[F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  /

    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (1223 previous messages)

rshowalter - 10:18am Mar 21, 2001 EST (#1224 of 11890)
Robert Showalter

You need the past, too. Perhaps some among you remember the Rolling Stones song - a great old 45, with a hit on both sides.

Ruby Tuesday the Rolling Stones

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don't matter if it's gone
While the sun is bright
Or in the darkest night
No one knows
She comes and goes

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with every new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

Don't question why she needs to be so free
She'll tell you it's the only way to be
She just can't be chained
To a life where nothing's gained
And nothing's lost
At such a cost >br>


There's no time to lose, I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams
And you will lose your mind
And life unkind

{Refrain twice}

The Russians need a past, so that they can construct a workable future. So do we. And for all sorts of entirely practical reasons, and deep emotional reasons, it is important that our past be true in the ways we have to refer to it, for action.

Russia's mental health and practical function depend on getting a workable, true past that they can understand, and build on. In a deep sense, so does our own.

We are making crazy decisions, that may destroy the world, and that are very, very ugly, because we can't find the grace to be honest about some basic things that were done, and some things left undone.

I have some similar needs myself. I made a deal, with my country, that gave me a great deal -- all I had to do, was find a way to be "Ruby Tuesday" -- there is no way. You need a past.

almarst-2001 - 11:36am Mar 21, 2001 EST (#1225 of 11890)

lunarchick 3/20/01 3:00pm

"Chomskey has a take on Friedman"

In my view, Friedman is a disgrace for any leading respectable newspaper. It will be understatement to say he is shallow. I think it's below the Chomskey's statue to argue with Friedman.

Even if Chomskey is not always 100% right, he is probably one of the most honest and thoughtful man I can think of.

rshowalter - 11:42am Mar 21, 2001 EST (#1226 of 11890)
Robert Showalter

Chomsky is one of my most unfavorite people - for reasons of linguistic politics that are, now, over 30 years old. Maybe it would be a good thing (and an honor) to learn to talk to him.

You're probably right, and he may be "one of the most honest and thoughtful man I can think of." Though, in my opinion, he's said some very stupid things about Markov chains, and similar mathematical structures. Perhaps, though it was an outrage, I should forgive him after all these years. He's outraged many others, too -- enough so that things he does say, that happen to be true, don't propagate through the culture.

Thomas Friedman , though you don't appreciate him, is a great genius, and hard working man of good faith (though, like the rest of us, a little lower than the angels), and if YOU were able to talk to him, not to trust him necessarily, but to understand him well enough to check what he says for yourself, you'd know more worth knowing, and more about America.

rshowalter - 11:47am Mar 21, 2001 EST (#1227 of 11890)
Robert Showalter

rshowalter 3/17/01 6:02pm

rshowalter 3/17/01 6:13pm

rshowalter 3/17/01 6:17pm

rshowalter 3/17/01 6:19pm

rshowalter 3/17/01 6:24pm

rshowalter - 11:53am Mar 21, 2001 EST (#1228 of 11890)
Robert Showalter

It might be interesting to see if conventions could be established so that Friedman and Chomsky could talk to each other -- and be clear about checkable agreements and disagreements.

It might not be easy -- but the two of them, together, might be able to bridge gaps neither could span alone.

Just a thought -- but it IS true that, sometimes, excellent, accomplished people have difficulties communicating -- a sort of immunity to each other's ideas -- multiple paradigm conflicts.

Under such circumstances, the worst intellectual disaster possible usually happens -- if they talk at all, they emphasize how "alike" they are, without clarifying the differences. And so the relation, built on fictions, is doomed to fail.

The US - USSR nuclear arms talks were problematic in many ways - and that was one of them. People were always talking about TRUST. With nuclear weapons, the core fact is distrust , and if that were only acknowledged with a little discipline - more progress would be possible -- or, a clearer understanding of who was obstructing would be possible.

I don't think the performance of my country "smells like roses" in the nuclear arms talks. But there have been problems based on "friendly fictions" as well - and they've been expensive.

almarst-2001 - 12:15pm Mar 21, 2001 EST (#1229 of 11890)

My oppinion on Friedman is based solelly on his columns at NYT and some TV talk.

Can you list some of his ideas you may think are worthy.

rshowalter - 12:21pm Mar 21, 2001 EST (#1230 of 11890)
Robert Showalter

Let me go to my bookshelf, and dig a little. I'll be back in 15 minutes.

More Messages Recent Messages (10660 following messages)

 Read Subscriptions  Subscribe  Search  Post Message
 Email to Sysop  Your Preferences

 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  / Missile Defense

Home | Site Index | Site Search | Forums | Archives | Shopping

News | Business | International | National | New York Region | NYT Front Page | Obituaries | Politics | Quick News | Sports | Science | Technology/Internet | Weather
Editorial | Op-Ed

Features | Arts | Automobiles | Books | Cartoons | Crossword | Games | Job Market | Living | Magazine | Real Estate | Travel | Week in Review

Help/Feedback | Classifieds | Services | New York Today

Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company