Kick names, take ass.

1-10-2020 2:22 pm
David: Mistakes
I've had some grade-A professional fuckups in my life, but I've never accidentally shot down a passenger airliner.

Maybe I don't understand how surface to air missiles work, but I feel like it has to be a comedy of errors to achieve that outcome. Slow push in to the guy at the controls as the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme starts to play...

Nathan Tyree - (Overwhelmed by existential angst)
Obviously I have no expertise, but if I had to guess my surmise would be that they were on high alert, the plane got caught on radar, some commander panicked and gave the fire order before doing any sort of check. Honestly, when missles are flying and there is a possibility of attack from a superpower it isn't surprising at all.
David - ()
Right, but the error here is calling that an accident. That's not an accident. An accident is when you drop a glass. Or trip. Or run a red light because you weren't paying attention.

If I see my old neighbor Gerry on the street and decide to punch him in the face for his past transgressions I do so with intent. It doesn't become an accident when i find out it was actually some lady who doesn't even look like Gerry.
Nathan Tyree - (Overwhelmed by existential angst)
We're kinda veering into an argument over semantics here, but I am sympathetic to both sides of the argument. To re-frame your example a bit: I see Gerry on the street and decide to punch him. I swing my fist, but miss Gerry. I connect with Shelley, who was standing behind him. It seems like I accidentally punched Shelley, no? That's maybe too generous to this situation since, as far as we know, the missile didn't fly past some intended target and hit this plane. But, it's only a little too generous, I think.

I find myself unconvinced that 'accident' us the wrong usage here. I also find myself unconvinced that 'accident' is the right usage here.
David - ()
I feel like the word "accident" or even "unintentional" minimizes the fact that Iran allegedly shot down a large civilian aircraft. The intent is to deescalate, which I'm all for, but it's just another in a long line of "oops, we killed the wrong people while swinging dicks" moves.
Nathan Tyree - (Overwhelmed by existential angst)
I'm not arguing that this is somehow not bad, or even less bad than if it was done on purpose. This is obviously terrible, innocent people died for no good reason. I just don't know what you call it other than accidental.
David - ()
No argument here. I guess I didn't make my point clear enough.

It's the difference between:

  • Iran accidentally shot down a passenger airliner

  • Iran shot down a passenger airliner

There isn't another word that works better, because trying to qualify it at all is my problem.
Nathan Tyree - (Overwhelmed by existential angst)
Okay. I take your point. I was reading it differently.
David - ()
We all make mistakes.

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