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October 11, 2004


Martin Kramer

I appreciate Abu Aardvark's considered rejoinder, and the invitation he's extended to me to weigh in here. Alas, I'm racing against a deadline, and the real Martin Kramer sometimes has to trump the virtual one. So don't wait for me: I urge others to weigh in, and I promise to do so myself at some point later in the week.

Carleton Wu

I think that one value of an ongoing dialogue is the dialogue itself. It fosters empathy between the people who will be coming together to resolve crises down the road. It allows the minutiae of organized talks to be sorted out beforehand. It gives a constant hum of background data flow which allows a clearer perception of the other side- data that probably wouldn't in and of itself justify opening a communications channel.
And, finally, dialogue creates the impression that each side has some common interest. It fosters the idea that each side has something invested in the other, that each side is willing to listen, in general, to the other side's thoughts, needs, opinions, etc.

And it has a tiny opportunity cost.


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