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Re: Stephen Jay Gould



<As Pish-Tush said, "I am right and you are right and everything is quite correct". I shall, with a sense of pride in knowing I read you during your entire career, say Kaddish not in sadness but in gratitude for having been able to hear your voice.>
Respectfully disagreeing with your use of the quote.  As a bureaucrat myself, I know that Gilbert found a truth when he showed how organizations worked.  I've appended the complete lyric.
Suffice it that The Mikado comes up with a demented plan and his subordinates figure out a way to vitiate it with perfect respect.
This meaning is actually more true of Gould, the one who
-referred to the god-awful argot of cladistics
-defended brontosaur against quirky attempts at overthrow
-found an alternate to Darwin's steady pace of evolution
-didn't, as you say, call birds dinosaurs.
And still told us that 'all is quite correct.'  Truly a model for respectful rebellion.
 
As I mentioned on list, I've spent hours working out logical flaws in his arguments in his popular essays.  But the main point is that he brought up issues I'd never thought about, gave me understandable new information, and made me more rigorous in my own deliberations.
 
I intend to keep on arguing with him.  And that, I expect, would be his kind of Kaddish.
 
 
Our great Mikado, virtuous man,
When he to rule our land began,
Resolved to try
A plan whereby
Young men might best be steadied.

So he decreed, in words succinct,
That all who flirted, leered or winked
(Unless connubially linked),
Should forthwith be beheaded.

And I expect you'll all agree
That he was right to so decree.
And I am right,
And you are right,
And all is right as right can be!
CHORUS

And you are right.
And we are right, etc

This stern decree, you'll understand,
Caused great dismay throughout the land!
For young and old
And shy and bold
Were equally affected.
The youth who winked a roving eye,
Or breathed a non-connubial sigh,
Was thereupon condemned to die--
He usually objected.

And you'll allow, as I expect,
That he was right to so object.
And I am right,
And you are right,
And everything is quite correct!

CHORUS

And you are right,
And we are right, etc.

And so we straight let out on bail
A convict from the county jail,
Whose head was next
On some pretext
Condemned to be mown off,
And made him Headsman, for we said,
"Who's next to be decapited
Cannot cut off another's head
Until he's cut his own off."

And we are right, I think you'll say,
To argue in this kind of way;
And I am right,
And you are right,
And all is right--too-looral-lay!
CHORUS

And you are right,
And we are right, etc.