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Re: Yes it's off topic but who cares right now.

  • From: Tom Barron
  • Date: Fri Sep 14 09:21:28 2001

On Fri, Sep 14, 2001 at 08:17:26AM -0400, M. David Leonard wrote:
> 	If I'm bitten by a rabid dog and I have it put down, that's not 
> revenge.  That's prudence.  Faced with an incurable disease/mindset 
> capable of causing more misery/illness/death one finds oneself in the 
> invidious position of having to decide between several obviously 
> unpleasant and previously unacceptable alternatives.  It's not fair - any 
> of it - but it's the situation nonetheless.
> 					David Leonard
> 					ShaysNet
> On Thu, 13 Sep 2001, Patrick Greenwell wrote:
> > 
> > On Thu, 13 Sep 2001, Los, Ralph wrote:
> > 
> > >
> > > 	True, there is no taking back what happened, but if GW issued an act
> > > of war, and did some re-arranging of the middle-east and the like, and
> > > places like Afganistan, Iraq, and the Palestinian militant states
> > > DISAPPEARED forever - no one, especially this blue-blooded American would
> > > shed a tear...and I as one...would see all the psycho-terrorists to hell.
> > 
> > Revenge begets revenge.
> > 
> > 

OK, put aside all questions of motivation (revenge vs. prudence, etc.)
Putting down a rabid dog is pretty much an atomic operation, without
hugely significant side effects.  Removing several countries, several
governments, or several populations is a quite different proposition.
I'm not aware of any such attempt along these lines in human history
that fits the model of removal of a single animal of another species.
We are (increasingly) interconnected, and our apparently distant
actions reverberate with local consequences.  Predicting consequences
in complex systems is tricky business, but one thing we know is that
human perceptions and beliefs are involved in these systems.  Thinkers
as diverse as Gautama to Machiavelli have recognized this - the latter
wrote of the difficulty of pulling off a coup that can establish a
successful governement because of the cycle of violence problem.
As times get worse, as our emotions are jerked around, it is more
important than ever that we see the world as it is, that we think
as clearly about human systems as we do about other kind of networks,
and that we not let our understandable desire for a different world
lead us to make things worse by pursuing simplistic solutions.

- Tom Barron
  [email protected]