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July 28


With a slowly growing, gnawing sense of dread, I've begun to ponder what might happen if John Kerry actually wins this Fall, especially regarding foreign policy and the struggle against radical Islam.

It seems to me that it's not just a matter of what changes there would be in U.S. foreign policy; the changes might not be all that great. What really worries me is how a Kerry victory might be perceived abroad, and what inferences our allies, adversaries and enemies might draw from it.

What will the jihadis conclude about America's resolve? The Arab world, in general? The Mad Mullahs in Iran? What will the Chinese conclude about our willingness to stand by Taiwan, and how might that affect their plans for "reunification"?

I'm not getting very far very fast with my "analysis" of this, other than a strong gut feeling that a Kerry victory will result in us being suddenly confronted by a dramatically LESS cooperative world than the one we now face.

I don't know whether you're inclined to tackle this question, Steven; but I'd sure love to see you give it a whirl.

Keep up the good work,


"Abstract: A sixth century Welsh king, Caradoc Vreichvras, is identified as Cerdic of Wessex, and the origin of the Arthurian legend is explained."

I mentioned this to you in connection with something else I've forgotten about and your response was that you found it so unlikely as to be not worth considering. Perhaps you'll change your mind after reading the paper :-)

I love the engineering aphorisms you regularly quote, such as the one you did in today's entry ("Don't start vast projects based on half-vast ideas.")

I'm wondering if you have a list of the engineering aphorisms you use; or if you know of a web site that lists them. (And, if you could send me the URLs of such pages if you do know of them.)

I think that such a list would be very interesting & very useful for non-engineers who are interested in the engineering mindset (such as me!) to have.

A related question: do you happen to know of a book or web site, other than your own, that is a good introduction to the engineering mindset, aimed at non-engineers?

You might be interested to know that I just did a google search for "engineering aphorism" and the first site it returns is: u_r_l_=aHR0cDovL2RlbmJlc3RlLm51Lw==

and the text & title to this web page is YOUR web site!!!

I enjoy and am provoked by your writings,


When Dept Homeland Security was started didn't they want to put the CIA and FBI under Tom Ridge but that didn't happen.

Now the 9-11 Commission wants to put the CIA and FBI under a cabinet level person and it's being lauded by everyone.

Am I remembering correctly?

John Davies

Beats hell out of me. They don't speak the same language in Washington that I speak.

After I wrote, I did a little digging and found it:

Yeah, they need a bunch of engineers in Washington to do a little optimization.

Hello there,
Having read your conclusions about the the designer of the human eye (and body for that matter), may I ask you to do some light reading in bed tonight:
JOB CHAPTER 40: verses 1-5
Better that you discover your error now than in the world to come.
Professor of Anatomy
South Africa

I thank you for your good wishes, but I do not believe I am in error on this subject. Reading the Bible will not affect me in any way.

If you would like to understand my belief in atheism better, these four articles will make it much more clear:

That last one is probably the most important. Among other things, it will make clear why it's a waste of your time to quote the Bible to me.

Your constant reference to "God" and to "design" on your site belies your claim to be an "atheist". That is a contradiction of the contents (most of ) your site. You can't have it both ways! Your knowledge of human anatomy and physiology is poor indeed, and shows a very shallow medical knowledge. Your website is, I think, actually 'a cry for help' from someone drowning in waters too deep for him.

I hope you find your way. The Bible is your only hope. I do hope that you are not 'writing off' the Bible, because that would not be a very scientific approach. Incidentally, Psalm 14: verse 1 (whether you like it or not) says that the atheist is "a fool". Strong words, authorised by the creator you seem to ridicule. You and I will need to explain our beliefs to him shortly.

By the way, without wanting to sound sarcastic at all, have you thought of improving on the 'poor workmanship' of the Creator, or are you content just to be an 'armchair critic'? Presumably you are at least grateful for the two eyes he has given you, shabby as they may seem to be in your estimation?

I think it is apparent that there is no common ground here which would permit meaningful discussion between us.

To you, the Bible is definitive, authoritative, universially applicable, and undeniable. To me the Bible is a book.

It's true that Psalm 14 says what you claim "whether I like it or not". But it is only your belief that it is "authorised by the creator", and  your belief that I will have to explain my apostasy to Him when the time comes.

I don't share those beliefs. That is all.

There is what is known as an a priori assumption. It's an assumption which is

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