From: Douglas P. Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri 15 Nov 2002 - 19:05:06 GMT
Though he would probably disagree,
I have to add this: Jeremy Bradley is right.
> If don't make the attempt to view other
> cultures through their frames of reference
> we are like the blind men who attempt to
> describe an elephant by touching a single
> part (Indian folk tale).
But who knows what those frames of reference
really are? These days I am preoccupied with
individuals --with micro-history. The problem with
fighting Saddam Hussein (or any other individual
leader) is that the odds are good that he would
survive. But the odds are poor for a great many other
individuals, all of whom remain anonymous.
Who are these people? Can't we at least list their names?
Not every person in that land has a telephone anywhere
nearby, but surely someone has a Baghdad phone-book
in a large text file. Which of them will die, be mutilated,
or cry at the graves of family members?
Extra points for listing them in order of probability of death.
(Social Tech Note: This is perhaps not the principal
coordinate axis of any of the more obvious factor analyses
of any available dataset, but it should be, and if not, we
need to get some better data. If you have some, please
do let me know, and make the URL public, for the
benefit of other people with appropriate software that
might want to crunch some numbers).
I will post a poll about this on one of my mailing lists,
but personally I doubt if Saddam himself is anywhere
in the top 40%. (Just as, for example, nobody named
George Bush is anywhere in the top 99.9% of the
list of American and Allied people most likely to die in
the course of an invasion).
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