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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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gisterme - 05:54pm Jul 16, 2001 EST (#7094 of 7107)

Hi lunarchick,

"...This will show that the NEWnews is OLDnews - so why are you putting out as if there's a new point of info when there isn't..."

Not news to's just that it should be news to Robert since he's been claiming there's a need for miracles to make this happen...and thanks for the acknowledgement that hitting a rocket with a rocket isn't really so new or impossible. :-)


rshowalter - 05:54pm Jul 16, 2001 EST (#7095 of 7107) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

MD3059 rshowalter 5/2/01 6:09pm

Trends. exist. . .. sometimes, after a technology is already rather mature -- big advances become -- far fetched.

rshowalter - 06:00pm Jul 16, 2001 EST (#7096 of 7107) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

gisterme, I've agreed that "smart rock" approaches can work, at some level, for simple enough cases. You should read the Coyle Report


and look at the many details that are being finessed -- just to see how far from satisfactory the situation is -- even for the "smart rock" approach.

The lasar approaches can't work at all.

rshowalter - 07:37pm Jul 16, 2001 EST (#7097 of 7107) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Dawn's citation in MD7091lunarchick 7/16/01 5:48pm links to a wonderful body of distinguished work -- both of print and web journalism.

Does Starwars work? - The Guardian,7365,434805,00.html

Worth some time! Lots of impressive links -- sometimes several stages deep in good stuff.

What I'd add is that the "does it work?" questions are often quantitative as well as qualitative questions -- questions not only of words and pictures --- not only "of what" -- but also detailed questions involving issues of "how much?"

When the quantitative questions come into focus -- and that can happen on the basis of information in the open literature -- then current and proposed programs of missile defense become enormously more far fetched - - and more clearly fraudulent.

For other distinguished pieces of interactive web journalism, see other Guardian-Observer Interactive Guides.

New York Times ---there's work to respect and even envy referenced here, done at the Guardian-Observer !

rshowalter - 07:52pm Jul 16, 2001 EST (#7098 of 7107) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

In "Beauty" Mark Anderson quotes Heisenberg's definition of beauty in the exact sciences:

" Beauty is the proper conformity of the parts to one another and to the whole."

Things can be beautiful in terms of some assumptions, and ugly in terms of others. It matters what is true -- it matters how things fit together to form whole pictures.

This administration seems to have a genius for getting committed to ideas that lead to ugly, disporportionate outcomes, again and again. In large measure because they make assumptions, that they will not question, and will not check -- that don't fit the case when checked in detail.

But corruption, at a number of levels, seems to be an issue, too.

MD6997 rshowalter 7/13/01 9:59am .... MD6998 rshowalter 7/13/01 10:02am
MD6999 rshowalter 7/13/01 10:03am .... MD7000 rshowalter 7/13/01 10:08am

When irrational decisions, against the national interest of the United States and other nations, are made -- it is worth remembering how wonderfully well former military and political leaders can be compensated, in organizations like the Carlyle Group .

The potential for impropriety surely exists. And the patterns shown in Elder Bush in Big G.O.P. Cast Toiling for Top Equity Firm by LESLIE WAYNE March 5, 2001 are ugly.

The administration is advocating, against a prepoderance of evidence, a program that will waste many tens of billions of dollars, and make the world a more dangerous place, but that will probably enrich key members of this administration, including George W. Bush, personally.

I've offered to help check a number of things -- based on information in the open literature. This program, considered as a defense of the United States, is a shuck, in Menken's phrase

" As devoid of merit as a herringfish is of fur."

The technical issues that are decisive are open literature issues and can be checked.

Any takers?

Sometimes, the truth helps, and gives great power to free institutions, and to individuals who are right.

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