X-Message-Number: 5248
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: Re: CryoNet #5233 - #5244
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 15:08:12 -0800 (PST)


First of all, I want to apologize to Doug Skrecky for my comments about his 
"comical uploading" re cryonics. I have asked kfl to send me a copy.

Second, about political crud: I myself can remember very well, a time before
the Vietnam War began (or perhaps I should say, when it was only the tiniest
cloud on the horizon) when I would read the JOURNAL FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION
with much interest because the articles were by people who genuinely wanted
to find out how conflicts (in general) arose, how they could be settled,
and what could be done about them. And I also remember seeing how the whole
tone of that journal became less and less scientific and more and more oriented
towards one SPECIFIC conflict (guess which one). Not only that, but of course
anyone arguing that it should be pursued, or who claimed in any respect at all
that the South Vietnam and US governments had any decent reasons for what they
were doing, was simply excluded. 

Unfortunately that particular journal has never recovered from Vietnam. It 
started out with a fine and noble purpose, which unfortunately became totally
corrupted by the politics of the day. Perhaps someday someone or some group
will found another journal which will take up where CONFLICT RESOLUTION left
off. I know that we will never really learn to overcome conflict between us
until we focus on the problem scientifically --- which almost by definition
means that we cease to point to "baddies" as the causes of the problem.

We do not become scientific merely by the fact that we give references to the
work of others. I am sure that there are many many writers and political 
scientists who were not at all happy with US foreign policy in the time of
Reagan or before. They can all refer to one another's work as much as they wish
without proving anything at all. Nor do I propose to come up with the work of
other scholars who will argue just as vehemently that the contrary was the 
case. I would want to go UNDER all of that tripe. The references needed are
references to historical documents: tapes, letters, etc, including speeches,
and all the rest. That is how a historian tries, long afterwards, to work out
the motivations of actors in some historical event. And as a historian, he or
she is separate from the original conflict, whether by an act of will or simply
by the passage of many years between the time at which that historian works 
and the events he or she portrays. Perhaps Singer actually provides such 
sources, and genuinely looks into the history involved; if so, why then did not
Dr. Stodolsky tell us about them rather than Singer?

Not only that, but I would finally say that Dr Stodolsky's references are 

hardly such as would give me confidence in his conclusions. Kastenbaum is a 
verywell known deathist. Singer, so far as I am aware of him, has been against 
of US foreign policy for years. 

As to proving that a set of opinions is "crud" by the use of references, Dr.
Stodolsky asks me to prove a value judgement by the use of references. Those
who read his message will have to value it for themselves. And for me what 
makes something crud is not the opinion it advocates, but the grounds and
basis it gives for that opinion. I would say the same of much of the nonsense
put out nowadays by the Republican party in the US. 

If Dr. Stodolsky wishes to discuss these matters with me away from Cryonet,
then he's welcome. My email address is  I do think that we
are straying very far from the purpose of Cryonet. And if he wants an audience,
then he is welcome to nominate some other group on the net. But he may find me
a most unsatisfactory debater. I try to listen to the arguments and form my
opinions from them (no I'm not claiming objectivity, it's just that someone who
tries to do that can't be depended on to argue one "side" or the other).

			Best wishes, and long long life,

				Thomas Donaldson

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