[LMB] OT: Malfoy on Pratchett, rated G I swear.

RosinaRowantree at aol.com RosinaRowantree at aol.com
Mon, 16 Aug 2004 16:58:43 EDT

Damien wrote: "But ImpMil seems to be trying to wean itself of favoritism."

Yes, in promoting Haroche - and look what happened there.  In fact, Memory
reads like a tribute to the benefits of nepotism.  "We try promoting on merit,
and look where it gets us!  Next time we'll just promote a Vorkosigan or one
their circle - so much more reliable!"  I can see Galeni as an outsider, but
he's not a real outsider: he's still a friend of Miles, and vouched for by
him.  From a literary point of view, however, outsiders are people the readers
don't care about, and it is essential to keep the same characters circulating
and getting on in life.

Continuing later, Damien wrote: "This level is Malfoy:

> > I do agree with you there.  I think mostly because I
> > don't actually *have* any biological family

> > But it's natural and human to give more credence to someone with whom you
> > have a long and positive history. 
> If you know them to be trustworthy, yes.  And that knowledge of
> trustworthiness has an objective value in itself - your friend is a friend
> because he was proved that he is honest and reliable, which a stranger has
> not done.

Ooh, I like that -- giving more weight to your friend because you know her
well enough to know she's worth giving weight to."

Unfortunately, though you know your friend well, and know that she is worth
giving weight to, you do not know the stranger, and are therefore making an
unwarranted assumption that he/she is less worth giving weight to.  This might
work if it is a simple case of black/white: your friend says the car was
the stranger says it was white - you trust your friend's judgment.  But if
it's a matter of opinion it's not so simple, and it is not 'objective' to
your friend's opinion to that of a stranger, whose trustworthiness you cannot

Damien again: "The problem is that that's often not how it works; one can
give weight to your friend because she's in your 'tribe', and you must band
together, even if the outsider is right (morally right, or factually right
actual evidence to back her up).  And that's the personal weighting I think is
best minimized, especially on important questions, and especially by rulers."
Which is how it normally works, or if the friend is not actually in your
tribe, then you still 'owe' them, if only because they are your friend.