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Exeus99 07-22-2008 07:17 PM

Re: Wright & the Quintessence of Hackery (cont)
 
Perhaps, but then his response is the result of a naked appeal to authority, i.e., it's the "right" thing to do when an expert says it, but it's objectionable when the same idea is put forward by a non-expert. This doesn't address the idea itself, which should be subject to the same judgment no matter the source. Now, I'll agree that ideas can have more of an appeal on first presentation when coming from an avowed expert vs. a layperson, but this is the type of influence someone who prides himself on his intellectual honesty, as Wright does, should be able to overcome. Going further with that, if Wright discounts all foreign policy ideas from Kaus heavily enough that he's unwilling to accept an idea from Kaus that he's willing to accept without objection from a source he trust more, well, that's a pretty harsh judgment against Kaus (on Wright's part). I doubt Wright thinks so little of Kaus.
At any rate, I'm sure the scientifically-minded Wright would be above pure authority appeals, however much we flawed commenters might be susceptible to such influences.

TwinSwords 07-22-2008 07:46 PM

Re: Wright & the Quintessence of Hackery (cont)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Exeus99 (Post 84449)
Perhaps, but then his response is the result of a naked appeal to authority, i.e., it's the "right" thing to do when an expert says it

This is a stolen base. Wright did not say Heather's proposal was the "right" thing to do. He sat silently listening during that entire segment. He said nothing. And his slight head nods did not indicate agreement with the proposal, but merely that he understood what she was saying -- as when he nodded in response to a reference to a recent attack on a US base in Afghanistan. In that case, the nod merely indicated he was aware of the event in question.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Exeus99 (Post 84449)
, but it's objectionable when the same idea is put forward by a non-expert.

This is your own supposition. And it's the supposition on which your whole argument is based. Can you prove your supposition is factual? Can you find any video (or print) of Bob saying any of the following?:

(1) He is opposed to our presence in Afghanistan.
(2) He endorses Heather's proposal.
(3) He rejects the same proposal made by someone else.

If not, then this is about nothing more than your assumptions.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Exeus99 (Post 84449)
This doesn't address the idea itself, which should be subject to the same judgment no matter the source. Now, I'll agree that ideas can have more of an appeal on first presentation when coming from an avowed expert vs. a layperson, but this is the type of influence someone who prides himself on his intellectual honesty, as Wright does, should be able to overcome.

Fine, in the abstract, but don't get ahead of yourself and believe that this description applies to Bob. After all, you have no evidence that Bob found Heather's idea appealing. In fact, about 8 seconds into your dingalink, Bob starts tilting his head side to side, which indicates doubt or reservations. For the remainder of the segment, he says nothing positive or negative.

Furthermore, even if Bob did find the idea appealing, you have no evidence that he would reject the same proposal if it came from another source.

I have to admit: you have your work cut out for yourself trying to condemn Bob's position when he never said a single word about it in the diavlog in question.


.

Exeus99 07-22-2008 07:53 PM

Re: Wright & the Quintessence of Hackery (cont)
 
TwinSwords said "I would also say that you're overlooking the most important factor in what you allege to be Bob's inconsistency: Who's president."

But my dear TwinSwords, I didn't overlook this argument, I addressed it directly when I said ". Destroying 2. would make the conclusion fail to follow, but this would probably best be accomplished by a means that did not resemble arguing that a proposal was valid because Hurlburt wanted someone competent to do it, etc., since this would be feeding back in to my original point. In other words, you should probably avoid making what I claim is a hackey argument to attack premise 2 in what I claim is a hackey non-objection by Wright."

Wright has objected to proposals that have some possibility to increase resentment against the West/create more terrorists/increase the chances of a "clash of civilizations" even when that possibility was remote and the possibility of a positive outcome was great; the boundary case example from Kaus is instructive in this regard, as the scenario was specifically drawn to make the benefit large and Wright nonetheless raised objections. If actions that run these risks are inherently objectionable, then they should be objectionable when carried out by any President. Even undertaken by the administration of Obama the Good, Hurlburt's plan would run some risk of increasing resentment, etc., and thus SHOULD be subject to objections by Wright. Granting that the downsides are more likely if the same plan was undertaken by the Bush administration (due to incompetence), there would still be risk under a Dem. admin., and therefore Wright should raise SOME objections...he raises none.
Saying "well, no admin. could be worse than Bush's" doesn't really defeat charges of making an argument that "ideas are ok when people we like propose or undertake them but are no ok when people we dislike propose or undertake them," it's just another form of the same argument.

Exeus99 07-22-2008 07:59 PM

Re: Wright & the Quintessence of Hackery (cont)
 
But TwinSwords, I'm faulting Wright exactly for NOT saying anything contrary/raising any objections! Wright has in the past, frequently, raised objections to proposals that have the possibility of increasing Western conflict with the Middle East and Muslim people generally-usually such proposals have been made by Kaus (since this pairing is the most frequent). This is true despite the stated intentions of the proposals, that is, despite the insistence that ultimately good would come of the proposals, etc. Hurlburt's proposal to increase the number of troops in the Afghan border area and intensify the conflict there is the type of proposal to which Wright normally objects. He does not object here. I do not claim that he agrees w/Hurlburt or that he endorses her proposal, just that he fails to raise any objections.

TwinSwords 07-22-2008 08:27 PM

Re: Wright & the Quintessence of Hackery (cont)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Exeus99 (Post 84457)
Wright has objected to proposals that have some possibility to increase resentment against the West/create more terrorists/increase the chances of a "clash of civilizations" even when that possibility was remote and the possibility of a positive outcome was great

I think it's safe to say that the probability of positive vs negative opinions is a matter of opinion. I'm not sure you and I would agree about what constitutes a "remote" possibility of a negative outcome. It would help if you could supply some specifics so we could stop speaking in abstractions.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Exeus99 (Post 84457)
the boundary case example from Kaus is instructive in this regard, as the scenario was specifically drawn to make the benefit large and Wright nonetheless raised objections.

I wish you could recall which diavlog that was from.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Exeus99 (Post 84457)
If actions that run these risks are inherently objectionable, then they should be objectionable when carried out by any President.

Yeah, that's what "inherently" means. Did Bob say Mickey's boundary case was "inherently" a bad idea?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Exeus99 (Post 84457)
Even undertaken by the administration of Obama the Good, Hurlburt's plan would run some risk of increasing resentment, etc., and thus SHOULD be subject to objections by Wright.

If (a) your characterization of Bob's position is correct, and (b) Bob has said that he always objects whenever there is any chance of "increasing resentment, etc.," then yes, but I don't think either of those is an accurate characterization. Your whole argument essentially boils down to "Bob has expressed concern about blowback from US involvement overseas, therefore he must henceforth condemn all US involvement overseas."


Quote:

Originally Posted by Exeus99 (Post 84457)
Granting that the downsides are more likely if the same plan was undertaken by the Bush administration (due to incompetence), there would still be risk under a Dem. admin., and therefore Wright should raise SOME objections...he raises none.

Have you ever, in your life, passed up an opportunity to disagree with someone? Isn't it possible Bob did have SOME concerns but chose to keep them to himself in the interest of time, or because he saw his role as interviewer and not sparring partner, or other reasons? Who are you to declare that Bob absolutely must raise objections?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Exeus99 (Post 84457)
Saying "well, no admin. could be worse than Bush's" doesn't really defeat charges of making an argument that "ideas are ok when people we like propose or undertake them but are no ok when people we dislike propose or undertake them," it's just another form of the same argument.

Just bear in mind: Bob never said that Heather's proposal was OK. He may have thought it, but he never said it.

I remain in awe that you're damning him despite the fact that he never said a word during the whole segment.

Exeus99 07-22-2008 08:37 PM

Re: Wright & the Quintessence of Hackery (cont)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords
Isn't it possible Bob did have SOME concerns but chose to keep them to himself in the interest of time, or because he saw his role as interviewer and not sparring partner, or other reasons?

Indeed it is possible, in fact, I suggested this as an avenue of attack against my post when, trying to be helpful, I said
Quote:

Originally Posted by Exeus99
3. likewise seems safe. Wright doesn’t raise objections, and certainly doesn’t raise objections to Hurlburt’s proposal in the way he has objected to categorically-similar proposals from non-ideological allies. You could cite his head bob as an objection, or as the intention to raise some cautionary objections. I personally think this is the tack Wright himself would take if he addressed my point, that he disagreed with Hurlburt and was going to raise his standard objections but realized that time was running low, didn’t want to interrupt, wanted to get a different topic in, got distracted by something else she said, etc.-in this way he could deny hackery and argue that the absence of an objection here, while real, does not indicate what I strongly suggest it indicates. This avenue would allow Wright to claim that he retained his valued intellectual honesty and to rely as evidence on his own state of mind/inner thoughts, which obviously I can’t know and thus can’t successfully dispute.

.

TwinSwords 07-22-2008 08:47 PM

Re: Wright & the Quintessence of Hackery (cont)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Exeus99 (Post 84465)
Indeed it is possible, in fact, I suggested this as an avenue of attack against my post when, trying to be helpful, I said
.

Next time you want to bash someone, I think it should be for something they do, not for something they don't do, when all you have is your own assumptions about thier motives.

You want it both ways: to condemn Bob for hackery, and at the same time reserve the possibility that he didn't actually do anything wrong. If you had a valid complaint, your argument wouldn't be laced with so many qualifiers and exemptions. I noticed, however, that the one thing you didn't qualify was the title of this thread. Maybe it should have been "If I am reading minds correctly, Wright & the Quintessence of Hackery."

The bottom line is that you feel Bob has exposed himself as a hack because he gives Heather a pass for something he would condemn if it came from Mickey. But you have not proved any of the following: (1) That he would categorically reject any use of force. (2) That he would give a pass to an ally but not an opponent. (3) That he agreed with Heather's proposal.

TwinSwords 07-22-2008 08:51 PM

Re: Wright & the Quintessence of Hackery (cont)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Exeus99 (Post 84458)
But TwinSwords, I'm faulting Wright exactly for NOT saying anything contrary/raising any objections!

The implication you make repeatedly is that he is giving Heather a pass he would not have given someone else, a case you have not come close to proving.

Exeus99 07-22-2008 09:06 PM

Re: Wright & the Quintessence of Hackery (cont)
 
Your 3. is not necessary, he plainly does NOT object to her proposal, which was the basis of my point; I have not argued that he agreed.

Your 2. is addressed in my argument, that Wright has in the past objected to proposals of the type Hurlburt makes when such proposals are made by ideological non-allies, specifically by Kaus. I added the qualifiers and tried to argue about classes and types of arguments in order to make my point more generally-if you're asserting that my conclusion does not hold for EVERY case where such proposals have been offered to Wright in a 'vlog, you're probably correct.

Your 1. is not a part of my argument. Again, I'm not saying that Wright is or needs to be a pacifist. I claim that he generally raises objections to proposals to engage in actions that would increase violence towards Middle Eastern nations/Muslim populations generally, that could cause resentment towards the West, create more terrorists, make more likely a true "clash of civilizations," etc. when such proposals come from the center or right...which usually means from Kaus. If you disagree that Wright has this tendency, then my argument will not work for you since I rely on the notable absence of the expression of this tendency in this 'vlog.

I certainly do not want to "have it both ways." I assert that Wright's lack of objection here is hackery. I did not think your original summation and attempt at refutation of my argument was sufficient, and I offered what I hoped was a clearer explication along with a number of better ways to disagree. I offered my personal definition of hackery, and suggested that Wright, whom I think is not generally a hack, engaged in hackery here.

TwinSwords 07-22-2008 09:20 PM

Re: Wright & the Quintessence of Hackery (cont)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Exeus99 (Post 84479)
I certainly do not want to "have it both ways."

This is an entirely pointless debate. And dumb.

What really interests me, more than your outrage over Bob's silence, is why you harbored your disagreement with Bob for so long and that it was so close to the surface that when you watched that Afghanistan segment, the first thing that popped into your mind was that he wasn't reacting the same as you thought he should based on your impressions of his views from past diavlogs.

Exeus99 07-23-2008 09:51 AM

Re: Wright & the Quintessence of Hackery (cont)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords
..more than your outrage over Bob's silence

I don't remember indicating that I was outraged.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords
What really interests me...is why your harbored your disagreement with Bob for so long and that it was so close to the surface that when you watched that Afghanistan segment, the first thing that popped into your mind was that he wasn't reacting the same as you thought he should based on your impressions of his views from past diavlogs.

I have "harbored [my] disagreement" with Wright for as long as I've believed that his contention that he supports the use of force where appropriate is undercut by his tendency to define any given use proposed from the political center or right as inappropriate, rendering his threat to use force a non-credible threat.

I don't think that my disagreement with Wright on this point was the "frist thing that popped into my mind," but I also don't see how the truth or falsity of that fact would say anything whatsoever about my point...is it more likely to be correct if this was the third thing that "popped into my mind?"

look 07-23-2008 02:41 PM

Re: Hitting the Panic Button
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mvantony (Post 84159)
Given that Obama went into damage-control mode as soon as he got the response, I doubt he intended for AIPAC or anyone else to take it that way. I think Heather's almost certainly right that Obama didn't mean to say that all of Jerusalem would remain under Israeli sovereignty. I just also doubt that Obama had a very clear idea of what he was saying, or at the very least an adequate understanding of why he was saying it. (E.g., if he was merely commenting on the fact that a physical separation of East and West Jerusalem -- a wall, say -- is not likely to be in the cards, the problem is that it simply makes no sense to highlight that particular point to the exclusion of others in a brief set of remarks on Jerusalem.) He may have gotten some bad advice, there may have been some miscommunication or confusion in his discussions before the speech, etc. He's been busy guy, after all, with a lot to learn. No doubt he now better understands the issues surrounding Jerusalem than he did before his speech, and will learn more on his upcoming trip to the Middle East, etc. What will be truly important to Israelis, Palestinians, and others are his considered positions further down the road when he's acquired a deeper understanding of the issues. At that point, it seems pretty clear, what he said to AIPAC will be of little or no significance.

Thanks, Michael. It boggles the mind that he would go into such a sensitive environment without better advising. I wonder if he still had Mally on board if that gaffe would have occured. As time passes, I would be interested in hearing your take on the candidates.

Chef 07-23-2008 02:49 PM

Re: Wright & the Quintessence of Hackery (cont)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Exeus99 (Post 84541)
I have "harbored [my] disagreement" with Wright for as long as I've believed that his contention that he supports the use of force where appropriate is undercut by his tendency to define any given use proposed from the political center or right as inappropriate, rendering his threat to use force a non-credible threat.

Well, this thread sort of turned into "the world vs Exeus", so I'd like to reiterate that you may have something here.
Given the many cases of Bob's passion on this subject, I think it's a pretty loud silence that Bob indulges in during this diavlog.

Maybe I'd like to offer an even dumber point. I think that given the passion over Iraq the GWOT in general, there might be a lot of extremists who are caught in an ideological cul-de-sac. A lot of the rhetoric that I've heard criticizing Bush will really hamper America's pursuit of her interests.

And though I expect that we will see a lot of Olberman-style hackery , it's probably a better thing for America than absolute consistency.

themightypuck 07-24-2008 12:21 AM

Re: Wright & the Quintessence of Hackery
 
I tend to lean a ways to the right of Juan Cole, but I remember back when we had decided to hit Afghanistan, I was reading Politburo stuff that had been grabbed from the East Germans and was on some website (GWU maybe, I can't remember). I do remember reading these politicos and generals pointing out that Russia hadn't lost a single battle; Russian boots had occupied every inch of the country at some point; and still they were losing the war. I'm not saying that we can extrapolate from their experience (after all, the western narrative is that it was a proxy war won by US intervention) but I think it makes sense to at least pay attention to the historical lessons.

bjkeefe 07-25-2008 11:50 AM

Re: Update: Obama on Iran, Syria, Jerusalem, settlements, radical Islam, etc.
 
Thanks for the link, Michael. Love the intro:

Quote:

Two months ago in the Oval Office, President George W. Bush, coming to the end of a two-term presidency and presumably as expert on Israeli-Palestinian policy as he is ever going to be, was accompanied by a team of no fewer than five advisers and spokespeople during a 40-minute interview with this writer and three other Israeli journalists.

In March, on his whirlwind visit to Israel, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, one of whose primary strengths is said to be his intimate grasp of foreign affairs, chose to bring along Sen. Joe Lieberman to the interview our diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon and I conducted with him, looked to Lieberman several times for reassurance on his answers and seemed a little flummoxed by a question relating to the nuances of settlement construction.

On Wednesday evening, toward the end of his packed one-day visit here, Barack Obama, the Democratic senator who is leading the race for the White House and who lacks long years of foreign policy involvement, spoke to The Jerusalem Post with only a single aide in his King David Hotel room, and that aide's sole contribution to the conversation was to suggest that the candidate and I switch seats so that our photographer would get better lighting for his pictures.

Several of Obama's Middle East advisers - including former Clinton special envoy Dennis Ross and ex-ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer - were hovering in the vicinity. But Obama, who was making only his second visit to Israel, knew precisely what he wanted to say about the most intricate issues confronting and concerning Israel, and expressed himself clearly, even stridently on key subjects.

Wonderment 07-25-2008 03:56 PM

Re: Update: Obama on Iran, Syria, Jerusalem, settlements, radical Islam, etc.
 
Obama, "strident"?

bjkeefe 07-25-2008 04:32 PM

Re: Update: Obama on Iran, Syria, Jerusalem, settlements, radical Islam, etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 84959)
Obama, "strident"?

Yeah, that's a bit of a loaded word, isn't it? I don't think he meant it in the derogatory way we usually use it in American English -- I suspect he meant it as "forcefully" or something of that nature. It could be, I suppose, that one or some of Obama's answers put him off a bit, though.

look 07-26-2008 12:36 AM

Re: Update: Obama on Iran, Syria, Jerusalem, settlements, radical Islam, etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mvantony (Post 84917)
An interview with Obama by David Horovitz of The Jerusalem Post, which took place on Wednesday evening.

I'm confused again:

Quote:

Bethlehem – Ma'an - US democratic candidate Barak Obama said during a press conference on Wednesday in Sderot, a city in the south of Israel, that he does not support the idea of East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.

Obama made it clear that Jerusalem would remain the capital of Israel and that he would not see the city divided. He added that this position needed to be fixed through negotiations with the Palestinians.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php...tails&ID=30771

(This article is dated the same day as your article.)

Wonderment 07-26-2008 04:18 PM

Re: Update: Obama on Iran, Syria, Jerusalem, settlements, radical Islam, etc.
 
שלום מיכאל

I found this piece from the Middle East Times interesting on the Obama visit (excerpts below):

Quote:

The high-profile visit by Democratic presidential frontrunner Senator Barack Obama to the Middle East this week seems to have constituted a reality check that regardless of the changes Obama might bring to America if he takes over the White House, U.S. policy in the region will remain unchanged.

The U.S. senator`s visit to Iraq, Jordan, Israel and a brief stop in the West Bank received heavy media attention in the Arab world...But Obama`s visits and the statements he made during his international tour have been a disappointment to many in this turbulent region.

.... it was his position on the Arab-Israeli conflict that irked so many Arab commentators.

Analysts say that seeking the domestic Jewish vote and appeasing the pro-Israeli organization, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington did not require what some described as exaggerated pledges of loyalty to Israel, while virtually ignoring the national plight of the Palestinians.

Many Arab newspapers on Friday splashed their front pages with pictures of Obama wearing the Jewish kippah at the Wailing Wall in East Jerusalem, with commentaries criticizing him for trying to be `more Israeli than the Israelis.`

A headline in Lebanon`s pan-Arab nationalist As-Safir daily read: `Obama: Admirer of Israeli Wall and the Fall of the Berlin Wall.`

A short commentary under that headline quoted his words to 200,000 people in Berlin on Thursday, saying he called for `unity among the races and religions; called for tearing down all forms of walls.`

`His remarks contradicted the previous 15 hours he spent in Palestine as he coaxed the leaders of the Israeli occupation, declaring Jerusalem as Israeli, while he stood near the apartheid wall that he had completely ignored,` the paper said, in reference to a massive concrete fence that Israel is erecting in the West Bank.

During his two-day visit to Israel, Obama had sought to comfort Israeli concerns that he might not be as supportive of the Jewish state as U.S. President George W. Bush or his Republican rival, Senator John McCain, by pledging his unwavering support for Israel and its security.

Whether that means he would adopt the Israeli understanding of how to protect its security – such as the hundreds of roadblocks in the West Bank that Palestinians complain make their lives hell, the closures of towns, the blockade on Gaza and the separation barrier – remains to be seen, as Obama has tried to use only general terminology as he picks his way through the political minefields leading up to the U.S. elections.

But hopes that Obama would be `less biased` toward Israel began to crumble before he embarked on his trip to the region, specifically when he told the powerful AIPAC lobby last month that Jerusalem was the `undivided capital of Israel.`

His busy schedule in Israel, while only squeezing in a 40-minute meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah which was not followed with a press conference or joint statement, had only consolidated the general disappointment to the initially high expectations....

bjkeefe 07-26-2008 05:57 PM

Re: Update: Obama on Iran, Syria, Jerusalem, settlements, radical Islam, etc.
 
I'd add that those in the Arab world disappointed by Obama's stances during this visit are right to speak up, and righteous in what they say, but still, need to admit the realities of Obama's situation and what he has to deal with in order to get elected. I wish I could tell them something more tangible than "don't worry, he's just doing what he's got to do," but I really do think this is the case. A moment's thought should remind them that the "secret Muslim" tag remains among the most powerful attack points for the opposition, and a second moment's thought ought to make them realize what the only other choice for an American president would mean for them.

I'm sure they actually do realize this, but I had to vent, anyway.

Wonderment 07-26-2008 08:37 PM

Re: Update: Obama on Iran, Syria, Jerusalem, settlements, radical Islam, etc.
 
Quote:

שלום וואנדרמנט! ותודה לקישור
קורים לי וואנדר :)

Quote:

The problem isn't that he lies like most politicians; it's that because he doesn't seem to feel much pressure to stick to his lies, he's less predictable than most politicians. Or so, at any rate, it seems to me.
גם לי. אבל אל תגיד את זה לבראנדן שלנו

Seems that way to me too. But don't tell our dear Brendan. He wants to believe Our Time Has Come.

I'm pretty schizoid on Obama, actually. On the one hand, his candidacy means a lot to me and nothing could be more important than defeating McCain. On the other hand, I'm a cynic regarding politicians who can raise the kind of money needed to become US president. I fear he has sold his soul.

Speaking of corrupt, lying and felonious politicians, how long do you think Olmert will last? I predicted two years ago that he couldn't last out another month, so obviously I missed something important in Israeli politics. What's your take?


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