toolbar Sign up for Angelbeat forum on the mobile Internet

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

    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?

Earliest MessagesPrevious MessagesRecent MessagesOutline (1593 previous messages)

lunarchick - 08:53am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1594 of 1599)

Quiescent might be applied to a Nation's inactivity: the dictionary run down is interesting .. via latent.

latent·ly adv.

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 temporary inactivity:
“How for nine years you could be patient and quiescent under any treatment . . . I can never comprehend” (Charlotte Brontë).
“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.

rshowalter - 09:37am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1595 of 1599) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

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 internal affairs.

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 market dealings.

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.

rshowalter - 09:37am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1596 of 1599) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

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.

rshowalter - 10:23am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1597 of 1599) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

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?


rshowalter - 10:25am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1598 of 1599) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

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.

rshowalter - 10:26am Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1599 of 1599) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

penetrated, after a period of quiescence, again.

 Read Subscriptions  Subscribe  Post Message
 E-mail to Sysop  Your Preferences

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

Enter your response, then click the POST MY MESSAGE button below.
See the
quick-edit help for more information.

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 2001 The New York Times Company