A Persian Cafe, Edward Lord Weeks

Friday, 20 June 2014

England are out of the World Cup

One of the reasons I haven't posted in over two weeks is that I've been watching the World Cup. I've been trying to resist the long-standing instinct to support England, and being involved in the students' sweepstake at the church I go to in Manchester has helped a bit. I drew the USA, and so that's who I'm supporting.

Incidentally, I love the US shirts. They should really be topped off with a tricorn hat in my opinion, but they're still rather elegant.

In any case, this whole "not supporting England" is now a lot easier, with England knocked out after only two games. The comment which has been going around is that "we went into the tournament with no expectations, and we've still been disappointed." At some point recriminations will start flying about concerning precisely why England did so poorly, and my great fear is that action will be taken by the FA in an attempt to remedy it.

Why do I fear this? For the same reason I fear attempts by governments to solve many problems - I fully expect them, if anything, to aggravate the problem. In particular, I worry that they will conclude that the problem is that too many foreigners are playing in the Premier League, and implement limits on the number of foreign players a club may have on its team. In his "plan to boost English football", Greg Dyke - chairman of the FA, former Director-General of the BBC, and holder of numerous other public-sector appointments - called for a limit of two non-EU players per team in the Premier League and a ban on non-EU players in the lower leagues, and calls for a reduction in the number of EU players although of course, due to the UK being in the EU, this would be much harder to enforce.

Dyke, along with various others, argues that there are too many foreign players in the Premier league and that this stymies the development of homegrown talent. He sees this as a threat to "English football", and therefore argues that there should be limits on foreign talent. There are several gaping holes in this argument.

First, let us focus on the vagueness of the phrase "English football". What does he mean by this, and how is it threatened by large numbers of foreign footballers playing in the English leagues? Perhaps he means the quality and profitability of the leagues, but it is hard to see how having foreign players threatens this. The quality of domestic teams is greatly improved by the presence of foreign star players in English leagues.

Perhaps he means grassroots level football. There is perhaps something of an argument in his defence here. If there is no chance for young English players to get a job in football, perhaps because the positions are being filled by foreign players, they may well play less often. But is this really plausible as a major effect? Most people who regularly play football have no hope of ever being employed in the sport - if a team hasn't recruited you by the time you're 18 or so, they never will, and yet tens of thousands of people turn out each week to play in the Sunday leagues and on school and university teams and a whole host of other things. And that's just the organised football - think of the innumerable parks filled with friends having a kickabout with nothing more than four jumpers and a ball. People don't play because they hope to be spotted by a team, they play because they enjoy the sport and because it is an important institution for social interactions.

Perhaps he means the national team will be weakened - clubs have less incentive to develop homegrown talent when they can buy talented players from elsewhere. While this is pretty plausible, it is hard to see why this is an especially bad thing. Whereas the clubs and leagues are major sources of income and wealth for the country, and provide a great deal of entertainment to people around the world, and grassroots football provides a number of benefits - hedonic benefits, better health, etc - what does the national team actually do? There is a hedonic benefit when the team wins, but this is very small given how few matches the national team plays compared to the clubs. Will the average England supporter's enjoyment of the rest of the World Cup be damaged so very much by the national team's absence? Apart from that, the only effect I can think of is a (claimed - I'm sceptical given the timing and absence of a link to the actual research) increase in domestic violence immediately following matches.

In any case, even if the success of the national team is something worth attempting to increase, will this achieve it and will it be worth the cost to the overall quality of football in the leagues? It seems far from obvious that reducing the quality of the league in which most English players play will help develop a stronger team.

In fact, I believe Dyke is almost diametrically wrong: there problem is not that there are too many foreigners coming to England, but that there are not enough English players going abroad. Look at this graph of the percentages of players who play in their home country:

England is noticeable primarily for how few players it exports. (It's not that England managers are unwilling to use homegrown but foreign-playing talent - going through the team lists of the top European non-English teams, Barcelona have no-one English, Real Madrid have no-one English although they have the Welshman Gareth Bale, Bayern Munich have no-one, AC Milan have no-one, FC Porto have no-one, Inter Milan have no-one, Valencia have no-one...). This seems like a far more serious issue to me - players are missing out on valuable experience of football in other countries, and miss out on playing in either of the world's top two teams.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Review of The Fault in our Stars (book)

WARNING - Spoilers ahead.

It's a fair while since I've just sat down and read a book. If you can read a book without breaks except for meals and using the toilet, then that says something good about the book. The Fault in our Stars tells the story of Hazel and Augustus, a teenaged couple facing the fact that we are all going to die and the universe has no inherent meaning and that they in particular are going to die soon due to cancer. In a sense it's pretty morbid, but they remain surprisingly upbeat for people who find the whole "dying with courage" to be a load of trite nonsense.

There are three things in the book I can think of that, in my opinion, deserve criticism. The first was the tendency for scripted dialogue, e.g. a argument in the opening pages about attending support group:

Me: "I refuse to attend Support Group."
Mom: "One of the symptoms of depression is disinterest in activities."
Me: "Please just let me watch America's Next Top Model. It's an activity."

And so on. It communicates what is being said, but at the same time it feels a bit lazy to me.

The second is that the pace of the story is not really very clear. It'll skip a week or so, then go into detail about a single day, and there's nothing wrong with that but it makes the whole relationship feel very rushed, even though it is apparently happening over the space of several months. Perhaps this was a deliberate stylistic decision - the novel is at the very least influenced by Romeo and Juliet, the most rushed romance of them all - but it still feels a but jarring when Augustus invites Hazel to come to Amsterdam with him when they've known each other for barely 100 pages.

Finally, even though the novel is written in the first person, from Hazel's perspective, I don't feel like you get a great view of what makes her an individual. Maybe it's just my lack of emotional intelligence shining through here, but while you can easily paint Augustus as a playful teenager, old beyond his years, given to dramatic monologues and gestures, who would be right at home in an Oscar Wilde novel, it's far harder to paint a picture of Hazel. There's morbidity, and there's a fear of hurting others and an acceptance of social exclusion, but in her speaking patterns and her desires it's difficult to see her as tremendously different from any other teenage girl.

With that said, what in particular do I wish to compliment? There are some very nicely turned phrases; Green does an excellent job of making you care about the characters, they're believable and interesting. The pre-funeral is a wonderful scene, if a bit cheesy. Dying is represented painfully accurately.

All in all, I'd definitely recommend the book. I've spent a lot more time dwelling on what I didn't like, but I think that's more because in general the novel is consistently enjoyable and worth reading.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Links, June 2014

A proposal to reduce distracted driving, by making things less distracting rather than banning them.

Middle Ages prohibitions on people having sex.

Tom Lehrer is, in my opinion at least, the greatest musical satirist to have existed - equally competent as a bitingly sharp critic of society and as a composer of wonderful melodies. This is a fascinating article on his life  - I was vaguely aware that he'd invented a drink of sorts, I didn't realise it was the FREAKING JELLY SHOT. I knew he'd studied at Harvard, but he went there when he was FIFTEEN. And I (grade eight piano, grade seven cello) would struggle to play a Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto, if I even could; he would do so, with his hands playing in different keys!

It's probably too late to make this change for the 2014 World Cup, but Lindybeige's suggestion to replace the penalty shoot-out makes a lot of sense. I'd quibble with some of the details, but so far as I can tell it would a) better represent actual football, b) involve a larger proportion of the team, c) generally take less time than 30 mins of extra time plus 5-15 mins for a shootout.

A tour of British accents. It's far from complete - indeed, none of the three accents which I most regularly encounter (Estuary English, Brummy, and Mancunion) appear - but it does an excellent job of bringing out the differences between accents.

"Factors that were independently associated with increased probability of extra-marital partnerships [included]... spouse longer erect penis." Also, boys contribute more to marriage stability than girls.

Suppose Tyler was right when he wrote this post, which argues that libertarians will never achieve their goals but will always be intellectually important. That's probably bad for people in general, but possibly good for me personally, as an aspiring libertarian intellectual.

"Normal" people are strange. That has consequences for the rest of us.

As a former RPS champion, it's nice to see that I was automatically doing much of this in my normal gameplay.

Evolution, destroying all that is natural, beautiful and loving. This week: motherhood!

Poetry of Afghan women. There are some excellent lines in there, I'll quote a couple of my favourites:
When sisters sit together, they always praise their brothers.
When brothers sit together, they sell their sisters to others.

My lover is fair as an American soldier can be.
To him I looked dark as a Talib, so he martyred me.
See also the accompanying podcast.

A fascinating attack on home ownership. There are obvious good reasons for home ownership - principal-agent problems regarding landlords, tenants and maintenance, for example - but there are serious downsides too.

Sporting governance - all the idiocy of real politics, but without the constraints of people having ever though about economics or ethics!

I read Scott Alexander's Piano Man parody by singing it while playing along on my piano. I frequently had to stop, torn somewhere between laughing and being utterly horrified.

A genuine success of government. It'll be interesting to see if this can be replicated on a wider scale: it seems silly to me to think that government can never improve things, the key question is whether it can do so on a predictable basis without spiralling out of control or large unintended consequences.

Speaking of unintended consequences, the assault on the Bin Laden compound has led to an outbreak of Polio.

Frozen and higher education? I just had to link to this...

A new arrangement of Siegmund's Horn Call.

Is there a poster version of this really pretty picture of Elsa's ice palace?

It's often remarked when looking at maps of Africa that whole national boundaries were created by lazy bureaucrats with maps, pencils and rulers whereas "real" borders - those determined by genuine links of language and culture - are far more complicated and nuanced. This analysis of actual borders shows this to be the case largely for the Americas too. I'm quite fascinated by the tendency towards horizontal borders in the more "natural" continents or Europe and Asia - perhaps it's just a chance result caused by the existence of Russia, but I don't see any a priori reason why countries should tend to have greater variety of longitude than latitude so this is an interesting thing to think about.

Another thing I need to turn into a poster.

One of the most common arguments in favour of a need to equalise incomes and wealth is that unequal distributions lead to unequal political influence. There's a crucial problem with this: they don't.

"Because he composed the music without the benefit of knowing what the title was going to be, Copland was often amused when people told him that he had captured the beauty of the Appalachians in his music".

A profile of Paul Krugman. Reading this was what led to me deciding to actually read Pop Internationalism, as opposed to merely keeping it on my Amazon wish list.

Going by the books on this list which I have actually read, I come out as four parts Ravenclaw, four parts Gryffindor, three parts Slytherin and only one part Hufflepuff. From the same author, One Direction's What Makes You Beautiful as a Goedel sentence.

Despite what this says, The King's Gambit seems (to me) to be pretty popular online. I personally play the King's Bishop's Gambit as one of my favourite openings (others of my favourite openings include the Benko, the Queen's Gambit, the Sokolsky, and the Grand Prix Attack).

Pakistanis would rather turn down free money than fill in an anonymous form acknowledging gratitude to the Americans giving it to them. At first I assumed this was a failure of US soft power caused by the War on Terror, although thinking over it I wonder if it has more to do with cultural factors - I'm reminded of responses to the Ultimatum Game where people would turn down generous offers for fear of acquiring costly obligations.

Andrew Cuomo might not be so terrible compared to many other Democrats - what with cutting spending and promoting civil rights he could even be one of the small-l libertarians (stereotyped as right-wing on economic policy, left-wing on social policy) thought to make up around 20% of the US population. My key worries is that he could end up running against someone like Rand Paul, in which case I daresay most self-described libertarians would flock to the Paul banner and do a lot of damage to those of us who are trying to reclaim the whole "compassion for the poor" thing from the left.

Very hi-res picture, very pretty.

Harry Potter, as Ayn Rand might have written it.

Sweden, utopian model of income equality, turns out to have high wealth inequality. I'd be interested to see the level of social mobility alongside these.

Some thoughts regarding the Queen's Speech

The Queen has opened parliament and announced its plans for the next year. The BBC reports here, and I'm just commenting upon a few issues which interested me.


There's no mention of immigration in the speech; according to some second-hand reporting, a) the Conservatives wanted to have something about limiting it but the Lib Dems stopped them and b) Labour have been denouncing the lack of planned increases in restriction of immigration. If this is the case, then good for the Lib Dems and yet another reason not to vote for either Labour or the Tories.

Charging for plastic bags in England

I'm in two minds about this. In one sense it makes a lot more sense for plastic bags to be charged for along with everything else in the supermarket, but then again you'd expect supermarkets to charge for bags if it really represented much of an increase in efficiency. When I'm shopping my tendency is to use the self checkout, scan everything in, pay, and then pack things into bags. I'd have to change the ordering of that a bit if charging for plastic bags were implemented. There doesn't seem to be any obvious loss for me in making this change. I suppose the thing that worries me about the policy more than anything is that it doesn't really seem to me like a great deal of thought has been put into it. Have they really done a full analysis and concluded that yes, the best way to reduce waste of bags is really to charge exactly 5p per bag, or have they just chosen 5p because it's a nice round number?

Anti-crime legislation

I have a feeling that I will hate the anti-crime bill which, it is announced, will give police "tougher powers to seize the assets of crime bosses, tackle cyber crime" and "make possession of written paedophilia a criminal offence". The "seizing assets of crime bosses" sounds like it could easily turn into US-style civil forfeiture or lead to Catch-22 type situations where the police seize your assets, you want to launch a legal appeal but you can't because you can't afford a lawyer, and you can't afford a lawyer because the police have seized your assets.

Far more puzzling, though, is the criminalisation of "written paedophilia". I can understand why you might make possession of graphic paedophilic material illegal - harm involved in production, protecting the identity of the children pictured - but none of this seems to apply to written material. Children will not be harmed in production, and unless the material not only recounts actual events but also fails to take the very basic step of changing names, there are no identities needing protection either.

One might argue that by denormalising paedophilia we can make child molestation less regular. This is an empirical claim, and so far as I can tell it is almost certainly wrong. Studies have shown that showing violent movies tends to reduce violent behaviour, and I would presume that something similar would be in play for sex - masturbation (I suspect) acts far more as a substitute for sex than a complement.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

My doubts regarding Christianity

If this blog had followers, then they might have noticed a change in the "about me" side bar, such that I no longer describe myself as a Christian and instead say that "I am from a Christian background, but am unsure of how much of it I believe." In this post, one that I have been meaning to write for several months, I shall explain my key problems regarding Christianity. I'm not going to be presenting much to defend Christianity here, but it will be an honest presentation of the evidence as I am aware of it.

The historical unreliability of the Old Testament

No-one (that I have met, at least) seriously believes in seven-day creationism. We are quite willing to take this as an allegorical account of creation. But this is far from the extent of the departure of the Old Testament from the historical record. Most obviously, there is the whole story of the Exodus, which has no mention (that we know of) in Egyptian writings, and suffers from a distinct lack of archaeological evidence. A tribe of many thousands of people spending forty years in a desert should be expected to leave remains, yet there are none to be found.

A perhaps more worrying problem is that Judaism as a religion did not develop until well after the Jews had settled in Canaan. The OT presents an account in which God gives his laws to the Jews on Mount Sinai, and they take this law with them to Canaan as their dominant belief, but the fact is that at the time they moved into Canaan there were many different beliefs floating around - Judaism was merely a crystallisation of certain of these beliefs.

I'm willing to accept that not all of the Old Testament is meant to be taken literally, but one would expect there to be a clearer division between the sections intended to be literally true (e.g. 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles) and the sections intended to be allegorical (e.g. most or all of Genesis and Exodus).

(Over the summer I intend to read The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman, in order to find out more about the historical record here).

The problem of evil

The classic anti-theist argument. I would express it roughly as follows:

(1) There is a God who is omnipotent and loving.
(2) Evil exists.
(3) God could get rid of evil (from God's omnipotence, in (1))
(4) God wants to get rid of evil (from God being loving, in (1))
(5) So why does evil exist?

This challenge to Christianity might perhaps be evaded by certain views of the nature of evil, so instead of evil let's use "suffering". Suffering is something I believe we can all agree is bad but exists. I'm not convinced by the Free Will defence, largely because I'm not convinced that the concept of free will makes a great deal of sense - or rather, I'm willing to endorse a certain compatibalist view of free will, but this does not give us moral responsibility, which is what I believe we actually care about.

(Over the summer I intend to read Be Still, My Soul, a collection of essays about suffering written by various Christians and edited by Nancy Guthrie).

Reasonable non-Christianity

Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
 Surely Christianity should be more obvious if this is true? I would love to be able to believe in the truth of the Bible, but so far as I can tell the evidence weighs heavily against it.

This passage becomes even worse in context. It accuses unbelievers of refusing to worship God even though "they knew God". Is it really impossible that someone should honestly not believe in God?

Moral irrealism

One of the major arguments for Christianity is that it gives us a grounding for moral realism. The argument would run something like the following:

(1) If Christianity is false, then we cannot have objective moral truths.
(2) But we have objective moral truths.
(3) Hence Christianity is true.

I think I'm willing to accept (1): I'm not convinced by any of the secular arguments for moral realism. The problems are (a) that I'm unconvinced of (2) - I'd be quite willing to accept morality as no more than a useful fiction, and (b) I don't really see how Christianity succeeds in providing a ground for objective moral truths. What is it about God that gives His commands the force of morality? Robert Merrihew Adams has suggested that it is His loving nature, but this seems far from sufficient. I love my brother, but this does not give me any kind of authority over him.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

The old Lie: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Yet, still a space remains on Shoreham's memorial where Pte Highgate's name could go.
Maj Michael Green, president of the local branch of the Royal British Legion, said the issue has been repeatedly discussed.

"They feel that as a deserter he shouldn't be included. He wasn't killed [in the fighting], he was killed as a deserter," he said.
"I don't see why he should be included on the war memorial with those that actually served and died in the course of duty.
"We will continue to discuss it but I feel it sets a poor precedent. But, that is my view and not necessarily the final view."
(from Watson, G, "World War One: Thomas Highgate first to be shot for cowardice" at the BBC website)

I feel that, in any discussion of how to remember the war dead, there are several different ways of dying which need to be kept separate.  These are: dying for one's country, dying for what is Right, and dying in war. Obviously it is possible for these to overlap in the death of an individual; the main point is that, if dying in manner A justifies a memorial of type N, then unless a person's death fulfils criterion A then they should presumptively not be remembered in manner N.

Why do we have actual war memorials? Each of the ways I have dying suggests a different reason or set of reasons for remembering the dead. I shall elucidate the basic moral reasoning which might justify remembering people who have died in each way, and then I shall see how well each fits as a descriptive model of how we actually remember.

Dying for what is Right

If someone has died for what is Right, then I think we would tend to agree that it is appropriate to remember them well, to mourn their loss, and to celebrate what they achieved. The problem with this as a descriptive, rather than merely normative, model of war memorials is that examples of people who genuinely died for what was Right are vanishingly few. Certainly, the people who we devote the most attention to remembering - the soldiers of the World Wars - do not fit this description. World War One was a clash of opposing imperialist forces and while some sides - particularly Germany - were more in the wrong than others, the fact is that no government had any legitimate moral reason to send people to die in the First World War. World War Two is slightly more complicated, in that in the form of the Nazis there was one obviously evil side. But the fact that the Nazis were horrific does not justify their enemies - Stalin in particular was just as bad as Hitler, and while the western Allies were nowhere near as bad as either of these one can point to numerous cases where they violated the tenets of just war ethics (see G.E.M Anscombe, Just War: The Case of the Second World War).

Perhaps one might say that, though the Allies were themselves unjust in their conduct during World War Two, this is ameliorated by the nature of the evil that they opposed. But this relies far too heavily on what we now know as opposed to what was known at the time. In 1939 Hitler was known to be expansionist, untrustworthy and aggressive, but if one is opposed to militarism and imperialism then it is hard to see how one would combat these by joining an army belonging to an Empire which controlled fully one-quarter of the earth's land mass. In hindsight we know that the Nazis' atrocities were far worse than this, we know of the death camps and the holocaust - but the Allies of 1939 did not know this. They discovered  these atrocities by liberating the concentration camps, and were not only horrified but amazed at the evil they were encountering. This can hardly be judged to have impacted their decision to join in the war and so risk their lives.

Dying in war

Second, we might remember people simply because they died in war. The most obvious defence of this is that while dying in war is not inherently worse than dying in any other circumstance, war is a particular atrocity in large part because of the many deaths it causes, and by remembering those who died in war we make future wars less likely.

One objection to this as a descriptive model would be that we do not tend to remember foreign dead - remembrance services will contain Union Jack but not French flags or Soviet flags; the absence of Swastikas is quite understandable but either the flag of the Second Reich or that of modern Germany would surely be an acceptable alternative? The response to this is probably that, by focusing upon domestic dead, we make the loss more personal. Rightly or wrongly (no, let's be honest - wrongly) we consider the deaths of millions of foreigners to be less important than the deaths of our fellow countrymen, and since ultimately it is the reduction of war we care about this is a lack of virtue we are best to tolerate and adapt to.

A far bigger problem for this theory is that remembrance services are so unashamedly military in their focus. We have - in places of honour, no less - the flags of the very nations which condemned their sons to death. We play a military horn call. We have plaques inscribed with the names of each and every individual soldier who died, whereas the many civilians killed will be lucky to get a collective mention in passing.

World War One was relatively unobtrusive in terms of its combatant deaths - civilian deaths ratio: around 10 million soldiers and 7 million civilians. World War Two was far closer to the historical norm, with around 2 civilian fatalities for each combatant who died - about 49 million and 24 million respectively. Admittedly there was a strong skew towards military deaths in the UK, so perhaps we might expect more of a focus on dead soldiers here, but civilians were still a solid 15% or so of UK fatalities in WWII and I have yet to see a single plaque dedicated to a named victim of the blitz, as opposed to the plaques to be found in every church and village square naming and giving the dates and regiment of every man of the parish killed in each world war. Moreover, whereas we will of course talk of "the horrors of war" when describing the conditions for soldiers, "the spirit of the blitz" has almost entirely positive connotations of everyone pulling together to help each other and collectively work towards victory. Quite simply, while this may provide the strongest normative reason for remembering the dead of war, the actual form of remembrance which it would imply is so radically different from the way remembrance is practised that it cannot be the actual reason for remembering the dead.

Dying for one's country

Let's not pretend that this in any way provides a normative justification for remembrance. Regardless of what the modern state is like, the nation-states which fought the first world war were illegitimate monstrosities, as were most if not all of the states which fought the second world war. Moreover, it is hard to see why there should be any virtue attached to dying for one's country: if the fact of someone's having died in the service of the British state is sufficient reason for them to be remembered by all Britons, then does someone's having died in the service of Nazism give an equally strong reason for them to be remembered by all Germans? Perhaps we may argue that the German state has undergone fundamental changes since then, which remove or weaken the link between modern Germans and the Nazi state. But then I struggle to see why any woman has reason to remember the dead of WWI, given that at this point in history there was not a single nation which included them as political participants with voting rights. Moreover, the French and Russians have even less reason for remembrance than the Germans, having each undergone multiple fundamental changes in their political systems since the beginning of WWI.

With that said, it is not hard to see why states might wish to promote this kind of remembrance - as a way of promoting loyalty from citizens, and (by presenting the history of the state in opposing the horrors that were its enemies) to reduce citizens' abilities to distinguish between the interests of the state and what is Right. This would explain the militarised nature of remembrance services, including the focus upon those who died serving the state - soldiers - and the overlooking of those who either opposed it - foreigners - or died in a way which did not serve the state - civilians.

Conclusion, and Should Thomas Highgate be remembered?

Clearly morality demands large changes in the way we remember the dead of war. We should remember the dead of all nations, not just our own (and by that I mean to say that British soldiers are of no higher importance in being remembered than Nazi soldiers) and should focus far more upon the many innocent civilians who have suffered from war than the soldiers who were in most if not all cases responsible for the destruction. The current form of remembrance may be better than no remembrance at all if it serves to reduce the likelihood of future wars, but this is clearly not the actual reason why remembrance occurs.

Did Thomas Highgate die in a way which provides moral justification for his remembrance? No, he did not. The question, then, is whether remembering him reinforces the current, over-militarised and immoral form of remembrance that we have, or shifts it towards a more cosmopolitan form of remembrance which accounts for civilians and for foreigners. In this case, it is in fact better to remember him if he was guilty of desertion, since as a civilian who was murdered by his own government we can in remembering him gain a (very slightly) more rounded view of the horrors of war. If he was not, in fact, guilty of the crime for which he was executed, then he is merely another military casualty whose death we may regret, but should be far less concerned to remember than pretty much anyone else who currently lacks recognition for their death in war.