Update and more on pressure vs. pain


Continuing the useful distinction between pressure and pain: 

Two recent events illustrate it.  The Israelis and Hamas engage in a prisoner swap — one Israeli soldier for 1000 Palestinian prisoners.  Had Hamas killed the soldier it kidnapped, they would have inflicted more pain.  But by capturing him and keeping him alive, they maximized the pressure which eventuated in the exchange.

Or take Herman Cain.  Assuming recent allegations of sexual harrassment have some foundation (which they may not) — had he simply revealed the truth, his campaign would have been damaged (pain).  But the pressure would be gone.  By refusing to specify what happened, and call for the release of supporting documentation, Cain has allowed the pressure to increase, day by day.

Perhaps that’s what Roosevelt meant by “nothing to fear but fear itself.”