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    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?

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rshowalter - 02:10pm Mar 21, 2001 EST (#1245 of 11890)
Robert Showalter

You're exactly right. I don't think anyone, ever again, ought to want to "copy" the American system. Even if you could. Copy parts that work. Copy and modify parts that seem good to you. But if it looks ugly to you -- you may have good reason to think so. And you can only make transitions based from where YOUR socio-technical system is ---- and yes, I think Friedman is very provincial in important matters. But that doesn't mean he doesn't sometimes point out useful things. It just means that you can hate him, if you care to, and also that, to use his stuff safely in a particular case, you have to check it.

But that sort of thing applies to anybody's ideas.

rshowalter - 02:15pm Mar 21, 2001 EST (#1246 of 11890)
Robert Showalter

I think that one ALWAYS has to choose whether or not to use a technology, for a particular case. And you're always using it, as a human being, in a socio-technical context.

So the human and social parts have to fit or, more usually, fit after some adjustment.

And that adjustment may or may not be worth making.

The more true information you have, and the fewer lies and misconceptions you believe, the better the chances of making a sociotechnical modification that works well for the people involved.

And it is the needs of the people involved that should always be primary.

rshowalter - 02:18pm Mar 21, 2001 EST (#1247 of 11890)
Robert Showalter

So, a lot of times, there has to be a lot of thought, and talking, and staff work. For example, to get a more workable peace, there needs to be more staff work than either the American or the Russian bureacracy can do, with constraints as they are -- sdo a "dry run" -- a model system - done with everybody watching, but with a team of outsiders doing much of it, is going to be needed -- especially since, this time, there's a lot of anger, and both sides have been lying to each other, and to themselves, and denying it every which way, for half a century.

With the internet, and some journalists involved from several countries, and the nation states involved too, that could be done.

almarst-2001 - 02:26pm Mar 21, 2001 EST (#1248 of 11890)


While may be inevitable, the Globalization does very little to advance most of those needs. And, when it advances some, it frequently agrevates others.

The priorities of the Western Civilization are greatly misplaced, in my view. And, may be, nowere greater then in US.

What is % of GDP the US spends to promote those most basic needs? If it would spend 30% on those, instead of on Arms, it probably could solve all those problems for the entire World.

Isn't it paradoxical that one of the most dangerous development to the human well-being - the breakdown of FAMILY and the small communities happens precisely in those Western "developed" countries?

rshowalter - 02:36pm Mar 21, 2001 EST (#1249 of 11890)
Robert Showalter

Yes. I agree. I may sympathize more than you'd easily know.

But to justify what you say -- in detail, so reluctant people could see enough of that to change much, would require staff work, too.

Because the question

. "What works for persuasion?

is an extremely culture-bound matter, and people are both very different, adnd very unpredictable about what persuades, unless a lot of checked detail is actually in place, so that things are really known.

To practice what some call "the Golden Rule" requires a lot of very detailed information, and a lot of thought, in interactions between cultures.

Though it helps to focus on SIMPLE objectives. Peace is surely a primary one. And the US is crazily out of balance about it -- in large part because most Americans have some basic facts very wrong.

  • *****

    I'm a lousy persuader - if you doubt that, look at my record.

    On the other hand, Lunarchick is great at it - she KNOWS A LOT about her culture.

    almarst-2001 - 02:47pm Mar 21, 2001 EST (#1250 of 11890)

    "most Americans have some basic facts very wrong."

    Isn't it a "reason-de-tre" (sorry if I spelled this wrong) for the people like Mr. Friedman to make sure they know and understand those basic facts? What happend to the critical investigative journalism?

    I suspect, there are some who are interested that it stays that way. And, either Mr. Friedman does not know or understand that or, worst, is on their payroll.

    rshowalter - 02:51pm Mar 21, 2001 EST (#1251 of 11890)
    Robert Showalter

    Life isn't that simple. To quote C.P. Snow, it isn't usually "corrupt in quite that way."

    I find I have a problem with anger. I'm often angry when I don't understand. Sometimes, I find out that I haven't focused my anger properly -- or even find I've been angry by mistake. It is more satisfying, I feel, to understand BEFORE getting too angry. Often, there is plenty of justification for emotion, once things have become clear. But not always.

    I don't think Friedman is corrupt at all in the simple way you might think.

    almarst-2001 - 03:00pm Mar 21, 2001 EST (#1252 of 11890)

    You may be right and I may be too harsh on him. However, I would expect to find more difference between Milton Friedman and Thomas Friedman.;)

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