Friday, December 07, 2007

Why even bother asking?

Apparently not everyone read the NIE. As a matter of fact, I haven't either--I was too busy with papal encyclicals. According to the report, Iran is no longer developing nuclear weapons; to the best of our knowledge, they ceased development in 2003.

Americans haven't gotten the message:

Just 18% of American voters believe that Iran has halted its nuclear weapons program. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 66% disagree and say Iran has not stopped its nuclear weapons program. Twenty-one percent (21%) of men believe Iran has stopped the weapons development along with 16% of women.

This is what comes from getting one's news via cable. I'm not saying everyone needs to concur with every word included in the report; in fact, a dash of skepticism is always good to apply to government reports. But I find it a bit preposterous that two-thirds of American know that Iran hasn't stopped their program. What's the point of intelligence if we're not going to use it? Don't answer that.


troutsky said...

How many still believe Sadaam was involved in 9/11? How many don't believe in evolution? Or global warming? Direct correlation? perhaps not but the problem is deeper than just 'relying on cable".

A Wiser Man Than I said...

The first question raises a valid point. I don't necessarily believe in evolution, though I'm not one of those young earth creationist types either.

The crucial question to ask in regards global warming is whether or not humans are primarily responsible for its affect. I believe that we are not.

If we're going to get mad at people for buying into bunk, we have to make sure it requires idiocy to buy into the bunk. Some questions have yet to be answered sufficiently--evolution, for instance. Others have been beaten to death--like Saddam.

Doom said...

Sadam, beaten to death? No, but close enough. Ha.

What people believe doesn't matter. What is, simply is. However, that we do not actually know what is, is unlike when Bill said it (a comma makes a big difference though), makes room for a lot of beliefs which are required by nature to be contrary. I believe in God, many do not, still other believe in some god, gods, or other faerie creatures or spirits. Only some can be correct, the rest are wrong, very wrong. We cannot, however, prove anything regarding this, we are not rational beings nor are we smart enough even if we were. That is just the way it is, and it will remain so until proof lands on us, or doesn't.

I believe the NIA has messed up enough to be unbelievable, at least in what it puts out for common edification. I remember when they a:) indicated a thriving WMD program in Iraq (it had one, but mostly on hold) b:) set out information indicating Iraq was seeking "yellow-cake" (it was, but it used a fool to investigate who came back with a false negative) c:) hired and anti-war leftist to investigate that last claim. Sure, different agencies perhaps, but all part of the same community, the intelligence community.

As well, and beyond a doubt, it is a political organization, with it's own agenda(s), sometimes contrarian within as we are without. Beyond, there are other sources of information which contradict the NIA. Sources to which I personally give more weight. Who are you going to ask about threat assessment, the lazy cop or the guy who is under the gun? We cannot know what is happening in Iran. My guess is this is just a way for the Republicans to back away from their duty. I am guessing, some arrangement has be "worked out" with Iran. I only pray it was a wise one.

So, trusting what they write now like it was truth food is foolish, doubtable, and just plain odd coming from someone who doesn't believe in our government, give or take.

Hey, I finished my final in calc III. Wow, what a dinger, but I think I did quite well. If I didn't it was the usual suspect, stupid little math errors as I knew the theory quite better than I imagined (hoped:). I hope classes/finals are going swell (for both of you, in school troutsky?). Anyway, be well.

A Wiser Man Than I said...

We cannot, however, prove anything regarding this, we are not rational beings nor are we smart enough even if we were.

Just because most people don't behave rationally doesn't mean humans aren't essentially rational. You'll end up with Descartes with that attitude. There is a world and we can know it, even if the fools in the government are wrong more often than not.

I remember Calc III--yuck. I graduate on Saturday, thank goodness. No more multi-variable calculus for me!

Doom said...

Yes and no. We have the capacity to rationalize (bad thing, usually), we can in our prime use ration or be rational (good thing, but more like nitro use in a car, limited in both scope and duration), but because of our ties to our animal bodies and since the fall from grace, we cannot be stoic logicians. Then again, I do not think we should be. I think God set us up to know more than just logic and more than just animal. So, through the muck we must go, never a sure footing to be had one way or the other. I am not sure if this clarifies (or satisfactorily corrects) that first mess I attempted, but...

Oh, I actually enjoyed calc III! Not the testing, perhaps, but the material itself is both interesting and, well, beautiful. In it's intricacies and logic, flow, and form. Though, I think I am in the minority so you are just fine there! I am curious, are the other engineering courses as complicated though? I know physics is a mess, so I'm eventually going to take college physics I and II before trying eng. physics II (already took eng physics one, barely made it). I'm set to take engineering sciences (resistors, capacitors, etc.) and probably statics since physics is booked (if I can get the darned registration tool to work, their system delayed my registration process so that I missed physics).

Well, good luck in life, young man. I hope you thrive, find a woman and become part of a family, and then die old and "a wiser man than I". Do you intend to continue blogging? If not, and most sincerely, God's Blessings and Speed.

A Wiser Man Than I said...

I am curious, are the other engineering courses as complicated though?

Yup. Some of them aren't too bad, but any high level classes can be pretty challenging.

What are you studying exactly?

Do you intend to continue blogging?

Yes. I didn't mean to imply that I would stop blogging, only that I won't be writing weekly columns anymore. My production might become sporadic.

Doom said...

Cool. Good to hear you will be around. For as long as it lasts, I think you will provide interesting, sincere, and well written material. As well, on a personal note, you will be someone who's life, to me, will be of note.

In any case, I am studying electrical engineering. I am, at my fastest, taking about 3 courses a term. I was off for a about 4 years, attempting to figure out how to get past the side effects of high blood pressure medicine (which exaggerated my underlying "dissociative" nature and bouts physical exhaustion). In any case, I took this course to see if I could get back in. After 4 years, I had to do a lot of study. I spent the first 4 weeks or more doing 15-18 hour days getting back into it. Burned out a little, but I made it. Oh, I am nearing or slightly into junior level, give or take.