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    Missile Defense

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?

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rshowalter - 01:29pm Feb 16, 2001 EST (#693 of 696) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Stanley Milgrams experiment ought to be required reading for all trying to form judgements about the probable "rationality" of our current nuclear arrangements.

mhunter20 - 03:05pm Feb 16, 2001 EST (#694 of 696)

rshowalter 2/16/01 1:29pm

The results of this experiment are shocking.

rshowalter - 05:41am Feb 17, 2001 EST (#695 of 696) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Here are other references relevant to how willing we ought to be to say

the authorities say trust us so we should surely trust them.

The references below were gathered by Dawn Riley and posted on this thread #317-322 lunarchick 9/27/00 9:38pm

These references, taken separately and together, support a key point. People are neither perfect nor always rational. Nor are they always clear about their intentions. To the extent that issues matter in action, they should be checked.

Two of the more recognized areas of study within the study of social influence are the study of conformity and obedience.

Moral Psychology in Times of War

Norms & Obedience to Authority

Social Influence: Changing Others Behavior ...... Chapter 9 .....SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY .... R.A.Baron and D. Byrne

People and History from ....Encyclopedia of Psychology

Psychology and Human Behaviour: Is there a limit to psychological explanation?...... by Ilham Dilman .... (An argument for the importance of morality, difficult and limited though it is by our primate, human natures.)

A dangerous game to play with nuclear weapons ---The Prisoners Dilemma ........ game with the following rules: On each turn of the game, you and Serendip must choose, without knowing the others choice, between cooperating with each other and trying to take advantage of each other.

More on The Prisoners Dilemma ....Prisoners Dilemma is a game which has been and continues to be studied by people in a variety of disciplines, ranging from biology through sociology and public policy. Among its interesting characteristics are that it is a non-zero-sumgame: the best strategy for a given player is often one that increases the payoff to ones partner as well.

The Bomb and Civilization..... written by Bertrand Russell in 1945

I am not a pacifist, and tend to be something of a hawk on effective defense. I believe that the Unites States needs a strong, flexible, workable defense. But Russell was the center of much discourse about the limits of human rationality- limits that are important to understand, when we look at our current choices in nuclear policy, and at choices made in the past. The Bertrand Russell Archives

rshowalter - 05:46am Feb 17, 2001 EST (#696 of 696) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

For military function, both offensive and defensive, deception is essential. But for this reason, deception threatens the other side.

In the nuclear field, cycles of escalation of threat and mistrust have occurred, and continue. Many people of good faith, including many in the Bush administration, are working, with discipline and sophistication, to reverse this dangerous escalation.

To do so, it is essential to acknowledge a basic fact. Over long duration, a great deal of deception has gone on. By both sides - and sometimes the mutual deceptions have escalated, and have backed people into awkward positions, and had unanticipated or unfortunate or widely diffused consequences.

Deception carries costs - and can paralyze. When the existence of deception is acknowledged (and in military terms, who doubts that enemies lie to each other?) new possibilities open up.

The weight of accumulated lies can be destructive. Heres a take on that. Communism beat itself. Beat itself to death. . . . Communism collapsed under its own lies. And the precipitating lie was Chernobyl. Trying to lie about Chernobyl backfired, and it made all the other lies so obvious to the population that the leaders could not survive.

. . . .

The references above were gathered by Dawn Riley and posted on this thread #317-322 lunarchick 9/27/00 9:38pm

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