Quick Roundup 545

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Twitter Tweaking

Those who use Twitter to follow this blog will notice "[GVH Blog] prepended to the beginning of each post announcement tweet from tomorrow on. I may begin adding new content to the twitter feed and want to make it easy for people who subscribed just for the post announcements to still be able to get just the posts.

Property Rights at Ground Zero

I recommend two posts each from Amy Peikoff and Paul Hsieh to any fellow newcomers to this interesting debate. As far as I can tell, these posts both essentialize the two sides to the debate well and make clear by word and deed the need to take the requirements for human cognition into account when debating applications of Objectivism with other Objectivists.

New Day, Same Crime, Different Gang

Hugo Chavez has announced that he will do (again) to American oil producers what Barack Obama has announced he will do to American physicians: Take control of their livelihood.

Venezuela's legislature has voted to nationalize 11 oil rigs owned by the US firm Helmerich & Payne.
Sure, Obama has no room to oppose the takeover on moral or political grounds, but why isn't he in a huff about another gangster muscling in on his action? Perhaps it's because he realizes on some level that there's more for him to gain here in America than to retain abroad by keeping the issue of private property out of the limelight.

Whether he pragmatically grandstanded for the property rights of American corporations or acted like the rigs are somehow "national property," Obama would necessarily have to raise the issue of the propriety of a government owning or controlling such property.

What Happened to Dell?

Anyone who has had to use a flaky Optiplex computer (as I did at my last job in Houston) or who has stopped buying from Dell for some similar reason will find this article illuminating:
A study by Dell found that OptiPlex computers affected by the bad capacitors were expected to cause problems up to 97 percent of the time over a three-year period, according to the lawsuit.

As complaints mounted, Dell hired a contractor to investigate the situation. According to a Dell filing in the lawsuit, which has not yet gone to trial, the contractor found that 10 times more computers were at risk of failing than Dell had estimated. Making problems worse, Dell replaced faulty motherboards with other faulty motherboards, according to the contractor’s findings.

But Dell employees went out of their way to conceal these problems. In one e-mail exchange between Dell customer support employees concerning computers at the Simpson Thacher & Bartlett law firm, a Dell worker states, "We need to avoid all language indicating the boards were bad or had 'issues' per our discussion this morning."
At least, this isn't some government-enforced monopoly, and competition permits us to spend our money more effectively elsewhere.


Yes. It is true. Having one's parents involved in negotiations with potential employers has made a list of "Big Blunders Job Hunters Make."
In the past two months, Accenture's Mr. Campagnino says he has received two emails from parents of applicants asking why the company hasn't extended their adult children job interviews. "There's a significant lack of judgment when you have your parents intercede with a potential employer," he says. "We expect individuals to be able to represent themselves and sell themselves."

Hiring managers say they've also seen moms and dads accompany their offspring to job interviews and try to intervene in salary negotiations.
And yes, that is a Wall Street Journal article.

-- CAV


: Changed first section on change to Twitter feed.


mtnrunner2 said...

Touché. I think Obama's relationship to private property (and individual rights in general) is the same as Bush's relationship to fundamentalism. It's basically the third rail they can't touch, or it would blow their political coalition to pieces.

Honestly, I don't think that first round of debate on the mosque helped the Objectivist community very much. Whenever you see accusations of "rationalism" flying, you know things are getting bad.

Rationalism is a term that IMO is rarely used with any objective meaning, but is often the Objectivist equivalent of "poopy-head".

Gus Van Horn said...

It's not important exactly how I first learned about that debate, but it was before the level of discussion went up a notch, and it reminded me of all the forums and Usenet groups I used to avoid like the plague.

"Rationalism," like its sister term, "subjectivism," is a valid term, but it does tend to get used hastily and inappropriately.

Andrew Dalton said...

I was never involved in the Facebook portion of the mosque debate, but I got the impression (from Trey Givens and others) that it was very nasty. The first round that I saw in the NoodleFood comments was heated but not so personal.

Gus Van Horn said...

I probably saw the same post(s) you speak of at some point, and it did sound like things were nasty.

I have some perverse curiosity about that stuff, but not enough to bother opening a Facebook account!

mtnrunner2 said...

>opening a Facebook account

I only did so after my brother and sister did, and I use it strictly for keeping in touch with family and a few close friends. Real time contact, day to day, is nice. Easy to post pics and videos.

Also, since I'm a software engineer, it's part of keeping current :)

Gus Van Horn said...

Not ruling it out, but I'll ease into Twitter first...

Mo said...

I don't know why the US companies do business with a thug like Chavez

Gus Van Horn said...

To the extent that they have a choice in the matter, blame pragmatism. (e.g., "If we don't go in there and take our cut, someone else will.")