Sunday, July 01, 2018

Quote of the day 1st July 2018


Jim said...

there are a lot of angles to that one I think.

Yes it works if we consider bad things like the holocaust, someone who did nothing to help the victims, when he could have done a little is indeed a prime example.

But then look to the other side, a German officer might have had a way to make the zyclon B gas more effective, could have had a way to make the terrible killing machine of the camps even more effective, but held his tongue. He could have done a little, but done nothing.

I understand that you might think he done his little bit by staying quiet, but you must see my main point that doing nothing and doing something often depends on your reference frame.

Jim said...

I know you will probably use the card at this point, that it was his conscience that stopped him, and he did not follow though "BECAUSE" he could only do a little, but that does not work in all cases.

a good example would be, lets say the Take off engine of the LM in apollo 11 failed. I as ground control can do a little, I can vent the LM and give the astronauts inside a clean and pretty painless death, but i dont, i give them a chance to figure out whats wrong and fire the engine, they find dust has blocked the oxygen supply, they clear it and the LM engine fires. sure the timing of the meet up is all wrong, but they have a chance they have a hope, they actually (between the 3 of them) manage to dock, do an extra lunar orbit, fire the CM burn and return.

Yes these are extreem situations, but sometimes doing nothing is the better option because you can only do a little.

Its quite a philosophical quote really, that initiates a lot of thinking, and that is why i think its a good one for a political blog. it makes discussion happen.

Jim said...

there are a few i can think of.

Look at the back ground.

I am stranded on an island with 300 people, I can build a raft that can carry 5, I don't as its too few. Next day a pile of logs washes up from a ship wreck, we can now build a boat for all but only because i did not cut down and kill the green trees in order to produce the only viable sail on the island for my raft

Chris Whiteside said...

All valid examples but I think Burke's general point is right.