"But then," interposed Sutt, "how would Mayor Hardin account for Lord Dorwin's assurances of Empire support? They seemed –" He shrugged. "Well, they seemed satisfactory."Bear that in mind, the next time you hear a political speech. Lay aside the platitudes, the vagaries, the abstract statements of principle, and see what's actually been promised.
Hardin threw himself back in the chair. "You know, that's the most interesting part of the whole business. I'll admit I had thought his Lordship a most consummate donkey when I first met him – but it turned out that he was actually an accomplished diplomat and a most clever man. I took the liberty of recording all his statements."
There was a flurry, and Pirenne opened his mouth in horror.
"What of it?" demanded Hardin. "I realize it was a gross breach of hospitality and a thing no so-called gentleman would do. Also, that if his lordship had caught on, things might have been unpleasant; but he didn't, and I have the record, and that's that. I took that record, had it copied out and sent that to Holk for analysis, also."
Lundin Crast said, "And where is the analysis?"
"That," replied Hardin, "is the interesting thing. The analysis was the most difficult of the three by all odds. When Holk, after two days of steady work, succeeded in eliminating meaningless statements, vague gibberish, useless qualifications – in short, all the goo and dribble – he found he had nothing left. Everything canceled out."
"Lord Dorwin, gentlemen, in five days of discussion didn't say one damned thing, and said it so you never noticed. There are the assurances you had from your precious Empire."
There's also this little dig at the Humanities:
Hardin remained silent for a short while. Then he said, "When did Lameth write his book?"While Meta-studies have their place - it's what I'm engaged in in when it comes to the whole "science of sex and gender" thing - my PhD work is nothing but "insufferably crude" experimentation, plus some analysis.
"Oh I should say about eight hundwed yeahs ago. Of cohse, he has based it lahgely on the pwevious wuhk of Gleen."
"Then why rely on him? Why not go to Arcturus and study the remains for yourself?"
Lord Dorwin raised his eyebrows and took a pinch of snuff hurriedly. "Why, whatevah foah, my deah fellow?"
"To get the information firsthand, of course."
"But wheah's the necessity? It seems an uncommonly woundabout and hopelessly wigmawolish method of getting anywheahs. Look heah, now, I've got the wuhks of all the old mastahs the gweat ahchaeologists of the past. I wigh them against each othah, balance the disagweements, analyze the conflicting statements, decide which is pwobably cowwect, and come to a conclusion. That is the scientific method. At least" patronizingly "as I see it. How insuffewably cwude it would be to go to Ahctuwus, oah to Sol, foah instance, and blundah about, when the old mastahs have covahed the gwound so much moah effectually than we could possibly hope to do."
In the Humanities, Lord Dorwin's "scientific method" appears the norm.