John Tate's blog

Altruism vs Benevolence

A philosophy means every person in the entire Universe is included. A philosophy of self-interest involves the self-interest of everyone. It's not Ayn Rand's psycho rationalizations from an anti-social mood it is Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. It is about finding principles that work in the entire Universe, it is philosophy!

Positivity and Realism

So Tony "Mr Positive" Abbott is saying we all might live until one hundred and fifty. As a geek who reads a bit about improvement in medical technology I say things like this. The left however are right that it is blatant speculation. I've given numbers such as 160 for a future life expectancy but I do it in the context of being my usual hyperbole.

Hacking Computers and Context

I love being a hacker, if only for the philosophy of tolerance set out by Eric S Raymond on his writings about the culture. We don't bicker, we always use reason. We don't get stuck on things. We don't take things personally, unless it is related to hacking. Socially merit and even tenure on certain projects says a lot about ones values.

Net Neutrality

It's a bizarre world when so called free speech advocates are pushing for FCC regulation of net neutrality. There is a point that it won't stop there, but if they wanted other regulation they could do it anyway. What the point should be in opposition is that net neutrality is a bad idea and our lives are better without it.

Capitalism and Open Source

As programmers using talent to improve for the masses the world there are some great allies: entrepreneurs. Being self-employed and having a small fan base of customers from weirder parts of my life has taught me something. My time is not best spent with stupid people and stupid problems.

AGW is self-referential

Among those who do not agree with the conclusions drawn by the proponents of AGW is an assumption of conspiracy. I myself do not agree with AGW. I don't really know either way what the climate is going to be in fifty or one hundred years. I also don't consider the concept of global climate to be valid, weather is a local phenomenon. I am thus skeptical of predictions far into the future based off limited measurement of a very complex physical system.

A Response to Slander

A response to slander, to nobody in particular, since this is a discussion I refuse to have. The response the liar would have to this would just kill me inside, I don't want it to happen and yet it already has a little...

"Why do you speak of what you don't even know yet? You should be asking questions. With everything else, you are the open minded pretentious sponge ready to absorb anything. Considering that what really makes you so oppositional to those ideas in particular?

Murphy's Large Hadron Collider

I am not a physics person, I know a little, and I know where to find much if I ever did want to start learning and using physics. I am however slightly above a novice with logic. I've learned from Objectivism that the analytic-synthetic dichotomy is false. I like to get creative with logic, and with that I can deduce some interesting things.

Restrained Protoplasm

I just commented on this anti-piracy "crusade" the Australian government wants to go on. Though, it isn't a crusade but cowardice.

The fact is the Australian government doesn't want to ruffle any feathers by arresting pirates. Instead they're going to treat us all as if we can't help ourselves, like they do with drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. They are going to impose censorship on the Internet to stop piracy. This is because they like so many people in Australian culture do not believe in personal responsibility.

Memes are for Monkeys

There is an advantage to being a conceptual being. As humans we have concepts that subsume types of entities in reality. Monkeys do not have this, they have short expressions for very specific things. As conceptual beings humans are contextual beings, we have to use context to specify specific things. For example a monkey if it could recognize my website might just go "scraah," and for another it might go "eeek." As humans we have to know what a website is, how to use it, and how to specify which website of the many websites it is.


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