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Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's
war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars"
defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make
the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an
application of science be successful? Is a militarized space
inevitable, necessary or impossible?
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new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every
(141 previous messages)
- 08:45am Mar 3, 2002 EST (#142
- 08:57am Mar 3, 2002 EST (#143
US steps up security over nuclear attack fears Washington
has deployed hundreds of sophisticated sensors to US borders,
overseas facilities and choke points around the US capital, to
protect against nuclear or radiological attack by terrorists.
The Washington Post reports the new radiation sensors are
imbedded around some fixed points and temporarily at designated
"national security special events" such as last month's Olympic
Games in Utah.
The newspaper says the US Government also has placed the Delta
Force, the nation's elite commando unit, on a new standby alert to
seize control of nuclear materials that the sensors may detect.
The Delta Force has been assigned the mission of killing or
disabling anyone with a suspected nuclear device and turning it
over to the scientists to be disarmed.
"Clearly ... the sense of urgency has gone up," a senior
government policy maker on nuclear, biological and chemical terror
told the newspaper.
"The more you gather information, the more our concerns
increased about Al Qaeda's focus on weapons of mass destruction of
The Post reports the White House has also ordered a crash
program to build next-generation devices at the three national
nuclear laboratories to address the technological limitations of
The intelligence community believes Al Qaeda may already
control a stolen Soviet-era tactical nuclear warhead or enough
weapons-grade material to fashion a functioning, if less
efficient, atomic bomb .
- 09:08am Mar 3, 2002 EST (#144
It's possible to gather a lot of D A T A ... the harder
part is interpretation.
- 09:12am Mar 3, 2002 EST (#145
Israel stunned !
.. what goes around comes around ... No room for MD activity on
close neighbours !?
- 09:22am Mar 3, 2002 EST (#146
You realise I'll have to confiscate your car."
This is a standard opening gambit. Rules is rules. Except that
in Russia rules are there to be bent - it's what makes it possible
for society to function.
"Mr Robert," he said, avoiding my eye, "how about a little
present from England?"
Police find it hard to live on their pay
.... Wasn't it time to forget past pretensions to greatness
and start building a society in which the welfare of the
individual at last counted for something?
As ever, Russia seems unsure which path to take.
- 09:42am Mar 3, 2002 EST (#147
is a MASTERPIECE.
We need to get some stories straight and some facts
The world needs fictions - assumptions accepted, but not proved
-- because it couldn't do without them.
Systems of ideas, of course, are for more than just explanation.
They order and justify too.
But when assumptions are clearly fictions and clearly lead
to ugly results doesn't it make sense to reconsider, shape,
bend or replace, the assumptions?
If that were done more often, a lot might get better.
It is now pretty clear that "missile defense" as the
administration is proposing it is an expensive fiction.
But of course, in other ways, it is successful. It pays college
tuitions, funds families, buys all sorts of things for the people
who work on it . . . good things! But couldn't the people be doing
Don't we need to get some facts straight, and make some
We need to get some ideas straight, some facts straight, craft
some better stories - - may be possible.
But we need some better understandings than we have -- better
expositions, and in spots, there may have to be some force - the
moral kind that has practical consequences.
Some applications of the "golden rule" - an idea President Bush
supported in a speech last year -- would be useful, too. With enough
understanding of details so that reasonable applications of
the "golden rule" are possible.
- 10:02am Mar 3, 2002 EST (#148
So what is the story, and what are the facts?
We need to get some stories straight and some facts straight.
- 10:06am Mar 3, 2002 EST (#149
There may be many stories ... using the same 'facts' .. ?
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