[linux-elitists] git and a sysadmin book

Jeremy Hankins nowan@nowan.org
Sat Jan 17 14:00:56 PST 2009

Bob Bernstein <rs@bernstein.providence.ri.us> writes:

> Read what I said again and try not to get caught in tunnel vision
> on the name "Philipp Frank." I don't need to carry water for any
> "positivism" to make my point, and clearly, for the passage cited,
> neither does Prof. Frank. 

Did I entirely misunderstand the point of your quote?  Was it not about
physical concepts, and how they are misinterpreted by understanding them
as anything other than an operational meaning?  Going back and
re-reading it, I don't believe I did.  But if so, enlighten me.  Because
this view assumes that such a thing as a purely operational meaning is
possible, the contrary of which is the biggest argument against the

Don't misunderstand: positivism doesn't seem to admit to anything so
banal as a disproof.  The only argument against positivism is an
essentially scientific one: despite immense amounts of work and an
incredible volume of journal articles they have failed to account for
even such basic concepts as color.

> There's nothing outdated about 1) the idea that scientific claims
> ought to be tied to observation, at least in some possible,
> imaginable, way, and 2) unmasking policy views which masquerade as
> would-be factual statements.

So long as you mean the first in a loose and non-technical sense (i.e.,
the same kind of sense for which you were criticizing Karsten) I have no
objection to it.  There are some sticky problems underlying the idea
(e.g., what's "tied to" mean? or observation?), but unless you have an
independent interest in phil. of science it's probably not worth

But the latter of your claims seems to be a value judgment based on a
rejection of value judgments, and therefore difficult to make sense of.
Either that or you're misunderstanding the unclear concepts in your
first claim as being perfectly transparent and making some unjustified
conclusions on that basis.

Physicists who think they're philosophers are every bit as annoying as
philosophers who think they're physicists.

Jeremy Hankins <nowan@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333  9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03

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