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Honorverse ramblings and musings

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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by ldwechsler   » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:42 pm

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The absolute bottom line best economic scenario for the system would be what Houseman was laying out. The information that Houseman was imparting was crucial for him to do so. Lest he ever be judged for being less than comprehensive. It had simply been a wrongful and hasty conclusion to assume that Houseman was ultimately suggesting or advocating any military strategies. But, questioning his comprehensive and sound analysis—therefore his brightness—impugned his honor, and rightfully so. As a result, Houseman proceeded to make it worst by attempting to defend his intelligence and his honor, his reputation and career, with more project analysis. IOW, Houseman was attempting to impart the knowledge, he wasn't in control of what the Graysons ultimately decided to do with that knowledge.


I simply don't think that Houseman was adequately briefed. Or at the very least, he simply wasn't the best man for the job. Again, the fault of his employers.[/quote]

I do not think it would have mattered how well he would have been briefed on the situation it would not have fit in his reality of how things really should work. He was completely unable to understand the human factors of situations. He should have never been a part of a diplomatic party but be left to write papers and do lectures.

Agree it is the fault of who ever put him in the position to make a fool of himself in the first place.[/quote]

Houseman was an asshole. That's the simple thing. He reminds me
of some advisers we had in Vietnam. They had strong opinions and were certain that we idiots could not understand what was going on and needed THEIR direction. It was so nice getting a lecture that the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese were not really Communists.

I saw the same for years as an educator. People who had almost never been in an urban classroom were quick to tell us we were totally wrong. And their systems failed.

Houseman is like that. He has not studied what was going on to a real degree. He fit everything into his own "world view".

Even more to the point, his basic argument was over strategy, military strategy. He wanted to get out. He did not want to die.

And, of course, was wrong at Grayson and even more wrong later at the Admiralty.
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by cthia   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:48 am

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To be honest, I don't really understand why Houseman was brought along at all. Err, not so much Houseman, but any economist. Grayson could have cared less about the economics of their situation. They wanted help to defeat the Faithful, and if it would have left them ultimately broke, fine. So long as the Faithful would be taken care of permanently.

The more I think about it, Courvoisier mishandled the entire delegation. They were all so very ill-prepared.



And Houseman had no clue about the realities of war inasmuch as the fact that the delegation could find itself in the middle of a battle. Had he known that his contingent could very well come to blows, Houseman never wound have left Manticoran orbit.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by Duckk   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:54 am

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The whole point was to pitch how much better Manticore is better than Haven. Grayson isn't looking for just help against Masada. They're looking to rejoin the rest of humanity among the stars. And to do that, they need to know who can best help get their standard of living up. And since Manticore just so happens to be a rich, trade-based neighbor, it makes complete sense to send an economist that can paint the Graysons a picture of how awesome joining the Alliance would be.
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Shields at 50%, taunting at 100%! - Tom Pope
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by cthia   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:08 am

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Duckk wrote:The whole point was to pitch how much better Manticore is better than Haven. Grayson isn't looking for just help against Masada. They're looking to rejoin the rest of humanity among the stars. And to do that, they need to know who can best help get their standard of living up. And since Manticore just so happens to be a rich, trade-based neighbor, it makes complete sense to send an economist that can paint the Graysons a picture of how awesome joining the Alliance would be.

Excellent post!

Yet the economist in the flesh wasn't needed to do that. Simply his analysis on chip. Grayson has their own financial analysts and economists. In fact, it is obvious that Houseman should never have even been present for the initial round of discussions. Houseman's part should have come at another meeting, long after the goose was pretty much already cooked.

It was obvious to me that Courvoisier's delegation skills were lacking in this case as well. Why was Courvoisier chosen to head the delegation?

It is quite easy to talk about the errors of the delegation in hindsight, having said that, the many errors made in the mission were glaringly obvious.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by Duckk   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:41 am

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Yet the economist in the flesh wasn't needed to do that. Simply his analysis on chip. Grayson has their own financial analysts and economists. In fact, it is obvious that Houseman should never have even been present for the initial round of discussions. Houseman's par


They're already sending a diplomatic delegation for the express purpose of getting a treaty. You're acting as if adding an economist is some sort of imposition. Plus having an economist on hand means that they can answer questions right there instead of playing the telephone game.

It was obvious to me that Courvoisier's delegation skills were lacking in this case as well. Why was Courvoisier chosen to head the delegation?


Because he's a highly respected military mind with Foreign Office credentials, who also has shown great people skills necessary for negotiation. In that sense, he's quite similar to Captain Terekhov.

I'd also point out that once again you're making mountains out of molehills. You seem to think that Courvoisier's delegation was some sort of catastrophe, when there's absolutely no evidence to suggest that. We see Courvoisier at the negotiating table only a couple times in HotQ. There is exactly one instance of him needing to slap down Houseman, but all other indications were that his mission was going quite well.
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Shields at 50%, taunting at 100%! - Tom Pope
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by munroburton   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:49 am

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It's quite obvious that Houseman was forced upon Courvosier's team as civilian second in command. Nobody on Manticore anticipated that Courvosier might get killed leading a diplomatic mission.

Reading between the lines, Houseman's family links with the Liberals was probably how he got the role. Political horse-trading in the House of Lords - jobs for votes. Cromarty's Government probably needed Liberal votes to replace lost Conservative Association votes at the time and that was the price.
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by The E   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:11 am

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cthia wrote:Yet the economist in the flesh wasn't needed to do that. Simply his analysis on chip. Grayson has their own financial analysts and economists. In fact, it is obvious that Houseman should never have even been present for the initial round of discussions. Houseman's part should have come at another meeting, long after the goose was pretty much already cooked.


I would argue that having a subject matter expert on hand is pretty much required, no matter how good your prepared documents are.

It was obvious to me that Courvoisier's delegation skills were lacking in this case as well. Why was Courvoisier chosen to head the delegation?


Because Manticore apparently has a tradition of using flag officers or retired flag officers as their diplomatic envoys in senior positions. Because Grayson, as a country still at war with their immediate neighbour and heading into a bigger war between their bigger neighbours, might want to talk to someone who knows the realities of combat.
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by Lazlo   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:36 am

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while I have read and/or listened to every honorverse story I can find, all I think, multiple times, I do have one bone to pick... Adm Lazlo should've stuck around a bit longer. imho

but then, I may be biased. ;)
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by ldwechsler   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:10 pm

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The E wrote:
cthia wrote:Yet the economist in the flesh wasn't needed to do that. Simply his analysis on chip. Grayson has their own financial analysts and economists. In fact, it is obvious that Houseman should never have even been present for the initial round of discussions. Houseman's part should have come at another meeting, long after the goose was pretty much already cooked.


I would argue that having a subject matter expert on hand is pretty much required, no matter how good your prepared documents are.

It was obvious to me that Courvoisier's delegation skills were lacking in this case as well. Why was Courvoisier chosen to head the delegation?


Because Manticore apparently has a tradition of using flag officers or retired flag officers as their diplomatic envoys in senior positions. Because Grayson, as a country still at war with their immediate neighbour and heading into a bigger war between their bigger neighbours, might want to talk to someone who knows the realities of combat.


What makes someone a diplomat? Notice that Honor was doing a pretty good job in Haven.

You can always have specialists along but someone has to speak for the nation. We often send politicians in the US. Often doesn't work and the experts are often wrong.

I saw a nuclear disarmament specialist for the US State Dept. talking on TV. She was warmly treated. She was the one who reached the agreement with North Korea that they would never build atomic weapons. And with that expertise, she led the delegation that did the agreement with Iran to agree THEY would never build weapons.

A lot of experts are not that expert. Houseman only saw that bad points in Grayson, calling them neo-barbs. He missed a real lot. That's why you want a strong leader who has been proven in charge.
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by Brigade XO   » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:07 pm

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The absolute bottom line best economic scenario for the system would be what Houseman was laying out. The information that Houseman was imparting was crucial for him to do so.

Houseman believed that to his core. In his view of the world, of known space, the only possible rational behavior of Grayson and Masada was to cooperate and leverage their resources and build export trade as well as bringing in technology that would let them improve in all sectors of their ecomies.

He could not imagine that Masada was motivated primarily by GOD demanding that Grayson be cleaned of heresy and that if that could not be done by subjgating the population then they should all be killed. That the leadership of Masada was also motivated by personal power and aquition of riches, influence etc, was not even a blip on his ascribed socialist mindset.

In the end, he freaked. It was suddenly driven home that he could die. There was nothing that he could do but run away but he had to cloak that in language and spout motives which -after the fact- could be used to say he was opeating for the best interests of other people and Manticore.

I think they should have stuck him in a life pod and shot him out on an intercept course for the incomming Masadans with a live mike and let him make his case directly to the Faithfull right up to the time they popped him with a laser just to shut him up.
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