Sunday, July 30, 2006

Tidbits of deep wisdom

from a bizarrely ancient person:

1. Nature will kick your ass every single time. (If you don't believe me, consider, for example, the energy released in the Tunguska event relative to the largest-ever man-made detonation of about 60 megatons. Or just think about how much it takes to deal with one wildfire.)

2. The enemy of your enemy is not likely to be a very good friend.

3. People want revenge, and people will not lightly accept humiliation.

4. Hitting someone harder will probably not make him want revenge any less.

4.5. Conquered people almost never give in.

5. When you've run out of reasonable ideas, it's time to seriously consider the ridiculous ideas.

(For example, with regard to the Israel-Lebanon crisis, if diplomacy and conventional military action aren't going to work--the first because the sides aren't speaking, the second because you can't possibly achieve your objective--you have to look at other options. Say, spraying aerosol sedatives over southern Lebanon or something.)

6. If you assert God has agency in the same way that we do, you are making things up.

(I'm not talking about the Incarnation, which totally changes the question--which is kind of the point.)

7. If you assert that a non-human intelligence would be more or less like us, you are completely crazy. (Even O.S. Card didn't really live up to his premise.)

8. A person with a dark aspect should be portrayed differently from someone who doesn't.

(Angelina Jolie has a very pretty smile, but photographing her as if she were Jessica Simpson, with a big All-American smile, just looks like a comment on the desperation of existence--not ideal for the cover of People magazine.)

9. If people don't really believe you when you say you want to engage in diplomacy, you have done something ridiculously wrong.

10. If you have to announce the beginning of diplomatic engagement, you have already screwed up.

11. Withdrawing your diplomatic mission from a country you're upset with is obviously stupid and should never be done.

12. Things will work out better in the Middle east if official Europe can admit publicly that the Jewish state is where it is (i.e. not in Europe) partly because of anti-Semiticism continuing after the Holocaust.