Mike Hardy

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Mike Hardy

  1. A bit of a change of subject, but recently I've had occasion to think about some ways in which incentive structures in universities stifle the development of teaching a subject to those not majoring in it.
  2. Why should one be alarmed by the fact that she _cited_ the writings of a nazi? Leonard Peikoff cited the writings of numerous nazis, including Hitler, in his book _The_Ominous_Parallels_. Everyone who's ever written about Hitler in a scholarly context has done the same. And frequently in non-scholarly contexts too.
  3. OK, so we can see _atoms_, but we cannot see _an_ atom. -- Mike Hardy
  4. "For Whom the Bull Tells"? "Principals of Mathematical Psychoanalysis"? "Who Is Leonard Peikoff"? "Ich hab' heute nichts versäumt Denn ich hab' nur von dir geträumt"?
  5. "The Fountainhead of Awareness Shrugged"? "Floating in the Summer Sky, Ninety-Nine Red Brains Go By"? "The Sycamore Lechers"? "Buddhism for Physicists"? "An Inconvenient Gore"? "The Twilight's Own"? (Geez, why didn't I ever feed Roland that one? What's wrong with me?) Should I keep guessing until I get it right? The more guesses, the higher my score, right? -- Mike Hardy
  6. OK, now I'm trying to figure out whether "Anacrist" means "anti-Christ" or "anarchist"......
  7. I have to laugh. That isn't an English sentence. "While" sounds somewhat like the German word "weil", which means "because". But "while" is like the German "während", except that in English, "while" is used only as a conjunction and not as a preposition ("during" is the corresponding preposition). In that case German fails to make the preposition/conjunction distinction that English makes, but then there's also a case where it's the other way around: the German words "vor" and "bevor" both correspond to English "before", except that "vor" is only a preposition and "bevor" is only a conjuction. (And while we're remembering not to be deceived by such resemblances, let's recall that German "Gift", spelled and pronounced exactly like English "gift" (but always with a capital initial "G" since it's a noun) means something quite different.) You all wanted to know this. Right? -- Mike Hardy
  8. And that must be your main point here. Right? -- Mike Hardy
  9. 19 Ayn Read Bull Loons? J [Edited to change the spelling error "Red" to the correct "Read"] Jonathan, that is an excellent pun, worthy of Roland Pericles. Maybe I'll plagiarize it. -- Mike Hardy
  10. OK, being too dumb to discuss what Roland Pericles might call the "prose and cons" of this topic, I "hear buy" (as Roland would say) offer for readers' consideration this example of representationalist art, found in the world's largest non-military cemetery: <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/Hh-friedhof-ohlsdorf-bombenopfer.jpg> Carlo Karges, among others, is buried there. If you don't know who Carlo Karges was, he's the author of a work that all of you know but may associate with someone else's name. -- Mike Hardy !!! A good illustrator is good, and a mediocre representational/realist artist is mediocre? Couldn't (ok, I could, but I didn't) resist it. Ellen ___ I have to agree with this one. -- Mike Hardy PS: Ellen are you writing something for publication? You've suggested on some occasions that you're guilty of having a life, so I hope that or something like that is why.
  11. !!! A good illustrator is good, and a mediocre representational/realist artist is mediocre? Couldn't (ok, I could, but I didn't) resist it. Ellen ___ I have to agree with this one. -- Mike Hardy PS: Ellen are you writing something for publication? You've suggested on some occasions that you're guilty of having a life, so I hope that or something like that is why.
  12. The proof that it is an ellipse, in the sense of having two foci, such that the sum of the distances from a point on the curve to the two foci remains constant as the point moves along the curve, can be proved by a variety of methods, including that of Dandelin spheres. Dandelin spheres can also be used for the intersection of a plane with a cone. That's why the term "conic section" is used. Look up "Dandelin spheres" on Wikipedia. -- Mike Hardy
  13. Merlin, if it's tilted relative to both, then it's an ellipse. I don't know what you mean by an "oval", but the shape of the intersection depends only on the norm of the gradient of the plane, and not on the direction of the gradient. -- Mike Hardy
  14. I do something somewhat like "thinking in images", but I can never be sure how much if any of it makes sense until I can reduce it to words and/or mathematical notation. (I could add something about physicists not caring whether it makes sense, but that might be sarcastic, so I won't.) -- Mike Hardy
  15. Another apparent mishap of that kind is in one of Scott Turow's novels. It said "through the month of June", where it obviously should have said "through the mouth of June". The context made it clear that that's what it should have said, but it could have appeared to an editor who did not know the context to be a typo. In another of his novels, a doctor's autopsy report said "liver and rigor are absent" (or something very similar). It should have said "livor and rigor are absent". This time it was the author's fault; he confessed later. -- Mike Hardy The word "least" in such a context triggers a painful memory of the type from my years working full-time as an on-staff editor. Trial Valley by Vera and Bill Cleaver, sequel to Where the Lillies Bloom: Mary Call, along with caring for her own siblings, has taken an orphaned child under her wing. The final line of the tale made reference to this child, describing him as "my least one" -- a perfect Cleaverism of usage in the context. We had a young -- and very bad -- copy-editor on staff, pretty newly hired. She'd been well recommended by her supervisor in another division of the company, and we'd been in a short-staffed pinch and had hired her without properly testing her out. Without telling any of the senior editors that she'd done so, she changed the word "least" to "last" -- in final page proofs. Ten thousand copies of the book had been printed before the editors learned of the change -- too late to fix it. In that case, no one except the authors and staff would have detected the error, "last" sounding appropriate in meaning. What was lost, to the grief of those who knew, was a touch of poetry. On other occasions goofs made by the advertising or the production department introduced inaccuracy. A more recent way for error to appear in a final product, nowadays when type-setting is done by computer, is for a non-corrected earlier version of a manuscript to be used instead of a corrected later version. A big mistake of that type once happened to me. I had meticulously copy-edited a long bibliography, the original of which had abundant errors, some of them of a kind noticeable even to the casual glance. The production manager ran the uncorrected file in the print version of the journal. Gaak!!! Ellen ___
  16. Ellen, I think maybe Valliant and all other good people are attending the ARI's annual conference, and that's why they haven't yet shipped my to Guantanamo or whatever it was you had in mind. Maybe I should have waited until that was over. -- Mike Hardy
  17. So a certain prosecutor in California will have me secretly transported to Guantanamo Bay to spend the rest of my days as a Muslim POW while my family is told I was killed in an terrible accident? And that amuses you? -- Mike Hardy
  18. Well, I remember that Peter Keating was called "decorative" in a context in which it was clearly intended to mean he was good-looking. So where does that fit in to what you're saying? -- Mike Hardy
  19. Ellen ___ I seem to recall someone pointing out that on some other occasion she called him "the best of my intellectual heirs" or something like that, with the plural. Can anyone supply the details? -- Mike Hardy
  20. It is rare to see an attempt to incite one of us grammar-nazis made so blatant. Let me copy-edit this paragraph: "Although Peikoff is no doubt smarter than Valliant, neither is stupid. That's not the issue. The issue is whether either of them is, or ever was, interested in the truth." Mr. Barnes, you violated the Geneva Convention against torture by doing this to me. -- Mike Hardy
  21. That "authority" issue was also "theological", in that Roman Catholics hold as a matter of religious dogma that God intended one bishop to have authority over all Christians. And it's also a substantial political issue. So there's no problem articulating the theological issue that was also a political issue. -- Mike Hardy
  22. Um. I'm too lazy right now to reach for the dictionary, three feet away, so I'm going to be reckless and go way out on a limb and propose that maybe you meant "essay" http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/assay See meaning #1. [Darn; that link takes you to the meaning of the noun; you have to click on the verb entry to find the meaning #1 I mean.] My paternal grandfather was a horse-and-buggy doctor in a rural region of midstate Illinois. He did an appendectomy or several in his office, which was a separate building, maybe about 20 ft. squared, located about 10 feet away from his house. (I might be overestimating the size of the office; I'm remembering the dimensions from when I last saw it more than 40 years ago. Granddad Doc died in the late '60s -- age 99.) Ellen ___ American Heritage College Dictionary, third edition, gives that meaning for "essay" as well, both as a noun and as a verb, and gives both pronunciations, but fails to say that the stress moves to the first syllable when it's a noun. Anyway, you should enjoy that Wikipedia article I linked to. I see you duly ignored my silly postscript by writing one of your own on that topic; that's the best way to do it. My paternal grandfather, a rural physician in North Dakota, died when he was 67. He outlived both of his wives: my father's mother, and the much younger woman he married later with whom he had two children. (My mother's mother lived to be almost 100.) -- Mike Hardy
  23. Um. I'm too lazy right now to reach for the dictionary, three feet away, so I'm going to be reckless and go way out on a limb and propose that maybe you meant "essay", one of those words like "refund" and "rebel" and "record" and "attribute" that are nouns or adjectives when the stress is on the first syllable and verbs when on the second. I think about 100 of those exist in the English language, occupying a region of grammatical space that belongs to words that are neither regular nor irregular (my own wild hypothesis that I may defend on another occasion---maybe in the morning when I get around to consulting that dictionary. (Actually four respectable dictionaries sit there, one of which is a big two-volume thing with the most beautiful illustrations that belonged to my grandfather, the only medical doctor for miles around in a rural region of North Dakota...... geez, am I wandering?) Anyway, look up "initial-stress-derived noun" on Wikipedia and you'll see what I mean). -- Mike Hardy PS: My grandfather did appendectomies in his house. But ignore this silly postscript.
  24. Well, Ellen, you know Martin Luther nailed 95 theocrats to the church door and invented the German language. Are you going to do as much? (OK, let's qualify and clarify a bit: If I'm not mistaken, Martin Luther wrote quite a large number of books. And I think I heard somewhere (therefore it must be true!) that the version of the German language in which he wrote got adopted as the standard, so that modern German evolved from that. As for church _walls_, as opposed to church _doors_, there's one of those in the town of Breckerfeld, just a bit south of Dortmund in Nord-Rhein-Westfallen, that has been repeatedly written about by.... wait..... no, I don't think you want to know about that. Never mind, I've had my nightly half-ounce of red wine and I'm smashed......) -- Mike Hardy