Paul Nelson wrote:
Let it go, Rich. We've been watching his posts for almost 5 years, and he
has rarely substantiated anything when he has been called on something.
I've learnt much from this list, especially how to stop and consider
what I'm about to say. We have a vocal new member and the group
dynamic is changing. It will take a little while to find the new
balance point. Booth has a lot of fun playing the automatic Devil's
Advocate. Reading his posts these past years has helped me realise
that he is not participating in this list in order to entice or
cajole, but just to have a chat. Well, that's my reading. Yours may
It's probably declassé to speak to the camera, but that's how I am and
I'm too misanthropic to change my ways for the lot of you! hee hee
:-) While the group is adjusting, I intend to consider the words I
use, and to try very hard to use the first person personal pronoun
quite often. Indicating that I am speaking with my voice alone, and
not the voice of liberals everywhere, or the voice of Sicilians or
Bahamians or males or blue-eyed people of extreme thinness or... well.
I promise that I will try - really try - to do the same.
When I read 'I'm waiting' my first reaction is that shouting down the
speaker is not a way to facilitate a discussion. Then I stop and
consider that 'I am waiting' can in fact be a simple request for more
information. There's no demand made on the listener other than his
own desire to respond.
Booth responds quite a lot; it's almost impossible to categorise his
participation as non-responsive given the volume of his posts. He
doesn't always stay precisely on point, and he has a tendency to find
connexions that the rest of us don't. That's how he is, and asking
him to put up or shut up is asking him to be someone he can't be.
It's not his nature to be driven by columns of facts and figures and
that's OK. I am his exact opposite, finding everything to be black
and white, simple to digest only when the columns of figures are
present. I'm much happier knowing my assertions are good to one
standard deviation than I am to propose a theory based wholly on my
Participation in this list has allowed me to grow as a person by
letting me explore the 'throw an idea out and see what comes of it'
part. I'm still not entirely comfortable with it, very happily
digressing into a history discourse at the drop of a hat, but I
suspect that if I spent the thousands of words I have pent up on the
impact of the command decisions of Admiral John Jellicoe here, I'd
rapidly be consigned to the dust bin. For what it's worth, if I find
a mailing list like this whose topic is WWI naval engagements, I'll be
out of here in a flash...
So. The group is adjusting. I think everyone needs to be self-aware
that this process is occurring, and that extra courtesy be applied by
all. I'm trying it out myself.
I personally stand (yes, I'm actually standing at the moment) amazed
that someone wants proof that spending a trillion dollars on Iraq
would not have reduced health care costs by a trillion dollars if
spent on health care. What sort of proof is acceptable?
current_health_funds_available < (current_health_funds_available +
Now, if it turns out that this assertion Booth made isn't the one that
I am waiting for him to prove, then perhaps it behooves me to be a bit
more specific about what it is I want proof of. And I'll spend a few
moments wondering at my desire for him to prove his opinion in a
The Gentle Reader can spend his few moments any way he wishes. I
impugn no one. I humbly admit only to trying to express an opinion
myself without dropping into a history lesson about ammunition rates
by heavy calibre naval rifles. Because frankly, I see connexions
between those numbers and campaign fund raising efforts (the nominal
subject of this thread.)
Sorry for the 'English' I'll try to do better when I'm less tired. I
didn't realise I'd back-slid until I proof read it.