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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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(788 previous messages)
- 08:22pm Mar 23, 2002 EST (#789
3/23/02 8:05pm . . should be much less of it. For that,
we need to understand more, and use more of what we already
Wonderful piece in the NYT today:
Debate? Dissent? Discussion? Oh, Don't Go There! By
MICHIKO KAKUTANI http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/23/arts/23STUD.html
It contains a lot of wonderful stuff -- I was struck especially
with this line:
" the Internet, which instead of leading to a
global village, has created a multitude of self-contained tribes -
niche cultures in which like-minded people can talk to like-minded
people and filter out information that might undermine their
That explains a great deal about how the optimistic, bouyant
argument in Thomas L. Friedman's The Lexus and the Olive Tree
falls short -- and the optimistic, simplistic claims for
"globalization" have fallen short. Friedman and many others didn't
think enough about the barriers to communication that the new
communication technologies do not strip away.
We have to think about them now.
When facts matter enough for practical reasons, and involve large
enough costs and risks to enough people, we have to find ways to
keep people from filtering out information that causes dangerous
misunderstandings. That doesn't have to happen too often - - but on
key issues of missile defense -- the costs and risks are high
enough. They are high enough in a number of other places, too.
For society to go on, people have to agree - and have to be
forced , if necessary, to obey certain rules. We have laws,
and must. People make no apologies about that, in many cases --
because it is necessary. On some key issues, where safety and
reasonable function demand it -- people are going have to be
forced to deal with the same information.
I think the last 30 posting on this thread have been especially
interesting. Especially MD766 almarst-2001
3/22/02 12:54pm and MD 771 rshow55
3/22/02 1:39pm which cites a challenge that gisterme
When groups of people can "filter out" key pieces of
information, the truth can be too weak, and results can be
We have to learn to do better than that - because we have
reason to know what incomprehension costs. TURNING AWAY FROM THE
HOLOCAUST by Max Frankel Nov 14, 2001 .. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/14/specials/onefifty/20FRAN.html
Survival, and much else we care about, rests in the balance.
When things are complicated enough, truth is our only hope of
finding our ways to decent solutions. That means we have to find
ways to keep people from "filter(ing) out information that might
undermine their views."
Challenge, questions, and invokation of the need for force:
3/20/02 7:58pm ... MD729 rshow55
Comment and response:
3/23/02 1:28am ... MD783-784 rshow55
- 08:36pm Mar 23, 2002 EST (#790
You'd think that the information in the March 13 OpEd Advertorial
, along with the fine references from good sources that accompany
it,, would destroy the "Star Wars" boondoggle. You'd think that the
information in this thread, and the responses of MD system
supporters would destroy "Star Wars." But it isn't going to happen
without some more force behind it.
Here, in its way, was a very forceful statement, by a man who is
a pillar of scientific and administrative accomplishment. A man with
other things to do besides write on missile defense.
Can Missile Defense Work? by Steven Weinberg http://www.nybooks.com/articles/15132
The New York Review of Books February 14, 2002 ... Weinberg
thinks that, in a weak sense, which he calls a "pure" sense, the
programs might work -- that is, meet unrealistically defined program
goals, rather than tactically interesting goals.
" . . In seeking to deploy a national missile
defense aimed at an implausible threat, a defense that would have
dubious effectiveness against even that threat, and that on
balance would harm our security more than it helps it, the Bush
administration seems to be pursuing a pure rather than applied
missile defenseó a missile defense that is undertaken for its
own sake, rather than for any application it may have in defending
our country. (emphasis added.)
Is this what you mean by work, gisterme ?
By sensible tactical standards, rather than "pure" standards. . .
the MD systems, no matter how many billions are squandered on them,
won't work at all. MD36 rshow55
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