New York Times on the Web Forums
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?
Read Debates, a
new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every
(586 previous messages)
- 05:56pm Mar 15, 2002 EST (#587
"Did the Soviet Union achieve the "new Soviet Man"? Was the
NAZI search for the true "Aryan" successful?"
It is absolutly wrong, in my view, to put Soviets and NAZI in the
same basket. I expected anyone to know the difference.
I can tell nothing about NAZIs.
The Soviets had a very limited success at a very high price. Same
can be claimed about any extream Religious movement. As, for
example, the Inquisition.
"The US system is based on Hobbes' philosophy of man's
In reality, it rather EXPLOITS it. A big difference!
And I found a degree of ideological brain washing in US at least
on-pair with what I experienced in the Soviet Union. Much worst then
in today's Russia or Israel for example. But here it is done in a
more sophisticated, albeit much costlier, way.
The ideological endocrination does not lead to better man. Nor do
the "pushed from above" Values.
But there are plenty the society can do. It would be helpfull to
teach at schools more Philosophy, Ethics, Estetics, History and
Geography, Foreign Languages and Cultures, Poetry and Music, Child
Education and Development. The things, even the best Computer
Graphics can't improve. Not to mention the football;)
- 05:56pm Mar 15, 2002 EST (#588
In the last presidential election, the victorious minority backed
Bush, in significant part, because he was not taking an anti-faith
position. In matters of public policy and public polity, we need
not, and should not, be hostile toward religion, especially in an
area involving last and final things. Nuclear weapons policy is
an area where religious people HAVE to be interested, if they are to
be morally consistent at all. almarst-2001
Anyone who has the courage to look at facts ought to be
interested, if she has any human concern at all.
I hope that "priests" in Hobbes' sense do study this matter.
If there are moral imperatives dictating the getting or honest
and right answers anywhere in society, there are imperatives here.
Many religious people agree about the seriousness of the
situation, and are willing to speak about it. I've posted one sermon
on the subject, , but MANY other references could be given.
And many secular people do, as well.
Essentially everybody knows how great the danger is, but nobody
wants to think about it, because it seems that we are in an
But with the change of a few false assumptions to true ones, and
some care in dealing with the real human beings involved, we can
find a much better, safer, more beautiful solution to this ugly
mess, which could quite easily destroy the world, and which stains
rshowalter "How the Brain Works" 2/25/01 3:27pm (now in a hidden
archive) contains this passage:
Groups of people go forward, on the basis of
assumptions that are, based on knowledge available, entirely
reasonable. But a time comes when the assumptions can be shown,
beyond reasonable doubt, to be wrong in some decisive way. If
people see no way to stop the work and the patterns they've been
engaged in, they ignore the fact that they are no longer acting
reasonably, and ignore the problem. I believe that, in the history
of the nuclear terror, and in the history of the neurosciences,
misakes such as this, which are only human, have been,
nonetheless, very expensive.
And can be expensive again. .
We need to find ways where it is easier for people to figure out
"right things" to do, and easier for the people involved to actually
- 06:03pm Mar 15, 2002 EST (#589
3/15/02 5:56pm I agree with what you say could be helpful.
But a major problem is that, on key points - the answers are not
yet available - - - though they may not be so far away
3/5/02 11:25am quotes Roosevelt, from the draft of a speech
he didn't live long enough to give:
" Today, we are faced with the pre-eminent fact
that, if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science
of human relationships --- the ability of all peoples, of all
kinds, to live together and work together in the same world, at
In key areas, even now, the "science of human relationships"
fails. It is not only a moral failing - it is an intellectual
failing - and existing ideas, as they stand, don't suffice.
- 06:18pm Mar 15, 2002 EST (#590
I was talking to the editor of a scientific journal on that
subject just yesterday - - - we were thinking that people have to
LEARN more - to reduce and prevent war - in some ways there are
analogies to the fact that we need to LEARN more to further reduce
and prevent cancer.
But we already know a lot -- and we know that if the US Military
Industrial Complex is committed to an endless "war of all against
all" -- that's crazy and dangerous and stupid.
If we knew more, we could do better than the best we can do now.
But we can surely do better than that.
In the case of Kissinger, and his many colleagues at CSIS,
Friedman's quote saying that Kissinger can "make Machiavelli seem
like one of the angels of mercy" is worth remembering.
3/2/02 6:21am ... MD64 lchic
3/2/02 6:41am ... MD66 rshow55
New York Times on the Web Forums