Citation? Britain and France haven't fought since Napoleon's defeat in 1815.

The Napoleonic wars were at least 4 wars; then there was the Merina Conquest of Madagascar and the Hundred Days. 6 wars in 15 years is pretty impressive. And it's not like France was peaceful after that, there was all sorts of wars all over the place, yes, even in Europe. And then Germany and Russia have kept the 2 busy all through the 1900s. We don't know that their enmity and warring are truly over, any more than we know whether great power conflicts are truly over.

The fact that the French population would never stomach it, given that they had just gotten out from under four years of brutal German occupation with American and British support?

And no country occupied has ever wished for revenge? Italy and Germany were right there, and American and Britain wouldn't've seriously objected to France invading (in this hypothetical nuke-less Communist-less world) - they weren't in any position to stomach stopping France. The American & British support didn't mean a whole lot to de Gaulle and his force de frappe.

Citation?

Waggish answer: What, the past couple years of American politics haven't made it painfully obvious how valuable lobbying can be?

Serious answer: if the returns weren't high, then why do some companies invest so much in lobbying instead of putting the money into Treasuries?

More serious answer: The Mickey Mouse Protection Act

Most serious answer: http://www.google.com/search?q=return+on+lobbying+investment and specifically http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/11/AR2009041102035.html :

"In a remarkable illustration of the power of lobbying in Washington, a study released last week found that a single tax break in 2004 earned companies $220 for every dollar they spent on the issue -- a 22,000 percent rate of return on their investment. "

"The Napoleonic wars were at least 4 wars; then there was the Merina Conquest of Madagascar and the Hundred Days. 6 wars in 15 years is pretty impressive. And it's not like France was peaceful after that, there was all sorts of wars all over the place, yes, even in Europe. And then Germany and Russia have kept the 2 busy all through the 1900s."

This is a blatant dodge of my original claim, which was specifically about Britain and France. No one who had ever cracked a history book would ever claim that there were no wars in Europe during the 20th c... (read more)

Rationality Quotes November 2009

by Eliezer Yudkowsky 1 min read29th Nov 2009281 comments

8


A monthly thread for posting rationality-related quotes you've seen recently (or had stored in your quotesfile for ages).

  • Please post all quotes separately, so that they can be voted up/down separately.  (If they are strongly related, reply to your own comments.  If strongly ordered, then go ahead and post them together.)
  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote comments/posts on LW/OB.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.