Re: Impact on history

From: Miriam English (
Date: Fri Sep 14 2001 - 09:19:01 MDT

Jesus! Samantha!
Can't you see that what you are saying is exactly what the terrorists say.
That this is exactly how they justify their insane actions??

At 01:35 AM 14/09/2001 -0700, Samantha Atkins wrote:
>I totally disagree with this attitude. International law? It
>already has been broken. Utterly. War has been made on us.

They feel US has broken international law many times (it does time and time
again) and has been conducting an undeclared war upon them.

>There is nothing lawful about it. Arrogant? We deserve to be
>righteously angry and dig out those who did this to us.

They feel that they deserve to be righteously angry and attack those who
(in their minds) are responsible. (I am not condoning their irresponsible
acts of bloodshed, just as I think your desire for bloodshed is equally

>Arrogant? Our system IS better than that of most of the
>pestholes that hate us and threaten us and our citizens at every
>opportunity. Or don't you care to notice the distinction?

This is *exactly* how they feel. They think their societies, that value the
things they feel should be valued are much better than the cesspools they
consider our societies to be.

>Arrogant? We very seldom "throw our weight around" really.

What planet are you living on???

>With our power most nations would really be arrogant and
>extremely expansionist. But we are not. We often don't even
>use our power when we despearately need to. We will not play by
>rules that require us to be nice to those who play by no rules
>at all.

Yes, the policy makers of USA play by the rules when it suits them (and a
terrible number of citizens are right there with them). This is inexcusable
for the most powerful country on the planet -- these are the people who
have set for themselves the role of global policeman. What would you think
of a cop whose excuse for bad behavior was that they didn't rob as many
people at gunpoint as another person would?

But on that point I partly agree. USA is almost certainly less dangerous
than many others would be with similar power. However I can think of other
nations where I am certain such power would have been handled with more
restraint and where the policy makers would have been less tempted to bully
and steal.

>Eliezer. If you look at history with an open mind you will see
>that we very, very seldom throw the weight of our military force
>around at all that arrogantly. We have gone out of our way, to
>our own detriment, many times not to throw our weight around in
>the way you have the nerve to accuse us of.

You have said that again. This is so weird.
Clearly you really do believe that.
In much of the world USA is seen as a barely restrained bully.
Can you see that something doesn't quite fit here?

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> > the burning hatred and the willingness to attack, regardless of the
> > consequences, just because it's so unbearable to think that the Americans
> > can bomb and bomb and never be touched themselves.
>I have nothing more to say to you right now. You are in fantasy

I don't understand why you find it so unbearable to see this. Eliezer is
simply stating the truth. It is not hard to verify.

[sigh] I know that I will be jumped upon for saying much of the above so I
had better clarify my personal position, though it should not be necessary.

I don't see USA as peaceful or bully. I see a succession of
self-interested, short-tempered foreign policy decisions (and also some
other enlightened, helpful foreign policy decisions) by a series of
individuals. USA is not a single entity, but a place where millions of
individuals live. It is impossible to characterise a large group of people
neatly. The people who have made such bad foreign policy were no doubt
hard-working people who probably thought they were doing the right thing
and had to balance pressures from home against those abroad. But the fact
remains that one after another they made many decisions often based upon
the arrogance that comes of being extremely powerful and feeling unaccountable.

Make no mistake, I also see the shining intelligence and learning in that
region of the world (USA, Canada, Nth Europe) as a great asset to humanity.
Other areas undoubtedly have great value too, but my attraction to science
has biased me of course.

It puzzles me that with such power for good so many people in USA are so
totally blinded by nationalistic fervour.

         - Miriam

Q. What is the similarity between an elephant and a grape?
A. They are both purple... except for the elephant.
Virtual Reality Association

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