User talk:Rosa Lichtenstein

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The very same, from RevLeft?

Hi, you wrote a comment about a phrase that doesn't make sense for you at the reification article. I am the one who wrote it. I'm not a native speaker of english, I speak spanish. I don't know if you refer to the form of the sentence not making sense or to its content.

The article is very vague in some aspects. For example, saying that Marx didn`t use the concept of reification much and just basing this on a Google search at is not enough for this kinds of assertions. The idea that I have is, however, that reification is only a topic, a small one, in Capital's first chapter and that it doesn't appear again in other works. The one who developed the concept was Lukacs, according to what I know. I'd love to learn, if this is wrong, what the real facts are; because I'm very interested in the topic.

Bye, Ernalve 00:42, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

"Marx used it shortly", is the part that does not make sense. Or rather, it would mean that Marx used it soon after or soon before doing something else, if taken literally. The word "shortly" does not fit what you are trying to say. You'd only use it if you wanted to say something like "Marx used it shortly before dying", or "Shortly after he wrote Das Kapital".

Rosa Lichtenstein 22:35, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

O.K. I understand now, what I meant was that he didn`t use the concept much. Ernalve 22:46, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Ah, I see. In that case, I suggest you change it to "Marx used it briefly before he died".

Rosa Lichtenstein 09:20, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Buddha - Engels[edit]

Cheers, wasn't my question tho. I will email that to the student who posted it in the article (i put it on the talkpage) . -- maxrspct ping me 19:48, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Ok, I am glad I could help even if it wasn't you!!

Rosa Lichtenstein 18:04, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Nice Munros[edit]

Note your comments on Liathach and An Teallach - always think it's dangerous putting 'travelogue' in WP articles a) cos it's not a guide book b) it depends a lot on time of year and c) your own reaction to exposure. That said, I've only once done A T in the snow, and I was glad I knew the traverse path would go, and was 'safer than it looks' from a summer visit :-) Must go back sometime fairly soon Bob aka Linuxlad (talk) 22:47, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Sure, but anyone who ventures into the mountains with little or no knowledge and/or preparation deserves much of what they will get.

Anyway, I have just added a warning after-thought to my comments.


Rosa Lichtenstein (talk) 05:43, 21 January 2008 (UTC)


I'm surprised that you don't have anything to say about the effect that the trade unions in the U.S. have had on the employment situation. Unlike Japanese unions, the unions in the U.S. are insatiable and can never stop making demands for more pay and benefits, without regard for the welfare of the companies (seen as being the enemy) that employ them. They justify their demands by pointing to excessive managerial and executive pay and bonuses. Is this true?Lestrade (talk) 13:43, 5 March 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

I won't thank you for your message, since I fully support the unions in the US, and elsewhere, in their aim to squeeze as much wealth as possible from their thieving bosses.

And it's a bit rich you moaning that "the unions in the U.S. are insatiable and can never stop making demands for more pay and benefits, without regard for the welfare of the companies (seen as being the enemy) that employ them" when we have just seen what the 'free market' has done to the world economy, large sections of which have had to be part nationalised or bailed out, because of the greed of the capitalist class. The 'insatiable ones' are these thieves, not workers.

Indeed, I look forward to the day when my class (yes, I am a union organiser, unpaid, and working class), seizes control of the system and runs it in the interests of ordinary human beings, not in the interests of profit.

Rosa Lichtenstein (talk) 12:11, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Are you happy about the seizure of General Motors?Lestrade (talk) 12:36, 16 September 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

Why do you even think I might be?

Rosa Lichtenstein (talk) 14:23, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Because you wrote that "I look forward to the day when my class (yes, I am a union organiser, unpaid, and working class), seizes control of the system and runs it in the interests of ordinary human beings, not in the interests of profit."Lestrade (talk) 20:26, 17 September 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

You clearly have little comprehension of class politics -- I said 'my class', not a tiny fraction of it -- and I addded that they should 'control the system', which isn't even remotely the case here.

Rosa Lichtenstein (talk) 07:00, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

True, I'm no expert on class politics. However, I'm trying to understand your viewpoint. I take it to mean that you would not be satisfied until your whole class takes control. "Whole class" means every single person who has a job (who works) and is not a professional, clergyman, academic, artist, politician, landlord, or manager. Also, you want them to control the whole, entire system of government, not merely one major corporation.Lestrade (talk) 11:45, 20 September 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

Look, I am not in the business of educating those who can't be bothered to learn some basic Marxism. Come back when you have.

Rosa Lichtenstein (talk) 14:18, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

What do you think is the best book to read in order to learn basic Marxism?Lestrade (talk) 18:03, 25 September 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

Alex Callinicos: The Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx:

PDF here:

Rosa Lichtenstein (talk) 16:57, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Talk:Laws of thought[edit]

Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:

If that chair is 'mostly empty space', then why don't you fall through it? An appeal to 'forces' (or particles that 'carry forces') would be to no avail, since, if you are to make sense of their capacity to resist motion, you are going to have to use words that depend on everyday notions of solidity, undermining the point you wish to make.
Furthermore, what are those 'items' that aren't empty space made of? Energy? But that can't resist motion, either. So, where does solidity come from? It can't be from 'forces', for the above reasons.
In other words, we have no good reason to give up our ordinary ideas of solidity. They underpin science and so cannot be challenged by any scientific theory, no matter how successful it might be, without that theory undermining itself.

There are a number of ways to think of empty space. For example: my watch pocket is empty; an empty universe or an empty domain or an empty set; physically empty space.

The chair is solid in the first sense, but is all empty space according to quantum physics. However, all physical space is vastly energized -- it is empty, but has the potential (with virtually zero probability) to create a new universe. The physical universe is ruled by potential energy, not objects.

Both of these are undeniably correct from their perspective. At our scale, we only need to imagine solid objects. As magnification is increased, the microscopic view becomes increasingly stranger to us as ordinary objects disappear. BlueMist (talk) 01:16, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for that, but I was aware of the points you made before I wrote what I did. As I pointed out, if, according to quantum physics, a chair is empty space, then you are going to fall through it -- unless there are forces capable of stopping you. But, forces have no rigidity, and so cannot do this.

And this is not a matter of scale, but of trying to make sense of the language physicists have to use to explain how solidity arises out of what is, in effect, nothing at all.

Rosa Lichtenstein (talk) 06:01, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

That's not it. It's not about physicists, it's about models and nature. You are mixing up the language of distinct a priori models, each of which only covers a small observable perspective on nature.
Mathematical models may defined as possibly empty, if it is logically consistent from within.
Philosophical models are only partially consistent reflections of partially consistent inherent and cultural notions and habits. Here, empty is vague and ambiguous.
Physical models are consistent and predictive. Newton's model of billiard balls is only partially consistent with the probabilistic world of quantum mechanics. Unfortunately, quantum mechanics is vastly more predictive than Newton. For QM, empty is not "nothing, or in effect, nothing at all". It is the probabilistic potential for everything.
BlueMist (talk) 13:34, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Again, thanks for that, but if a model fails to explain why you do not fall through that chair, it's not a good model.

And, it is about language, since, if the language you use implies you should fall through that chair, but you do not, then you need to choose new words that don't imply this.

Moreover, if "empty" is vague, then it's vague when you use it, too. In which case, your explanation/model can't fail to suffer from that fact, meaning that it fails to account for the world as we experience it. In addition, if that word is as defective as you suggest, and if physicists tell us that a chair is empty space, then we must fail to understand them, and they must fail to understand one another. On the other hand, if "empty" means what you say, then it is misleading when you use it to give me an everyday account of the nature of chairs. You might as well use "schmempty".

[It is worth adding that I am not advancing a philosophical theory here, just using words in an everyday sense.]

Finally, predictivity is no guide to truth. Ptolemy's system predicted the movement of the planets with increasing accuracy for over a thousand years, but who now accepts it? The problem with quantum mechanics (if we interpret it crudely) is that it implies you should fall through that chair, which is not a good prediction. And that is especially so if it can't tell us why you do not fall through that chair.

Rosa Lichtenstein (talk) 19:11, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

We may have come to an impasse. I'd have to repeat myself on the many divergent models of reality, each with its own appropriate language, and that in general, they answer different questions.
Our everyday notions work well enough to allow us to survive, but not well enough to explain magnetism or why plasmas do pass right through ordinary objects. We don't fall through a chair not because of the classical physics of Newton or Maxwell but because of the quantum mechanical Pauli Exclusion Principle.
In any case, on a different but related note, it is impossible to understand what Hegel said, or should have said, unless one appreciates at least some aspects of Heraclitean thought. I believe, Hegel claimed to be a Heraclitean. Heraclitean pluralist worldview has absolutism embedded as a special case.
BlueMist (talk) 01:19, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Once more, thanks for that, but, and once again, if the language physicists use implies that you will fall through a chair (a manifestly false prediction), then it must be either metaphorical, useless, or it must have its own technical meaning. Unfortunately, the latter would divorce such language from our ordinary use of typographically similar looking words, making the claim that a chair is empty space an empty claim itself (since it would contain a technical term of indeterminate meaning -- i.e., "empty"). That would divorce physics from our use of language, which would in turn make any explanation physicists offer us relate to 'empty' and not to "empty", in this instance. In which case, we'd be no further forward than if they had used "schmempty", as I noted earlier.

On the other hand, if it is metaphorical, then what is its 'cash value' (to paraphrase William James)? How does it relate to our literal use of language?

You now add some detail (e.g., the Pauli Exclusion Principle), but that can't explain why we don't fall through chairs, either. Why should a chair (or your body) obey this principle? How can a principle decide what does or does not happen in nature (unless nature is mind)? Certainly we use such principles to help us model the world, but you mustn't confuse a model with reality (especially when that model possesses such wierd implications, or contains technical terms that in no way relate to our ordinary use of language).

Concerning Hegel, I am not really sure what point you are making -- Heraclitus is far too confused a thinker (rivalled only by Hegel and Spinoza, perhaps) to draw any safe conclusions from the few fragments that remain of his thoughts.

Rosa Lichtenstein (talk) 07:08, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

The language physicists use does not imply that you will fall through a chair (a manifestly false prediction). The language of physics is math, and in that language each entity has a symbol, and nothing else is defined. There is no mathematical symbol for chair, therefore it is not defined to physics. Just as muon is defined in particle physics but not in the grocery store.
Note, that I am not attacking common sense or Aristotle, only the specific notion that common sense or Aristotle's philosophy has universal application.
Heraclitus, as far as I can tell, is deliberately defamed and abused by philosophers. Plato well understood, and incorporated Heraclitean philosophy into his schema. Keep in mind that Protagoras expressed the basis of a vast volume of philosophical work by the way of a single aphorism. Philosophy is like that. It is not true that Heraclitus said nothing, or that his fragments are inadequate for philosophical purposes. What is true is that at times, but not always, he deliberately denied the laws of thought. The road goes both up and down.
BlueMist (talk) 03:29, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

The language physicists use to make sense of their results does indeed imply that you will fall through a chair -- for example, when they tell us it is mostly 'empty space'. Now, they might be using "space" in a special sense, in which case, a chair isn't mostly empty space (if that word is meant its ordinary sense). On the other hand, they might be using "space" in its ordinary sense, in which case, you should fall through that chair. You can't have it both ways.

I know physicists frame their theories in the language of mathematics; I am a mathematician. But, if they use uninterpreted symbols, then their equations and theories can't relate to the world around us (but must only apply to a mathematical model). On the other hand, as soon as those symbols are interpreted, the above problems kick in.

And I am not defending common sense (which is not the same as ordinary language, or its use), nor Aristotle. I'm not sure why you brought either of these up.

I am not sure either that Heraclitus is defamed by philosophers (you neglected to give examples), but if he is, then I am on their side. Anyone who can 'derive' a universal principle, supposedly true for all of space and time, from his superficial (and manifestly incorrect) observations about stepping into a river deserves all the abuse he gets (and the same goes for Protagoras). Sure, Plato used his ideas, but so much the worse for Plato.

I did not say Heraclitus said nothing, only that nothing secure can follow from his confused and fragmentary musings. His denial of the 'laws of thought' -- if that is what he did -- was no less unwise.

You should re-read my comments over at the Wiki article on the 'laws of thought' -- there are no such 'laws'.

Rosa Lichtenstein (talk) 06:41, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Rosa, your grandiosity is simply colossal. Do you have a narcissistic personality disorder? --YeOldeGentleman (talk) 20:25, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

On what basis do you allege that I display "grandiosity"?

Rosa Lichtenstein (talk) 14:34, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

"The problem with quantum mechanics (if we interpret it crudely) is that it implies you should fall through that chair, which is not a good prediction." Quantum physics implies no such thing. You have to be a philosophy graduate who's either not understood whatever philosophy of physics course you took, and/or had a lecturer who didn't understand quantum theory. Still, don't worry. He he he. How can you not like Jacob Lurie?
Also, your recommended book is… Well, it contains nothing but the usual dribble about misinterpretation or deliberate mangling of authentic Marxist scripture, how Lenin and Trotsky were real democrats, if only that nasty Stalin hadn't betrayed the revolution, etc. etc.:

One must then distinguish the real Marxist tradition—what is sometimes called classical Marxism—from its various distortions. The informing political theme of this tradition is the idea of (as the American socialist Hal Draper put it) ‘socialism from below’, a socialism that is inherently democratic because it is made by the mass of workers themselves. Classical Marxism was inaugurated, as I describe in Chapter 1, by Marx and his great friend and collaborator Frederick Engels, and was continued by later generations of revolutionary socialists, above all by Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky…

Zzzz… --YeOldeGentleman (talk) 16:02, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Ok, but then when we are told that, say, a chair is mostly empty space, physicists can't mean by that what we mean by this phrase in ordinary language, since, if a chair were really mostly empty space, we'd fall through it. But, I have already covered this point in my comments above; you need to address what I argued as opposed to attacking me personally.

And who is Jacob Lurie, and when have I ever expressed an opinion about him?

Nevertheless, it is good to see you regard what Marx and Engels wrote with such religious deference: "deliberate mangling of authentic Marxist scripture...".

Finally, I must apologize for not recommending a book that absolves Stalin of all his crimes against Marxism (and humanity), but I have rather a negative opinion of the man (and the regime) who destroyed the flower of the Bolshevik Party on trumped up charges. ['Socialism in one country' -- refuted by history, if I remember correctly. Or, is the Soviet Union still in existence?]

Rosa Lichtenstein (talk) 14:42, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

March 2013[edit]

In a recent edit to the page Joan of Arc, you changed one or more words or styles from one national variety of English to another. Because Wikipedia has readers from all over the world, our policy is to respect national varieties of English in Wikipedia articles.

For a subject exclusively related to the United Kingdom (for example, a famous British person), use British English. For something related to the United States in the same way, use American English. For something related to another English-speaking country, such as Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, use the variety of English used there. For an international topic, use the form of English that the original author used.

In view of that, please don't change articles from one version of English to another, even if you don't normally use the version in which the article is written. Respect other people's versions of English. They, in turn, should respect yours. Other general guidelines on how Wikipedia articles are written can be found in the Manual of Style. If you have any questions about this, you can ask me on my talk page or visit the help desk. Thank you. Elizium23 (talk) 03:34, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Ok, thanks for that, but what version of English is/was spoken in medieval France?

Rosa Lichtenstein (talk) 02:22, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

instrumentalism post[edit]

Hi, Rosa Lichtenstein. Did you see my response to your post 3 days ago? Please let me know what you think.TBR-qed (talk) 13:13, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Yes, thanks for that, but I couldn't see how it was a reply to me.

However, I have to say that since I have been studying philosophy for over 40 years, it didn't teach me very much -- sorry!

Rosa Lichtenstein (talk) 15:06, 22 October 2014 (UTC)


First warning:
Final warning:

Stay off my talk page, you fundamentally defective individual. --YeOldeGentleman (talk) 07:47, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Oh dear, what a paranoid individual you are. You clearly think it is OK to post on my page (and I haven't complained about it, or removed your comments), but you won't let me post on yours. What are you afraid of? That I'll wipe the floor with you just like I have wiped the floor with every other Dialectical Mystic who has tried to take me on?

Seems so...

Rosa Lichtenstein (talk) 12:11, 23 August 2015 (UTC)