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Nazi engineer and Disney space advisor Wernher Von Braun helped
give us rocket science. Today, the legacy of military aeronautics
has many manifestations from SDI to advanced ballistic missiles. Now
there is a controversial push for a new missile defense system. What
will be the role of missile defense in the new geopolitical climate
and in the new scientific era?
(632 previous messages)
- 01:17pm Feb 1, 2001 EST (#633
Maybe people DO deserve a lot of congratulations, we should give
those congratulations whole-heartedly, and look around for something
less insanely dangerous, and stunningly ugly, than MAD.
Maybe something better could be worked out. Would that take a
miracle? The sort of miracle it would take happens from time to
time. People see an intolerable situation, based on old
assumptions and much history, step back from it, and build something
new that gets rid of the old horrors.
Given the history of nuclear weapons, and the record on human
wisdom, maybe were alive now because of a series of not-so-little
miracles - due to clear seeing, disciplined hard work by real
people. Some notable ones by Senators Nunn and Lugar, helping the
Russians maintain at least some reasonable safety in their nuclear
arrangements. Maybe we need more miracles, in the same spirit.
The fact that Sam Nunn is now setting up an institution for
controlling nuclear risk, funded by real money and a man of real
genius, Ted Turner, is promising.
Something else is promising, it seems to me. Many of President
Bushs people believe in redemption - the idea of a fresh start, a
graceful new beginning. It is not only a religious notion.
The nuclear impasse, as a logical sequence built up over time,
looks insoluble. Perhaps it is insoluble. That doesnt mean it isnt
redeemable. In history, a lot of practical and hopeful things have
become real. A lot of wrenching ugliness has been redeemed, for
something new and better.
need a mechanics of human grace.
I think nuclear weapons are unbearably ugly, with the moral
and practical difficulties overwhelming ugliness carries. I think
that if the problems were adressed by the governments involved, with
priorities explicitly clear, accomodations much better than the
present ones could be worked out.
is Important in Judging What Can be Improved - and when something is
THIS ugly, maybe things could be improved
- 01:19pm Feb 1, 2001 EST (#634
I think there's so much stupidity in the world, so much
ineptness, and so many lies, that it CANNOT be true that "we live
in the best of all possible worlds." Better solutions - sometimes
HAVE to be possible. Especially on things that are so overwhelmingly
ugly as the current nuclear impasse.
If only a missile defense was practical, I'd be for it. But I
don't think it is. So I think we ought to look HARD for the "human
miracles" that effective disarmament would take.
I happen to think that effective disarmament could be done, and
that this administration is showing many of the negotiating skills,
and moral patterns, that might be well suited to making it work -
which would be a historical achievement.
- 01:39pm Feb 1, 2001 EST (#635
We need solutions, to an ugly, emotion-laden, fear laden
problem, that are redemptive and detonative in a technical
sense. I discuss the notion of redemptive and detonative
solutions in An
Apology on the Brain Forum, describing a solution now in progress.
believe that win-win resolutions are possible and that secular
redemption is an entirely practical thing to work for.
Often, to get ideas to change, the analogy to explosives makes
some sense. Here's a poem, that explains, using that analogy, the
distinction between a fizzle and a detonation, in the propagation of
- 01:43pm Feb 1, 2001 EST (#636
If we are to find ways to eliminate nuclear weapons completely
and safely, redemptive and detonative solutionts are going to have
to be found. Too many able people of good faith have tried to
make step by step negotiation, locked to history, workable, for
optimism on breakthroughs using those techniques now.
But the world runs as well as it does, because, in all sorts of
big and little ways, redemptive and detonative solutions are found,
all over society, every day.
MOST of the things Americans do in their socio-technical systems
work very well, because redemptive solutions are somehow worked out,
on a practical, day to day basis, and the good ones spread and take
I think we ought to look HARD for such solutions in the nuclear
weapons field. Things now are so menacing and ugly that a search for
beauty makes sense to me.
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