1000% off-topic, but i need to know :)

Oh and as far as the morality of countries is concerned, in my opinion this is a non-topic. What is a county? a government? or people?, if its the government then USA needs an H-bomb, in case its people its just a country like any other.

-Lev

P.S. my favorite authors are Clifford Simak and Jack London, both from US.

Originally posted by MikeM:
[b]Don’t flame Matt until after you’ve read Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ and ‘We The Living’. Her reason for making such a statement may become clear.

-MikeM[/b]

I have read both, and I say all the more reason for flame.
I was just about to go into (much) more detail, but thought better about it considering the lack of a ‘political philosophy’ section on this list.
Joe

The context of the claim was that the principles behind the US government are the only moral principles to found a government upon. She objected to many of the practices of said government, of course (though for radically different reasons than most people).

  • Matt

Ugh. Objectivism :stuck_out_tongue:

When I read mcraighead’s missives re: anti-trust and all that, I’m largely in agreement with him, being a Libertarian and all.

However…

Ayn Rand is considered a pseudo-philosopher by philosophers in the same way that creationists are considered pseudo-scientists by scientists. Holding Ayn Rand up as an example of English literary accomplishment is, well, baffling (yes, I’ve read her fiction and non-fiction work as well). Yes, she had many valid points, but they were essentially lost in the quagmire of sloppy application.

For an excellent critique of the cult of Ayn Rand, I would recommend the chapter entitled “The Most Unlikely Cult” in Shermer’s Why People Believe Weird Things .

heh… how much further off-topic can we get?

[This message has been edited by rts (edited 04-10-2001).]

Well, I consider most “modern” philosophers to be pseudo-philosophers myself. Anyone who tells you that reality doesn’t exist or is subjective, or that man’s mind is powerless to understand it, is insane.

Many modern philosophers admit that their philosophy cannot be applied to reality.

Is it any surprise, then, that philosophy is scorned by most people as the most useless of all sciences?

Even if you don’t like Rand’s own philosophy, I would hope that you would take a few things from it. One, the primacy of reason as man’s means of knowledge (as opposed to mystic revelation or total skepticism). Two, the primacy of ideas in shaping human events. And three, the incredible importance of philosophy to every aspect of our lives.

  • Matt

Originally posted by mcraighead:
Even if you don’t like Rand’s own philosophy, I would hope that you would take a few things from it. One, the primacy of reason as man’s means of knowledge (as opposed to mystic revelation or total skepticism). Two, the primacy of ideas in shaping human events. And three, the incredible importance of philosophy to every aspect of our lives.

Indeed… I would classify these under her “many valid points”.

Cheers.

jwatte wrote :

“than”, “then”; “write”, “right”; “OpenGL”, “Direct3D” – why can’t we all be friends?

ahahahah !! :wink:

If English didn’t have formal rules, then absolutely nothing would stop me from saying:
Afhbvajh gaenrin gneoau vba awrniovoda vlkbshacvw wbafiu asjcv naflisudvn li gwnuil lafb d.

English has formal rules. If you disobey them, you are WRONG. Deal with it.

Hmm, you’re misunderstanding me. Human languages have rules, yes, but they are not all well defined. This is exactly the reason why its so difficult to write machine translators for spoken languages. Computer languages have VERY well defined, formal rules expressed in EBNF notation. Consequently, if you want to refer to an array, then the index must be enclosed within [] brackets. Must; no exceptions. But English isn’t like this… there are loose rules (and firm rules) and exceptions and colloquisms and a whole host of rules which are not formally defined. Some are; like the form of the indefinte article is “a” if the following noun begins with a constonant, but is “an” when the following noun begins with a vowel (thus, its “a” directx driver, and “AN” opengl driver). I maintain, however, that not all of them are so well defined (ergo machine translators are difficult to write, whereas compilers are PROVABLY correct).

You ARE right that languages MUST adhere to the rules so everyone can make sense. I have never said otherwise; infact, i whole heartedly agree (and you can check this in my other posts where this has been brought up), because language IS the way we communicate. Besdies, it jsut drives me insane when i see some idiot rihgt

your going to right a opengl program for there demonstration, to?

knowing what is wrong with that sentence isn’t brain surgery… its stuff that english speaking countries learn in primary school.

I will not say I speak “English”, I speak “American”, though I try to be as proper as possible when speaking.

good stuff =) actually, i heard a rumour that microsoft has moved English(USA) up to “American”, because too many stupid Americans didn’t realise that they spoke an Americanised form of ENGLISH. Seriously. They were looking in the A section of the languages and couldn’t see their own language.

hm… Why does some people use the word “when” when it possibly can be an “if”…?!
when an if and when not?
if we have a subject that does something like in the if( x == 0 ), a true false… hm… english is funny… like it, love it, write it, read it, just let it be…

why do some people use a conditional, when no conditional is required? I’ve read, for example, the phrase “if you’re thinking of doing X, then don’t”. WHich is a very clumsy way of saying “don’t think of doing X” or even “do not do X”. There is not need for the conditional because the INTENTION of the sentence isn’t dependent on whether the reader is thinking about it, or not: its a directive. Its probably a subtle point which i haven’t illuminated all that well, but. eh.

cheers,
John

[This message has been edited by john (edited 04-10-2001).]

Are you all crazy to talk about such a ****??? :wink:

The human language is not only needed to interact but also to think. If I couldn’t speak german, I couldn’t think logical! It’s clear that we all need to give our best english in order to be understandable to others.

I’ve got a great question: Did anybody of you think without using words somewhen? The worse our native language gets, the worse can we think. (That’s why I’m so stupid…)

And this is also why I always excuse myself for my english, because I need to get help here and can’t formulate clear sentences, so you’ve got the work interpreting what I wrote… My bits…

Originally posted by Michael Steinberg:
Did anybody of you think without using words somewhen? The worse our native language gets, the worse can we think.

Your absolutely write ! Ok… joke guys… right. No but seriously, thats an excellent remark that will probably enlighten my day.
I’m not much into philosophy/cognition/linguistics so excuse me if that remark strikes me. I suppose it could seem obvious to many…
Sorry to continue on this off-topic subject, but, Michael, do you have any references (articles, books) on what you’re saying or did this just come off your mind? I’m asking because I’m trying to find arguments against the overuse of “simplified” languages (a bit like “ghetto” slang with usually a much more limited vocabulary). I’m thinking of France (I’m french by the way) where the government and media at one time, sort of “officialised” the use of a “ghetto” slang called “verlan”, which is good in the sense that, like any language, it brings with it a certain culture. The bad point is that young people that came from these ghettos could feel that their way talking was sufficient, and if I follow your point, limiting themselves in their thinking, not even talking about keeping themselves in their cultural “ghetto”.
Ok, I’m finished…

[This message has been edited by Olive (edited 04-11-2001).]

Well, this is just my experience, sorry Olive. I can’t provide any articles. Isn’t that obvious? :wink:

No serious. In my school life, I’ve been quite good at the beginning. But later on I focused heavily on mathematics programming etc. I got better in scientific thinking etc. But on the other hand, my english, my german relating literature got very bad. I’ve been thinking about that and this was my answer. In my tests, I seem only to write the stuff which really interrests me. I kind of think that the other things I think off are obvious, kind of scraping on the surface. Currently I think I can’t do anything against that, because I can’t stop my habits. I simply don’t enjoy interpreting feelings of actors in books. I admire the ones here which are good in this stuff though.

This all is the reason why girls aren’t so good in mathematics, I think. The community “forces” them to focus on literature, on feelings etc… They simply didn’t learn the mathematical language, so they can’t think mathmetically spoken.
This is not meant against women, there are many which aren’t like this, and I think everyone has the potential, maybe especially the women!
Same applies to me… :wink:

I also believe that mathematicians are lazy and have fear of new stuff. I mean, don’t we all want to precalculate the world? I always try to avoid new situations. People who focus on literature live from the experience.

I don’t think mathematians are lazy or precalculative. It just depends on what you want and what you think of life.
Reading obviously supports the development of your character and your mental attitude towards live, even if you don’t like the author or his or her ideas., because you are forced to think about those ideas and quarrel yourself if they fit in your life or not.

Chris

In the second thing I completely agree with you…

“…saying that America was the only moral country ever to exist.
[Warning: Ayn Rand is not only my favorite writer,
but also my favorite philosopher.]…”

Ayn Rand, hmm, wait Mac, the name doesn’t begin with “S” …
And there is no “S” in Ayn Rand…

“…The context of the claim was that the principles behind the US government are the only moral principles to found a government upon. She objected to many of the practices of said government, of course (though for radically different reasons than most people). …”

to speak about “moral” in 20/21 century… hmm… funny
“moral principles” ???

“…Well, I consider most “modern” philosophers to be pseudo-philosophers myself. Anyone who tells you that reality doesn’t exist or is subjective, or that man’s mind is powerless to understand it, is insane. …”

so how is the reality, or what is the reality ?

Ahhh… where did I leave my beer…

Can we get this thread in UNICODE so that everyone can read it?

How about MBCS?

Or are we just stuck with ASCII?

Siwko

Actually, there is a language that is supposed to be “Universal”: it was built using different rules/words from several known languages (if I remember correctly)…

The unfortunate thing is that I cannot remember its name…

>>>>> Quick Search on the internet <<<<<

Can’t find it…

>>>>> Quick call to my fiancee <<<<<

Yeah ! That’s called “ESPERANTO”.
http://www.esperanto.net/

I am sending an e-mail to the webmaster to check if he can change the whole site to use this.

Regards.

Eric

Here’s a machine translation of Eric’s post:

Translated at http://translate.lhsl.com/
[b]Réellement, il y a un langage qui est supposé être " Universel ": il a été construit utiliser rules/words différent de plusieurs langages connus (si je me souviens correctement)…
La chose fâcheuse est que je ne peux pas me souvenir de son nom…

>>>> > Recherche rapide sur l’internet <<<<<

Ne pas le trouver…

>>>> > Appel rapide à ma fiancée <<<<<

Ouais! Cela est appelé " ESPÉRANTO ".
http:/ /www.esperanto.le filet /

J’envoie un e-mail à l’administrateur de site Internet pour vérifier s’il peut changer le site entier pour utiliser ceci.

Les amitiés.

Eric[/b]

I especially like what it did to the URL

If web browsers had this stuff built in, we wouldn’t even need a universal language

  • Tom

Hey Tom, that’s actually quite “a good” translation !!!

Last time I had a look at translators, they were really poor (mind you, it was on an Atari Falcon !).

Your idea sounds good but the thing is, if this stuff was built in web browsers, we wouldn’t understand each other anymore !

Regards.

Eric

Yeah, I also think that this translation was quite good from what I remember of french!