blivet – 3/31/2002

The Porcupine: A pilgrimage to Popper. by Adam Gopnik [Got CALICHE?]

Karl Popper. We’re still wrestling with Popper. Still, this review has some good broad statements about the nature of scientific inquiry.

from the review: "Science, Popper proposed˜first in conversations with members of the Vienna Circle, later in his first published book, “Logik der Forschung” (“The Logic of Scientific Discovery”)˜didn’t proceed through observations confirmed by verification; it proceeded through wild, overarching conjectures, which generalized “beyond the data” but were always controlled and sharpened by falsification, by refutation, by the single decisive experiment, or swan. It was the conscious, purposeful search for falsifications, and the survival of theories in the face of them, that allowed science to proceed and objective knowledge to grow.

In the real world, as Popper knew perfectly well, the response of the scientist who has proposed that all swans are white when a black swan appears is not to say, cheerfully, “Wrong again!” It is to say, “You call that a swan?” The principle of falsification would begin an argument rather than prove a point. But the argument was the point. The argument that the black swan would produce˜an argument about what evidence was crucial, and why˜was different from all other kinds of argument. Science wasn’t a form of proof. It was a style of quarrelling [sic–ed.]. The reason science gave you sure knowledge you could count on was that it wasn’t sure and you couldn’t count on it. Science wasn’t the name for knowledge that had been proved true; it was the name for guesses that could be proved false." (more)

Several hours later:
For some strange reason if you don’t mark the categories in Quicken as deductible items, they won’t import into TurboTax. Funny how that works. Or rather, doesn’t. I like the final interview process in the tax software. TurboTax: "We noticed you declared one thing, but then didn’t claim any associated deductions…" Me: "DOH!"

and the taxman taketh away…
I’m doing the 2001 taxes for those of us here at blivet World Headquarters. Thank Ghu for Quicken and MacInTax^M TurboTax. Still, even with the addition of Ian, the final result is looking painful. Not insurmountable, just painful. We had other plans for that stack of Franklin portraits. I think I’ll reduce my deductions to 0 for the remainder of 2002.

"Kuro5hin: Introduction To Personal Finance Part 1 and Part 2." (url corrected) [Alwin]

papascott and mamamaus have moved to PapaScott, now powered by Movable Type. Scott moved their complete EditThisPage site over. Must find out how to do this…

Happy Easter to those who celebrate it on this day, and a Happy ongoing Pesach (also known as Passover).

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I am the non-admin personality of blivet tool & die I have been academically trained as a professional archaeologist (MA, RPA) and now live in Arvada, CO. Father, husband, scientist, geek of several trades, and high-functioning Autistic adult. Future planetary expatriate?