Colorless Green Ideas

It can only be the thought of verdure to come, which prompts us in the autumn to buy these dormant white lumps of vegetable matter covered by a brown papery skin, and lovingly to plant them and care for them. It is a marvel to me that under this cover they are laboring unseen at such a rate within to give us the sudden awesome beauty of spring flowering bulbs. While winter reigns the earth reposes but these colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

C. M. Street

Science & Logical Positivism

New Scientist once published a ½ page letter in which a working scientist ranted that philosophy was all meaningless and the Only Worthwhile—and Obviously True—philosophy is Logical Positivism.

But logical positivism is distinguished amongst all philosophies as the one which disproves itself in a 2-line proof.

Logical Positivism Premise #1 : All meaningful statements are either analytic (that is to say, statements of mathematics or logic or some other tautology) or else statements of empirical fact, and any sentence that is not in one of these two categories is strictly and literally meaningless.

2. If premise #1 —which is not a tautology, nor a statement of mathematics or logic, nor a statement of empirical fact—is true, then by premise #1, premise #1 is itself strictly and literally meaningless, and therefore cannot be true.

Customise Macos XQuartz : xinitrc doesn’t work

If you installed XQuartz and are, for instance, irritated by the small white xterm window you get, you might try customising it in the usual way by editting an .xinitrc file. If only.

Instead, try this:

defaults read org.macosforge.xquartz.X11

to see all the settings; or to permanently change the startup xterm window, something like:

defaults write org.macosforge.xquartz.X11 app_to_run \
 "/opt/X11/bin/xterm -fa Monaco -fs 12 -fg green -bg black -sb -sl 1000"

Or, if you have installed a better bash with homebrew, then e.g. :

defaults write org.macosforge.xquartz.X11 app_to_run \
  "/opt/X11/bin/xterm -fa Monaco -fs 12 -fg green -bg black -sb -sl 1000 -ls /usr/local/bin/bash"

You can check your syntax before writing the default just by running your quoted command in a terminal, and then watch as XQuartz opens and xterm runs your shell:

~/Source/Repos/VMs] /opt/X11/bin/xterm -fa Monaco -fs 12 -fg green \
    -bg black -sb -sl 1000 -ls /usr/local/bin/bash

To set the default for a new xterm window from the XQuartz Application menu, the menu itself lets you edit the command.

In short, read the FAQ :