Saturday, December 30, 2006

Creative Improvisation By Our (Stupid) Troops

Rangel and Kerry can keep calling them stupid, but anyone who thinks of using Silly String to detect tripwires is pretty darned creative in my book.

I once repaired the broken linkage in my armored personnel carrier with a nail and some duct tape. That jury-rigging lasted until our field exercise was over.

13 comments:

Eric Warburg said...

Duct tape is the panacea for all of man's ills.

Darren said...

Keep talking, Eric, and we'll see just how much of a panacea it really is :-)

Having a good break so far???

MikeAT said...

Darren

Was that Pinon Canyon or NTC?

Darren said...

Just downrange Fort Carson, on my first field exercise as a Vulcan Platoon Leader. During that exercise my track driver told me that the vehicle *always* breaks down on field problems. I chose a different driver after that and B-25 never broke down again.

Of course, all that attention paid to it by the new platoon leader, by SFC Jackson, and by Chief Dion might have had something to do with that, too.

Eric Warburg said...

I don't know if three weeks was long enough...

Oh, well. Karma has gotten me. I have a lot (and I mean a lot) of make-up work I have to do. So, that's fun.

And I tried to find you some coins, but everywhere we went they took USD and my parents didn't want to change their currency because we were only on each island for a day. So. Blame them. Or my sister. Either works for me.

Anonymous said...

"Keep calling..."
They haven't once.

Also, creativity never killed anyone! :P

Darren said...

The soldiers themselves think Kerry and Rangel did--and so do I. You can try to wordsmith what they said, but I'll use Occam's Razor and take them at face value.

Anonymous said...

It was a bad joke, yeah, but not an insult.

Anonymous said...

If you have ever watched The Red Green Show on PBS then you should know that duct tape is the Handyman's Secret Weapon!

I will end by giving you a copy of The Man Prayer
"I'm a man,
I can change,
If I have to,
I guess."

Happy New Year!

John S. said...

Senator Kerry: “You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Reference.com, our favorite authority, states of Occam’s razor: “‘entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem,’ which translates to: ‘entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity.’ This is often paraphrased as ‘All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one.’ In other words, when multiple competing theories are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selecting the theory that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest hypothetical entities. It is in this sense that Occam’s razor is usually understood.”

Using Occam’s razor to claim Kerry called the troops stupid is not an accurate reading—I think, and I am sure I am likely wrong but will give it a go anyways. He said education, studying, doing homework, and making an effort to be smart can lead to success and if you failed to do such things, you are destined for Iraq. I disagree with him. Likewise, he is entirely unclear. Did he mean if people failed to do all such things they would wind up in Iraq or if just one or two of such things and are they then prioritized in the order he gave them in? I certainly will agree his statement can read as calling the troops, volunteers, or anyone else in Iraq as stupid because he distinctly says “make an effort to be smart.” Still, Occam’s razor fails on two grounds. First, to claim he called the troops or anyone else in Iraq stupid is an assumption no matter how logical one may find it. The least presumptuous claim wherein Occam would agree is the one I indicated above. Actually, I surmise Occam would find the statement confusing and unclear to which no accurate assumption could be made. Kerry is simply too vague. If anyone or thing is worthy of being called stupid it is his sentence structure and word choices in this particular case. Second, presuming Occam’s razor is a correct theory in and of itself is an assumption. Why is Occam’s razor correct? He states the simpliest is usually the best. He does not say it is the correct though. Also, do you apply his theories to everything? Why is the simplest explanation the best? What in the world is simple anyways? Is it simple if an individual finds something simple. What if people disagree on what is actually more simple? AHH!!!

Darren said...

John S.:

I didn't say Occam's Razor is always right. I said I'll use it in this instance, and I do so because the simplest explanation--that Kerry and Rangel both dislike and distrust our military--seems the most likely one to me.

Anonymous said...

One of the main reasons that the American military has been more successful than the old school ones of the past is because our military has a chain of command that assumes any person can be a part of the solution. When officers were killed in action, quite often sergeants or corporals took charge and succeeded. When talking to my banker, who is from Korea, her take on the differences is that while people from other cultures are good at following orders, they aren't good at innovation and problem solving. It's what we do best and hopefully in all the furor for testing and such we will remember that our creativity has always been our strength.

John S. said...

Sorry. I am continuously amazed by your defiance of the typical mold in which I want to cast you as a conservative. That is entirely my fault and incredibly na├»ve. I saw conservatives as people who believed in universal laws and truths (others do too, do not get me wrong). Yet, you are no such person according to our current dialogue and statements on other posts I have read—such as your willingness to contextualize people and events. I did not anticipate your ability to pick up and drop paradigms, theories, and philosophies as they suited your own personal outlook—I do the same. Again, my apologies. The final point is, I guess, we disagree over what the simple explanation is as you indicated by saying, “seems the most likely one to me.” Fair enough.