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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 - 05:39pm Apr 8, 2002 EST (#1188 of 1196) Delete Message

New York Times Wins a Record Seven Pulitzer Prizes By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The New York Times won a record seven Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, including the public service award for "A Nation Challenged," a daily stand-alone section on the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the war in Afghanistan.

The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times each won two of journalism's most prestigious awards in a year when eight of the 14 prizes went to coverage of the attacks and their aftermath.

Half of the 14 prizes awarded, including the biggest !

Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced By Howard Kurtz Washington Post Staff Writer

The 2002 Pulitzer Prizes for Journalism By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Including the third Pulitzer prize for Thomas Friedman

Commentary: Thomas L. Friedman of The New York Times

Wow !

Thomas Friedman has expressed strong and repeated doubts about the responsiblity and even the sanity of this administration's missile defense proposals, and these statements have deeply influenced me. Maureen Dowd has as well. Last year, I cited Friedman's ideas and colums 92 times on this thread, and Dowd's tens of times. (MD8102 rshowalter 8/24/01 12:03pm ... MD8103 rshowalter 8/24/01 12:04pm

Almarst has criticised and reacted negatively to things written by Friedman on a number of occasions, objecting to things Friedman has said in columns, and also to the arguments in THE LEXUS AND THE OLIVE TREE . I've found the objections interesting, and fine examples of "paradigm conflict" -- and I've felt that almarst's objections have been constently interesting and important.

rshow55 - 05:42pm Apr 8, 2002 EST (#1189 of 1196) Delete Message

A posting of mine last year, directed to almarst , says some things about "community standards" - - and about The New York Times .

rshowalter - 10:06pm Apr 18, 2001 EST (#2391 of 2393) Robert Showalter

If only Putin was as perceptive as almarst_2001 he could figure out how to get Russia the empowering guidance that she needs.

Information flows are essential, and the information has to be checkable from many points of view.

For an effective society, that means a free and independent press in the ways that matter for information flow.

But this is clear. Accomodations made have to work for Russia whether they seem ideal or not to "kibbitzers" like us, standing far away and without responsibility.

rshow55 - 05:44pm Apr 8, 2002 EST (#1190 of 1196) Delete Message

rshowalter - 10:24pm Apr 18, 2001 EST (#2392 of 2393) Robert Showalter

Russia needs, and needs intensely, something that America has -- a sense of common culture that makes the society, when faced with a challenge, work as a coordinated and competent "team".

Years ago, I had the good fortune to be invited to testify before a Senate committee on technology - testifying on the uses of mathematical modeling as one of a number of aids to judgement ( I was glad to be able to do this, since my only formal math credential is a "D" that I got in baby calculus at as a Cornell University undergraduate.) And after the testimony, I was nominated to an Office of Technology Assessment committee on Innovation and Patent Policy -- a committee that was influential in decisions that led to a Patent Re-examination procedure , and the establishing of a Court of Patent Appeals -- changes that made patents worth more than before.

Anyway, as a committee, we ran amok -- because, though we were "packed" to represent conflicting interests, we agreed completely on what we felt needed to be done. And so we decided to go up to Capitol Hill, and talk to the responsible Senators, Representatives, and staffers. This was an outrageous thing for us to do, by some standards.

The head of OTA came in to talk to us, and try to dissuade us. (We paind careful attention to him, but we went ahead.)

Here is what he said:

" In this town, some think that it is all right to do anything that isn't specifically prohibited. But it isn't that easy. There is one standard, one test, that has to apply, to be effective in this town. You have to ask, of whatever you're going to do . . . .

" What would this look like, and how would it be judged, if it was written up, in detail, in THE NEW YORK TIMES? ( I noticed that, though we were in DC, the TIMES was the paper chosen.)

The man went on to emphasize that the point wasn't that our doings would be reported in the paper. The point was that there were community standards, about what was good function, and what wasn't, on which people with enough literacy and stature to be interested in reading the TIMES would agree. And these community standards made for orderly and effecive behavior, and were of compelling practical and moral force.

Russia needs to BUILD such standards -- in ways that work for Russia herself -- in ways that can stand the light of day in Russian terms --and by the standards of others as well. You need an effective journalism to do this -- and it has to be, in significant part, directed with the Russian national interest at heart (something that is assumed about the TIMES, and rightly, a paper that has a public role, though it happens to be in private hands.)

Russia needs to build community standards that are beautiful enough for her -- at least, far less ugly than the chaos often seen in Russia today.

Putin and his people need to see that these standards come into being, and that they are workable and right for Russia. To do this, an effective press is essential. And for the good of Russia, the information that press provides must, most often, be right. And very often checkable. Press freedom is going to be needed for that. For the vitality and crediblity of Russia, this is a vital matter indeed.

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