Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Limping Onwards

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  • richard, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    (By the same token, people who ritually complain that Foucault is hard seem to be fine with the fact that Richard Feynman is hard, for reasons that frankly escape me.)

    Actually, maybe we agree. There is a difference between simple as in easy, and simple as in uncomplicated. The latter is what science strives for, and what Feynman achieves, but in the humanities it may often be complexity that is embraced, as it offers a road to nuance.

    But simple as in easy is what we read on the bus.

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen, in reply to James Butler,

    People will readily accept that the Universe is immensely complicated, but seem to balk at the suggestion that people are also complicated.

    I've always said that the hardest part of rocket science was making sure the orbiting humans didn't kill each other (but I'll happily defer to richard).

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 204 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    a road to nuance

    We're on a road to nuance...

    </Friday earworm>

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1411 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to st ephen,

    I’ve always said that the hardest part of rocket science was making sure the orbiting humans didn’t kill each other (but I’ll happily defer to richard).

    "Once rockets go up / Who cares where they come down?
    That's not my department" / says Werner von Braun

    -Tom Lehrer

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    It's a pissing contest

    ?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16772 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to richard,

    But simple as in easy is what we read on the bus.

    I read Feynman's Six Not So Easy Pieces on the bus. (Well, okay, the train.) That is not to say I understood them however.

    Incidentally, and speaking of humanism, science, physics, one of the most wonderful books ever to have been through a printing press is the transcript of the conversations between Primo Levi and physicist Tullio Regge, which I see to my surprise has been translated into English even.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jolisa,

    earworm

    damn you :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16772 posts Report Reply

  • richard, in reply to James Butler,

    “Once rockets go up / Who cares where they come down?
    That’s not my department” / says Werner von Braun

    Oddly enough, one of my dinner companions this evening mentioned that he had met Von Braun when he (the fellow diner, not Von Braun) was an undergraduate. For old Usenet hands, this gets awfully close to an invocation of Godwin’s Rule, ;-)

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to richard,

    Do you think they have Godwin's law on soc.history.war.world-war-ii ?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Fooman, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Question: how many of you here are Usenet veterans, and is that where you learned your culture of internet argument?

    Long-time lurker, some-time poster

    #creepy "I like to read..."

    1993/4 - started off with uoc.talk with Jane Gregg and Dave Frame arguing. rec.sport.cricket and s.c.n-z, and nz.general. That plus a.t. when I was bored.

    FM

    Lower Hutt • Since Dec 2009 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • richard, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    transcript of the conversations between Primo Levi and physicist Tullio Regge, which I see to my surprise has been translated into English even

    Will put this on my list for when I am next on the bus. Going purely by his science, Regge is (or was?) a very smart guy. And Primo Levi is, of couse, primo.

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • richard,

    Just prompted to do a spot of "where are they now" googling - Dave Frame and I were at UoC together.

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Jane Gregg and Dave Frame

    Two more arts grads -- American Studies, Philosophy -- doing flipping awesome stuff with it. (Has Danyl conceded the point yet? Viz.: that the "gestalt consensus" about the value of the humanities isn't just a freaky PAS thing, but a fairly standard every-major-modern-nation-on-the-planet thing?)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1411 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to richard,

    Going purely by his science, Regge is (or was?) a very smart guy.

    He's alive, although he retired a decade ago. A friend of mine did his postdoc in Turin and they put him in Regge's vacated office, which meant he had to spend a lot of time fielding his calls.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Jolisa,

    Has Danyl conceded the point yet?

    I wouldn't blame him for not turning up again. This thread is wak now.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Do you think they have Godwin’s law on soc.history.war.world-war-ii ?

    You would be surprised! Saying "Contemporary Leader X is totally like Hitler" was pretty clearly out of bounds, as was "You say you admire Policy Y therefore you are obviously a Nazi lover and a fascist". On the other hand, saying "Churchill agreed with Hitler on the following topics" was totally OK.

    Of course, things went a bit mental when the actual neo-Nazis and crusading Communists turned up.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    I wouldn’t blame him for not turning up again. This thread is wak now.

    Wak feels like it should be an acronym for something, in this context.

    But yes, the original title of the thread is starting to feel a tad self-referential.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1411 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to richard,

    Regge is (or was?) a very smart guy

    He also invented reggae (true story).

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • richard, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    He’s alive, although he retired a decade ago. A friend of mine did his postdoc in Turin and they put him in Regge’s vacated office, which meant he had to spend a lot of time fielding his calls.

    The last guy in my office before me (or at least with my office telephone number) apparently owed money on a credit card, which was a bit of pain. But I did once have the office next to Hans Bethe's (with Hans still very much inside of it) for a couple of months.

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Indeed. That happened about the time of the 1995 RWC. A group uf us departed and set up our own little list, which continues to this day.

    If said list was interested in a new member...

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 889 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Sacha,

    It seemed to me, but I could be wrong, but I don't think so, that there was somewhat of a lighthearted " I know more esoteric expressions and people than you do". But once again, that could just be my inferiority complex rearing it's ugly old self.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Question: how many of you here are Usenet veterans, and is that where you learned your culture of internet argument?

    Yes and yes. At the time I first got into usenet, say 89 or so, it was still heavily dominated by the university student/staff demographic which I think set the tone.

    It's taken me a long time to adopt a more gentle approach to disagreement. The line-by-quoted-line style of takedown is a luxury I still allow myself when I am really provoked. However, I have printouts of the XKCD "someone is wrong on the internet" cartoon in various locations in order to remind me to back away from the keyboard.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Incidentally, and speaking of humanism, science, physics, one of the most wonderful books ever to have been through a printing press is the transcript of the conversations between Primo Levi and physicist Tullio Regge, which I see to my surprise has been translated into English even.

    Thanks Giovanni. Anything by Primo Levi has my undivided attention.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 662 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    ” I know more esoteric expressions and people than you do”. But once again, that could just be my inferiority complex rearing it’s ugly old self.

    Nah, we’ll all be singing ‘Immanuel Kant was an real pissant’ before the night is out.

    Philosophy. Leveling the playing field since ages ago.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    +1!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

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