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Scientism

Science has explained some things very nicely. But scientism attempts to move from that to the claim that “the only good explanation is a scientific explanation.”
It is like moving from the fact that a hammer is a good tool for some jobs to the claim that “the only good tool is a hammer.”


Callahan’s principle of claim parsimony

When writing a paper, restrict yourself to one controversial claim: the main one the paper is designed to forward. Don't throw in other controversial claims as offhand remarks!

So, if you are trying to convince chemists that they have made a mistake in determining the formula for some compound, don't mention, in passing, "Oh, and obviously the moon landing was faked."

Welcome to Apple password hell

You buy into the Apple "eco-system," and wind up with three Macs, an iPhone, and a couple of Apple TVs. They are all supposed to connect to the same Apple account. And they all automatically store and use your password... until something happens. Like you get an new device, or hookup to a different cable provider... and then you need to re-enter the password you've forgotten, since it was so conveniently stored for you.

LOOP:

So you get the password wrong three times, so Apple forces you to change it... to something different than any of your last N passwords. Ok, so what? Well, you have to re-enter it on every device... including that one you only pull out in emergencies. But, by the time you use it again, well, you've been using your stored password for months, and so you type it wrong three times, and Apple forces you to re-set it!

JUMP LOOP

Nine stories up

Now I can see the light of day The Verrazano Bridge so far awayIn the yard the machines playAnd I think I’m falling down
Looking over that old canalLooking for just one true palAin’t nothing to see unusualNine stories up but I’m gonna drown

Not All Rules Can Be Made Explicit

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Sometimes libertarians, such as Walter Block, suggest that if something isn't explicitly forbidden in a law (or contract), it is permitted. Why this can't work:


The point is rather obvious, isn’t it?

Non-historical McWhorter

John McWhorter is an interesting writer and thinker. I have taken three of his audio courses, read a couple of his books, as well as a number of articles he has written.
But, like many scientists who have never been trained to think historically, he’s dangerous when he gets on the subject of history. Such stinkers tend to think only in terms of scientific, general laws of causation. Whatever cannot be explained by such a law is mere “accident” or “chance.”
History is the attempt to make sense of some past state of affairs in terms of the earlier past states of affairs that brought the latter one about. “Accident” and “chance” play no part in such an understanding, except, perhaps, in a trivial sense like “The Duke had a car accident after playing a game of chance.”
A similar error occurs on page 39 of What Language Is, where McWhorter talks about languages suffering “an interruption in their histories.” (He is talking about scenarios such as Persian becoming highly simplified due to the …