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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 - 06:26am Apr 1, 2001 EST (#1855 of 1864)

An independent press ?

“Before a packed New York Press Club, John Swinton, the former chief of staff at The New York Times approached the podium to address his colleagues. Known as ‘The Dean of His Profession’, the legendary newspaperman proceeded to deliver a monumentally important statement on the notion of an independent press.

There is no such thing, at this date in the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.

There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print.

I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street looking for another job.

If I allowed my honest opinion to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

You know it and I know it.

And what folly is this - toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes.

We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance.

Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men.

We are intellectual prostitutes.”

Campaign Against Fraudulent Medical Research, ‘Vaccinations,’ Winter newsletter, 1995.

lunarchick - 07:19am Apr 1, 2001 EST (#1856 of 1864)

Seems the press is run as a vehicle for 'advertising' .... 'well strike me down!' ... I am surprised.

Give thanks for the ethical wonder of public broadcasting.

rshowalter - 08:14am Apr 1, 2001 EST (#1857 of 1864) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

The press in is a number of things at the same time -- including things not to be proud of, --- but also including admirable things. Here's a quote from the site I liked -- that is "true" and "not true" at the same time:

" The mainstream media ... have failed us completely, here in the UK and in the USA. Any news on the pharmaceutical industries is just too damned uncomfortable to handle; too complicated, often deliberately, too scientific for the layman. Many hacks who should know better have been lunched, holidayed and bamboozled into silence. Fake nostrums are taken as gospel..."

.....John le Carre, The Spectator , December 2000

Well yes, you can make a fine case for what le Carre says.

At the same time, I find much of the Science and Health coverage of the New York Times admirable, and, though they pick their shots, the good sometimes done -- in ways that FIT the United States sociotechnical system, are sometimes wonderful, graceful and startling.

Under the circumstances, weights matter immensely -- and we as animals, handle them badly. Our language is, in a deep sense, nonquantitative --- and matters of quantity and proportion are critical to right action.

It doesn't make sense to " get mad and quit " nor does it make sense to relax, merely because the truth has been presented.

But people, all of them subject to such contradictions, individually, and in their interactions, very often come up with reasonable, workable, even beautiful resolutions, and life goes on, and often goes on well.

And just as there's ugliness now, there is hope, as well.

rshowalter - 12:54pm Apr 1, 2001 EST (#1858 of 1864) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Some fearful assumptions may have other explanations: rshowalter 3/11/01 4:45pm

could some "conincidences be "a combination of a snafu, a "good" policy that involved so many lies that no one knew how to turn it off, and a fraud?"

Deception makes it possible to imagine many things, and conceal many things, and damage the trust on which human cooperation depends: rshowalter 3/11/01 5:02pm
rshowalter 3/11/01 5:08pm ........ rshowalter 3/11/01 5:10pm

  • ******

    The technology of the internet is making the techniques of opinion manipulation developed before WWI (and highly evolved since) much more vulnerable than they used to be, because many more words are available; content can be available, subject to very extensive crossreferencing over very extended times; and there is therefore much more possibility of getting issues considered to a level that permits closure.

    * * * * *

    This thread, like many others, is showing examples of how that may work. There are many other possibilities, and I believe that the "culture of lying" may have new difficulties, because all concerned are going to have much better memories and because matching processes are much easier, more extensive and more definite with the new technology.

    And the new technology is becoming inexpensive, as well as very powerful.

    rshowalter - 12:56pm Apr 1, 2001 EST (#1859 of 1864) Delete Message
    Robert Showalter

    If mainstream journalism powers changed their procedures and policies only just a little, the penalties for bad faith an lying by politicians and "political operatives" might increase radically, quickly, entertainingly, and at low cost.

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