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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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(1149 previous messages)
- 12:23pm Apr 6, 2002 EST (#1150
- "America spends a staggering 40% of all the money the world
spends on defence. The Pentagon's budget is now over ten times that
of the next biggest military spender in NATO (Britain). "
- 12:39pm Apr 6, 2002 EST (#1151
Not even the Americans know.
Japan offers a clarifying analogy here, I believe.
Japan, with US guidance, set up a sociotechnical system, with
careful rules and, within a certain pattern, checks and balances.
For a time, it was THE great success story of Asia.
But a time came where the rules and patterns themselves started
generating terrible decisions -- groups got themselves into
cul-de-sacs - under rules where they couldn't turn around --
couldn't admit mistakes, couldn't change what had to be changed --
and for a decade, Japan has been an amazing example of an economy
and society disappointing to its citizens, and to others.
The United States military, and the military-industrial-political
complex, have gotten themselves in a mess -- in some ways "honestly"
-- in some ways not honestly at all - - and the "system" is
slambanging into disaster, setting up unnecessary fights and pain,
and wasting astounding amounts of resources.
In my view, the United States, alone, can't fix some of its key
problems unless other nation states ask some key questions - - and
force some answers. Answers that would be distinctly in the interest
of the United States as a nation -- but which, as of now, the US is
incapable of getting alone, as it is.
Some of the biggest problems are "simple" once one finally
understands some key truths, which may be distasteful to look at.
The case of Enron is an example. In The Great Divide http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/29/opinion/29KRUG.html
, Paul Krugman suggests that we're at "the ending an era of
laxity." To some extent, in ways that are a credit to the United
States (and the New York Times) I think that's proven to be true.
But we've got farther to go.
The question "what for?" needs to be answered about US
military policy - including missile defense, nuclear weapons, and
much else. Problems Bill Casey was terribly concerned about remain
problems -- and there need to be workable answers - in a workably
true context. I've been trying to lay some groundwork toward that -
and have sometimes had an anxious time while doing so.
- 04:47pm Apr 6, 2002 EST (#1152
4/5/02 10:54pm . . asks
So who were your investors on the project with
Cline? and how old are you now?
I'll be 54 this month. If someone were interested, for a reason
they could explain to me, I would get them a list of my investors in
the "Automotive Engine Associates" project, which went on (depending
on accounting, but with carry-over of investors) between 1971 and
1984. And any background that might interest them, with ways to
crosscheck much of it. Major investors and supporters were The Johns
Hopkins University (I dealt a good deal with the Vice Provost of
that time, Richard Zdanis), the Wisconsin Alumnae Research
Foundation of the University of Wisconsin, and a some very fine
people, some of whom I cared about a great deal as associates and
friends. All of these people were honest, careful, and loyal. It was
an honor to know them, and I wish, not only for selfish reason, but
personally, that I could have done much better by them. Investers
around the Madison Wisconsin area are a fair cross-section of the
"establishment" in the area - and two of my largest investors, and
for a time, close friends, were Frederick Mohs, an attorney and
Regent of the University of Wisconsin, and John Petersen III, who
chairs the committee that looks over the pension funds for the State
For a time, the partnership employed Thomas J. Feaheny. formerly
V.P., Engineering, Ford Motor Company, as well as Steve Kline, who
took a half time leave from his Stanford professorship to work on
the project. In the bankrupcy, in 1984, Steve lost over 40,000
dollars in accrued salary, and I was most grateful that, from 1989
to the time of his death in 1997, he spent so much time working with
me without pay.
I'm willing, if anyone has a reason to want to know, to discuss
anything involved with the bankrupcy, and make all reasonably
retrievable papers available.
I'd be glad to explain anything and everything about that
partnership, and what it set out to do, to anyone who has a reason
to want to pursue that matter for any honest purpose. I'm prepared
to take some personal risks to do so. If there was any good reason
to do it, I'd include details of the work that, in the early days of
the AEA venture, was of interest to the government for military
reasons. Some of the research was looking for, and sometimes found,
answers that had both military and automotive purposes. If a
reporter asked, I'd cooperate any way I could, and believe that
others involved would, too. My phone number is 608-829-3657 I can be
reached by email at email@example.com
I asked myself who I'd want to talk to about this, if by some
chance someone at the TIMES were interested. I'd be honored to talk
to any NYT reporter. A name that occurs to me especially, that might
not occur to others, is Rick Bragg. I have an idea that he's a hard
man to lie to.
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