[Numpy-discussion] Removing datetime support for 1.4.x series ?

Robert Kern robert.kern@gmail....
Mon Feb 8 18:25:17 CST 2010

On Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 17:43, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>>> I'm continuing only because, the discussion has generated some heat,
>>> and I think part of that heat comes from the perception that the
>>> excellent community spirit of the project is somewhat undermined by
>>> the feeling that reasonable arguments are not being fully heard.
>> How does one get that feeling?
> Is that a real question?

Absolutely. What leads you to believe that the reasonable arguments
aren't being heard? If one were to start a thread giving an idea and
no one responds while vigorous discussion is happening in other
threads, that would certainly be visible evidence of that idea not
being fully heard. I'm something at a loss to guess how you would
ascertain from a thread that has now gone past a hundred messages
(most of which favor the side I presume you think the unheard
arguments are coming from) that some of the arguments are not being
fully heard.

These kinds of decisions entail a lot of judgement calls. How many
people are affected by an ABI incompatibility? How capable are they of
coping with it? How many will walk back to Matlab because of it? No
one knows the answers to these questions. In the absence of actual
data, we make guesses and assumptions based on gut feelings distilled
from past, anecdotal experience and logical arguments. We can discuss
the logical arguments all day long and possibly reach a consensus on
which arguments have valid structure and which don't. Arguments are
either logically sound, or they're not. We can't really argue those
gut feelings into a consensus. They come from personal experience
which is different for each individual. They are simply not subject to
argument. Hearing your gut feeling does little to change mine, but
mine not changing doesn't mean that I ignored you or that I have a
closed mind to your point of view. It's really quite easy, in a busy
thread such as this one, to fail to address every stated point in
detail even though you have considered them and still haven't changed
your mind.

Here's the problem that I don't think many people appreciate: logical
arguments suck just as much as personal experience in answering these
questions. You can make perfectly structured arguments until you are
blue in the face, but without real data to premise them on, they are
no better than the gut feelings. They can often be significantly worse
if the strength of the logic gets confused with the strength of the

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless
enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as
though it had an underlying truth."
  -- Umberto Eco

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