Scheme as a virtual machine?

Mario S. Mommer m_mommer at
Thu Nov 25 17:30:12 CET 2010

Raffael Cavallaro <raffaelcavallaro at>
> On 2010-11-24 16:19:49 -0500, toby said:
>> And furthermore, he has cooties.
> Once again, not all ad hominem arguments are ad hominem
> fallacies. Financial conflict of interest is a prime example of a
> perfectly valid ad hominem argument.

It has limited validity. People are way more complicated than the
simplistic "follow your own selfish egoistic interests to the letter
without taking prisoners" model of human behavior that seems
(unfortunately) so prevalent nowadays.

> People who parse patterns but not semantics are apt to fall into the
> error of believing that "ad hominem" automatically means "logically
> invalid." This is not the case.

In the realm of pure logic, ad hominems are logically invalid,
period. However, if the question cannot be resolved by its own merits,
simple logic has little to say, and you may include additional
information in a sort-of Bayesian fashion.

Saying that a conflict of interest means that nothing this person says
makes any sense at all is in a way an admission that the subject of
discussion is not very amenable to rational argument.

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