Just In
for Logical Puzzles, Brain Floss, and The Peer Review

2/7/2006 c1 some guy
yur right I misread what yu wer saying. Good essay. It sur made me laugh.
2/7/2006 c2 No Trust
“No Trust, as usual, thanks. I understand your sentiment, but facts that laws can be broken do not disprove their existence fully.”

It doesn’t disprove their existence if you mean by their existence that they are in fact written on paper, and that there are in fact people willing to use violence to enforce them.

I agree that ownership is the bedrock of civilization… sort of. A natural law justification for a kleptocratic ruler could just say that he owns (at the very least) all the land in his jurisdiction. In fact I see that as the only coherent natural law justification for a state of any kind. But anyway, modern states from the USFG to Soviet Russia could be considered corporations, and really what makes them illegitimate by natural law propertarian standards? Okay, so the soviets stole the Czar’s property… but then the Czars weren’t no angels either. The USFG reclaimed the property that the colonists stole from the English king, so by most natural law theorists’ standards it’s the legit owner of Alaska and everything between Canada and Mexico (Hawaii is a different story), so all its nasty confiscations and interventions in the market are just exercises of its property rights.

Back to the original point, saying that ‘x is good for civilization’ is not the same as saying that ‘it is an objective fact that one ought to do x’. I like civilization, and I prefer that people behave in a civilized manner, and I’m in favor of killing people who engage in a few particular behaviors that I hate. Most people share these preferences to varying degrees. But that just shows that humans are fairly similar in their basic wants, not that there are oughts that are some kind of objective feature of reality, whatever that would mean. I suspect our disagreements here are mostly semantic and/or theological.

”Again, thanks. Heh, I hope I'm not sounding too much like the tone you took in 'Fun With Public Goods.”

It’s kind of refreshing, as I’ve been reading the latest edition of Jared Diamond’s ‘Guns, Germs, and Steel’.

Three cheers for reviews that are longer than their subjects.
2/6/2006 c2 1Formerly
Man, you're too good for this place. Allow me to recommend the book "50 B. C. and Other Philosophical Fantasies," by Raymond Smullyan, in case you haven't read it. He uses a similar tactic to make fun of all sorts of philosophies with excellent effect, though of course he doesn't have the advantage of such an easy target.

Anyway, good show.
2/6/2006 c2 Some Typewriter
No Trust, as usual, thanks. I understand your sentiment, but facts that laws can be broken do not disprove their existence fully.

I posit what Hayek argued was the foundation of civilization, ownership. Early man builds hunting tools, kills an elk, and digs a storage pit in order to house it. His pit will be stalked by scavengers. He’ll try to defend it through building a fence and snares around his pit. Meanwhile, this early man gets horny, and develops a revolutionary idea, he can trade elk meat for sex. What follows may be prostitution as the oldest profession, or the first domestic union. In any case, the later follows in time. Together, they put together a home beside the pit, and she ends up preparing the food while he goes off hunting again. Perhaps she also talks to another woman about this, or her parents, if they’re still alive. The idea of a homestead with a fence, home, and storage pit spread. Some will be daring, and place their homesteads in different places, while many others will be conservative, and settle close to the first successful homestead.

From all of this, we have the first community, and it happens to be based on one a single industry, hunting elk. The community is made up of hunters with pits, so the first taboo to arise will be against scavengers. So they formulate a common value, which we’ll call The Golden Rule, and it is an ordinance against theft. All the hunters agree to it, of course. It will probably be so natural that hunters fight to defend their catches from scavengers, that a formal ordinance won’t need to be acknowledged for some time, but it will eventually pass that an alliance of sorts will be necessary.

Guys too old to go on hunts will be contracted to be watchmen against thieves, and they’ll be paid for their duties in small donations of meat. The watchman may be so empowered to kill any that transgress this law so important to prosperity.

This way of life will last until the foundation of the ruler. He may be the most successful hunter, and he may pay the watchmen to become his enforcers. I have the feeling he’ll deceive people, instead. I feel he’ll convince people he has a divine right to rule. I think he’ll sway people with false logic that he’s more fit to make decisions than any other man. It will first be for reason of perceived biological superiority that he takes over, but in time, his successors will insist it is God’s will, and later generations will insist superior education makes them fit to determine how people live, until we have the Ivy League ruling class of today.

Despite this plague of authoritarian conceit, many of us are still familiar with the bedrock of civilization, a simple rule-set that allowed us to prosper together.

Again, thanks. Heh, I hope I'm not sounding too much like the tone you took in 'Fun With Public Goods.' ^_^
2/6/2006 c2 No Trust
AVDA has got to be one of the dumbest people alive.
2/6/2006 c2 5A Very Disappointed Author
"The less their ability, the more their conceit." - Ahad Ha'Am, central figure in the movement for Cultural or Spiritual Zionism (arguably one of the best statements describing TypewriterKing)

Justin: "Look at this Bryan, it seems Typewriter King has no creative drive, and has amounted to attacking you for writing yet again.

T/k: "Hey, hey over here!"

Bryan:"That may be true, but I fail to pay attention."

Justin: "Thats good."

T/K:"hey, look at me! look at me!"

Bryan: "Wanna go weightlift?"

T/K: "I'm over here!"

Justin: "Sounds good."

Blah, blah, blah I don't like Typewriterking. Blah, blah, big overly pretentious words to guise my pointless piece. I'm wasting your time, and blah, blah, you don't even, blah, know it, blah.

See Typewriterking, I just took what you wrote, copied your style, and turned it on you, saving people the waste of an essay by doing it as a review.

Well you still cease to bore me, so good job on that, also I don't recall Bryan attacking you in his recent writing, so why don't you go and write something new for a change, eh?

I hope you enjoyed my piece!

The One, The Only,~AVDA
2/6/2006 c2 15No Trust
I wouldn’t contend that there are no objective truths (this would be overreach even if it wasn’t outright stupid), but it is an objective truth that morals are subjective. The very fact that natural law morals can be ‘broken’ means that they aren’t natural laws. I can’t even imagine what anyone could mean, logically, by ‘objective morality’ except for some kind of fatalism wherein everything that happens is moral (since it has happened in accord with all natural laws) and whatever doesn’t happen is immoral (since the operation of natural laws has not resulted in its occurrence). Actually, I think I’ve encountered someone who holds just this position.
11/20/2005 c1 No Trust
“No Trust, thanks for stating an absolute. I knew this would pull you back from the dark side! :)”

I’ve never denied ‘absolutes’ and the sith are not really relativists.

“It seems to me some sort of sensory data needs to be collected to see if your logic deductions have an basis in the real world.”

Rothbard said that he believed praxeology to be empirical in the broadest sense, in that axioms are empirical facts. Mises however, was a Kantian. I think modern Austrian School economists would probably be split down the middle though for the record, I tentatively side with Rothbard.

“For example, if you were interested in discovering if in fact people strive to satisfy their strongest desires, shouldn't you conduct a diverse survey that actually asks them?”

The idea behind praxeology is to derive general laws of action from certain axioms. If the axioms are true, and the logic valid, then the theory is true. Admitting data won’t help one way or the other. It is true that action is taken to satisfy the actor’s wants. A survey asking people whether this is true or not will accomplish nothing. There’s room for skepticism about Austrian monetary theory, H’s arguments that monarchies are more liberal than democracies/republics, etc, as praxeological theories will tend to have more flaws as they are reasoned out further from the base axioms. These theories also have empirical components as they are actually praxeological theory plugged into specifically, human action, and assumptions about human nature and wants (actually I think many Austrian School economists might disagree with me here, though I’m pretty sure I’m on the same page as Mises and Rothbard, and if not, screw ‘em, they’re wrong).

It’s true that praxeology does not lend itself to prediction like other methods have, at least in cases of specifics, as this requires observance of data. This also isn’t a bad thing at all. Proponents of praxeology don’t deny the usefulness of data, they just deny the usefulness of data to economic theory.
11/20/2005 c1 Chris Redfield
The more you talk, without me asking you too, the more recognition I get, when you understand that, maybe you'll stop

though I hope you don't

publicity, even when poor, is still publicity

so thanks again :)
11/20/2005 c1 Fake Raptor
I thank everyone for joining in on the dialog.

I'll isolate a nice little nugget from the sea o' stupid Chris Redfield left behind. Below in double quotation marks is the part of my essay he highlighted, and in single quotations is his reply.

"You see, some arguments can be pinned down as truth, if properly isolated from variables that could render the conclusion invalid. Truth can be found only when inconvenient phenomenon are factored in"'So basically remove reason, common sense, and any other logical explination that can refute your claim, and then YOUR truth is valid? Maybe factor in a few opinions here and there, and a refusal to consider those of others? Hmm, sounds a rather bit shady to me...perhaps you should be working for the Bush administration, since you seem to admire them so much. I'm sure that logic would aide him in covering up the lack of WMDs in Iraq.'

You see? The boy's reading comprehension isn't high enough to understand this! Granted, my essay scores high on the Gunning Fog Index, but this boy claims to be in college, so one would think he could comprehend it. Instead, he seems to have some form of learning disability. This makes it impossible to debate him in any rational manner, because he still doesn't understand what I actually wrote!

No Trust, thanks for stating an absolute. I knew this would pull you back from the dark side! :) There's something I've never understood about praxeology, however. How is it that you can confidently claim to find any truth in the economic condition without an observation loop? It seems to me some sort of sensory data needs to be collected to see if your logic deductions have an basis in the real world. For example, if you were interested in discovering if in fact people strive to satisfy their strongest desires, shouldn't you conduct a diverse survey that actually asks them? It seems to me that it you have a logic proof and raw data that compliment one another, you're closer to truth than relying on just one method.
11/20/2005 c1 Chris Redfield
Woohoo! more free advertisement!

This time as a title!

Thanks man :)
11/20/2005 c1 1Formerly
That's Justin, right? I keep getting them mixed up. Raptor is Bryan, and AVDA is Justin, but is Justin Chris Redfield? I don't know, when I think of "Justin" I think of one of my better friends, who is an irredeemable alcoholic.

Anyway, whichever Chris Redfield is: Your review could have been summarized thusly: "U r a hippocrite!" See, the first half based everything off a certain point, and then as you kept reading you realized that Fake Raptor here had ALREADY TAKEN CARE OF THAT POINT. You couldn't, however, bring yourself to erase your review, so you left it in with one of those non-committal backtracking things you're so fond of. The "U r" and the misspelling are there to show that although you are calling him a hypocrite, what you're saying is absolute bullshit, therefore, the equivalent of using chatspeak and not knowing how to spell.

See, excellent dude? You could have said that far more easily.
11/19/2005 c1 No Trust
I submit AVDA's existence as proof that there is no god. At least, not one worth worshipping.
11/19/2005 c1 6SilentBlueRose
Your logic amazes me. You have undoubtedly proved Bush is the best president of the 21 century. I'm just in awe of your greatness.
11/19/2005 c1 7Chris Redfield
The Raptor Papers


The Fake Raptor Pages

call me crazy but those titles are pretty similar, and even though the exact content may differ, thats a pretty good reason for someone to see this as a partial stab at Raptor. Maybe if you came up with titles for your work that were your own, and not variations of others, regardless of the inner content you would see this problem magically disappear.

Secondly, now that your updates have since increased, and/or updated, I see that other then Anya Tempest and yourself you seem to have a good stave of dissenters. So what you had me waiting for exactly is beyond me.

Now for something I plan to rarely do outside my hit game show: (these bits are in order, so don't go blwoing your top without reading all this)

"A certain faction continuously asserts that there is no such thing as a normative statement, and has launched a winded and ultimately futile campaign to prove the truth that there is no truth."

I am going to refrain from being egotistical here, and pray, assume, and hope that you are not referring to Raptor and myself. But, just in case you are, "the truth that there is no truth"? What? Oh, and also, as "long winded and futile" as our "campagin" may be, you, and everyone else who dislikes our presence has made sure to stay rather wll involved, don't you think?

"Of course, this is utter nonsense. "

Good. Finally someone who knows a joke when they see it...or am I speaking too soon? Perhaps I should read on.


I like the used of vocabulary here, but the necessity of highlighting the word BUTT to achieve humor is all but effective.

"Examine the above paragraph for a conclusion, and you’ll come to the normative answer that no other American President could be the best of the twenty-first century. Only George W Bush remains. Therefore, I’ve proved a claim contrary to what most essays conclude here. Nonetheless, all other answers are falsehoods. This will undoubtedly upset many people, but others will smile at the logical gymnastics I’ve pulled."

Well, yes, you do make a inarguable point here, if you are only trying to refute others claims literally. If so, the yes, Bush has to be the best president of the 21-st century, but I a yet to cross an essay that specifically refutes that exact claim. I have however seen a plethora of essays that claim he is the worst president ever, or even in a long time, and that, your point far from disproves.

"You see, some arguments can be pinned down as truth, if properly isolated from variables that could render the conclusion invalid.Truth can be found only when inconvenient phenomenon are factored in"

So basically remove reason, common sense, and any other logical explination that can refute your claim, and then YOUR truth is valid? Maybe factor in a few opinions here and there, and a refusal to consider those of others? Hmm, sounds a rather bit shady to me...perhaps you should be working for the Bush administration, since you seem to admire them so much. I'm sure that logic would aide him in covering up the lack of WMDs in Iraq.

"My proof that Bush is the finest president of this century carries little weight in ranking him with those of other centuries. Likewise, deeming him the worst when overlooking the historical facts that other presidents have faced equivalent events as the current one renders the anti-Bush essays equally invalid."

Wow, presenting both sides of the argument. Being dare I say, objective, and admitting your faults...I'm...shocked. However, just as a quick comparison, FDR attacked because we were attacked...like Bush, however, he attacked those who attacked us, without making lurid claims of dangerous weaponry to send us in a frenzy all over the place.

"Variables are very stubborn things, and will infuriate ranking efforts even if a consensus could be found as to what are good traits and what are bad."

So its hard to say what is "good" and what is "bad" exactly? You know I could be as general as you are here and say that ranges well into the ideas of the inability to define "right" and "wrong" objectivly. Basically you just proved one of Raptor's points...not necessarily a bad thing for us, I'm just not sure how you will take it.

For this next paragraph, I am going to prove a point by putting what you say in layman's terms. That point being how much your point reflects whats going on right now on this website:

You said: "Statistics such as GDP only give an overall picture, and are supplemented by many gauges at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Reserve, and other governmental sites."

Translation: These statistics are generalized opinions based on whose writing them.

You Said: "Not all of these statistics are satisfactory to everyone, however."

Translation: Not everyone always agrees.

You said: "There are alternative statistics used by alternative economists, and they generally depict a different view of American prosperity. Both sets of numbers are truthful, but they measure different things."

Translation: Even though everyone has their own way of seeing things, that doesn't make everyone wrong. It just means they share different ideas about a similar subject. (Hmm, I won't dare call you out on hypocrasy here, but it does reek a little bit, doesn't it)

You said: "However, while the numbers generated by these alternative statistics may be valid, they often make value judgments. Products in the CPI, for example, may not be as essential to American lifestyles as the micro economists claim. Moreover, maintaining that these items have a certain value is a subjective practice, and yet, the details of what these numbers actually mean are lost on the American people."

Translation: Even though each person has their own opinion they seem to fashion their delivery of such in their own favor. Doing so is what makes each argument a personal matter, and in the long run, doing so makes it more difficult for everyone to appreciate.

You said:"The subjective values placed in the alternative statistics are why mainstream economists generally reject them."

Translation: Making these arguments a personal matter, is what keeps those on the objective side from upsetting them. My only question then is, what do you consider mainstream? Wouldn't you have to say anyone's definition of mainstream is, in essence, a subjective claim? Whereas my ideas may be mainstream amongst my peers, and sacrilege amongst yours, does that necessarily make them wrong? (And if you say yes, solely in an attempt to be thickheaded, you really don't deserve the detailed review I am giving you)

You said: "Because they’re abstaining from accepting arbitrary values for detriments like pollution, economists are hanging closely to the rigors of science, but may be missing critical portions of the picture."

Translation: Since everyone is at each other's throats, no common ground can be found. On that much I can agree.

You said: "This may be rectified by compiling statistics of ailments like asthma, subtracting the medical cost and productivity lost from the statistics. This presents a clarified picture, without conducting a subjective analysis. Even so, absolute truth about what’s good and what’s bad for us isn’t being measured."

Translation: Doing research and requesting the aid of outside sources would help to provide a clear answer to the rather murky situation. That is a good point, however I must make note that in terms of whats been going on here lately, even when people address outside "valid" sources, they are ridiculed. For example, MrFlames feeling that by bringing in an outside source to refute him, he, in his own mind, has "won" whatever "battle" he feels is being "fought". Leading me into your next sentence...

You said: "Yet coming to an absolute truth is hardly necessary for voters and policymaker to make decisions, and more importantly, untruths can be proven to be invalid. What we have now is the best truth we can have until through diligence we can develop a better system."

Translation: What we know is all we need to know, regardless of its value in terms of actually being true. A bit spoon-fed, don't you think? You basically outlined this petty situation on fictionpress on a large scale, finally giving a halfway decent comparison other then a "war" for people to link it with, and then you dash away any respect I was beginning to find, with this statement.

Yes. It is more then apparent that the presenting of necessary truths has failed to accomplish anything here (from this point on I am solely addressing fictionpress.com, and yes, the embellishments on either "side" (to appease MrFlames) have been erradicated and made invalid, but that does not mean that what you and some others believe is necessarily the "right". Just because you feel you are right, and that we are wrong, does not mean that we all must settle on that ideal until something better comes along. If ANYTHING it means we should all work together to come up with that common better, otherwise you may as well all sit around with your thumbs up your asses, because the logic your basing your truth and reality on is about as pointless and stupid as the aforementioned action anyway.

Either way, now when I say that I don't exactly enjoy this essay, you will know why, consider it a deserved extension of my prior review. I won't say I entirely disagree with what you have wrote here, but I will never say I agree with you either.

My only word of advice is this, do what you did with "Hello, My Name Is Fake Raptor" and change the title of this, as it would aid in decreasing the scrutiny you might face. Also, the pen name...I really don't understand the necessity to mock Raptor...

Either way, I think essay perfectly serves the intentions of your closing sentences, it is yet another piece of "well-documented error" in a scientific experiment, whose end goal, I believe, but you don't have to agree with me, is to weed out those on this website that still have not learned to use it properly, and in the end, either aid them changing their ways, or concluding upon there permanent absence.

The one, The only~AVDA
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