Is 'everything' a refrence or isn't it?

Steven D'Aprano steve at
Sat Jan 14 22:26:57 EST 2006

On Sat, 14 Jan 2006 18:49:43 -0500, Mike Meyer wrote:

> Steven D'Aprano <steve at> writes:
>> object instances are like electrons (note for pedants: in classical
>> physics, not QED): they are all exactly the same, distinguishable only by
>> their position in time and space (or memory location).
> Except all electrons aren't exactly the same - because they have a
> value over and above their location. If you want to be pedantic, you
> can claim that electrons with a positive charge aren't really
> electrons.

Of course positrons aren't electrons. The two are opposites, and if they
contact each other, they annihilate each other. Two electrons don't
annihilate each other.

> In either case, what's the object's equivalent for "electric charge"?

I never said that position was the *only* property of electrons. They have
electric charge, they have spin, they have rest mass. But all these
properties are precisely, exactly the same from one electron and another.
Likewise instances of object() have a rich, object-oriented structure --
dir(object()) returns a list with twelve items -- but every instance is

Please don't try to get into the whole bosons versus fermions argument, or
bring up quantum mechanics. We'll only get even more confused. I don't
even want to hear the words "kinetic energy". It's only an analogy.


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