[ExI] Costs of the Roads Not Taken

samantha sjatkins at mac.com
Sat Jul 28 22:23:29 UTC 2007

Lee Corbin wrote:
> Samantha writes
>>> I can hardly think of anything that at this point seems more a waste
>>> of my time than debating the merits of the Iraq war, and so I won't.
>>> Here I'm only  replying because of nature of your over-the-top
>>> response, which is of psychological interest.
>> Typical.  Your post is not of "psychological interest"?  Psychologizing 
>> posters is truly "over the top" and a total waste of time.
> I cannot apologize for being interested in the psychology of why
> we adopt and cling to the various positions that we do, sorry.
> Perhaps you are uncharitably interpreting what I meant by 
> "of psychological interest".  Perhaps not.
>>  I spoke to your seeming refusal to reach any conclusions and rather, imho, 
>> dishonest insinuation about the Iraq War that fly in the face of what we 
>> have seen. 
> Please.  :-)   Dishonest?   Must we resort to such accusations?

OK. Perhaps you honestly intended you insinuations.  But that would be a 
confusing possibility to entertain as you claimed earlier you weren't 
trying to insinuate what it looked obvious to me you were 
insinuating.    So if you are insinuationg anything then it is honestly 
done and if you are not then honesty is not a relevant judgment?  But if 
you are not intending to insinuate anything then your words do not fit 
well with that intention because they do insinuate certain views.
> Firstly, please calmly consider that not even in mathematics (!) is
> every position falsifiable.  That may come as a surprise, and it's
Totally irrelevant imho to this context.
> But politics?  I hope that you really don't think that a political hypothesis,
> e.g., the French Revolution was justified (or did more good than harm),
> or the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and its allies was justified (or was a
> logical move), can ever be falsified. 
Sigh.  In the realm of stipulated probabilistic truth the evidence that 
this was a mistake is vastly predominate.   Do you agree or not?   That 
we do not know absolute truth is not in the least relevant.

> Were the situation in Iraq to begin to develop favorably to the army's
> purpose, or even if the entire effort ended quite successfully (which 
> I concede is a long shot), there is no way that you would admit that
> it was probably a good idea---whatever happened, you'd have other
> explanations.  It's just the way it is.  So, same for me. 
Sorry you have no way of knowing any such thing so don't attempt to 
claim this is so.

Do you get some payback by the word?  Most of this is utterly irrelevant 
to the question at hand.   You are no more convincing and certainly 
communicating no better just because you include more digressions.

>>> I was *merely* attacking the implied notion that one can
>>> evaluate costs simply, without taking into consideration the
>>> "roads not taken". 
>> No you were not merely doing that.  You were drawing a parallel
>> by your choice of examples.  That parallel does not have merit.
>> I do not believe it was innocent.
> Well, it was innocent. Yes, it was extreme, and yes, it wasn't a very
> good parallel, but what I was attempting in all sincereity to
> do was to rebut a *principle* (i.e., if I recall correctly, that
> one cannot merely allude to the financial burden of a course
> of action independent of an investigation of the costs of 
> alternatives---as the subject line of this post attests).
Then are you unaware of the extremely misleading nature of your 
comparison if merely rebutting the stated principle?  It is at best poor 

>>> But I do not
>>> mean at all to debate the likelihood of that---I simply am
>>> affirming that these are---of course---what went or is going
>>> though the minds of those who favored the invasion.
>> And what of these purported reasons?  Do they hold water and explain 
>> anything or not? 
> Well, that is exactly what I want to avoid getting into.  Sorry, I just
> don't have time for it, and besides, its pretty fruitless (although sometimes
> quite entertaining).
Then why open such things up with your choice of words?  This is why, 
since I believe you are quite intelligent, I have trouble believing 
those choices are altogether innocent.  It is more likely imho that you 
wished to slide a few ideas and notions into the thought space and then 
disown them or plead lack of time if you get called on them.   If so I 
find that dishonest.  If not then I may have to lower my estimate of 
your effective intelligence when it comes to communicating by email.

> Consult the dictionary if you must.  I mean it in the sense of adopting
> a position so strongly and with so little conception of possible error
> that one becomes actually shrill and not just a little narrow-minded.
I have given you insufficient grounds for such a judgment.
>> I have watched you float ideas over and over again that don't hold water 
>> on much of any examination.  Why do you do that?
> Translation:  you really don't agree with me on a large variety of
> issues.
Don't translate.  You communicate in a slippery manner I do not trust.  
You float notions directly or more often by insinuation and analogy and 
then plead innocence of intend or no time to explore them.  

- samantha

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