mr. r. s. braythwayt,

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What I've Learned From Failure
What I've Learned From Failure

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I am a concerned, thoughtful person. As are you.

“I am a concerned, thoughtful person. As are you.

“I agree with all my heart that this thing going on is terrible, terrible. I am concerned, you can tell from the fact that I say that I care, how much I care. It is not necessary for me to care enough to research facts, or studies, or bodies of knowledge about this subject. I feel my care in my heart, and that gives my thoughts weight and gravitas.


“Now let me explain why the approach that every civilized country in the world takes towards this crisis is not the answer, without mentioning that every civilized country takes a different approach. I’ll ignore that their outcomes are orders of magnitudes better, and just argue from what appear to be first principles, because we’re reasonable people, and reasonable people need never learn from their own terrible experience, or the better experiences of others.

“Reasonable people can just talk the thing through, as if none of the ideas we are discussing have ever been tried before, and explain why they shouldn’t even be attempted, even if they have been applied successfully for decades elsewhere.

“I am a concerned, thoughtful person, and I have given this a lot of concerned thought, so much so that I have not looked at the world outside my concerned thoughts. I hope you can tell by the concerned, thoughtful way I discuss this matter that you should engage me in a concerned, thoughtful discussion.

“I clearly deserve your good faith efforts to debate by ideas on their own merits, and not dismissing them out of hand just because they fly in the face of the actual facts anyone can see if they open their eyes.

Edith Cresson et Christian Pierret

“I am a good person, with good thoughts, I am not one of the bad guys. So even though I am making arguments without the slightest effort to make those arguments fit within the framework of observed reality outside of my bubble, I have good intentions and it would be wrong to criticize me for not caring enough to look outside of my own thoughts.

“Because I am a concerned, thoughtful person, and because you discuss my thoughtful arguments as if they did not ignore the weight of evidence and history, you signal to the world that they are worthy ideas, encouraging the world to think that they must clearly be aligned with reality and evidence and history.

“Are you not also a concerned, thoughtful, educated person? And are you not discussing my arguments as if they were sensible and in accordance with all observed reality and historical record?

“And thus, if our talking of these ideas in reasonable, thoughtful ways should delay or obstruct change, if this perpetuates terrible outcomes, that is of no matter, for we are only talking, it is not our responsibility to concern ourselves with the question of whether discussing ideas with concerned, thoughtful people has any impact on actual people’s actual lives.

Discussions on the stairs

“I am a concerned, thoughtful person, as are you. So let us construe our arguments and debate our ideas as if they are all equally meritorious and we are all equally worthy of having opinions.

“And when this particular debate dies down, we can do it all over again with the next one.”