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    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?

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lunarchick - 10:51am Mar 30, 2001 EST (#1767 of 1772)

If the nations that manufactured and sold land mines were held responsible for paying pensions along with compensation, and provision of ever changing sized prosthetics, to the victims of their mines, then, their eagerness to produce these mines would cease. They wouldn't be profitable.

Responsible nations should be moving that an international BAN is placed on Land Mines.

Additional problems with these leg-removing-mines is that records of their seeding are not made and kept, and the mines float into water courses and end-up 'everywhere'.

rshowalter - 11:02am Mar 30, 2001 EST (#1768 of 1772) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Yes ! And that argument - properly made, would tend to inhibit all sorts of other arms sales, too.

Many arguments, that are right, are "somehow too weak" -- instead of propagating, they fizzle, because they do not overcome the "chain breakers" that keep ideas from entering minds, and propagating from mind to mind.

The land mine case is a fine example of what can be done -- one wonderful woman, using the resources of the internet, has made a BIG difference, and a big start, on a big problem.

One thing that has happened is that people have become committed, and they've kept at it.

There are technical reasons, having to do with how minds work, that this "staff work" is often essential for persuasion.

rshowalter - 11:04am Mar 30, 2001 EST (#1769 of 1772) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

1433-1435 excerpts rshowalter 3/24/01 12:38pm

Human Beings are both much more and much less than "logical beings" -- and some of the best things about us are associative and intuitive. Humanity would be unthinkable otherwise. But that also means that groups of people can convince each other of ideas that are dangerous and wrong.

  • *****

    We have no choice but to

    " let people "construct their models and inter-relations" piece by piece, and wait to get comfortable with them -- on a step by step, incremental basis. This is not "illogical" -- but it is extra-logical --- it gives people time to get things to fit together, for them, in a mind where things are evaluating in terms of consistency in a VERY complicated world.

    One consequence is that people adjust to new ideas slowly - there's a lot of adjustment, usually, before the "light bulb goes on." That means it may take time, and multiple approaches, and enough repetition, to persuade real people that something must be wrong -- when in simple logic, one counter-example should do.

  • * * * * (details and references on LSA here * * *

    The need for repetition, for multiple views, for multiple pieces of evidence, is a central reason why people in interaction exchange such a huge number of words, and is also an essential reason why, regardless of eloquence or logical correctness, there may have to be STAFF WORK to generate enough information to build a case that satisfies and persuades PEOPLE so that they can actually ACT.

    lunarchick - 11:11am Mar 30, 2001 EST (#1770 of 1772)

    It's interesting how the Euros are lining up to pay homage on their
    'getting to know you,
    getting to know all about you,...
    getting to feel free and 'un' easy ..
    cos of all unbeautiful and unnew,
    things they are learning about ......

    Political diplomacy is a two way international street ... i can't see one leader being allowed on a plane ... too far from the reign on the mane ... of marionette's minders.

    So papa Bush has one job with Carlyle, that makes profits from war (do these guys manufacture land mines - one wonders), and Bush-Jnr likes to make war .. chasing rogue States. Papa Bush has a stake in oil ... and oil makes dirty air, and Bush-Jnr reneged on Kyoto.

    There's seemingly no conflict of interest in the minds of the Bush Camp, they rely on a non-thinking electorate.
    Yet, Street-Protests are back in fashion.

    rshowalter - 11:15am Mar 30, 2001 EST (#1771 of 1772) Delete Message
    Robert Showalter

    So we're keeping at it. Word count has its uses!

    With the internet, the word count is much more powerful than it used to be, under some circumstances.

    First, many can read it if they choose.

    Second, arguments, evidence, and references can be laid down, over time, and then accessed, rapidly and in combinations fit to new particulars, when that is needed.

    We are in a new world, with the internet, and there is now a chance for the world to get past some old evils, some old uglinesses.

    Land mines are an important example.

    Nuclear weapons, which seem likely to reduce the whole world to a dead land full of rotting unburied corpses are, to me, another compelling example.

    The very same message, delivered to the same mind, at a different time, may make sense when it did not before. I'm hoping that some set of ideas, perhaps similar to those set out in #266-269, this thread, rshowalt 9/25/00 7:32am may come to seem reasonable, and then come to fruition in this way.

    For that to happen, it will take staff work. But some progress, I believe, is being made. On matters of missile defense and nuclear weapons policy, and broader military policy, the credibility of the Bush administration seems to be declining at an amazing, unprecedented rate. If this thread has been even a tiny part of it, it will have made a contribution.

    lunarchick - 11:16am Mar 30, 2001 EST (#1772 of 1772)

    ON learning there is a three step process:
    Presentation of new material
    Familiarisation with same
    Time gap

    So if getting an new idea is 'learning', then, the idea may be learnt via steps and stages.

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