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    Missile Defense

Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI all over again?

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rshowalter - 04:58pm Mar 16, 2001 EST (#1096 of 1107) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

again, rshowalter 3/16/01 4:08pm

lunarchick - 05:04pm Mar 16, 2001 EST (#1097 of 1107)

Back awhile (above) there was discussion re taking down Missiles. In respect of this parties were encouraged to state their 'ideal' and then work to compromise.

Were the compromises to involve cultural pulls on the USA in relation to cross-cultural Education and Professional Training .. would the USA public be suitably impressed ?

For example if the Bush daughters went respectively to Moscow or Beijing for a cultural year in a University .. would this assist world peace.

[I could visualise Chelsea Clinton enjoying a foreign experience ]

almarst-2001 - 05:10pm Mar 16, 2001 EST (#1098 of 1107)

rshowalter 3/16/01 4:42pm

You are right about cultural differences. However, the perception is, while each side may view its culture as superior, only America, due to its economic power, is able to actively promote its via for example, the Holliwood. Same applies to the brain-drain and sports-talent-drain. That creates the resentment and depression on one side and filling of superiority and arrogance on another.

It is quite some time, I came to conclusion that whatewer someone gains in one area, it loses somewhere else. Nothing is perfect. What is more buetifull or better - the bird in a sky, the flower on the ground or the fish in the water?

It all depends on a current situation and level of adaptation to the environment. The bird or flower in the water will be dead and not looking so good, as well as a fish on the ground.

The Russia today is that fish on the ground. They can't possibly adupt to such a drustic change, the West insisted on. And I won't blame them to have a feeling the bird is waiting for it die and be eaten.

rshowalter - 05:16pm Mar 16, 2001 EST (#1099 of 1107) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

I think cultural exchanges with differences faced rather than "swept under the rug" would be terribly important. But only if both sides were willing to say, not

"isn't it wonderful how alike we are?"

but instead

"we are fundamentally different, and proud to be different, for these essential reasons -- and we have to understand these reasons, not so we can become more like each other (neither side really wants to, or can, on some basics) but so we can cooperate with each other.

lunarchick - 05:16pm Mar 16, 2001 EST (#1100 of 1107)

Demmings statistical approach (1948 Japan Industry) lead on to the Qualitative Improvement approach adopted in the modern workplace.

Perhaps with Russia a Qualitative Approach might be developed in respect of improving upwards all the aspects in which they feel deficient. This might include cultural exchanges worldwide to gather an understanding as to how to implement improvements.

Ultimately no ONE Power (USA) wants to be too far ahead of the rest of the world ... in that the products they wish to export need to find a place .. and all countries have to move upwards for the trade of state of the art goods and services to find their place.

lunarchick - 05:18pm Mar 16, 2001 EST (#1101 of 1107)

On films:

We are exposed to non-American productions, often with sub-titles. What a breath of fresh air films from a range of cultures and countries are, in comparison to the USA product which is so 'predictable' in format and ending.

rshowalter - 05:22pm Mar 16, 2001 EST (#1102 of 1107) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Aesthetics, which is the basis of our preferences, is a big part of it. We have systematically different preferences.

Here's how it looks to me.

. Americans look incredibly messy and ugly to Russians, often enough, for good Russian reasons.

. We're sloppy an insensitive about things Russians would almost never be sloppy and insensitive about.

  • ********

    . Russians look incredibly messy and ugly to Americans, often enough, for good American reasons.

    . Russians are sloppy and insensitive about things Americans would almost never be sloppy and insensitive about.

  • ***

    "obvious" American mistakes (to Russians) aren't obvious to the Americans themselves --- and vice versa. We're good at checking each other, and at seeing the worst failings in each other.

    We're almost mirror images - in the world, it often happens that to get one category of logical function "free and easy" you have to carefully constrain the levels around it.

    So, often, there are alternative layers of constrained and unconstrained categories.

    If U is "unconstrained" and C is "constrained", we're often like

    UCUCUCUCUCUC (Russian)
    CUCUCUCUCUCU (American)

    each side takes the opposite decision on "constrained or free" at a particular logical level.

    That means Russians and Americans do a lot of things very differently. And when they try to imagine, on the fly - what the other nationality will do, they get things perversely wrong.

    And at the level of aesthetics, and preference, we often feel VERY differently about things.

    That makes it hard for us to work together, and easy for us to be unfair to each other. And easy for us to hate each other (and trick each other, too.)

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