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Everything posted by philcandless

  1. I can only speculate as to why "tribal loyalty" is a colloquialism rather than a term encoding some sort of meaningful measurement in the social sciences, but I can say the reason you wont find a single term describing what, from superficial study, seems to merit the label "tribal loyalty" is because the actual models are highly conditional. Unifying themes in the social sciences tend to deal with methods rather than models or means of interpretation. Think of it this way, the actual study of GR is a lightweight course in differential geometry (often absent a topological foundation). The same mathematical tools can be applied in quantum physics. GR as scientific theory isn't the Einstein equation, but inferences drawn from solving it with certain principles defining boundary conditions (i.e., the energy conditions). In the social sciences, your models are almost always bounded by any number of variations--geography, language, diet, religiosity, sanitation, etc. So a theory of resistance and rebellion in Eastern Europe is not considered a theory of resistance and rebellion elsewhere. I can't think of any scholarly community that at least in academic discourse is more circumspect about the breadth and depth of their conclusions than the social science field.
  2. Gcol and I were discussing whether or not "tribal loyalty" is a meaningful term in the social sciences.
  3. Because you didn't put quotes around "tribal loyalty." Surely I should expect you'd know how to do that. I have no intentions of trading insults with you. I suggest you and bascule find something more constructive to do.
  4. I recommend you submit your services immediately to your nearest university brain and cognitive sciences department. Somebody there should be doing research into correspondence bias. At least there this hostility towards informed views you disagree with would serve some purpose.
  5. Wow, that must've been an earth-shattering hypothesis when first proposed.
  6. philcandless


    Counterforce and countervalue are the canonical terms in strategic studies. A precision guided nuclear bomb doesn't exist yet, largely because most nuclear forces didn't need them. The "mini nuke" debate in Washington revolves around precision nuclear penetrators. But yes, you're right. The Israelis probably can deliver half to three fifths of their stockpile by aircraft, and these would probably form a key component of their counterforce capability, if and when the enemy develops sufficient forces to merit such targeting.
  7. That's well and good, but hardly relevant. David Gergen is 64, and he manages to present political events and personalities without sweeping, summary value judgements. Perhaps that has something to do with his lengthy experience in high public service; for some reason I don't think your experience transcends his. I don't ask you to apologize. I'm simply pointing out that your comments may reflect attribution error. Google scholar returns 244, compared to 171,000 hits for tribal and 221,000 for loyalty. Of the 244, 177 returned when narrowed to the "social science, arts and humanities" category. Of the 177, 161 were referenced with political (only 29 with "political science"), 43 and 37 for "sociology" and "sociological" respectively, and 37 and 70 for "psychology" and "psychological" respectively. Compare that with 4530 hits for "social norm", 1490 when "network" is added in, and 244 when "network" and "relational" are finally composed. It seems you've found evidence that "tribal loyalty" is better as a catch phrase with dubious definition rather than persistance. Tu quoque. I'm sure the "politicians" would disagree that they've overlooked the ethnic and religious dimensions in Iraq. In fact, it begs the question...what do you know about it? There is an entire field of study devoted to Iraqi ethnography and cultural evolution, and Iraq has been both a geographic parameter in variation and base model or a number of studies on ethnic and religious conflict, resistance and rebellion, and network theory application to community and inter-community architecture.
  8. I wouldn't be surprised if the dullness of reading through dozens upon dozens of similary themed papers year after year had something to do it.
  9. I'm actually more interested in your description of politicians than that' date=' but okay. With all due respect, "tribal loyalty" is a term with transient coinage. It does not refer to a persistent concept in social sciences and quite frankly its qualitatively and quantitatively meaningless. If you're looking for a term to describe the tendency of a population to stick to some defined social norm, you're not going to find it. That's largely because sociological models, like those in any other science, are highly conditional and often built from scratch. So I am definitely surprised to hear you've run across the term in such a global context. So you respond to a body of research with dicta from an opinion piece on political plogging? [1].
  10. I'm not sure what that means' date=' but I know that a skeptical claim is not characterized by an expression of belief in the subject's substance. Claiming something called "tribal loyalty" exists, last I checked, amounts to expressing such a belief. I find it based on the value judgement you arrived at concerning politicians, which does amount to finding fault and taking a mean view of life. Which would be another example of a "fundamental attribution error," which is only more pronounced when considered against your later misrepresentation of Sturgis and Allum's findings.
  11. philcandless


    Except in this case Israel doesn't has no nuclear adversary. That's probably the most significant piece of evidence that her arsenal is primarily countervalue; the enemy has no nuclear force to speak of.
  12. philcandless


    Counterforce = hit their nukes with our nukes. Countervalue = hit their cities with our nukes. As you craft your deterence' date=' the yield distribution of your arsenal and the accuracy distribution of your delivery systems will shape your options one way or the other. The US and USSR had highly refined counterforce nuclear forces, and the Soviets actually led the United States for a decade until we deployed Peacekeepers to Europe and MX back home. At least a third of Israel's estimated arsenal goes on Jericho I and II IRBMs. They're of limited value when it comes to knocking out the enemy's hardened targets due to their high CEP. Israel has only 11 miles of strategic depth at its narrowest point, so battlefield nuclear strikes aren't terribly likely. We do have rumblings from Seymour Hersh, author of [i']The Samson Option[/i], indicating a part of the Israeli nuclear OPLAN includes attacking the political leadership of the enemy. That makes sense, the Jericho II are probably (the the -I IRBMs definitely) useless against anything else but a city or large enemy formation in their depth. Either way, you're talking about a predominantly countervalue strategy as armies over there tend to coalesce around major population centers.
  13. The far more successful antecedent of Joementum.
  14. Here's an interesting quote: Sturgis, Allum, Science in society: re-evaluating the deficit model of public attitudes, Public Understand. Sci. 13 (2004) 55–74. Emphasis mine, of course. My point is that that cynicism such as yours, attached to a question of society and or politics as well, is demonstrably correlated with an uninformed opinion and unfounded preconceptions of your targets' character. That you make sweeping generalizations--about politicians, Westerners, and God knows what else--without providing a respectable empirical foundation for them-- is consistent with that finding.
  15. In reality, this 'tribal loyalty' nonsense is pop sociology. The "well, that makes some sense" alternative to genuine observation and inference doesn't fly in any of the hard sciences, why should it fly here? Think about how much pseudoscientific garbage starts off with "in reality, it boils down to this...blah, blah, blah...sweeping generalizations follow." Then ask yourself what value is there in making them in the Politics forums?
  16. philcandless


    Israel has Jericho 2 IRBMs with an estimated CEP from 1000 m. It is difficult to tell exactly what Israel's nuclear strategy is, but a low single shot kill probability against targets hardened to better than 1000 psi means they simply do not have the capability to pursue a counterforce doctrine. Their cruise missiles can do the trick, but they don't have many of those. That means the balance of Israeli targeting doctrine is fundamentally countervalue.
  17. Chances are you didn't see it. I'm still two minds about inline TeX, but hey...its fun.
  18. I think Card is concerned about how successful secularists have been for making the case to the public, in which case persuasiveness through popularity is what's relevant.
  19. Look at it this way. Consider the conditions necessary for a high ranking international terrorist to openly cavort with large numbers of people in a rural village in Pakistan. Our terrorist friend cavorts with a population that is fluid transboundary, isolated from law enforcement and security institutions, and for cultural and political reasons sympathetic or otherwise supportive of the aims of our perp (this sort of interaction can be modeled using network theory, see Petersen, R. D., 2001). Consider what happens when our enemy chooses to reside amongst us; within six days of the 26 February 1993 World Trade Center attack a key conspirator was under arrest, and within a year the bulk of the cell responsible was in custody and on trial. And all that before America took the warfooting before 9/11 in what was arguably one of the most mishandled follow ups to a terrorist attack. The point is that in this country, you can be watched, you can be collected, and you can be deported with relative ease. Even if you do escape, you take enormous risks to do so. We can say what happened to Mohammed Khalifa (who is still free in Saudi Arabia) and Ramzi Youssef (who's been in American custody for ten years). We cannot say the same for Pakistan's detainees. So, you see, the particulars are relevant. I think its far-fetched to declare something an obvious fact when cynicism and prejudice are the only two things supporting it. While it may border on tautological to say that Westerners value other Westerners, it is a dubious step to take that and conclude, based on simple language and cultural identification, that we value the life of a Western stranger more than a non-Western one.
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