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Language, language, please!

[ by Charles Cameron – unclear language gives an out-of-focus snapshot of reality, estimative language hopes to facilitate precision ]

Take a quick look, then skip to the rest of this post & come back later. Unless you already know this thing by heart, and perhaps nurse an inordinate hatred for it. In which case you can skip the whole post — we may even see eye to eye already..

NIE what we mean when we say estimative language


In light of the above, I was a tad surprised to read these words in Time this morning:

“Documents were also found and they prove, without any ambiguity, that the individual was preparing an imminent attack, in all probability, against one or two churches,” Cazeneuve said.

Somehow the combination of “without any ambiguity” and “in all probability” didn’t quite mesh. But the original speaker was French, so I did whatever diligence I could muster, and found this, selon Minister Cazeneuve:

Les perquisitions menées à son domicile ont permis de retrouver, outre de l’armement et du matériel de vidéo, des écrits « établissant sans ambiguïté que l’individu projetait de commettre un attentat, vraisemblablement contre une ou deux églises », a précisé Bernard Cazeneuve.

Apparently Le Monde viewed Cazeneuve as having “clarified” the matter, bringing it to precision.. And I suppose that means we should read the Minister’s words as indicating that the intention to attack was proven “without ambiguity” while the targeting of “one or two” churches was — my French is rusty, so I asked Larousselikely, convincing, or plausible.

All of which is by way of remarking on the necessity for — and inherent problems arising regarding — what’s called “estimative language”. Problems which may be doubly obscure in translation.

Unless someone suggests a “plausible” reference from Walsingham, Marlowe or Shakespeare, a decent starting point for consideration is to be found in Sherman Kent’s 1964 Words of Estimative Probability:

It should not come as a surprise that the fact is far from the ideal, that considerable difficulty attends both the fitting of a phrase to the estimators’ meaning and the extracting of that meaning by the consumer. Indeed, from the vantage point of almost fourteen years of experience, the difficulties seem practically insurmountable.

For a more recent take on the matter, and to see whether we’re surmounting the insurmountable yet, there’s always the chart at the head of this post, taken from the 2007 NIE on Prospects for Iraq’s Stability — something we should still be worrying about eight years later, no?


No sense in beating about the bush: poets can handle this sort of thing better than layfolk, but then – what’s the use? Who can read poetry any more?

35 Responses to “Language, language, please!”

  1. Cheryl Rofer Says:

    Hi Charles –
    This impinges on a number of my interests – including how to communicate the constant state of certainty-uncertainty that scientists live in. But I’ll confine myself to the subject at hand.
    When that intel community definition came out (I think it was with the 2007 estimate on Iran’s nuclear capabilities) I thought it was pretty awful. It defines the various levels of certainty with more words that need definition. But that’s also in the nature of what is being done. I suspect that the intel specialists may also have special definitions for some of those words, in terms of types and numbers of reports, for example.
    When it comes to translations, cultural sorts of things enter in as well as the words, which I think is part of what you’re seeing in that Time example.
    Even within one language, culture comes into play. I was recently engaged in a conversation elsewhere in which one of the participants kept putting his understandings of past facts, some of which were provably incorrect, as God’s Own Truth. He didn’t use those last three words, but he put no qualifiers on his understandings, like to indicate those were his understandings and he hadn’t bothered to check the facts.
    That happens a lot in, for one example, academic exchanges, where some of the training goes toward intimidating one’s interlocutors. Presenting one’s ideas as God’s Own Truth helps in that goal, although I find it less effective in understanding the problem that is allegedly being discussed.
    And I feel myself slipping into a discussion of scientific uncertainties and discourse, so I’ll stop here for now.

  2. Charles Cameron Says:

    Hi Cheryl:
    Always a pleasure. And yes, the table is from the 2007 NIE, as linked just after the quote from Sherman Kent.
    Dorothy Lee, as quoted in Richard Harvey Brown, A Poetic for Sociology: Toward a Logic of Discovery for the Human Sciences, writes of the Wintu:

    [Among the Wintu there is a] recurring .. attitude of humility and respect toward reality, toward nature and society. I cannot find an adequate English term to apply to a habit of thought that is so alien to our culture. We are aggressive toward reality. We say, This is bread; we do not say, as the Wintu, I call this bread or I feel or taste or see it to be bread. The Wintu never say starkly this is; if he speaks of reality that is not within his own restricting experience, he does not affirm it, he only implies it. If he speaks of his experience he does not express it as categorically true.

    There’s another language — I no longer remember whoich, nor quite where I learned of it — in which every statement is accompanied by a description of the mode of knowing involved — because I witnessed it; a trusted friend tells me; I have read that; my guess is; rumor has it — somerthing along those lines. If I find my reference, I’ll bring it here.
    I think, incidentally, that “mansplaining” fits in here, eg in terms of yr comment about “academic exchanges, where some of the training goes toward intimidating one’s interlocutors”. I know (because she told me) that a law professor friend had her book on the California penal system explained to her at great length, in an almost perfect replication of Rebecca Solnit’s original experience, except that in my friend’s case the mansplainer was a woman. And in both cases, the flow of explanation showed no signs of abating een when a third party pointedly observed that the authors of the respective books in question were the very people to whom the book was being explained.
    I imagine something of that sort goes on in many areas where there’s a power differential, and that it’s not exclusively a male matter — but would the Wintu, or a trained psychotherapist for that matter, be liable to behave in that way? I begin to suspect that listening and humility go hand in hand. In any case, should you wish to say more about scientific uncertainties and discourse, I’ll be all ears, or eyes, or as close as I can manage.
    My estimative guess is that your thoughts would cast a light on both scientific and intelligence matters of considerable interest.

  3. Cheryl Rofer Says:

    Thanks, Charles.
    I find myself taking a more and more Wintu approach to discourse as time goes on, although frequently when writing blog posts or other material I take an approach more akin to proclaiming God’s Own Truth, because I know that if I don’t, I won’t be heard. I have become much more conscious of using one style or another, though.
    It’s tempting to say that that humility comes from scientific training, in which every fact should be qualified as to where it comes from. Some are well-known enough that that isn’t necessary, of course, although some of those long-time facts occasionally go down the drain or are modified significantly.
    Unfortunately, one can find a lot of the God’s Own Truth approach in scientific discourse.
    I agree that mansplaining isn’t limited to men, but every woman has a library of mansplaining stories. I suspect that the number men have experienced is many fewer. It is part of a certain type of academic ethos, one that I have tried to avoid, mostly successfully. There’s a garden variety, too, in which women are told that their response to a situation is the incorrect response, or no, they really didn’t feel what they think they did.
    Yes, it is a power differential and a way to establish or maintain that power differential.
    Haven’t got much time just now, will think on the scientific certainty/uncertainty and come back.

  4. Ken Hoop Says:


    Dual loyalists never have to say they’re sorry about the effects of their estimative ability when the right people get hurt.

  5. Zen Says:

    Having worked in the field of education for some decades, I suspect at least *some* of the complaints of “mansplaining” comes from queen bees accustomed to pontificating ad nauseum to deferential all-female cliques and ostracizing any women who dare disagree. Then they run into a man who interrupts their monologue, calls out their BS and doesn’t care whether they like it or not.

  6. Cheryl Rofer Says:

    Actually, Mark, no.
    Check out Rebecca Solnit’s experience that Charles refers to. Happens all the time. It’s the mansplainer who can’t be interrupted.
    A short recap: Solnit says something on the topic of a book she wrote. [I don’t recall the topic.] A man says, “Hey, there’s a great book on that – you should read it!” He then proceeds to explain her book to her. Solnit and her female companion keep trying to break in to tell him that that’s Solnit’s book, but he ignores them.
    That’s mansplaining. And yes, it happens to us all the time. Usually, but, as Charles points out, not always, from a man.
    I encountered a very mild form of it on Twitter tonight. It’s kind of amazing that people don’t google the people they’re talking to.

  7. Zen Says:

    Hi Cheryl,
    Yes, that’s the original definition and context of “mansplaining”. I agree with you that it is ignorant and thoughtless behavior. The usage of the term has, in my observation, greatly broadened to a very casual online use by internet feminists as an expression of irritation with any kind of disagreement with their views by a dude.

  8. Yadidi Says:

    Hi Charles,
    I agree, judgement is the last part of a decision-making process which has, as other processes, a set of sequential steps to help reaching a *sound* decision, because it’s what it is about: a sound decision and not an opinion.
    RAPID decision-making process is a quick and efficient decision process based on roles: some people provide (relevant) Inputs, other (expert) people Recommend, other people Agree, one person Decide and finally everybody acknowledge to Perform once the decision is taken. Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2006/01/who-has-the-d-how-clear-decision-roles-enhance-organizational-performance
    Another process is the 6 Thinking Hats from de Bono (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0316178314): an ad-hoc group of heterogeneous-minded people (with technical, conceptual and human-oriented skills) is formed and everybody provides inputs on 5 themes aka hat (no pros and cons!!!): facts, feelings, negativity, positivity, innovative ideas. The 6th hat is process-oriented handled by the facilitator to combine a good-enough sequence of hat to converge towards valuable inputs from which the solution will emerge.
    The last process I have in mind is the most mathematical one, I cannot go into the details here, a specific web-site is dedicated to it: http://www.decisioneducation.org.
    About the French text “des écrits « établissant sans ambiguïté que l’individu projetait de commettre un attentat, vraisemblablement contre une ou deux églises »”. I would translate it into “some writings stating without any ambiguity that the individual planned to commit an attack, probably against one or two churches”
    What is known is that the person definitively planned to commit a terrorist attack, however it’s not clear what the targets were (one church? two churches? which church/es?). I agree that the English translation didn’t make rational sense when I read it, however in French I caught the subtlety. Maybe if the 2nd comma is removed it may make more sense: “without any ambiguity, that the individual was preparing an imminent attack, in all probability against one or two churches”, a native English speaker may comment further here. I still prefer my translation although it may appear too verbose.

  9. Cheryl Rofer Says:

    Since I promised I’d say something about scientific certainty/uncertainty…
    The thread has gone in the direction of discourse, but I think I will try to stay with a more epistemological discussion – how does a scientist think about certainty and uncertainty? And that scientist would be me. It’s not clear to me how many scientists think this way, although I think most do. They are not always explicit in working out how they think, though, and that gets mixed in with the social things we’ve touched on.
    I’ve always worked inside a stew of theory and experiment, trying to put the two together, which is the goal of science. The theory is to understand what’s going on, and the experiment confirms it. Except that experiment is frequently ambiguous in how it informs theory. This has improved a bit since I was actively in the lab, with improved diagnostics. But there are still a lot of gray areas.
    So one starts with a mixture of theory as to what’s going on at a molecular level (I am a chemist) and a bunch of observations that more or less fit the theory. One then looks for places where the observations don’t quite fit or, alternatively, where one would like to go next – predicting observations, for example – and figures out an experiment that should give unambiguous results as to whether one explanation or another is true. Sometimes one can only narrow possibilities down, rather than a clean dichotomy.
    Here’s the part that I think Charles will particularly like. I’ve always approached that with a combination of certainty and uncertainty. On the one hand, I take all the stuff I know to be true, with those fuzzy edges of observations that don’t fit or extensions/predictions, as being certain up to those fuzzy edges. On the other hand, the results are absolutely uncertain.
    This takes a certain amount of mental discipline before and after doing the experiment(s). One must question one’s plans unmercifully and get others to question them. Same thing about the results. What have I left out? What am I getting wrong? What are alternative explanations?
    It can be easy to get into a mental state where one prefers one outcome over others. I have found that that ease differs with the circumstances. Sometimes an explanation is so beautiful that one falls in love with an expected result that will support it. Or it may be the culmination of many experiments in the same direction. Or it’s possible to react to those motivators by becoming more radically detached.
    This is getting long, so I’ll stop here, but obviously there’s much more could be said.

  10. T. Greer Says:

    “Mansplaining,” like many terms in the Social Justice lexicon, suffers from the motte-and-bailey problem. To quote:


    I started this post by saying I recently learned there is a term for the thing social justice does. A reader responding to my comment above pointed out that this tactic had been described before in a paper, under the name “motte-and-bailey doctrine”.

    .The paper was critiquing post-modernism, an area I don’t know enough about to determine whether or not their critique was fair. It complained that post-modernists sometimes say things like “reality is socially constructed”. There’s an uncontroversial meaning here – we don’t experience the world directly, but through the categories and prejudices implicit to our society. For example, I might view a certain shade of bluish-green as blue, and someone raised in a different culture might view it as green. Okay. Then post-modernists go on to say that if someone in a different culture thinks that the sun is light glinting off the horns of the Sky Ox, that’s just as real as our own culture’s theory that the sun is a mass of incandescent gas a great big nuclear furnace. If you challenge them, they’ll say that you’re denying reality is socially constructed, which means you’re clearly very naive and think you have perfect objectivity and the senses perceive reality directly.

    The writers of the paper compare this to a form of medieval castle, where there would be a field of desirable and economically productive land called a bailey, and a big ugly tower in the middle called the motte. If you were a medieval lord, you would do most of your economic activity in the bailey and get rich. If an enemy approached, you would retreat to the motte and rain down arrows on the enemy until they gave up and went away. Then you would go back to the bailey, which is the place you wanted to be all along.

    By this metaphor, statements like “God is an extremely powerful supernatural being who punishes my enemies” or “The Sky Ox theory and the nuclear furnace theory are equally legitimate” or “Men should not be allowed to participate in discussions about gender” are the bailey – not defensible at all, but if you can manage to hold them you’ve got it made.

    .Statements like “God is just the order and love in the universe” and “No one perceives reality perfectly directly” and “Men should not interject into safe spaces for women” are the motte – extremely defensible, but useless.

    As long as nobody’s challenging you, you spend time in the bailey reaping the rewards of occupying such useful territory. As soon as someone challenges you, you retreat to the impregnable motte and glare at them until they get annoyed and go away. Then you go back to the bailey.

    This is a metaphor that only historians of medieval warfare could love, so maybe we can just call the whole thing “strategic equivocation”, which is perfectly clear without the digression into feudal fortifications.


    As is usual at Scott Alexander’s place, the entire post is worth reading.

  11. Cheryl Rofer Says:

    Oh. Sorry. I thought Charles wanted to discuss ways of understanding certainty and uncertainty.
    Charles, I see that it’s going to be difficult to discuss much when others are looking for new labels to excoriate thought that they don’t like.
    Speaking of certainties.

  12. Lynn C. Rees Says:

    Strategic equivocator, equivocate thyself.

  13. Zen Says:

    Boy that Motte and Bailey theory really has legs!

  14. larrydunbar Says:

    “I suspect at least *some* of the complaints of “mansplaining” comes from queen bees accustomed to pontificating ad nauseum to deferential all-female cliques and ostracizing any women who dare disagree.”
    Queen bees? Is this in the context of the experience of a male drone?
    I mean in that environment for which you speak there is no “King” bee, so how is this scenario relevant?
    Wouldn’t you have to, heaven forbid, go to another environment that is common to both a king and queen bee or a drone and a maiden? And where would that environment exist, between the bailey or the motte?

  15. Charles Cameron Says:

    Cheryl is right:
    I was hoping for the discussion to center around epistemology in intel & science, and it was my use of the term manplaining that seems to have turned the conversation away from that intent. I want to thank Cheryl and Yadidi for their contributions.
    I have long felt that Zenpundit was a haven where opinions from the left could be heard in an environment that leaned right, and I found that refreshing in our increasingly polarizing world. I now deeply regret having used a term which brought more polarization into this place.

  16. Zen Says:

    Charles, I regret hijacking your thread as I could have let the matter of the terminology pass as it was not central to the discussion you preferred to have

  17. larrydunbar Says:

    “I could have let the matter of the terminology pass”
    On the other hand, words are important, both structurally and culturally, and helps to define one’s position.

  18. larrydunbar Says:

    To define one’s position, words become names.

  19. larrydunbar Says:

    Charles brought it up, he needs to own it.

  20. Zen Says:

    Larry, he did. Read Charles’ comment. For my part I could have refrained from reacting to it

  21. larrydunbar Says:

    I did read Charlie’s comment. I am just saying it is not about you 🙂

  22. larrydunbar Says:

    It has been my experience that Cheryl is your most respected commentator on your feed, but somehow she is being placed in the bailey instead of the motte. Which, to me, women have always been in the motte.
    It is the way they are structured :).

  23. Cheryl Rofer Says:

    Larry, thank you for your kind words at #22 and your comment about bees at #14.
    I found a couple of things disturbing about this thread, disturbing enough that I have been emailing Charles today about ending my participation at ZenPundit.
    Charles and I actually had a start on discussing mansplaining (first three comments) in a reasonable way. It’s an expression and maintenance of a power differential.
    I found the long motte-and-bailey explanation tortured and off topic and a part of maintaining that power differential. I also found it poorly written and so didn’t bother to spend enough time on it to understand your use of the metaphor in #22.
    But, as Charles says, the more interesting thing is what he started in the top post: how intel specialists and others know what they know. I suspect that the list from 2007 doesn’t begin to touch that, but it was necessary in the circumstances to say something like that.

  24. larrydunbar Says:

    Well Cheryl, and I think Zen would agree, a lost of a commentator of your caliber would be hard to take.
    As I live along the Columbia River and lived with WHOOPS , my interest is your interest.

  25. Charles Cameron Says:

    Thanks, Larry.

  26. larrydunbar Says:

    Hey Charles, what did you do for us lately? 🙂

  27. T. Greer Says:

    1. I also apologize for dragging the discussion off course. It was not intended to signal hostility towards Cheryl or suggest that her viewpoints are not welcome–as a guest myself that is hardly my call to make, and I actually do not disagree with anything she has written in this thread thus far.


    My use of the ‘motte and bailey’ quotation was a response to Zen’s observation that he has seen the concept ‘mansplaining’ (mis)used to silence critics. The ‘motte and bailey’ metaphor is heuristic that effectively explains why concepts like ‘mansplaining’ (but also many other concepts completely unrelated to the social justice movement) are easily misused by those not interested in honest discussion and debate. It is a very useful heuristic for understanding why so many potentially rational discussions transform into idealogical firefights so quickly, especially on the internet (the impetus for Scott Alexander’s original post was of course a series of rants and graphics on Tumblr). I should have made this clearer. I was offering one explanation for Mark’s experiences, not Cheryl or Cameron’s comments, which were perfectly reasonable.


    If I offended you Cheryl I apologize. Charles can feel free to remove the comment if he thinks it would be constructive to do so. I think your (that is, Cheryl’s) comments on this site are both insightful and valuable to the readership at large, and the community that reads Zenpundit would be missing out if you left. I would rather refrain from commenting here in the future than have you do so. I can communicate to all of the authors who write posts here on other forums if I am really itching to respond, or write something over at my place. But I personally find your comments valuable and do not want to be responsible for driving you away.


    2. As for the original topic of this post: I was reflecting on Charles’ comments earlier today. I remembered Philip Tetlock’s injunction that all “experts” qualify their forecasts and predictions with a quantitiative measurement of how confident they are in their judgement, like weathermen. i.e., “If we do not do anything more than sending in advisors into Iraq, ISIS will maintain its current borders for at least another year (60%)”. This seems to me to be an possible solution to the miscommunication problem we have with figuring out exactly what “in all probability” is supposed to mean.


    Of course, this doesn’t solve the problem of how intelligence professionals actually create the estimates of how sure their forecasts are. Just how they communicate them.

  28. Lynn C. Rees Says:



    An appropriate comment curation protocol is routing all comments into PENDING by default and ensuring they’re prefaced with ye olde @{COMMENTATOR NAME} so it’s intended recipient is clear before making them publicly viewable. When translating the Clausewitz Roundtable into book form, I did this to tease out the dramatic flow of send and receive. For comments aimed at the mass, I prefaced them with “@All”. This will not prevent those going to and fro wearing a bullseye T-shirt that nothing misses but it would allow for narrative clarity.

  29. Cheryl Rofer Says:

    Thanks, T. Greer, for the kind words.
    Let me explain why I have been thinking about ending my participation here for some time, and aspects of this thread were the last straw.
    There is a species of butt-hurt among some men that is inexcusable. Yes, feminism is coming back, hopefully to further what some of us started in the sixties. I am extremely pleased. Many of knew that what we wound up with was woefully incomplete. Young women and some men are now realizing that.
    Women are speaking out. And they are talking about things that are hard for men to hear. Mansplaining is one of them. As I said at #3, it is a means of exercising and maintaining power. So Mark, at #5, exercises his. He tells us what mansplaining is and what women are thinking when they use the word. That’s a form of mansplaining. I tried to put it to the side without actually calling it mansplaining, but then we had the motte-and-bailey thing. So I thought, okay guys, you want women out of your treehouse, I’m on my way.
    Strategy and power are subjects of Zenpundit. So I’m willing to discuss that aspect of mansplaining, just did a bit of that earlier in the week at OTB, where James Joyner is struggling with the concept. I am not willing to be called names and dismissed because others are uncomfortable with it.
    And that brings us to SJW. I happen to think that social justice is a good thing. That would include social justice for men, which in our world tends to mean a slightly less powerful role in some areas. When there are power imbalances, they will be redressed. It would also mean removing some of the barriers that they face, some of the stereotypes they are expected to live in.
    Unfortunately, some people here have taken up the attempt to make “social justice” a pejorative, just as conservatives have made “liberal” a bad word. That’s not analysis, it’s not discussion. It’s destroying the language, something that I would think would be anathema to the thoughtful crowd here. Ignorance is strength, anyone?
    So I am an SJW, another reason not to listen to me, and I am somehow trapped by that motte-and-bailey thing, which I don’t plan to read. Protip: when you’re using an analogy, use something that is more easily accessible than what you’re explaining. Another reason not to waste my time here.
    I mostly don’t comment on the more political threads here for those reasons. I do enjoy what Charles has to say, and occasionally he lands on one of my particular interests, as he did with this post. But the comments got hijacked by the butt-hurt over mansplaining.
    So if y’all want to whine around about how those mean feminists are making your lives unbearable, you don’t need me to do that. And I’m not interested in reading it.

  30. Charles Cameron Says:

    In my morning reading:

    Here are some words which, however legitimate and necessary in application, have no place in a formulation with any pretension to physical precision: system, apparatus, environment, microscopic, macroscopic, reversible, irreversible, observable, information, measurement.

    That’s the late John Bell of CERN, in his essay Against ‘measurement’.

  31. Cheryl Rofer Says:

    Quantum mechanics is a world of its own.

  32. Cheryl Rofer Says:

    To be a little kinder to Bell…
    One of the things I thought, but didn’t say, when I was writing #9, is that I am a particular kind of scientist. What I love to do is to take a theoretical framework and apply it to doing things a little better in the real world. I recognized in college that what I liked in science, better than anything else, was reconciling and extending models and the real world. There are other kinds of scientists.
    Those who prefer to stay in the world of theory are opaque to me. It seems a major bore to be working out equations from assumptions and then jumbling them all together, arguing if this and if that and keeping track of all those ifs and making sure that you haven’t assumed something you shouldn’t have. The real world jerks you around when you do that, so I didn’t have to do all that bookkeeping.
    Bell talks about intuition, which is part of what the intel analysts use, and makes it sound absolute. I’ve found it’s one of those things that can throw you off, since it really is just a different sort of summation of past experience. But perhaps it’s different for theorists.
    I’ve always found that I need to understand equations for what they represent physically. I’ve talked to people who say they understand the equations in and of themselves, have no need for a physical picture.
    I do think, though, that what happens in the world of theory, particularly theories as esoteric as quantum theory, is that personal power comes into play. So I read the quote Charles has taken from Bell as

    Do it my way, fools!

    IIRC, Bell was under attack for his ways of understanding quantum mechanics in 1990, so he was a little, um, testy at the time.

  33. larrydunbar Says:

    “Do it my way, fools!”
    But that is the way of precision, right?
    With accuracy though, which I think must be equally a part of any quantum theory, it is not “Do it my way, fools”, it is more “do it your way”, but keep doing it with the same time and space, it would be foolish to not.

  34. zen Says:

    Hi Cheryl
    I had intended to withdraw from the thread, but you have made some assertions about me that require a response from.
    First, you are always welcome to comment at ZP on whatever topic you wish at whatever length you require. You are a great blogger and commenter with a store of expertise on a range of subjects that never fail to enrich the discussion. Disagreement with you, however, does not equate with dismissal, it’s an intrinsic part of open debate. If I did not respect you, I wouldn’t bother interacting with you at all nor would I have linked to your posts here many times in the past. There are going to be subjects upon which we will agree, others on which we will agree on the facts but not the normative solution and some on which we do not even share the same premises. SJW and their jargon appears to be a topic in the last category.

    And for the record, it is not the Feminism, it’s the Leninism. There’s a world of difference between a Feminist like Nadine Strossen and one demanding speech be suppressed on a university campus or someone be fired or disciplined because an argument she disagrees with makes her “feel unsafe”. You are right, the conflict is about power and its distribution in society and in my observation, SJWs as a movement are all too willing to jettison free speech, due process, assumption of innocence, academic freedom, factual truth and basic fairness in order to get it. I can’t support that and it has very little, in my view, to do with justice and much to do with other, darker motivations.
    So, I think this is an area where we are going to have to agree to disagree in the future.

  35. larrydunbar Says:

    On HBO’s Vice, the top-cop in the WTO confrontation in Seattle, between the SJW’s and the cops acting like solders, said the difference between a soldier and a cop is that a cop makes decisions, while a soldier follows orders. I think his point was that he had his cops acting like soldiers in that conflict and lost.
    I think in that context, a warrior is also one who makes decisions, as the SJW pretty much won in that confrontation.
    So, are you following the orders of an orientation that includes the Chicago Boyz, or are you making the decisions needed to become a non-social warrior?
    I’m just saying: it is not often you find a person fighting against social justice that isn’t also just following orders, either secular or non-secular.
    As our relationship has always been confrontational, I apologize in advance.

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