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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?
(1593 previous messages)
- 08:53am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1594
Quiescent might be applied to a Nation's inactivity: the
dictionary run down is interesting .. via latent.
Synonyms: latent, dormant, quiescent. These adjectives mean
present or in existence but not active or manifest. What is latent
is present but not visible or apparent: latent energy; latent
ability. His critical remark immediately awakened all her latent
hostility. Dormant evokes the idea of sleep; the term applies to
what is inactive or in suspended animation: a dormant volcano. Her
enormous talents were dormant. Persons or things are quiescent when
they cease to be active; sometimesbut not alwaysthe term suggests
“How for nine years you could be patient
and quiescent under any treatment . . . I can never comprehend”
“For a time, he [the whale] lay
quiescent” (Herman Melville).
Sleeping Beauty was quiescent
until the awakening.
As are the many beautiful, yet, sleeping
Nations, that brim with unrealised potential.
- 09:37am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1595
One thing that needs to be "awakened" is American and "global
villiage" awareness of holes in current accounting procedures -- and
how they can permit corruption on a large scale.
Looking at corporate books, and bank books, political party
books, and government accounts --
- how much money is only vaguely accounted --
how much could be misappropritated?
Russia needs to be far, far better informed about this in its
But it might also be most interesting, entirely within the rules,
and a service to the causes of honesty and peace, if the same
questions were asked of international corporations and other
organizations already committed to financial tranparency in their
How difficult, given current accounting procedures, would it be
to issue careful, easily followable "accounts of the magnitudes
of unaccountable funds" to be publicly available, both to the
markets, and to journalists?
The size of these unaccoutable sums, especially in certain
agencies and industries, is large indeed, and if this were set out
in plain, easy to digest terms, it might facilitate many things, and
make hopeful some things that now seem hopeless.
The cost of the accounting, while not negligible, does not look
excessive. The leverage of such accounting, honestly, openly and
clearly done, might be enormous.
- 09:37am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1596
If Russia took leadership in the sociotechnical
usages of honest and open accouting -- what a glory that would be,
and how effectively that would serve Russian interests, and raise
Russia's status - when she stood for humane values and peace.
There might be few things that would serve the cause of military
balance, and nuclear disarmament, more effectively. America's
military posture, especially the nuclear part of it, is based on
fraud, in several senses of that word.
Fraud, when clearly shown, is expensive in the American
socio-technical system, which is so complicated that people have to
ask for right answers.
- 10:23am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1597
Accounting on assumptions about future income streams, and
accounting about assumptions about risk, would be especially useful
if that accounting was set up, using graphical and other techniques,
that made the effect of these assumptions clear.
The notion of "sensitivity analysis" is relevant here, and so are
the techniques for tracing interactions used in input-output
analysis and operations research -- techniques that have been
powerful, and often well used, throughout the world.
The notion of "defense" needs to be broadened, to apply not only
to the obvious military targets, but to other aspects of our
complicated, multiply articulated, sociotechnical systems -- which
are based on both objective realities that can actually be measured,
but also on ideas and expectations.
How vulnerable are US interests to such question?
- 10:25am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1598
Truth, again and again, is on the side of safety, stability,
progress, and peace. Deception, very often, for all sorts of reasons
is on the side of poverty, danger, hatred, and war.
Russia, or China, or other countries, may ask --
" how can we be defended from military
agression from the United States, which is the rogue
state that we have to worry about?"
That is a good question. And deterrance, of one kind or another,
is a necessary part of the answer.
But the sense that nuclear weapons are a necessary part of
deterrance is a naive and very counterproductive view.
The United States, and all other advanced societies, have
interests in peace that may be latent but that are very
large. We all need to become aware of them. We need to awaken these
latent interests, and make them operational, in the cause of honor,
prosperity, survival, and peace.
- 10:26am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1599
penetrated, after a period of quiescence, again.
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