NYTimes: email from Israel
Tue, 02 Oct 2001 16:13:49 -0500
> In a message dated 10/2/01 2:49:26 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
>> Heres my question then: is there a universal principle that can be
>> gleaned from the existance of Israel?
> here's my question: who says we need universal priciples? oh, yeah,
> the guy who wants everything nice and consistent, all right angles,
> no elegance or complexity, no nimble-mindedness: jeff bone, the
> cement galoshes of intellectual raiment.
Refer to previous messages: results, not principles. I'll take most
of the rest of it as an unintended compliment: nice is good,
consistent is good, orthogonality is good, no (unnecessary) complexity
is good. As for no elegance, well, I guess that's an expression of
preference, but for me things that are nice and consistent and
orthogonal and simple are inherently elegant. As for
nimble-mindedness, I'll merely direct your attention to the incredible
amount of effort that gets wasted by the "nimble-minded" in pursuing
complex solutions in favor of simple, obvious ones.
As for cement galoshes, fine. If you want to call dogged, aggressive
pursuit of a set of concepts to their ultimate logical conclusion "the
cement galoshes of intellectual raiment" that's fine with me. IMO,
the true "cement galoshes" are sentimentality, group-selfishness,
primitivism, and fear of change; I happen to believe that half-ass
fallbacks invoking the bugaboo of "real world complexity" are either
irrational or just intellectually lazy. "Ooh, the world is a
complicated and messy place, and that justifies X, Y, and Z. Problems
P, Q, and R that result from X, Y, Z are just unavoidable, this is the
best we can do."
Lazy. Pat. Status quo. Irrational.