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    Missile Defense

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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rshow55 - 03:43pm Mar 12, 2002 EST (#414 of 431) Delete Message

Anything you're denying, in terms of arguments or facts, in any particular articles?

almarst-2001 - 05:22pm Mar 12, 2002 EST (#415 of 431)

Crude is the central subject of the world politics. Washington came to the realization of that, when they launched the war in Afghanistan, the final goal of which was to gain entry to the republics of the former Soviet Union that are rich with crude and gas. -

rshow55 - 05:41pm Mar 12, 2002 EST (#416 of 431) Delete Message

Russia Assails U.S. Stance on Arms Reduction by MICHAEL WINES . . . . . describes a situation much more dangerous than the one Russian Foreign Minister Ivanov was hoping for in ORGANIZING THE WORLD TO FIGHT TERROR

almarst-2001 - 06:16pm Mar 12, 2002 EST (#417 of 431)

"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants." (Albert Camus)

rshow55 - 06:25pm Mar 12, 2002 EST (#418 of 431) Delete Message

And alibis count. They can be undermined with facts.

Before a diversion, manjumicha2001 said this:

" I agree with you that NMD is a program that is 50 years old and has proven to be terminally challenged by the laws of physics. Having said that, however, I do not believe the world turns based on merits alone."

MD399 rshow55 3/11/02 7:58pm ... MD400 lchic 3/11/02 8:03pm
MD401 manjumicha2001 3/12/02 12:18am ... MD402 rshow55 3/12/02 8:19am
MD403 rshow55 3/12/02 8:21am

Key points ! Note header.

rshow55 - 06:32pm Mar 12, 2002 EST (#419 of 431) Delete Message

MD404 manjumicha2001 3/12/02 11:50am . . . then raised a key question -- how to prove -- (in the sense of persuade) the hopelessness of current MD programs to the people who matter. Persuasion in courtrooms, problematic as it is, offers some of the best precedents.

Bias is an issue. For many, the MD programs work now -- they pay their salaries.

wrcooper - 09:43pm Mar 12, 2002 EST (#420 of 431)

From Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic Magazine, writing about Martin Gardner:

How can we tell if someone is a scientific crank? Gardner offers this advice: (1) "First and most important of these traits is that cranks work in almost total isolation from their colleagues." Cranks typically do not understand how the scientific process works--that they need to try out their ideas on colleagues, attend conferences, and publish their hypotheses in peer-reviewed journals before announcing to the world their startling discovery. Of course, when you explain this to them they say that their ideas are too radical for the conservative scientific establishment to accept. (2) "A second characteristic of the pseudo-scientist, which greatly strengthens his isolation, is a tendency toward paranoia," which manifests itself in several ways:

INDENTED QUOTE: (1) He considers himself a genius. (2) He regards his colleagues, without exception, as ignorant blockheads. (3) He believes himself unjustly persecuted and discriminated against. The recognized societies refuse to let him lecture. The journals reject his papers and either ignore his books or assign them to "enemies" for review. It is all part of a dastardly plot. It never occurs to the crank that this opposition may be due to error in his work. (4) He has strong compulsions to focus his attacks on the greatest scientists and the best-established theories. When Newton was the outstanding name in physics, eccentric works in that science were violently anti-Newton. Today, with Einstein the father-symbol of authority, a crank theory of physics is likely to attack Einstein. (5) He often has a tendency to write in a complex jargon, in many cases making use of terms and phrases he himself has coined.

We should keep these criteria at the forefront when we explore controversial ideas on the borderlands of science. "If the present trend continues, Gardner concludes, "we can expect a wide variety of these men, with theories yet unimaginable, to put in their appearance in the years immediately ahead. They will write impressive books, give inspiring lectures, organize exciting cults. They may achieve a following of one--or one million. In any case, it will be well for ourselves and for society if we are on our guard against them." So we still are, Martin. That is what skeptics do and in tribute for all you have done we shall continue to honor your founding command.

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