[linux-elitists] git and a sysadmin book

jkinz@kinz.org jkinz@kinz.org
Sat Jan 17 06:40:52 PST 2009

On Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 07:12:36AM +0000, Bob Bernstein wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 02:56:32AM -0800, Rick Moen wrote:
> > Anyway, whether the inexact borrowing was from one, two, or a
> > dozen sciences' stockpiles of jargon really doesn't rise above
> > trivia, nei? 
> The conversational, "poetical" or metaphorical use of concepts
> extracted from physics ought to be deprecated. All manner of
> policy nonsense, from homeopathy to angels, is being pitched --
> very successfully -- in the marketplace via such linguistic
> sleight of hand. This is not news. In the nineteenth century
> biblical creationists seized on the Second Law of Thermodynamics
> and argued from it that evolution must be wrong, that creatures of
> higher complexity could never "spontaneously" arise out of lower
> animals. 
> You don't want to get in bed with this crowd Karsten. You have an
> insight, but your use of the term "entropy" does not help its
> exposition; it hinders. It's *not* as if there is a wide-spread,
> well-understood meaning of the term "entropy" that you can draw
> on; this, despite the fact that some have learned their
> thermodynamics in high school.

Its awfully hard not to do such borrowing. It seems to be one of
the fundamental mechanisms of language. Biological "viruses" were
borrowed to become computer "viruses" and I'll bet there are many
other examples. Some where the original meaning of the term was
completely mangled in the borrowing. I don't think we can manage
without it despite the problems

The only alternative I would even suggest would be to try new,
similar words that bring some of the old meaning combined with
the new. 

Like "infropy": concept of entropy applied to information. 

Language purists would probably hate that.  I think there are a
few of those in this list.  [Yea, Viriily! :-) ]


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