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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?
(1391 previous messages)
- 05:28pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1392
almarts_2001 I think the amount of good will that is
latent, close to the surface, wanting to come out, in American and
Europe is very great. Many -- and this is perhaps most true of
people in the more literary parts of our culture, would LOVE to see
a prosperous, happy, vibrant, RUSSIAN Russia - - not an
imitation of the US - but a different cuture - doing well, and
interfacing with other cultures.
I believe that many people would WANT to see Russia as a success
story - and on Russian terms.
Putin is doing some of the right things -- reports of his
achievements at the European Summit look very professional and very
good -- and it seems to me that people are looking for "ways of
There are things that the Russians I've dealt with don't know,
that the culture needs to know -
but I believe that the number of individuals, and businessmen,
who would WANT a vibrant russia is larger than you may think. And
hostility to Russia is narrower than you may think.
- 05:29pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1393
There are things that Russians do BETTER than Americans -- for
the money you had to spend, you ran a very impressive space program
- especially on the analytical side. Many things in Russia are fine
- and have been fine.
But there are kinds of sloppiness that one sometimes sees in
Russia that bother Americans -- and it would help if you learned
what they are (find ways to ask in such a way that you learn what
you need to know, not what you want to hear) that would, if a little
changed, greatly shift the business attractiveness, and status, of
I think leadership in control and elimination of nuclear weapons,
and in the establishment of military balances, may be a great public
relations and business opportunity for Russia. Putin acts like he
may think so, too.
I find myself feeling afraid as I write this -- but trying to be
- 05:30pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1394
I'll imagine that you're the great leader that the quality of
your thought and "staff work" indicates -- suppose I take a shot, in
the next hour, trying to speak of Russia as a "statistical ensemble
of businesses -- with expected rates of return that make them
unattractive -- and discuss how you might radically increase the
attractiveness of your country from a business point of view.
I'll speak of "expected rates of return" -- as in compound rates
of interest -- and talk about the key thing -- which is the total
RISK DISCOUNT -- make Russia more reliable, and you will RADICALLY
shift its marketability upwards.
- 05:36pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1395
Perhaps this model is simple enough for you to use -and evaluate,
punching numbers on a hand held calculator. Sometimes the biggest
effects are easiest to see in a simple case, where relations stand
Suppose you think of an investment,
where at time 0, you put in a cost, C
and after a time of t expressed in years (which could be a
you get a Payoff, P , if you win
and the PROBABILITY OF WINNING is a value a, between no
chance ( a = 0 ) and certainty ( a = 1 ) so that 0<= a <= 1
It is worth noting, and especially worth noting for Putin, how
the value of a matters.
- 05:38pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1396
Reliability is valuable (and unreliablility is very
expensive ) from a gambler's (or investor's) point of view !
- 05:41pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1397
the expected rate of return, r , for this lump model is
r = [ln( aP/c)]/t
In words, the effective compounded rate of return (compound
the natural logarithm of the risk discounted payoff to cost
ratio divided by the time between putting out the C, and
getting the payoff P
- 05:43pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1398
it isn't the "best case" payoff to cost ratio, P/C
it is the risk discounted payoff to cost ratio
that the investor, if he's a rational gambler, looks at.
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