utopia of liberty.
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    • Posted by $ Dobrien 1 year, 3 months ago
      Extreme poverty, defined as living on less than $1.90 a day, is likely to affect between 9.1% and 9.4% of the world's population in 2020.
      While less than a tenth of the world’s population lives on less than $1.90 a day, close to a quarter of the world’s population lives below the $3.20 line and more than 40% of the world’s population – almost 3.3 billion people – live below the $5.50 line. Once again you spout out nonsense and feel good about yourself.

      Each day, 25,000 people, including more than 10,000 children, die from hunger and related causes.
      Some 854 million people worldwide are estimated to be undernourished, and high food prices may drive another 100 million into poverty and hunger. You and your ilk want to get them all vaccinated , virtue signal that while you binge on Taco Bell.
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