[linux-elitists] Re: GNOME > you

Lance Simmons lance@lsimmons.net
Sun Jan 4 09:06:46 PST 2004

* Jeff Waugh <jdub@perkypants.org> [040104 10:32]:
> <quote who="Jeremy Hankins">
> > Then when I discovered that it's in fact based on the idea that
> > there's an objective distinction between how one does work (i.e.,
> > what one does to do the work) and what the work is, I became very
> > interested indeed, because that's something I completely disagree
> > with.
> You might be trying to hammer down hard beliefs or distinctions where
> there are none (I merely gave an example), which would explain the
> response. 

You originally sounded to me (hence to at least two people) like you
intended to draw a clear and sharp distinction between how and what, the
sort of distinction that could withstand close scrutiny.  This
misunderstanding may just be a matter of the different expectations
people bring to a conversation.  I was hoping to understand what
objective evidence supports your claims about the objective superiority

> So, I'm not sure your disagreement with "[my] objective distinction
> between how and what" is really warranted. I don't think that's what
> I'm explaining here at all. It's about approach, technical needs, soft
> needs, and level of care-factor. I guess that's why I'm surprised at
> your aggressive pursuit of this point - these aren't really abstract
> concepts.

No, they are really vague concepts. (Is it "level-of-care factor" or
"level of care-factor", and what would either of these things be,
anyway?) Because they are not precise, such concepts are not appropriate
for framing your claims to objective superiority.  It sounds to me like
Jeremy wants to get you to explain yourself using concepts that have
objective content so that we on the list can understand what evidence
there is to support your claims.  Jeremy's comments about science and
the history of science (which has its shadow, the history of
group-think) strike me as right on target.

Lance Simmons
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