Re: More speculations on a post-Saddam Iraq

From: Douglas P. Wilson (
Date: Fri 15 Nov 2002 - 19:05:06 GMT

  • Next message: Kenneth Van Oost: "Re: Fw: An Individualistic Step"

    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).

            dpw http://www.SocialTechnology.Org/dpwilson.html

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