NYTimes: email from Israel

Jeff Bone jbone@jump.net
Tue, 02 Oct 2001 16:13:49 -0500

Grlygrl201@aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 10/2/01 2:49:26 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> morton@dennisinter.com 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.