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Old 03-29-2007, 10:57 AM   #1
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Quote:
Dave Holbrow wrote: View Post
living in a 21st century western country and your primary interest was in maximising your fighting ability for the enviroment you find yourself in.... were he alive now and exposed to the present information available on the relative merits of different approaches to developing fighting skills then his Aikido may have developed very differently indeed.
Actually, I think you will find it fairly universal that the 21st centruy West (Japan also) is even less tolerant and more punitive of personal violence than in the last century. In part this is very much in line with what O Sensei hoped to achieve.

This trend is as true of personal as it is of mass violence. Speaking only to the conduct of the combat at issue (not the political issues) in convential martial terms he could barely have envisioned the recent and swift removal of a wicked, genocidal dictator from power with the loss of so few lives, on either side. He almost certainly would have preferred this action to his own experience in war. The naked brutality in the reaction of the defeated elements to the attempt at establishing civil government following the main combat operations only proves the moral point at issue. He hoped for a trend in the reduction of need for and the consequences of dealing in violence. That, in large part, has occurred and continues, missteps and historical contingencies notwithstanding.

"Maximizing your fighting ability" in "the environment you find yourself in" today requires an art with strong elements of physical and spiritual de-escalation but that still retains a devastating destructive potential.

Airplanes, by analogy, another modern invention, do what they do best because they maintain their potential energy of falling, rather than realizing it completely.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:23 PM   #2
Fred Little
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Speaking only to the conduct of the combat at issue (not the political issues) in convential martial terms he could barely have envisioned the recent and swift removal of a wicked, genocidal dictator from power with the loss of so few lives, on either side. He almost certainly would have preferred this action to his own experience in war. The naked brutality in the reaction of the defeated elements to the attempt at establishing civil government following the main combat operations only proves the moral point at issue. He hoped for a trend in the reduction of need for and the consequences of dealing in violence. That, in large part, has occurred and continues, missteps and historical contingencies notwithstanding..
Erick:

With all due respect, your ability to overlook the loss of life of over half a million Iraqi children (as documented by UNICEF) in the decade between Gulf Wars I & II as a direct result of sanctions, and the loss of life of an additional half a million Iraqi citizens since the US invasion in 2001 (as documented in recent epidemiological studies published in The Lancet), or if not "overlook" to sidebar these deaths as unrelated to the combat at issue, and to go on to draw the conclusion that thie is evidence of a "trend in the reduction of need for and the consequences of dealing in violence" is astonishing.

It does not go too far to say that the "moral point" you are arguing is the advisibility and superiority of inflicting massive casualties by exertion of diplomatic and economic power, the legitimacy of overwhelming pre-emptive military invasion in violation of all international law and norms, and willful incompetence in fulfilling the obligations of an Occupying Power under the Geneva Conventions to inflicting massive casualties in more "traditional" combat operations.

With all due respect, what you have offered is an entirely political apologia, perfectly suited to a wicked and genocidal dictator.

That said, out of deference to Jun's previously stated wishes, I would prefer that we not belabor our differences on this matter in this venue, and would, indeed, quite happily see this post and the post to which it responds snipped from the thread at hand at a minimum. It would trouble me not one whit to see both disappear.

Best regards,

FL
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Old 03-29-2007, 02:38 PM   #3
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

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Fred Little wrote: View Post
With all due respect, your ability to overlook the loss of life of over half a million Iraqi children (as documented by UNICEF) in the decade between Gulf Wars I & II as a direct result of sanctions,
Because Saddam Hussein took the money, food, etc., that was allowed in during the sanctions and thereby starved Iraqi children, etc., that was the fault of the sanctions? What sort of reasoning is this? Or is it simply a desire to point a the bad old western democracies?
Quote:
and the loss of life of an additional half a million Iraqi citizens since the US invasion in 2001 (as documented in recent epidemiological studies published in The Lancet),
"Documented"? The Lancet studies, both of them, have been publicly laughed at by many statisticians. The Lancet is not a reputable non-partisan scientific magazine; it gained a reputation for left-wing views quite some time ago, Fred. I'm not particularly concerned that you hold any views, however; what concerns me is that information about Saddam's part in starving children and information about the Lancet study are pretty readily available to anyone who is interested in checking on sources, as opposed to emoting. Emoting is not reasoning.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-29-2007, 03:59 PM   #4
Fred Little
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Because Saddam Hussein took the money, food, etc., that was allowed in during the sanctions and thereby starved Iraqi children, etc., that was the fault of the sanctions? What sort of reasoning is this? Or is it simply a desire to point a the bad old western democracies? "Documented"? The Lancet studies, both of them, have been publicly laughed at by many statisticians. The Lancet is not a reputable non-partisan scientific magazine; it gained a reputation for left-wing views quite some time ago, Fred. I'm not particularly concerned that you hold any views, however; what concerns me is that information about Saddam's part in starving children and information about the Lancet study are pretty readily available to anyone who is interested in checking on sources, as opposed to emoting. Emoting is not reasoning.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Mike:

The larger issue I was addressing was Erick's claim regarding is the tolerance of mass violence, in which regard my point is that we are now simply more tolerant of covert than overt mass violence. It's just displacement, not elimination or even reduction.

WRT to the sanctions regime in the interrugnum between wars, my argument certainly isn't that Saddam was a good guy and the Western governments were bad guys. My argument is that Saddam was a bad guy and the Western governments used an ineffective nstrument (sanctions) that had foreseeable consequences (high infant mortality), and continued to use that instrument even after the consequences became documented historical facts. While that doesn't change the fact that Saddam was a bad guy, about the best it says about Western governments is that they are fatally stupid.

As for the statistical robustness of Johns Hopkins study appearing in The Lancet, aside from noting that reality has a well-documented liberal bias , I would suggest that the criticisms levelled against the methodology and conclusions are about as credible as the "science" that passes for "global climate change skepticism."

Both the first and the second Lancet studies are generally accepted by experts in the field of epidemiology and the naysayers are a distinct minority.

Third hand reports of anecdotal anomalies are not a counter-argument. They are noise. In the instances of epidemiologists who have raised methodological concerns, even they have generally said that their concerns have been painted in much starker terms than they proposed them, and do not extend to the broader conclusions of the studies.

Whatever your personal views of The Lancet, notwithstanding the fact that individual articles it has published have aroused controversy, your characterization of the publication as "not a reputable non-partisan scientific magazine....a reputation for far-left views," is overblown at best.

But as I said at the outset, these are distractions from the major point, which is my contention that the Western World attitude about mass death has changed only to the extent that we have accepted the principle that it is bad if it happens among Western peoples, irrelevant if it happens among non-Western peoples, and a cause for celebration if we can define it as the West vs. the Rest with a triple digit multiplier on the kill ratio.

Best,

FL
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Old 03-29-2007, 04:28 PM   #5
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

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Fred Little wrote: View Post
While that doesn't change the fact that Saddam was a bad guy, about the best it says about Western governments is that they are fatally stupid.
Well, you may be more of an expert on stupidity than I am, so I'll defer to you.

In a way, I suppose it was equally stupid to go to war against Hitler since so many people died in that fight and its perpheries. To somehow accuse Western Governments of stupidity for imposing sanctions because they knew that Saddam would let his own people die.... that is indeed an exercise in philosophy, Fred!
Quote:
As for the statistical robustness of Johns Hopkins study appearing in The Lancet, aside from noting that reality has a well-documented liberal bias , I would suggest that the criticisms levelled against the methodology and conclusions are about as credible as the "science" that passes for "global climate change skepticism."
I didn't know that anyone disputed that there is some change in global climate; I thought the dispute was over how much was man-made. I'll have to check my sources, I guess. BTW.... what part of "science" has explained the recent and consistent shrinkage of the polar ice caps? The ones on Mars, that is.
Quote:
Both the first and the second Lancet studies are generally accepted by experts in the field of epidemiology and the naysayers are a distinct minority.

Third hand reports of anecdotal anomalies are not a counter-argument.
Oh, pooh. I just read a quick review of the "anomalies" reported by not just a few on the methodologies. The rejections are from statisticians, Fred, not epidemiologists (some of whom use the same methodology as used in the Lancet study.... but not in a country at war and with far greater sampling points). You may need to read some of the objections more thoroughly. One of the better ones is that a similar study with quite different results was done, using the same sampling methods... so who's right and why didn't they agree?
Quote:
Whatever your personal views of The Lancet, notwithstanding the fact that individual articles it has published have aroused controversy, your characterization of the publication as "not a reputable non-partisan scientific magazine....a reputation for far-left views," is overblown at best.
Remember that the report was released just before the election, with the authors admitting they were anti-war, as were the editors of "The Lancet", Fred. Try this and think about it:

"Critics objected to the timing of the report, claiming it was hastily prepared and published despite what they perceived as its poor quality in order to sway the U.S. electorate. On this topic, Les Roberts stated "I emailed it in on Sept. 30 under the condition that it came out before the election. My motive in doing that was not to skew the election. My motive was that if this came out during the campaign, both candidates would be forced to pledge to protect civilian lives in Iraq. I was opposed to the war and I still think that the war was a bad idea, but I think that our science has transcended our perspectives."

He put out a study for political reasons, in his own words, Fred, and Lancet, which has been strongly anti-war-by-Republicans also, complied. I use the term "anti-war-by-Republicans" because it seems to be the trend among the Left.... they made no noise about Clinton's war which also had no UN approval, was in response to a country that did not effect us even as much as Iraq, and so forth. The "anti-war" crowd is demonstrably partisan about its worryings.

Best.

Mike
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Old 03-29-2007, 05:08 PM   #6
Fred Little
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Well, you may be more of an expert on stupidity than I am, so I'll defer to you.

In a way, I suppose it was equally stupid to go to war against Hitler since so many people died in that fight and its perpheries. To somehow accuse Western Governments of stupidity for imposing sanctions because they knew that Saddam would let his own people die.... that is indeed an exercise in philosophy, Fred!
Mike,

Many thanks for your boundless generosity.

I confess, I would be more effusively thankful if you didn't immediately jump to a Godwin corollary violation with multiple false equivalencies built in, but we go to argue with the analogies we have. Whatever constructions we put on Allied efforts against Hitler, we must first acknowledge that they were a direct result of his ongoing attacks on other nations, a first condition that was not met in this instance.

As for the degree of climate change caused by human activity....Arhennius' work is holding up well and firming with each successive iteration of data, with the possible exception of his conclusion that human forced climate change is a good thing. With better than 90% of the scientists in the field agreeing that there is a 90% certainty, the appropriate question becomes less one of ultimate certainty than prudent precautions.

As for motivation trumping data....guess we better throw out Newton's Laws of Motion, arising as they did from his deeply held Unitarian beliefs, a political heresy of the first order for a reader at Trinity College.

More substantively, the harshest and knowledgable criticism of the Lancet Study II came from Debarata Guha-Sabir, who has done similar work in conflict zones. Her conclusion was that concerns notwithstanding, it was the best data yet on mortality in Iraq, a statement which got much less play than the specific concerns she raised.

Not that you or I will settle these issues in either the microcosm or the macrocosm as the barge of science makes its ever-so-slow journey toward certainty, a journey which inevitably involves surprises and slow changes of direction in response to those surprises.....

Finally, as to Mr. Clinton's war. You are clearly confusing the views of centrist liberals and the left, the latter of which was quite critical of the tactics used. Personally, I favored arming the Bosnian Muslims so they could exercise their right of self defense during Bush 41, but alas, Henry Kissinger won the day on that argument.

FL
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:38 PM   #7
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

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Fred Little wrote: View Post
Mike,

Many thanks for your boundless generosity.

I confess, I would be more effusively thankful if you didn't immediately jump to a Godwin corollary violation with multiple false equivalencies built in, but we go to argue with the analogies we have. Whatever constructions we put on Allied efforts against Hitler, we must first acknowledge that they were a direct result of his ongoing attacks on other nations, a first condition that was not met in this instance.
You don't think that Iraq supplied money and training to terrorists who attacked the West? To terrorists who killed Israelis? That Iraq was breaking the ceasefire resolutions (17 or them) since capitulating after the first Gulf War? Iraq was blameless and Godwin's plaything Hitler was a bad guy that people refer to legitimately (I might add)? You need to read the news, Fred!
Quote:
As for the degree of climate change caused by human activity....Arhennius' work is holding up well and firming with each successive iteration of data, with the possible exception of his conclusion that human forced climate change is a good thing.
Pooh. I pointed out the really big stumbling block... the increase in solar activity that is causing the polar ice caps to melt on Mars. If you know anything at all about mathematical modelling, you must know that your "iteration of data" is a specious phrase.
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With better than 90% of the scientists in the field agreeing that there is a 90% certainty, the appropriate question becomes less one of ultimate certainty than prudent precautions.
That's an absurd statement, Fred. It's so absurd and vague that I can't even challenge it very well. In 1997 90% of scientists agreed that the earth is warming.... but then, no one is challenging that assertion, so it's pointless; the challenge is to what percent of the warming is man-made. The lastest IPCC preliminary report says that 90% of the warming is caused by man.... but the IPCC is a political group making political statements and no one has been able to pin them down on the justification for their formal statement. Here, read this scientist's comments about that particular statement. The upshot is that your points are bogus, BTW.

Suddenly, I'm too tired to get into another endless debate. Do some reading, Fred. I'm against population increase, pollution, tourists, and you name it. What I don't believe in is over-hyping inconclusive data and pretending that the cause justifies the hyperbole... a rationale that more and more global alarmists and liberals are beginning to use to justify outright lies. Argue facts... not "your understanding of the facts".

Best.

Mike
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:48 PM   #8
Fred Little
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Mike:

Dorothy Parker was once asked to use the world "horticulture" in a sentence.

Her sentence?

You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think.

Ame-no-uzumi-no-kami is the patron saint of whores, lawyers, and martial artists.

I think the Japanese were onto something when they put together the grouping, and Dorothy Parker's joke is on all of us.

If you still want to argue this subject further with me you'll have to find me on another blog at the right time of the day.

Best,

Fred Little
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:58 PM   #9
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
. . . I'm against population increase, pollution, tourists, and you name it. . .
I always wondered why they called it 'tourist season'. They won't let us shoot em'.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:27 PM   #10
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

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Fred Little wrote: View Post
If you still want to argue this subject further with me you'll have to find me on another blog at the right time of the day.
What's to argue? I simply showed that your trivializing assertions about global warming, Iraq, etc., were by no means settled fact, as you tried to imply. I'm correct.... you weren't.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:28 PM   #11
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

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Isaac Bettis wrote: View Post
I always wondered why they called it 'tourist season'. They won't let us shoot em'.
Don't think I haven't considered it, though.

Mike
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:44 AM   #12
Fred Little
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
What's to argue? I simply showed that your trivializing assertions about global warming, Iraq, etc., were by no means settled fact, as you tried to imply. I'm correct.... you weren't.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Actually Mike, you simply exude confidence, as when you engage in slanders of scientists you have never met and whose political views you clearly don't know.

I'm out.

FL
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Old 03-30-2007, 01:26 PM   #13
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Violence, Iraq

There was a study done in which two separate groups were given the description of an event. The first group was given a complete, detailed description of the event and the second group was given a very sketchy description with major factors left out.

The two groups were polled as to their views about what had happened and what they thought about it. Then the second group was given more of the facts and polled again and then given the full description and polled again.

The end result was that there was only a about a 1% shift in the original opinions as reached by group two. More factual information had almost no effect on changing their points of view. The opinions of the two groups were quite different from each other even though they eventually had all the same info.

People basically believe what they want to believe and no amount of discussion changes anyone's minds. I see no purpose behind political argument any more, it just raises the blood pressure. No one changes his mind just because the other guy might be right.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 03-30-2007, 01:38 PM   #14
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Re: Violence, Iraq

Actually, I enjoy watching (and perhaps doing a bit of chain-jerking in order to watch responses) the whole subject of people and their opinions. I tend to see 3 positions for most subjects: A, B, and "I don't know". What most people do is take either A or B and maintain that position fairly firmly. Very few people seem to be able to take the "the information isn't clear yet, so I don't know" position. I.e., most people feel obligated as soon as they have only a few facts to take a firm position. That part always amazes me... and so I like to question their position to see if I can get to the what motivates them. Usually, I think it's ego. But then... we all have that to some degree and it's a necessary driver in the human psyche.

Best.

Mike
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