Are we having fun yet? (was Re: Dai Vernon's Blah Blah Blah)

Michael M. Butler (butler@comp*
Mon, 22 Dec 1997 22:55:45 -0800

> we've lectured and nitpicked.


That appears to sum it up. I am of late, thankfully, rarely at such
loggerheads regarding what I think of as simple communication, and I didn't
mean to nitpick or lecture. Perhaps I did anyway. Regarding our present
contretemps: I thought it was worth noting that you seemed to be carrying
some Platonic ideal around and doing a little jackdaw epistemology. I am
not completely without sin on that score myself.

Judging from your reactions, you got your buttons pushed. Sorry, honest.
Humor me, grab a beer and look at this pair of exchanges as if someone else
had engaged in them:


>> I'm left with only one possible explanation for this misunderstanding:

<Apologies here, any time I only have one explanation it's a clue I haven't
thought about something enough.>

>> Is
>> it your impression that one side of (or even _any_ of) the participants in
>> this specific discussion think that "orange juice is the perfect food" (to
>> use my analogy)? Did they SAY that anywhere, or is someone doing a little
>> amateur mindreading here?
>So now I am not only illogical, I am irrelevant?

<Not at all. I didn't call it irrelevant, I said you were mindreading.
Facts not in evidence, and all that. If a bunch of people had been saying,
in unison, "guns are the best way to settle an argument over a parking
spot", you might have more of a case. The implication in your writing, it
seemed to me, is that there is or ought to be a single best way, and that
participants in this discussion agree with that notion; I don't see that in

>> _I_ certainly never said that. Who did? Raise your hands, please...
>I don't have the time to pull out examples of statements you have made
>that implicate practicality.

<That wasn't my point: my point was that you were talking as if an absolute
best under all circumstances could be determined. As mentioned in excerpt 1.>



Keith, the level of discussion we have achieved here is far below what I'd

Perhaps I am hallucinating. Somebody around here is conflating economics
with externalities, and ethical-social-esthetic costs with dollars and
cents, and pragmatic circumstantial maxima with ideal abstraction "ceteris
paribus" maxima; and I don't think it's me.

"Dear sir: You may be right. Sincerely, Mark Twain"




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