Posts

Modern architecture

"the primary aim of architectural design today is, very simply, not to find the best possible solution for human environments, but rather, to create adventurous new sculptural works of art on a gigantic scale" -- Michael W. Mehaffy, Cities Alive, p. 167

Practicing science is NOT a theoretical activity

One can't "put science on a scientific basis."

The knowledge of how to practice science is not itself a form of scientific knowledge.


Arguing for the sake of it

"Philosophers, especially those with an academic position, inherit a long tradition of arguing for the sake of arguing; even if they despair of reaching the truth, they think it a matter of pride to make other philosophers look foolish. A hankering for academic reputation turns them into a kind of dialectical bravoes, who go about picking quarrels with their fellow philosophers and running them through in public, not for the sake of advancing knowledge, but in order to decorate themselves with scalps." -- R.G. Collingwood, The Principles of Art, p. 106-107

Poincaré on chance

“A very small cause which escapes her notice determines a considerable effect that we cannot fail to see, and then we say the effect is due to chance.” — Henri Poincaré, Science and Method
This is something I have pointed out here repeatedly. When someone says that the cause or explanation for some event is “chance,” they have turned a word which, when properly used, should be understood to mean “we don’t know what caused that event,” into the name of a cause itself.  It is as though our ignorance of the true cause of some event is causing the event!

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