[CR]Re: we are truly out of the mainstream....

(Example: Books:Ron Kitching)

Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2007 06:50:21 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Tom Dalton" <tom_s_dalton@yahoo.com>
To: Mitch Harris <mitch.harris@gmail.com>
In-Reply-To: <8801bb250708022109t6a524203s778023de2d91b2ee@mail.gmail.com>
cc: Classic Rendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
cc: Classic Rendezvous
Subject: [CR]Re: we are truly out of the mainstream....

Mitch Harris <mitch.harris@gmail.com> wrote: >
> On 8/2/07, John Barron wrote:
> It would be romantic if old bikes were as fast as new bikes, wouldn't it?
> Well, without getting too worked-up about this, I'll tell you all that my
> experience shows that a $3,000 Heuer watch from the 60's doesn't keep as
> good a time as a $9.99 quartz watch bought today; a $100,000 Ferarri from
> the 60's doesn't perform, overall, as well as a $22,000 Camry bought
> today.
> To which Mitch Harris replied:
> Faulty analogies, each.
> Mitch, please, you must be kidding us! If you sincerely believe that John
> is mistaken, you've got to do much better in rebutting his comments than to
> say, in effect, "you're wrong." John is a respected member of this list and
> has made a contribution that is, if nothing else, provocative. If you feel
> that his analogies are flawed, you are encouraged to provide a reasoned
> explanation, but to just tell John that he's wrong come off as just a bit
> childish. Don't you think?
> In my opinion, John's post was a breath of fresh air. We can turn CR into a
> forum for discussing coefficients of drag, frictional losses, hysteresis,
> and the laws of thermodynamics, and we likely would still be no closer to
> agreeing on just how much faster bikes are today than they were in the
> on-topic timeframe. But, to outright deny, as some list members appear to
> do, that racing bikes today are faster than on-topic bikes is plain nuts.
> Is any of "that stuff" necessary to enjoying the ride? Is the difference
> all that huge? Is it worth the money? Would it be a real advantage for
> "my" style of riding? Is a modern bike worth the lost charm? Our answers to
> these questions are what make us, in the context of this list, who we are.
> I suppose even adhering to the bizarre belief that an on-topic bike is just
> as fast as a modern wonderbike is also what makes some of us who we are, but
> it's an attitude that sure is tough for me to understand.

Sorry, Tom, if I offended you (or John?). Not intended. And my reply referred--explicitly--only to the analogies offered and not to the larger points in John's post. My reply seems pretty self-explanatory: faulty is a reference to logic and the analogies are right there. I'd be glad to say more if it really were interesting or necessary but it's hard to believe it is. And besides, I've been trying to write fewer long-winded posts. Like you said, John's contribution was provocative, and yours sounds intended to be (engagingly?) provocative too--referring to those who hold a different opinion as "plain nuts"--so the conversation ought to be able to tolerate a laconic comment on logic.

Mitch Harris Little Rock Canyon, Utah




P.S. Were I taking your approach, I would avoid being "long winded" and just leave my message at that above, with no additional supporting information. However, I believe I owe it to you, just as you owe it to John, to make an actual argument.

I will argue that it is hubris on your part to describe your comment as laconic. It would be laconic if it were spare in its delivery, but substantial in its content. Saying, in effect, "You're wrong," with no counterargument, is insubstantial. Thus, the comment is closer to inane than laconic. I appreciate John's analogies and can find no fault in them, other than the fact that it is difficult to define "overall" when used to describe automotive performance. I really think you should feel welcome to provide a fuller explanation on why it is that (you feel that) John’s analogies are faulty.

As for my describing as "plain nuts" those who cling to a fantastic belief in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I can think of more polite descriptions, but not any that are more accurate. You can't defend beliefs that fly in the face of fact by characterizing them as opinion. Only to the extent that my words were not chosen to be as gentle as possible, will I concede that I was attempting to be provocative.

Tom Dalton Bethlehem, PA USA

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