Scheme as a virtual machine?

Keith H Duggar duggar at alum.mit.edu
Tue Nov 23 17:34:14 CET 2010


On Nov 23, 10:34 am, Raffael Cavallaro
<raffaelcavall... at pas.despam.s.il.vous.plait.mac.com> wrote:
> On 2010-11-23 10:08:12 -0500, Keith H Duggar said:
> > On Nov 22, 5:12 pm, Raffael Cavallaro <raffaelcavall... at pas.despam.s.il.vous.plait.mac.com> wrote:
> > > On 2010-11-22 11:25:34 -0500, scattered said:
> > >
> > > > And you don't think that [JH] could write a book about Haskell
> > > > if he honestly came to think that it were a superior all-aroung
> > > > language?
> > >
> > > Until he actually does, he has a financial interest in trash-talking
> > > Haskell. This makes anything he says about Haskell suspect.
> > >
> > > >  The fact that he *didn't* mindlessly reject [musical note lang] in favor of
> > > > [Irish Ship Of The Desert] when [musical note lang] came out (despite
> > > > the fact that at the time his company
> > > > was deeply (exclusively?) invested in [Irish Ship Of The Desert] and
> > > > arguably had a vested
> > > > interest in having [musical note lang] fail to gain support) suggests
> > > > that he is able
> > > > to fairly evaluate the merits of other languages.
> > >
> > > No, it suggests that he saw that supporting the Irish Ship Of The
> > > Desert meant going up against Microsoft, so he jumped to the MS
> > > supported variant of the Donut Dromedary.
> > >
> > > You miss the fundamental point; having a financial interest in the
> > > outcome of a debate makes anything that person says an advertisement
> > > for his financial interests, not a fair assessment.
> >
> > There is a well-known name for such illogical reasoning: ad hominem.
> > When a person poses an /argument/, nothing personal outside of the
> > /argument/ is relevant. Thus, your claim that "anything that person
> > says ..." is not only obvious hyperbole it is also illogical.
> >
> > It is a common refuge of those who cannot support their position
> > with fact and logic. On more than one occasion Jon Harrop has all
> > but crushed Ertugrul in this very forum with /source code/; that
> > is as objective as it gets.
>
> You don't understand ad hominem:
>
> "The ad hominem is a classic logical fallacy,[2] but it is not always
> fallacious. For in some instances, questions of personal conduct,
> character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue.[3]"
>
> Source: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem>
>
> Sometimes the person's conduct and motives *are relevant* to the point
> under discussion. Financial conflict of interest is a perfect example
> where it *is* legitimate and relevant to explore a person's motives and
> conduct outside of the debate.
>
> In this case, JH's conduct outside of the debate (i.e., the fact that
> he earns his living by selling tools and training for a particular set
> of languages) and his motives (i.e., he is therefore financially
> motivated to present these languages in the best possible light and to
> trash-talk other languages), render his arguments in the debate
> inherently suspect.

You don't understand the implications of your own words:

   "having a financial interest in the outcome of a debate makes
   anything that person says an advertisement for his financial
   interests, not a fair assessment."

is substantially different from

   "render his arguments in the debate inherently suspect."

Do you understand how? Hint, see my comment regarding "hyperbole"
and also consider the relationship between the qualifier "anything"
and universal quantification.

I think if you think a bit more carefully you will come to see how
your original statement was indeed fallacious ad hominem. (And that
specific example remains so regardless of which common approach to
informal logic you take ie whether you choose one that is more or
less sympathetic to ad hominem in general.)

KHD



More information about the Python-list mailing list