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I.Goldstein
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October 27, 2011, 02:44:33 AM
 #41

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Buddhism is like the complete opposite of nihilism, if only because it actually postulates the existence of definite moral rules that will lead to your soul getting punished or rewarded in your next life. It wraps it up in a lot of mysticism, but it's still a religion.

Actually, it's very open ended. Critical thinking and questioning of possible facts and ones teacher is revered. You are free to hold and deny truths according to your judgement. 
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BitMagic
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October 27, 2011, 03:03:42 AM
 #42

I think the traditional term can go fuck itself.

I don't understand, Atlas. Are you here to learn anything, or just fight everything? Obviously, you can't argue with me about public goods (or anything for that matter) if you don't even know what I'm talking about.

Also, no need to be so angry. I was just pointing you to an interesting topic.

Actually, it's very open ended. Critical thinking and questioning of possible facts and ones teacher is revered. You are free to hold and deny truths according to your judgement. 

You are not displaying "critical thinking" by saying a term can "go fuck itself" if you don't even know what it means...

Please give me your money, because I am a shameless libertarian elite who deserves your money more than you do: 9Hkao8U82WWDp6SQGn4k7ad9gT1LWeL5s3
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October 27, 2011, 04:47:11 AM
 #43

Wait, your school? I thought you were homeschooled?
Also, just wondering, how can you, or any kid, really, grow up and live where you're at? I mean, your house is nice, but the area is so empty and desolate... I stand there, among the very sparsely set buildings, look out on the horizon, and there's nothing as far as I can see... Not even hills or forests, or even trees, except for a few here and there. Nearest cities are a bit of a drive away, too. So, what the heck do guys do for fun out there? Pray and shoot guns? I grew up in essentially a metropolis, so that area and life is somewhat of a culture shock for me.

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October 27, 2011, 05:06:08 AM
 #44

Also, just wondering, how can you, or any kid, really, grow up and live where you're at? ... So, what the heck do guys do for fun out there? Pray and shoot guns? I grew up in essentially a metropolis, so that area and life is somewhat of a culture shoc for me.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."
— Henry David Thoreau

It's like that. Without the woods. Or the pond. But with guns.
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October 27, 2011, 07:57:02 PM
 #45

Also, just wondering, how can you, or any kid, really, grow up and live where you're at? ... So, what the heck do guys do for fun out there? Pray and shoot guns? I grew up in essentially a metropolis, so that area and life is somewhat of a culture shoc for me.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."
— Henry David Thoreau

It's like that. Without the woods. Or the pond. But with guns.

So it's like that, but without all of that, and barely any marrow to suck in the dry and desolate environment... but with guns? I lived in a deep European forest a few months for vacation, and I was definitely not bored. Atlas's development of houses is practically out in the desert. I would literally go mad if I lived there. Maybe that's why he is on here so much bringing up such varied and frequent topics, or why he's into Budhism, having nothing really physical around him to need/want?

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October 27, 2011, 10:22:06 PM
 #46

So it's like that, but without all of that, and barely any marrow to suck in the dry and desolate environment... but with guns? I lived in a deep European forest a few months for vacation, and I was definitely not bored. Atlas's development of houses is practically out in the desert. I would literally go mad if I lived there. Maybe that's why he is on here so much bringing up such varied and frequent topics, or why he's into Budhism, having nothing really physical around him to need/want?

I don't really know where he is from. But it sounds like the desert southwest. I know many people from out there. Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California. All of those places are different, but they are basically filled with people living deliberately. With guns. Also, often with motorcycles and all terrain vehicles. Sometimes they make explosives just for the hell of it. Life is nice when you can make things go boom without attracting needless authorities. Lots have boats and go fishing in a places you'd swear could have no water. Sometimes people grow things where you'd swear nothing should grow. There are few signs to tell you what you can't do. So people come here to find out what they actually can do.

The desert southwest is baffling to East Coast city people. They are convinced nobody should live out there. However, they are also convinced that is the perfect place for people to build them the solar, wind, hydro, and thermal power plants they want. In California they call this the "not in my backyard" effect. But to the East and West coast folks, the southwest is really "nobody's backyard". Curiously though it is. And the people in that backyard think, Woot! More shit to build!

In Texas we find things especially ironic. After being resented as a bastion of the evil oil (energy) industry, now we lead the nation in wind power (energy). And you'd be horrified to know that the same rednecks that built the oil refineries are now building bio-fuel refineries, solar plants, and now it looks like they can keep drilling holes in the crust for geo-thermal plants as well.

In ten years, the East Coast will be pissing and moaning that evil Texas energy companies are manipulating their costs of clean energy. But every moment from now till then, the "intelligent", "educated", "civic minded" people in the "civilized" parts of the country will keep thinking, "What on earth could you redneck morons possibly find to do out there???"
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October 27, 2011, 10:43:22 PM
 #47

I grew up in a desert region and it was awesome.  We had fuck all in the way of on-tap entertainment - the town didn't get a swimming pool until I was in high school, we had two TV stations and they didn't start broadcasting until 3pm, the local cinema only showed movies about once a month and closed down for a few years - so we had to find stuff to do. 

The only rule most of us had was "be home by dark" and we used to either ride or walk miles out of town to go swimming, go fishing or yabbying or have a picnic at the local waterholes.  Occasionally someone got injured, but that was regarded as a normal part of childhood back then (you hardly every seem to see kids with a broken limb these days).

All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
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October 28, 2011, 01:45:54 AM
 #48

I don't really know where he is from. But it sounds like the desert southwest.

Yep. He's near Serenada, TX. Looks like a few housing developments, and an airport, but I guess not too far from Austin (if you have a car)


The desert southwest is baffling to East Coast city people. They are convinced nobody should live out there. However, they are also convinced that is the perfect place for people to build them the solar, wind, hydro, and thermal power plants they want. In California they call this the "not in my backyard" effect. But to the East and West coast folks, the southwest is really "nobody's backyard". Curiously though it is. And the people in that backyard think, Woot! More shit to build!

In Texas we find things especially ironic. After being resented as a bastion of the evil oil (energy) industry, now we lead the nation in wind power (energy). And you'd be horrified to know that the same rednecks that built the oil refineries are now building bio-fuel refineries, solar plants, and now it looks like they can keep drilling holes in the crust for geo-thermal plants as well.

In ten years, the East Coast will be pissing and moaning that evil Texas energy companies are manipulating their costs of clean energy. But every moment from now till then, the "intelligent", "educated", "civic minded" people in the "civilized" parts of the country will keep thinking, "What on earth could you redneck morons possibly find to do out there???"

Ah, awesome! So thanks to you guys, we have a place where our "intelligent," "educated," "Ivy League" created technologies can be built and tested on cheap land by cheap "redneck moron" labor. Thanks! Wink  (j/k of course. Austin makes some tech and science stuff to sometimes)

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October 28, 2011, 02:50:49 AM
 #49

Yep. He's near Serenada, TX. Looks like a few housing developments, and an airport, but I guess not too far from Austin (if you have a car)

LMAO at the phrase, "If you have a car!"

Yes everyone has cars. Even teenagers! And that is really just a suburb outside of Austin. It only looks flat but it's on the edge of the hill country. There are lakes and rivers, trees, hills. He is a really easy drive to Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and not to far to Houston.

Really, don't fret for him!


Ah, awesome! So thanks to you guys, we have a place where our "intelligent," "educated," "Ivy League" created technologies can be built and tested on cheap land by cheap "redneck moron" labor. Thanks! Wink  (j/k of course. Austin makes some tech and science stuff to sometimes)

East Coaster's do have a hard on for Austin. Yes there is some tech there, but it's not like they put men on the moon or anything.

But really that was my point about technology. I doesn't matter how intelligent your engineers are, if they can't build anything. Last I heard the "Green" mountain paradise of Vermont had exactly one windmill. And they were complaining that it was too noisy! Massachusetts is busy litigating to see if they can build windmills off the coast.

Texas has an open invitation for anyone who wants to build offshore wind farms. It doesn't even require federal permits. This was a really good article on understanding Green Technology and Texas.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/solar-wind/4338280
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And that is the curious paradox of Texas: While seemingly more virtuous states labor over environmental impact assessments, Texans see a business opportunity and grab it--and so could very well end up leading the nation in clean energy. "In Texas, because we don't care about the environment, we're actually able to do things that are good for the environment," says Michael Webber, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. "It's the most ironic, preposterous situation. If you want to build a wind farm, you just build it."

On private land, wind developers simply make a deal with landowners and pay them a royalty. But there's no siting review process for wind farms on state lands, either. Plus, the state's boundary extends 10.3 miles from the coast, a stipulation made by Sam Houston, Texas's president, before the republic joined the United States in 1845. Federal waters off all other coastal states begin 3 miles offshore, which means wind projects beyond that point--such as Cape Wind, which was proposed for Nantucket Sound in Massachusetts in 2001--fall under the jurisdiction of the Minerals Management Service.

"If you'd like to build a wind farm off the coast of Texas, you only have to deal with the Texas General Land Office, and we're a very eager leaser," Jim Suydam, the office's press secretary, says. "My boss is a Texas Republican. He's an old Marine lieutenant colonel who carries a gun in his boot. But you'll find no bigger proponent of offshore wind power, because he sees it as a vital part of a diversified revenue stream for public education."

Offshore oil and gas production have contributed $6 billion to the Texas Permanent School Fund since it was established in 1854--but that source of income won't rise forever, Suydam says. So this summer the Texas General Land Office signed two offshore wind leases with Houston-based Baryonyx; they were the state's sixth and seventh. When the company goes into production, the state will take a cut--and resell the power. "It's different than in California, where it's all about carbon emissions," Suydam says. "Here it's all about making money."



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October 28, 2011, 04:25:31 AM
 #50

Heh, don't knock on smart people. We invent the tech that makes those windmills work, and our east coast financial power houses and west coast VC's provide the cash to have them built. MD and WV are deploying a whole slew of windmills up in our "mountains" (aka "hills" in west coast speak) too, you know  Wink

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October 28, 2011, 04:33:06 AM
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Heh, don't knock on smart people. We invent the tech that makes those windmills work, and our east coast financial power houses and west coast VC's provide the cash to have them built. MD and WV are deploying a whole slew of windmills up in our "mountains" (aka "hills" in west coast speak) too, you know  Wink

I never knock smart people. I tend to bash those who keep smart and motivated people from actually solving problems.
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October 28, 2011, 05:04:30 AM
 #52

Heh, don't knock on smart people. We invent the tech that makes those windmills work, and our east coast financial power houses and west coast VC's provide the cash to have them built. MD and WV are deploying a whole slew of windmills up in our "mountains" (aka "hills" in west coast speak) too, you know  Wink

I never knock smart people. I tend to bash those who keep smart and motivated people from actually solving problems.


Just keep giving them grant money, and they'll keep at it  Grin

My initial point though was that if I, with my personality, intellect, curiocity, and wants was stuck where Atlas is now, I'd likely get all depressy and insane, and spend most of my time on the intenret trying to learn about as much about stuff outside of the place I'm stuck in. My social focus would get reoriented more towards internet stuff rather than the "boring people" around me, and I'd keep trying to figure out some ideas or ways to help get me the hell out of there, too. Wonder if that's Atlas's excuse, too?

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October 28, 2011, 05:28:55 AM
 #53

My initial point though was that if I, with my personality, intellect, curiocity, and wants was stuck where Atlas is now, I'd likely get all depressy and insane, and spend most of my time on the intenret trying to learn about as much about stuff outside of the place I'm stuck in. My social focus would get reoriented more towards internet stuff rather than the "boring people" around me, and I'd keep trying to figure out some ideas or ways to help get me the hell out of there, too. Wonder if that's Atlas's excuse, too?

Wow! Could you be more condescending? I don't actually know where you are so I can't make appropriate geo relative comments, but suppose you lived in Manhattan. What you are saying is, "Can you imagine how much it must suck to live in New Jersey? I bet all those people have to do all day is internet porn."

Really, if Atlas is the least bit clever he'll start a business and become one of the folks the Columbia students are protesting. I mean no matter what happens, somebody has to be in the top 1%. It is completely clear who has zero interest in being in that demographic.
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October 28, 2011, 05:36:08 AM
 #54

My initial point though was that if I, with my personality, intellect, curiocity, and wants was stuck where Atlas is now, I'd likely get all depressy and insane, and spend most of my time on the intenret trying to learn about as much about stuff outside of the place I'm stuck in. My social focus would get reoriented more towards internet stuff rather than the "boring people" around me, and I'd keep trying to figure out some ideas or ways to help get me the hell out of there, too. Wonder if that's Atlas's excuse, too?

Wow! Could you be more condescending? I don't actually know where you are so I can't make appropriate geo relative comments, but suppose you lived in Manhattan. What you are saying is, "Can you imagine how much it must suck to live in New Jersey? I bet all those people have to do all day is internet porn."

Really, if Atlas is the least bit clever he'll start a business and become one of the folks the Columbia students are protesting. I mean no matter what happens, somebody has to be in the top 1%. It is completely clear who has zero interest in being in that demographic.


Tell me when that happens and I'll make a public apology for saying this, but those rags-to-riches stories don't exist anymore. The only way they would be protesting Atlas right now would be if he just inherited his late father's investment firm and starting scheming up more ways to earn money off investors while lobbying for less taxes and regulation for himself and more taxes and another Patriot Act for those poorer than him.
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October 28, 2011, 05:37:44 AM
 #55

I've lived in both the Northeast and the Deep South as an adult. The difference among attitudes, friendliness, intelligence and all of that in actual regular people (not raving ideologues, politicians, etc.) between the two regions is way fucking smaller than the media would like you to think. Some of our Pennsylvania rednecks can give just about anyone in the South a run for their money.
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October 28, 2011, 06:12:59 AM
 #56

but those rags-to-riches stories don't exist anymore.

Really? Come on! Michael Dell dropped out of college not 30 miles from where Atlas is. But if he is not rags-to-riches enough, how about:

College Drop Outs

Steve Wozniak
Steve Jobs
Bill Gates
Mark Zuckerberg


College Graduates

Larry Ellison
Jeff Bezos
Larry Page
Sergey Brin
Warren Buffett
Herman Cain

Those are just the tech folks and others who immediately come to mind. You will find the Forbes 400 is filled with people who didn't inherit their money from daddy.
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October 28, 2011, 06:29:35 AM
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Then why do we have very nearly the lowest social mobility of any First World country? I think I've asked you that several times  that you ignored actually.

Look how easy it is to trick people like you. Someone holds up a few token examples of what you want to believe and you're satisfied. Facts, statistics, these things don't matter and never will, right?

Also, most of those people got their start decades ago when social mobility was much higher and many were never even close to poverty at any time in their lives. I mean, Bill Gates? Seriously? The real reason you can't understand the frustration groups like OWS have is that you're looking at America through 1970s-tinted glasses, and conservative media sources are only too happy to egg on that delusion.
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October 28, 2011, 07:04:08 AM
 #58

Then why do we have very nearly the lowest social mobility of any First World country? I think I've asked you that several times  that you ignored actually.

Hey! Who is the lowest? I didn't know there was room for improvement.

Well it is clearly a conspiracy. Obviously, the folks at the top are not competing among themselves. They are all preoccupied with penalizing the folks who work at McDonald's. It is symptomatic of the rich's perceive that the poor spit in their food. Either that, or they are all trying to get back at them because they got picked on in high school.

Look how easy it is to trick people like you. Someone holds up a few token examples of what you want to believe and you're satisfied. Facts, statistics, these things don't matter and never will, right?

People like me! You mean niggers! You racist bastard!
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October 28, 2011, 07:10:52 AM
 #59

Then why do we have very nearly the lowest social mobility of any First World country? I think I've asked you that several times  that you ignored actually.

Hey! Who is the lowest? I didn't know there was room for improvement.

England, actually.

But you just avoided the question yet again, so great job with that.
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October 28, 2011, 08:11:16 AM
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But you just avoided the question yet again, so great job with that.

Actually, I read a good article on that the other day. I was looking for the link. It was written by a European socialist ruminating on the same question. I can't seem to find the link. I'll summarize his view, then I'll give mine.

He pointed out that Europe has more "situational" equality, meaning people are more financially equal as you are suggesting. He attributed this to homogeneity. French people seem themselves a French people and they should be the equal. However, his view was that European countries have very little "opportunistic" equality. Meaning that if you are Muslim new-French you are expected to not try to fit in. You are people, but you're not "our people".

Conversely, he saw America as having much more "opportunistic" equality. His view was everyone, black, white, rich, poor, gay, straight, (and he had a growing list of groups we are tolerating, like it or not) is seen as having a chance to succeed. So if someone does succeed, we are more willing to tolerate the "situational" inequality.

---

Personally, I think Europe blew themselves the fuck up during World War II. The process of randomly destroying people's shit, removed any notion of a mapping between owning property and deserving to own property. Specifically, if a bomb fell on my house but did not fall on your house, that doesn't mean I deserved to have my stuff destroyed more than you.

In the end, everyone had to rebuild together out of what they all had left. Or they could stand on arbitrary principles and all die or kill each other. This process left a couple of generations forever changed.

However, they are quickly re-discovering that some people are more productive than others. Even Amsterdam tolerates its famous drug users because it is less bother to do so than otherwise. They don't consider drug addicts as living a socially equivalent lifestyle. European countries are also discovering that they enjoy their homogeneity. The French are not keen on giving the new-French Muslims the same social freedoms and benefits. Clearly, the Germans want equality for the Germans, but they are not really saying, "Oh those poor Greeks."

---

The US has a different philosophy from Europe. I partially agree with the guy above. If you are Herman Cain and come from poverty, you can make it. If you are an orphan like Steve Jobs you can make it. These folks deserve what they earned. They didn't steal anything. The created value.

And we Americans see ourselves in them. Sometimes there is envy in our eyes, but still we think, if I wasn't so damn lazy I could be like those guys. I could create awesome shit! I could bring people together to change the world! Now where is that last beer?

Speaking only for myself. I know this category of people fits me. Maybe I'm delusional and I'm not as smart or driven as Steve Jobs. But in no way is my personal failing Steve Jobs fault. Him being clever doesn't make him responsible for me being less so. This is not a zero sum game.

I worked my job so I could deserve the cool shit Steve Jobs willed to life. He didn't will it to life because I deserve it.
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