User talk:Lacatosias/Archive3

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

My "formal" educational background is as follows: I began studying music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston at the age of 17. After two fantastic years of perfect health and extremely laborious study, I began to experience bizarre symptoms of something which I can only describe as a sort of neurological blindness or, at any rate, disconnention between what my senses experienced and what my brain was processing. There were other symptoms as well, but nothing that can be neatly classified and categorized as symptom X or symptom Y. The sensation was just that there was something profoundly wrong with me, neurologically, and that it coninued to worsen gradually over time.

Eventually, I went to see a neurologist, had CAT scans done, the whole business. Nothing was found. On to the psychiatrists. (There is an interesting sort of default logic in medicine, BTW: if you can't actually visualize it with the aid of our most advanced technology, then it must not exist. Send 'em to the psychiatrist. Most of these men and women are Christians or pantheists of some sort too!!)

Well, psychiatry didn't help (but I don't want to get into that story here), so I was basically house-bound for about five years. During that time, I discovered the world of BOOKS!! I began to devour everything imaginable and unimaginable. It started with the classics of literature; I fell in love. I wanted nothing more to do with the world. Tolstoy, Dostoyevskij, Dickens, Melville, Shakespeare, Proust, Joyce, Gibbon, Lewis Carrol (complete works), Jane Austen, the Bronte's (all of them!!), Gogol, Checkov, Homer, Virgil (translations of course), Milton, Virginia Wolf, Laurence Stern, Pope, Coleridge, Poe (complete works), Hugo, Maupassant (complete works), Flaubert, Jonathan Swift, Rabelais, Goethe, Turgenev, Boswell, Cervantes, Celine, Malraux, Camus, Thudydides, Bocaccio, Italo Svevo. Then, poetry: Wallace Stevens, Eliot, Silvia Plath, Dickinson, Browning (complete works) ad infinitum. I found a used anthology that had been lying around from my Berklee days: The Existentialists: Neitzche to Heidegger (or something like that) by Walter Kaufmann. This opened up the philosophy vein and simply overwhelmed me. Philosophy has remained my first love from then on. At the age of 27, I threw away all medication and determined to go back to school at all costs. The informal, unstructured hogepodge autodidacticism I was engaging in was not enough. I needed to interact and see if I could learn something practically useful and intellectually challenging at the same time. I chose Computer Science almost arbitrarily. I took a minor in philosophy. (This was my first exposure to analytic philosophy, BTW). I completed my BS with honors, was on the Dean's list several times, worked my ass off, etc... But I was infinitely superior, and more passionate, about philosophy than CS. My writing was called "exceptional" and I never even had a single professor correct a single dot or comma in any of my classes. Sacre blue!!

I took the US graduate record examination and scored a 790 on the English portion (top 1% of the population). I started graduate work at the same place, Suny Albany, the following year.First semester...fine. Second semester.....Oh NO!! I was struck by an attack of dizziness and vomiting so ferocious that I could not move my head from left to right. What was this now?? Labrynthitis, they said. It could last up to six months. It did. But it wasn't labryinthitis. I went back to school, but had to start the graduate course from scratch. The dizziness came back and I dropped out. Meniere's syndrome, it was now. I really did get depressed and attempted suicide three or four times in succession. I was eventually hospitalized for three months and treated with extremely potent anti-psychotics, anti-depressives, anti-vertigo...about 10 different medications in all. I went into a sort of iatrogenic semi-coma which lasted about a week.

Onward and downward, as it were. When I left the hospital (at age 33), I was unable to lift up a spoon or fork in order to feed myself. My mother had to wash me in the bathtub and change my clothes. Since it was just she and I (my father had died at the age of 43 from lung cancer when I was eleven and my only brother was strung out on drugs, manic-depressive and homeless most of the time) and she was getting up into her 70s, we decided to move to Italy, where she has an enormous extended family which could help out in case of emergencies, financial problems, etc.. There is also a universal health care system (!!), but I digress. After arriving in Italy about five years ago, I immediately felt substantially better. I still cannot find a rational explanation for this. Whether it was the change in climate, something about the flight itself or something else, I actually felt physically cured. I taught myself to read and write Italian well enough to read Giacomo Leopardi, Dante, Pirandello, etc., in the original. I also studied translations of the works of Frege, Micheal Dumett, Putnam (obviously), Fodor, Popper, Lacatos, etc., etc.. I then starting taking some courses in philosophy of langauge and philosophy of science at the University of Napoli. I was doing quite well.I went through an extraordinary two-year process of transferring of credits, evaluations and so on. The bureacracy in Italy can only be compared to the great scenes in Kafka's The Castle where K. is trying to determine wethere he has or has not been hired as a land surveyor and never finds out the answer until after his death. The documentation was finally in order and I switched to the philosophy major. Much time was lost as well as academic credits. But I kept studying as diligently as a dog eating a bone, both formally and informally. Two years later, the BEAST struck again.

So what is this all about? A person who has been through what I have becomes excruciatingly hyper-sensitive to comments to the effect that he writes poorly ("poorly written", "flab everyhwere, rewrite every sentence", "can't you understand that the comma goes here and that "instead" is not necessary"). Oh boy!! If only I could have had it as easy as some of you!! After all of the years, nay decades, of torture and neurological crucificion that I have experienced, and continue to experience, in this life, it is a miracle beyong imagining that I can write at all. That I am even capable of writing this right now is, hopefully, an indication that I am not completely finished yet. There are days when I cannot READ without struggling to focus. I am always uncertain as to whether my writing has improved, remained the same or deteriorated from what it used to be and whether this is due to the condition of my brain, whether I never really could write well in the first place, or whether some people are just being too damned finicky for reasons which I don't care about. Can you imagine the horror of such uncertaintly in itself?

Show of support[edit]

Hi Francesco. I really hope you're not leaving Wikipedia. Your contributions have been immensely valuable and a pleasure to read. I think you've done tremendous work. I completely understand why the thread in the Featured Article nom got to you: people were eager to express pedantic criticism and there was a definite paucity of praise. This is probably because people might take issues like recognition and support to be trifles in comparison with the business of making Wikipedia rigorous and standard. I don't think either should be neglected. I hope you reconsider your decision to leave, if you did in fact blank your page for that reason. Please leave a message on my talk page if you ever want to talk or blow off steam. Warm regards, --Ori.livneh 13:26, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

I also hope you stay. You're doing good work, but some fields and contributors don't get much recognition. I have an article up for FAC at the moment, and it was only at FAC that I received any useful feedback. Gimmetrow 15:18, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

What I want to know is if there are people who are willng to help me out to make asbsolutely certain that this thing gets through FAC. If not this time, then after I write up a criticism section, ask some of the really good writers here (Dbuckner and Slimvirigin, from what I can tell) to help copyedit. What you guys can do, if you really want to help, is make sure the references are not played with, that the dates are there and so on,. I'll get the references for the very small parts which are toally unrefernced.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 15:37, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Hello there, I'm sorry to hear that your FAC is causing you so much stress. Keep sticking with it, I'm sure your determination will not be for nothing. -- Natalya 02:00, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 07:32, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

RE your edit summary at Hilary Putnam[edit]

Your edit summary: don0t fuck with it trodler is inappropriate, especially since the changes I made fixed your improper datelinking. As we have not, to my knowledge, had any problem before, I think a better assumption of my intentions is warranted. As I didn't get a system edit conflict message. --Trödel 15:43, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Sorry about the tone, but I think that your edits inadvetrtebely wiped out about two hours of work tht I had done on getting the names and publication dates (I think that's what she was talking about) inot the refercnes. You added access dates. I don't think that is what she was complaining about. Anyhow, much work was wiped out. So I was frsutrated. Again, I apologize for the tone. Also, I had exlicitly asked people NOT to edit the article for a little while. I know I don't own the article, but I have several reasons for this which I cannot explain right now.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 16:00, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
No problem - I didn't realize that you were still doing some major edits. If you get the conflict edit screen - scroll down to the second edit window - that is where all your changes are - I usually copy mine to a word or notepad document so I don't lose anything. May I suggest that if you are making major changes and are saving along the way - that you put a notice in the edit summary so that other editors will know what is going on - and will be less likely to create conflicts if they know that the editing is in process rather than complete and ready for some copyedits. Have a good day --Trödel 17:35, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Sure.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 17:56, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

When you have an edit conflict, the window has two edit boxes. All your edits are in the second box. If you don't want to redo the work, you can (usually) just copy everything from the second box and paste it into the first box. This over-writes the other edits. Then you, or more likely the other editor, can redo the other edits later. You can also add the {{inusefor|60 minutes to do something}} template to warn others before starting your edit. Gimmetrow 16:32, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the tip about INUSEFOR.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 16:35, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

  • np. The article to become FA does not need consensus. I think the article needs pics, of him or something else. It wont be because of me that the article won't become an FA, don't worry. If I see my object will cause any problem to the FA status I'll remove my objection. --Pedro 19:04, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't care what the real problem is any more. I juts wasted an enormous amount of time and energy!!! Does it suck?? Yeah,, it probably does actually. But, after reading what I have been through above, one would try to understand why such a person would be enormously proud to have Hilary Putnam praise his article, for example. Just leave me alone please and let Wikipedia's philosophy section continue to be the laughingstock of the acedemic universe (dare anyone here DENY that it is). It's too bad. I left once before because it was no longer fun correcting the billions of grammatical, spelling, factual, logical and other errors of 99.9999% of the raticles. I leave now because breaking into that top .1 or whatver it is has become TORTURE without recompense. Another one bites the dust. But, as my cousin (THANK GOD FOR MY FAMILY) Dimitri (a very wealthy lawyer who can't write himseklf out of a paper bag but has published about four books and teache theology at the local unibersity) tells me (he just came in)......perché ti arrabia. Mangiamo un po' di gelato e lascia stare queste schiochezze."--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 15:31, 4 August 2006 (UTC) --Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 15:31, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Some observations and a suggestion[edit]

After seeing the progress on the Putnam article I am supporting. There are still some issues but the article is quite good now that you've gone over it all, and I am confident the "small" issues will get addressed. Yes, the text could be tighter (shorter) in the lead and bio sections, but I don't think the philosophy discussions can be said much shorter (or much better) any other way. The only "major" content issue is the part in "Functionalism" explaining what is a Turing machine. It doesn't seem to me to fit the flow of the article; I doubt it's anything you wrote. Could everything in "In non-technical terms, a Turning machine.... prints a 1 and remains in state three" be replaced by a one- or two-sentence definition?

The FAC itself is another issue. It has gotten so large that I can't really follow what is going on. It's now almost 3 times the size of the article! This brings up the personal text that you wrote a couple days ago. Sandy suggested, and I agree, that it might not be something you want to remain on wiki forever. (I am only referring to the FAC page - your talk page is entirely your own business.) The FAC page can be refactored and the history of that part removed entirely, if you wish. Just something to think about.

By the way, I have my own article going through FAC at the moment. Despite getting far fewer comments than your FAC, my article has grown over 40% in a week. (I almost wonder how considering the time I've spent here!) Anyway, relax, have that gelato. Ah gelato, reminds me of Florence. Regardless of all the museums, I mainly remember an organ concert in a small church one night, and having coffee gelato near San Marco's in the summer. Cheers. Gimmetrow 20:52, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I hate to do this to you, but San Marco's is in Venice. If you had said something like that ito a Venetian....... I haven't been there in svereal years due to my damned health problems. Anyway, thanks for your support. --Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 10:58, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
I mean San Marco di Firenze, famous for Fra Angelico and Savonarola. Anyway, what do you think about someone refactoring the FAC page? In particular, do you want your personal story to remain there? Gimmetrow 12:20, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
I think SandyGeorgia in on that. You can leave on or off anything that that you want and/or anything that is necessary. It doesn't bother me one way or the other. I'm not ashamed of my "personal story", for example. But if it's not relevant to anything, perhaps it should be taken out. I'll leave that to your or Sandy's (or wheoever's) judgment. I have to do a small bit o editing here and then gets some rest. San Marco di Firenze?? The book burning was there?? I should be ashamed of myself for that ignorance. Damnit. Sorry!!--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 12:30, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Hang in there[edit]

You've done a quite excellent job with the Putnam article, but the FAC nomination seems to have gotten derailed with way too much unanswerable discussion and contention. I put in my simple 2 cents supporting the nomination, but I think the whole matter is just to unclear as it turned out. I'd sort of recommend just letting it be, and coming back to renominate it in a month or two. Maybe withdraw the nomination formally even. I don't say that as any remote criticism of the article, WP processes are simply sometimes funny and frustrating.

The article itself doesn't suffer from not having a little "FA" tag on it, it's just as good either way. I know the little honor is nice, but the quality of it is a good enough reward in itself, IMO. LotLE×talk 21:40, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

"Withdraw"? Why?? At my last count, the score is actually 8-3 in my favor. It is 8-4 if you include but Pedro (see above) has promised to withdwraw his objection if it leads to a defeat of the nomination. Unless there is really a conspiracy here, the FAC is going to succeed.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 22:31, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Since when do these things require unanimaty and how long can they hold them. I have to read the rules again.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 22:41, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, the process is weirder than I thought. But I have asked disintersted third-party professionals like Chip Berlet and Joe Mabel to weigh in or help copyedit. What more do they want, blood and 'ouns?--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 22:48, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Naturally, I'm perfectly happy if it gets the FA status. I voted support, after all. I'm just saying not to get too emotionally invested in the issue; no point raising your blood pressure about it. I'm not sure exactly who decides whether something passes a nomination, but I'm pretty sure they look for a supermajority, something like on AfDs or RfAs. So I don't really know how the admin will evaluate the number of comments. LotLE×talk 00:52, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Hi, Well, I read the HP bio entry, and found it fascinating, but I confess that all I know about HP is what I just read. I think I am not the person to assist editing this entry, but appreciate being asked. Sorry I can't help.--Cberlet 20:35, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
That's alright. No need to apologize. Thanks for looking into it.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 06:38, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Kmaguir1 disruption on Judith Butler[edit]

While I tend to side with your current position that we're better wholly without a foolishly personalistic "criticism" section, we're definitely in bad shape with the rambling "everything nasty, nevermind grammar" stuff that Kmaguire1 has stuck up. I've reported his 3RR, but can't fix it again without being in hot water myself. Aaaghh! Care to fix it for me... my last version with the Nussbaum criticism at least expressed in semi-philosophical tones is bearable. LotLE×talk 02:21, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

This is not fair. If I get stuck with the revert, which is an expanded criticism section, one that he/she has repeatedly deleted for no Wikipedia-given reason, that shows clear bias to his/her version, without even taking account of the events, this is unfair. The page should be locked by an administrator, and should have a NPOV disclaimer. And I can't edit an admin for my 4th RR. I am of course willing to enter into more arbitration/mediation, even to have his/her version stand for the next 24 hours, but not without an NPOV disclaimer, because the way the page is set up under his/her suggested version, it is not of a NPOV because it 1) does entail detailed criticism offered in a more NPOV section offered by this author, and 2) the individual sections on the books show extreme bias towards the type of philosophy Butler herself does. -Kmaguir1 02:32, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't want to get bogged down in this debate (basically something of an edit war) that has been going on for several weeks now. To LOTLE, as you'll notice from my Putam article, the Wikipedia policy IS complete impartiality. This is certainly true if you want to make into a Good article, FA or something like that. They would rip you to pieces on the Butler article as it stands right now. On the other, I do not think that "she was the winner of the bad writing contest" is a legitimate and/or useful criticism. By Wikipedia standards (the standard of the average, untrained person, in other words), just about ALL philosphers are unintelligible, with the possible exception of John Rawls, Bernard Williams, Gianni Vattimo (on the "continental" side) and few others.
I don't have any plans to nominate the Butler article for FA, at this time. I think Agnamarasi has done some excellent work lately, but it still needs quite a bit more "spit and polish". I haven't done that much on the Butler article, really, mostly just defensive rearguard action to stop it from gaining outright crap. But then, I don't much care about the FA process either, just working on individual articles, purely for their own sake. That's all I was asking for your help with, just stopping the nonsense that makes a good-but-not-great article worse.
Btw. I read Putnam more carefully last night. It's a nice article, but in reading it, I was remembering how techical much of the vocubulary and description is. It happens that I was myself pretty thoroughly immersed in Putnam, once upon a time... but not since my undergrad days, in the late 1980s; in my doctorate I went in rather different directions... say reading Butler... but also dozens of other writers whom Kmaguir1 would find equally bothersome if he ever actually heard of them (say Negri; or Althusser; or god-forbid, Lacan :-)). Still, it turns out I'm actually a slightly published Analytic Philosopher along the way, so I quite respect that side of things too. Thanks. LotLE×talk 11:42, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm not an admin actually. So, if you want to go through mediation, abritration or whatever, you'd have to ask User:Banno or someone like that. Another possibility is an RFC on the article itself. I wil take a look at it later and see if I can do something to find a compromise. --Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 06:54, 6 August 2006 (UTC)


Hello, I'm Aeon from Esperansa. A fellow wikipedian has posted at Esp. that you are a little stressed. I saw the article you wrote and I must say it was fanastic!. Please keep up the good work. Æon Insane Ward 20:41, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Here is the icing on the cake so to speak. Æon Insane Ward 20:44, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm Itsmejudith from Esperanza. I'm amazed at how much you've done on really complex topics. Wikipedia definitely needs people like you. Here's health to all voluntary workers everywhere! Itsmejudith 22:44, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Hi, another voice here to say that Hilary Putnam looks like a fantastic article and I would be very surprised if it did not make featured. Even if not, it is definitely deserving and probably just needs some "minor" work. I know that other editors have been very frustrated going through Featured before and you're not alone, it's just in this case you were responsible for so much of the article, so it may have been difficult not to take the criticism personally. Chin up, take a wikibreak after the process is over, and enjoy the sunshine for a while! --Dhartung | Talk 01:13, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for all these expression of support,folks. FWIW, I think the article will pass FAC now. It's time to move on to other things at any rate, one way or the other. I will still make some edits there if I can. The main compliant now seems to be photos or images. --Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 08:30, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Luigi Pirandello[edit]

The novel articles for his novels are getting noticed, if only by me - thanks for your efforts. If you want to actively envolve other similarly motivated editors, can I recommend WP:NOVELS. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:10, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Ok, thanks for that tip.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 08:25, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the Barnstar![edit]

Thanks for the Star Æon Insane Ward 16:12, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

A WikiSun to thank you for a wonder barnstar. May this sun light up your day. Æon Insane Ward 16:11, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

A smile for you...[edit]

Michael 20:04, 8 August 2006 (UTC)


As I promised at the FAC, I gave you a barnstar, this is just so you will get that box at the top of the page. Thank God that it's at 15/1/0 (and what a crappy oppose!), I'd have to hit somebody if they didn't end up passing it after all they've done. --PresN 21:59, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Have another from me. Well earned. Ryu Kaze 22:43, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, thanks again to all you folks. It's an overwhelming show of kindness and support. I don't know what else to say. Now I have to figure out how to reorganize that aweful looking user-page!! --Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 07:12, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Comment on talk FAC[edit]

You wrote Hmmm.. now why do you think that this particular personal info might be harmful to me and to the FAC? Do you think there is something I should be ashamed of in there?. I am extremely sorry if what I wrote came off as an attack or something. As I have written in my reply there - I just thought you wouldn't want so much personal information about you out on the net like that. One of my wikipedian friends has some problem in real life due to personal info on wikipedia. Sorry once again. And good job on your FAC. It is tough too keep cool during these times and you did great. Cheers! - Aksi_great (talk - review me) 09:36, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Responded on FAC talk page. Don't worry about it!!--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 09:46, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict with you) Read your reply at FAC. I like your attitude. Have a nice day. - Aksi_great (talk - review me) 09:50, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree entirely with what you wrote on the FAC talk page. Been involved in a few edit wars with people who don't seem to agree with the concept of an article being a work in progress and prefer to delete vast sections because references aren't "the right type" (or, more acurately; the editor disagrees with them!) or people who do nothing to an article other than correct grammar and punctuation. argh! best of luck! GiollaUidir 15:12, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, if you add to it the fact that the whole thing is voluntary, you get masochism, plain and simple. Well, Wikipedia is bizarre. But, then, life in general has never exactly been clear and comprehensible to me. Cheers, as all these Brits and Aussies (why so many Brits and Aussies?) say.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 15:49, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Putnam photo[edit]

Yes, I emailed him. I got his vacation auto-response, saying that he was returning on Tuesday (yesterday) and would be going through his emails. I haven't heard from him yet though. --Spangineeres (háblame) 16:34, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Alright, thanks.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 16:59, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

John von Neumann[edit]

I take issue with your removal of the parenthetical specifier "(of explosions)" from the list of contributions made by von Neumann. It is a matter of fact that the contributions made to hydrodynamics are specifically related to explosive reactions, and were contributed as part of von Neumann's Manhattan Project work. By removing the specifier, you have diluted the recognition given for that contribution. William R. Buckley 18:18, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Francesco, I did not intend my remarks to bring insult. Rather, my prose is intended to be direct, mater-of-fact, and to the point. Further, you took reasonable steps to address the notion of consolidation, and that I applaud. The problem is the tendency of your edit to "dilute" the contribution. So, the solution is likely not simple; how can one be both specific and general? Perhaps the best choice is to make clear and thorough qualification respecting the hydrodynamics work in a section of the article. Let's discuss this some more. I am sure that we both want the same thing: the best encyclopedic article on von Neumann that can be prepared. Ciao!!! William R. Buckley 21:32, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, it is NOT easy to be both specific and general!! You've nailed one of the main difficulties of writing on Wikipedia there. The latter solution you mentioned would be fine with me. I'm not qualified, nor do I have access to sufficient material at the moment, to be able to write such a section. If you, or someone else, decide to work it into the article though, I can only stronglyrecommend two things: try to make it as accessible as possible to lay people and reference everything. The main problem I see with the article right now is lack of in-line citations and references. --Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 08:57, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Hilary Putnam again[edit]

Hi Franco - I've just noticed that Raul has reopened the nomination for Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates/Hilary_Putnam. All brief supports so far (including from Sandy, Tony, etc.), but it might be worth rounding up the troops... Cheers, Sam Clark 09:18, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

No, I've noticed that. Strange. It's going very well anyway, though, so I'll just let people judge it objectively. I would rather not round up moral sympathizers or something and make it seem (to me!!) like I DID NOT earn this for hard work, addressing objections, etc.. Thanks.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 09:37, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I suspect Raul has restarted the FAC process in order to buy time so that somone can get a damned photo of the guy on there. Let's face it: it looks ridiculous!! The rules here are compltely unresoanble on copyright. Putnam is NOT going to sue and neither is anyine else.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 10:45, 10 August 2006 (UTC)


Someone, somewhere must have a photograph of this person that they would be willing to donate. The trick is finding that person. In the meantime, covers of books are something we have traditionally been very comfortable claiming Wikipedia:Fair use on when the book is being discussed. Willard Van Orman Quine is not a great example; we should at least have a caption under that image describing the book we are using the cover of. In your position, I would be tempted to follow the route you are suggesting; find a book cover with his image on it, but work in some mention of the book's importance either in the image caption or the lead. It isn't an ideal solution, but it is better than randomly choosing some photograph from the web and claiming our use is transformative; with a book cover our use actually is. I hope that this has been helpful. Jkelly 16:29, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, thank you very much. I think I can work in mention of the book in the caption and perhaps somewhere in the lede. The point is that, hopefully, this will be a temporary solution and Putnam will respond to my email asking for the proper licnesing permissions of the photo he sent me. He seems like a nice enough person, but he takes a little while to respond.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 16:39, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I believe I've fixed the problem with the infobox template not displaying captions. It was not displaying on the Quine page either. Gimmetrow 17:25, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes!! Good job. Thanks. Do you think there's enough info there?--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 17:28, 10 August 2006 (UTC)


Thanks for the smiles :-) Sandy 02:42, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Your welcome.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 06:39, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

What nonsense[edit]

This thing is nuts. It's not me. Forget about it. "Too many images", "too few images", "too much of this and too little of that". If you don't like it, cut it. If someone else likes it, keep it. Period.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 07:26, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

David Hilbert and Robert Lee Moore[edit]

17 February 2006 you add in the article about David Hilbert:

"Independently and contemporaneously, a 19 year old American student named Robert Moore published an equivalent set of axioms. It is interesting to note that, while some of the axioms are identical, some of the axioms in Moore's system are theorems in Hilbert's and vice-versa."

Can you give a source for this? The other articles say that Moore merely proved that Hilberts 21st axiom was dependant of the other 20. Otto 11:38, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your response. Can you explain me what the Italian FA version is and where I can find it? I can read Italian so I should like to look it up. On the Italian wikipedia the story about Moore is introduced by Utente Blakwolf, who started the article about Hilbert there on February 15, 2004. Otto 14:59, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

That's it. The Italian Featured Article (FA) version is the article about David Hilbert on the Italian Wiki. Just click on Italy in the interwikilinks on the left-hand side of the Hilbert article. --Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 15:25, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Happy Ferragosto!![edit]

Buon Ferragosto a tutti gli italiani o italo-americani che contribuiscono ore e ore di duro e voluntario lavoro per migliorare la qualità delle Wikipedia Inglese e/o Italiane. Happy Ferragosto to Wikipedians everywhere. No, I'm not a Catholic, but it is originally a Pagan holiday (like most of them) and therfore I will go celebrate it in the ancient spirit of the harvest.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 07:25, 15 August 2006 (UTC)


Hi Franco - thanks for your message. Free will is indeed a bit of a mess. I was tempted to have a go at it myself, but am still trying to restrain myself from spending so much time around here. Glad the Hillary Putnam thing has - finally - come out the way it should. Cheers, Sam Clark 08:54, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I think all of those involved in the brouhaha can safely put the Putnam thing behind us at this point. Time to move on. I recognize now that the whole thing was mostly my fault. Period. For various reasons that have nothing to do with Wikipedia, I took the whole FAC process as an agonistic struggle and every objection as a personal insult rather than what they really were: just well-intentioned suggestions for improvement (sometimes correct, sometimes subjective). The angry tone of that episode was a carry-over from my Jerry Fodor FAC, where it all started. I had simply not faced that kind of criticism specifically about my writing, coming from three or four people at the same time, in my life. Of course, I have had some papers critizied at University by Profs., but they have usually been about things like "you're going way off-topic here", "this whole section is irrelevant", "the paper is far too long" and what not. The Fodor thing was like "bam, bam, bam"...."alright, I've made some changes now. Is that more along the lines...?" No response. Or very vague. Then, after only five days, it was yanked off. My reaction, since I have no experience with such a thing and tend to be hyper-sensitive about my writing as explained before, was: "Man, my writing must really suck!! I must be functionally illiterate or something. Damn, every sentence is a monstrosity!! What's the point of continuing to write about anything, if I don't make any sense to anyone." Then there was a sort of counterreaction: "No, it can't be true. I am not a bad writer. I have been complimented on my writing even on Wikipedia. I have already written (mostly by myself) an FA. Something has gone wrong and some people are trying to remove philosophy writing or impose a certain style. I can't tolerate these insults from people who I don't even know who are not my bosses or profs!!" Well, I still think that some people are trying to impose a certain style. But, then, it may be the right style for Wikipedia or encylopedia writing in general. I don't know. In any case, they have the right to state their opinions if they don't think an article is written well enough to be an FA. It's not the end of the world. The only thing I would ask is that some of the same people should be give the nominator more of an opportunity than five days to address objections, if they require some time. An article should stay on as long as, as it says on the FAC page, there is a "good-faith" effort to address the objections. I also hope that people would learn, from now on, to politely answer when someone sends them a message asking their opinion whether they think that an article they have critized has improved or not.

Free will is scary. I've added some refs, cleaned up the lead and corected some factual errors. I don't think it will make it, though. --Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 09:58, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

You're welcome[edit]

Well, about Putnam, you deserve it. Do you know much about Putnam's pragmatism or his relation to Richard Rorty? I attended his lecture "Philosophy in the 21st century", and his talk was all about pragmatism. As an aside, he said something funny at the end of that lecture; he said, "I am not a Wittgensteinian!" Poor Yorick 08:59, 16 August 2006 (UTC)


Did you find Ultimate Reality [1]? Rintrah 19:28, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

I think I have taken this issue as far as it can go now: I made myself high priest of the Church of the Ultimate Reality [1]. I can imagine an ex-hippy who is now reformed, after his 60's drug binge, saying: "I found Ultimate Reality, with the help of Crowley, Leary, Morrison, and Huxley; then I found Rehab." Rintrah 11:34, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Your edit to Wikipedia:Featured article review/Eigenvalue, eigenvector and eigenspace[edit]

Your recent edit to Wikipedia:Featured article review/Eigenvalue, eigenvector and eigenspace (diff) was reverted by an automated bot that attempts to recognize and repair vandalism to Wikipedia articles. If the bot reverted a legitimate edit, please accept my humble creator's apologies – if you bring it to the attention of the bot's owner, we may be able to improve its behavior. Click here for frequently asked questions about the bot and this warning. // AntiVandalBot 14:46, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

It was neither legitimate nor vandalism. It was a mistake. But never mind.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 14:51, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Free will help[edit]

Hi Francesco, I have done a few minor things on the Free will page (feel free to change any of it back). I only really know about the neuroscience of free will stuff, so once I had a managable section to work with, I started trying to clean that up. However, the second half of that section seems pretty incomprehensible to me. Perhaps it's my lack of philosophy background, or perhaps it's just mishmash? If it's mishmash, I can try to save, or just delete. If it's my lack of background, please don't try to explain it to me now (maybe in a few weeks when this is over)! Feel free to send comments to my talk page, and I'll do what I can to help, given my limited expertise on this subject. Edhubbard 15:05, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

There's so much mishmash still there (even after the radical surgert I perfromed on it this morning by just moving the theology section out), that I'm not exactly sure which part you are talking about. The section on Neuroscience and free will or the more general section on science and free will? I haven't looked it over carefully. --Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 15:15, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
I meant the second half of the neuroscience and free will section. After my hether typo... glad to see you're maintaining your sense of humor though this :-) ! Edhubbard 15:20, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
ps: I'm on it with the refs. Got a good Libet one, but Pascual-Leone has 320 papers, and it doesn't pop out... back in a few. Edhubbard 15:23, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Great news! I think I'm working on a plagarized section. Look at this and compare with the "science of free will section". I'll look at the edit dates, but I get the feeling some of what I am editing is a cut and paste from this article (without citation). Edhubbard 15:30, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Hmmm...fascinating. Why is that great news though?? Do we get an award or something? Seriously, what's to be done? We'll have to excise or modify the text,I suppose.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 15:36, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, false alarm. The text was there, almost verbatim in 2002. The Science & Theology News already had a note, which I missed that said "Matt Donnelly is web editor at Science & Theology News. It uses material from the Wikipedia article “Free will.” This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License." Essentially, he got paid to cut and paste from the article, but whatever. I was being sacrastic about the "great news". Edhubbard 15:38, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
yeah, that happens a lot actually because this project is copied legitiately by innumerable web sites and authors. Anyway (after all these edit conlficts--pleasee slow down a bit), I looked over the secind part you referred to earlier and it seems like mishmash. You can go ahead and cut or modifdy or whatever. --Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 15:43, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Hey Francesco, something I've been thinking about for the free will article, but I don't quite have a clear idea about how to integrate it... In the case of psychiatric and neurologic disorders, we seem to recognize that a person's moral responsibility is reduced (hence the utility of this as a defense). It seems to me something should be integrated in that section, as a way to tie it closer to the other issues of free will and moral responsibility, but I am not quite sure how to go about it... do you want to have a stab at it, or would you like me to try it, and then you can perhaps clean it up depending on what you think... and, of course, what would we use as a reference for this? It seems to be such a truism that I am not too sure that we would find a reference... Perhaps in Pat Churchland's newer book? Other citations? Martha Farah's website: [1] Edhubbard 13:26, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Ah, sorry, perhaps here: [2] Edhubbard 13:27, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

If you could find a philosophic reference for it, like Pat Churchland or someone who might have used it in an argment specifically about moral responbsility and not about physicalism or something, then that could be put in the section called moral responsibility. I don't know what to make of this section, as it seems to overlap with the question of free will. Anyway, sure, you can have a go at it. The subject is just so damned vast, that somethings will have to be left out,however. But you have plenty of room in that moral resposnibolity or the brain-injury section. So, go ahead. BTW, do you have any intersing illustrations (damaged brains (0;)

or anything like that (the sciences have such extrapdimry images) that can be added? --Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 13:46, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Just a quick update... I am currently working on this bit, and I think that I found a very nice, relevant paper by Josh Greene on the page I sent you. Josh originally trained as a philosopher, but now is doing fMRI experiments. I'll add a draft of something, if not today, then early tomorrow, with references. Edhubbard 16:49, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Congrats on Putnam![edit]

Hey, Just saw the star on Putnam! Congratulations! You deserve a lot of credit for everything you did to make that a Featured Article. Edhubbard 21:18, 18 August 2006 (UTC)


Relax, I read your message, I just sort of forgot about it because I didn't respond to it on first sight. No need to start assuming things. I'll respond at the FAR page. — ዮም | (Yom) | TalkcontribsEthiopia 17:26, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Very well. Thanks for responding.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 17:28, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Lacatosias, take it easy[edit]

I do not wish hostilities between us because you seem to be reasonable fellow. Really, I'm not a fascist, politically I am neutral. Yes, I have great interest in Mussolini's life, but so what?

Regards, Kurt.

Ok then, Kurt. First of all I never accused you of being a damned fascist. Stop putting words in people's mouth. It's silliness. Second, learn how to sign your name properly with the four tildes ~~~~ or the buttons on the top of the page. As to the photos, my point was simply that I think there are too many of Mussolini. As I said, it llooks like a widow's shrine to her beloved late husband. Some of them are obviously nor neccesary: Mussolini relaxing?? Mussolini's face on Italian coins in the 1930s, etc.. seems a bit exaggerated for any biographical artcile. --Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 14:04, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
"I never accused you of being a damned fascist" No, but I belive you (perhaps I was wrong?) hinted something like that. "Stop putting words in people's mouth." Easy easy! I am not your enemy. If I misundrestood you then ok, I'm sorry. "learn how to sign your name properly" I know how to do so but I don't think it's all that nessecary. Regards, Kurt.
Actually, signing IS policy!! If you don't sign, you make it dificult for other uses to respond to your messages and so on. In any case, be careful. If you keep doing that, the admins will almost certainly have you banned for some violation or other. Basta, basta, I have no time. --Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 14:20, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
A quick look at Kurt's user talk page shows that he has been involved in several edit wars and has been blocked from editing up to a month at a time, all for problems relating to WWII issues. Perhaps this is not an argument you want to get into with him, Francesco, since you risk having him drag you down with him. Edhubbard 16:41, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Don't worry. I looked at his user page as well. I also suspect he was, for some bizarre reason which I'd rather ignore, trying delibaretelty to provoke me into some kind of infinite edit-war nonsense. I'm really just disapponted by the extreme underestimation of my knowledge of these kinds of tricks. silliness. --Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 19:49, 25 August 2006 (UTC)


The user Kurt Leyman has a block log longer then my car, he has made these poor edits before to mussolini trying to white wash him Ironplay 20:07, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

FAR Passed![edit]

I am sure that you've already seen it, but the FAR passed! Congratulations. I know it was a team effort, but any look at the edit log will clearly show that you were the tireless contributor to the project... For that, and everythning else you have done to improve Philosophy on wikipedia, I award you the The Tireless Contributor Barnstar. It's been a pleasure working with you on this project, and I look forward to working together on other articles. Edhubbard 22:21, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

    • Ed: Well, that's good news. Let's hope it can retain its FA status for a little while this time. I don't know. Wikipedia is already a bit bizarre. In philosophy, soft sciences and other such areas, it often becomes a truly uncontrollable anarchy. Thanks for the Barnstar and the kind words.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 07:24, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Looks like I got to the party late, but by the time

you asked me to review the article, it was back to excellent form (if indeed, it ever wasn't)! I'm flattered you asked me. Outriggr 22:57, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Thanks for asking me too, Lacatosias, but it seems as though the article passed FAR before I had a chance to look at it. I'll catch the next one ;) Gimmetrow 06:07, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
    • Outriggr and Gimmetrow: No problem. Thanks for responding to my messages and offering to take a look in any case. --Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 07:24, 27 August 2006 (UTC)


very much for your encouragement. I'm feeling a bit better, but I'm going to tidy up a few things at Wikiversity and make myself take a week off - I'm working far too hard. God, I'm working harder in my spare time than I do at school! Dev920 14:51, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Ah hah!! And I take it you are pretty young as well, aren't you? You have practically your whole life still ahead of you and you've already started making yourself sick with working?? C'mon!! Ease up on yourself. You will eventually get to learn many (perhaps not all!!) of those languages you are interested in. You will get to read all of those books. But not if you kill yourself before you reach 30. Take a month off, if you feel like it. The world will not fall apart, knowledge will not disappear, and neither will Wikipedia or school. --Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 15:01, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Hello there[edit]

Hello - yes, still here. I was off in Italy (as it happens) for the last month. I'll catch up later. Still pondering on the differences between Italy and England (was much taken with you comment that the recent dispute conformed to ITALIAN good practice - or something along those lines). I'm still recovering from the reality of self service petrol stations. Dbuckner 20:43, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

PS well done on the FAR. Hope my comments did not detract entirely from the process. Dbuckner 20:44, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your message. Actually it was a holiday, i said it was business-related in case any burglars were reading. Lake Garda. Enough sight-seeing as was possible with young children who start complaining and moaning if you drag them round a museum of Renaissance art or whatever. Italy has changed in some ways, in other ways quite different. Drivers stop at Zebra crossings now, and observe speed limits (!!!!) which was unheard of when I first visited 30 years ago. But there are still the eccentric looking sunglasses, and attitude to dress in the Italy I love. I tried to practice my Italian but no one let me. Everyone speaks English now. Anyway, I left some suggestions on the omnipotence thing, and on the philosophy project page. Happy to help with any of the articles you want to work on, but I'm not going to do any driving. Dbuckner 07:24, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
HA!! Yeah, the traffic regulations that have been imposed over the last ten years or so have also eliminated those bizarre sitatuins that used to fascinate the heck out of me when I was a kid visiting Italy for the first time: the fellow who just parks his car without furhter thought in the middle of one of the busiest roads in Rome or Napoli, gets out and starts chatting with his friend in the next lan for about an hour. Hundreds of horns start honking, then they give up and do the same thing themselves. These days, there are even penalty points

for minor traffic voliations such as not wearing a seat belt. Italians are still obsessed with fashion. The only different here is that now everyone (even the chidren) have cell-phones permanenely attached to one side of therr heads.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 07:41, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

No worries[edit]

No worries Ironplay 21:57, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Philosophy of language & Meaning (linguistic)[edit]

Hey lac. I was one of the main editors on the Philosophy of language and Meaning (linguistic) pages. You're one of the people I trust to review them without being crazy about it. Would you mind taking a look? They're obviously not *great* articles, but when I left them I thought they weren't bad, either. Lucidish { Ben S. Nelson } 16:36, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Sure. You're timing is uncanny. I was trying to break away from this damned 'pedia thing at the moment and go and concentrate on something else. Seriously though, I can't do it justice right now. Over here, it's almost 8:00 p.m. and I have to eat, shower and call it a day at this point. I promise to look it over and review over the nex few days. I can say right off that I remeber reading the POL one a while back and I was quite impressed. Period. It seemed like a good general overview and I didn't have much to add. But I will give it a more careful scrutiny, since you asked. I haven't looked at the other.--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 16:45, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Haha, by all means go do the humanly duties. This is all supposed to be fun, not life-draining! Actually though, a shower sounds like a good idea for me as well... Lucidish { Ben S. Nelson } 18:38, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Irrelevant Questions[edit]

Sigh Ok, I'll try. I have done little with either but I currently have a friend who is a Derrida scholar and another who is a Foucault scholar. (point 0: I think that Derrida is not a nutjob, he was operating within a old tradition of negative theology and doing some very cool stuff with it, he was a subtle sophisticated thinker who I won't rag on, but he had some terrible stupid useless defenders in English who made him out to be saying far dumber things than he was. Foucault I don't know well enough to opine on, and Lacan I think was a nutjob). Reason #1) American philosophy has failed badly to teach students or engage the interest of amateurs, and instead mostly interacts with itself becoming an incestuous process. As a result, English departments have taken much of our natural niche. There are more Philosophy of English types in the English department here, than there are Philosophers in the whole Philosophy department. My university is probably worse than average but basically typical in that. Thus, many Americans are exposed to more "Critical Theory" (that is philosophy via an English department in styles and themes that appeal to English professors) than to "Philosophy" proper. "Continental" types are a much better fit for English-Professors-cum-Philosophy-teachers than other types (classics work well too), because of both the topics studied and the style. Analytic philosophy in contrast requires logic, and often math or science training, but those subjects aren't popular in the humanities, and people who can do well at them usually go into math or science. But also analytic aesthetics is weak and has only begun to try to seriously tackle the issues of culture and literature that are central to teaching English. Reason #2) ALA Husserl, I hold that philosophy has 2 major branches, what he calls philosophy-as-a-rigorous-science and world-and-life-philosophy. The first pursues eternal truths, the second tries to apply them to the changing demands of the present. Analytic focuses on the philo-as-rigorous-science stuff but in the states has done a terrible job of the world-and-life stuff. Philosophy is and has alway been, among other things politics by other means. right now in the US, Baudrillard and Deleuze do that vastly better than anyone in the Analytic world. My Derridian friend, mostly cares about Latin American politics, and torture regimes, and poverty. He studies Derrida not Davidson, because he thinks that Derrida will help him to make sense of the post-modern condition, and post-modern politics, and the role of the media today and important stuff like that, whereas the analytics are useless. My Foucauldian colleige I've only known for a few weeks, but my feel is that his motive is similar. Reason #3: In US universities, people take humanities classes largely as semi-electives as part of the general education program, and only a few take them as majors or minors. So classes are competing for student's attention. The classes that get big enrollments have departments that thrive and those like us that have enrollment problems slowly lose slots until we are closed down. So its important to make classes interesting and attractive to students, "sexy" in the slang. We are all competing in the marketplace of ideas. So the "continental" philosophy stuff are sexy to the students, they attract students well, the students learn vocab and arguments they can use to impress or intimidate others and those classes and professors succeed. Use too much logic and your students will be bored and fail and next semester your enrollments will drop via word of mouth. I am largely a formal logician, but I will never be allowed to teach logic more advanced than basic critical thinking, because it does not sell well here. After all, a University is basically an expensive form of edutainment culminating in a degree that proves to employers that your parents were from a class that could afford to pay for 4-5 years of edutainment, and therefore that you should be hired. Continental philosophy makes better edutainment than analytic philosophy. Reason #4, Philosophy is about the big picture damnit. Analytics have largely lost that; they plug on little projects often making progress on one question only by taking position that will completely undermine them as soon as you look at the broader issue. Synthetic types may have a lot of hand-wavy BS in their pictures but at least they are trying to tackle the big issues instead of delaying with endless fighting over the details. There are probably other reasons, but I think those are the main 4. Bmorton3 18:57, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

--Francesco Franco aka Lacatosias 07:25, 1 September 2006 (UTC)