Broken Window Fallacy on a grand scale


Recommended Posts

"War is the health of the state." (Randolph Bourne, 1918)

It may seem repugnant to find a positive side to war in this regard, but a look at American history suggests we cannot dismiss the idea so easily. Fundamental innovations such as nuclear power, the computer and the modern aircraft were all pushed along by an American government eager to defeat the Axis powers or, later, to win the Cold War. The Internet was initially designed to help this country withstand a nuclear exchange, and Silicon Valley had its origins with military contracting, not today’s entrepreneurial social media start-ups...

Ian Morris, a professor of classics and history at Stanford, has revived the hypothesis that war is a significant factor behind economic growth in his recent book, “War! What Is it Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization From Primates to Robots.” Morris considers a wide variety of cases, including the Roman Empire, the European state during its Renaissance rise and the contemporary United States. In each case there is good evidence that the desire to prepare for war spurred technological invention and also brought a higher degree of internal social order...

Arguably the contemporary world is trading some growth in material living standards for peace — a relative paucity of war deaths and injuries, even with a kind of associated laziness.

Tyler Cowen, George Mason University
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/14/upshot/the-lack-of-major-wars-may-be-hurting-economic-growth.html
Look back at FDR and the Great Depression. What finally resolved that economic crisis? World War II. Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran's ambition to become a nuclear power ... as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

David Broder, Washington Post
World War II is the great natural experiment in the effects of large increases in government spending, and as such has always served as an important positive example for those of us who favor an activist approach to a depressed economy...

If we discovered that space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat and really inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months. And then if we discovered, oops, we made a mistake, there aren’t any aliens, we’d be better. There was a Twilight Zone episode like this in which scientists fake an alien threat in order to achieve world peace. Well, this time we need it in order to get some fiscal stimulus.

Paul Krugman, New York Times, quoted here
Link to post
Share on other sites

Krugman apparently believes that counterfeiting money will cure our economy.

That works only if production and innovation keep up with the counterfeiting.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Link to post
Share on other sites

"It may seem repugnant to find a positive side to war in this regard, but a look at American history suggests we cannot dismiss the idea so easily."

I agree, but not for economic reasons... sometimes war actually destroys evil people.

Greg

Link to post
Share on other sites

You come across a culture with potlatch, or, worse, human sacrifice, and you don't know where to start... Has this ever worked? Has it ever failed? How do you know the gods are real? Would it not be better to move away from the volcano; and enjoy the children in your new village?


Have you tried throwing the high priest into the volcano? Maybe that would work better. (Say! We could have a huge national contest for a billion dollars on truly novel ways - never used before on anyone - to kill Paul Krugman.)



In Goethe's Faust, the hero laments that when the plague came, he mixed any concoction he could think of, and half his patients died, and the survivors called him their savior. The Renaissance was hinted and previewed in the High Middle Ages - the Aquitaine Renaissance, for example - but really took off after the Black Death. Do plagues bring progress? In other words, the idea that war brings progress is a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. And when you run into it, you hardly know where to begin...






I agree, but not for economic reasons... sometimes war actually destroys evil people.



Greg





Joyce Kilmer died in World War I. Hitler survived.



A horrible environment favors horrible people. Even if someone were somehow judged "innocent" before going to war, it seems metaphysically impossible that they would not be affected by the experience. I understand fully that people are adaptable and resilient and as individuals we have personal responses to mass events. (See "Policing and Mass Casualty Events" here and jump to Page 130 and find the core from 134 forward. Big document; give it a minute...) That said, a horrible environment is unfavorable to virtue.



The question that Immoralist seems to be asking is: "How many Hitlers equal one Joyce Kilmer?" Perhaps it is the other way around with the death of one evil person worth the life of three, ten, or a hundred innocents? If by some miracle the USA had won in Vietnam, would that have made the slaughter worth it? Was World War II worth it? And lest you get mired in your Euro-centric trivia, read about the Second Congo War which took more lives. By the Krugman-Immoralist theory, the Congo should be at the leading edge of technology today...


Link to post
Share on other sites
British physicist Henry G.J. Moseley qualifies as a "famous scientist" who "died during World War one." Dr. Moseley was killed fighting at Gallipoli in 1915 at the age of 27. He was young; his death was a tragedy; and by the time of his death, he was well-known and had made discoveries and developed theories of significance.

"He had already made many important contributions to science, including demonstrating that atomic numbers were not arbitrary but had a physical basis that could be measured. This discovery (Moseley’s Law) would provide a natural explanation for the way the elements are organised in the periodic table and led Moseley to predict the existence of several then-unknown elements. Moseley’s work also provided one of the first experimental tests of quantum theory, supporting new ideas about the structure of the atom. Many believe that, had he lived, Moseley would have been awarded the Nobel Prize.

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090131051035AAh2lS8

Churchill, of course, survived his debacle... because, actually, he was not there....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Joyce Kilmer died in World War I. Hitler survived.

That's why the qualifier "sometimes" is there, Michael.

Anyways, II finished the job on Hitler. And I consider him to have been merely a symptom and not a cause. Millions of immoral people willing to do evil is the real cause.

I heard Dennis Prager make a relevant observation. (paraphrased)

In America it used to be "fighting evil".

Today it's "fighting is evil".

Greg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Picture of a hyena? Lemme think. Yep. Best insult of the day, any day.

I was going to use a honey badger. But I like honey badgers.

My ability to recollect every word I've ever written is limited. After the first half million or so, a few phrases and themes remain fresh in my mind but the rest is sort of a blur. That said, I don't recall ever penning a personal attack. If I did, I'm sorry, I don't remember.

Mike Marotta mentioned Churchill who, if I understand the sequence of events correctly, was sandbagged by De Robeck, Burwood and Hamilton at Gallipoli. Nonetheless, Churchill said something in a Commons debate that made a lasting impression on me: "Let each man search his conscience and search his speeches. I often do."

Others are welcome to help cite an instance where I compared someone to a repulsive, cowardly animal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Picture of a hyena? Lemme think. Yep. Best insult of the day, any day.

I was going to use a honey badger. But I like honey badgers.

My ability to recollect every word I've ever written is limited. After the first half million or so, a few phrases and themes remain fresh in my mind but the rest is sort of a blur. That said, I don't recall ever penning a personal attack. If I did, I'm sorry, I don't remember.

Mike Marotta mentioned Churchill who, if I understand the sequence of events correctly, was sandbagged by De Robeck, Burwood and Hamiton at Gallipoli. Nonetheless, Churchill said something in a Commons debate that made a lasting impression on me: "Let each man search his conscience and search his speeches. I often do."

Others are welcome to help cite an instance where I compared someone to a repulsive, cowardly animal.

Actually, hyenas aren't repulsive or cowardly. Contrary to previous misinformation, they scavenge just as infrequently as other carnivores, like wolves, for example. They will defend their kill against lions, even daring to go against them one on one.

Yeah, I know, "Fuck off, Jonathan!" Right, Churchill?

J

Link to post
Share on other sites

Picture of a hyena? Lemme think. Yep. Best insult of the day, any day.

I was going to use a honey badger. But I like honey badgers.

My ability to recollect every word I've ever written is limited. After the first half million or so, a few phrases and themes remain fresh in my mind but the rest is sort of a blur. That said, I don't recall ever penning a personal attack. If I did, I'm sorry, I don't remember.

Mike Marotta mentioned Churchill who, if I understand the sequence of events correctly, was sandbagged by De Robeck, Burwood and Hamilton at Gallipoli. Nonetheless, Churchill said something in a Commons debate that made a lasting impression on me: "Let each man search his conscience and search his speeches. I often do."

Others are welcome to help cite an instance where I compared someone to a repulsive, cowardly animal.

Oh please... If I'd thought it would hurt your feelings I never would have said anything. I had no idea you were so thin skinned given your habit of roasting others.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The difference between stating an opinion and an egregious personal attack is not a question of hurt feelings. In the former, the aim is to address a serious intellectual question; the latter hurls mud for sport. The proper answer to argumentum ad hominem is: Fuck off.

If I had a dollar for each time I was assailed by invective, I'd be a wealthy man.

I trust from time to time you've published your thoughts and pertinent facts, no matter whether or not it attracted a shitstorm of abuse. Perhaps I assume too much about others. I sometimes wonder if candor is always met with special hatred.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You have a kind heart, Michael.

Considering the source...

hyena.gif

...not a convincing testimonial.

nice doggie. nice doggie.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now