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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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(1423 previous messages)
- 04:36pm Apr 17, 2002 EST (#1424
Now I think you're being the idealist.
People, to live together without fighting, have to be able to
communicate. They need to be "reading off the same page" - -
"connecting the same dots" - - - and issues that have to be settled
for the complex cooperation close, interconnected living takes have
to be discussed - - discussed honestly -- and discussed to
closure that works well enough for the cooperation that is actually
Things are a long way from that.
People (as individuals and groups) fight - - and are prepared
kill and to sacrifice their own lives -- rather than agree to a
situation that they cannot imagine for themselves, and for their
group, as they are.
Arrangements have to be made, that work for the parties involved,
that are livable -- not a series of fights waiting to happen -- and
certain to happen.
Separate states might work - I think they could work -- and on
terms that Friedman and many Palestinians and Arabs agree about (at
A wholesale elimination of misunderstanding and hatred, much as
it might be desirable in an abstract sense, seems to me to be an
"inhuman" solution -- for the real, feeling, lying, human beings
It seems to me that for any peace, there has to be more
communication, and less lying, on both sides, than exists in the
- 04:45pm Apr 17, 2002 EST (#1425
In my opinion, and the opinion of a lot of other people, Friedman
is a genius, and one of the most productive working intellectuals in
the United States. You've had many objections to his work, and I
know some are passionate objections. We discussed some of them at
length last year, with respect to Friedman's The Lexus and the
Olive Tree which was subtitled "Understanding
Globalization" and might well have been subtitled
I think some of the worst things you can say about Friedman, and
some of the best, are on display in that book. As an incomplete set
of ideas -- that book was very good -- and if problems that Friedman
did not adress had not intervened - some of the very good,
optimistic results Friedman predicted would have happened. They
didn't because, though the technical barriers to communication are
vastly less than they used to be -- the human barriers to
communication - and the human failings -- remain.
Even so, when Friedman says something hopeful and specific
- - it is likely to be worth very careful consideration. It is also
likely to be incomplete -- and if there are problems Friedman
doesn't take into account -- those problems have to be surmounted.
A lot of people, including major Arab leaders, listen hard to
Friedman. It seems to me that they are right to do so.
Friedman thinks that breakthrough ideas can often be important
and constructive. I agree with him. Of course, they have to be
right, and checked.
- 04:56pm Apr 17, 2002 EST (#1426
" I see the World with much more cynical and
critical eyes. I see that the ultimate Truth is dictated by the
prevealing Force. As suitable. That there is no such thing as
MORALITY above the position of street-cleaner. For better or
Morality makes a great deal of difference. But what is "moral"
depends on facts and relations that are believed . That puts
a great burden of responsibility on the press.
The United States is an old country, politically, and many of our
ideals trace back to the early days, where people, though often
hypocritical in some ways, sometimes made good sense in others.
Thomas Jefferson felt that if only a country had a strong,
independent press -- people would almost always make pretty
reasonable decisions. In fact, that's often true. We've been talking
a lot about limitations on that idea, in a "culture of lying" built
to weaken the ability of the press to tell the truth. But there may
be hope of progress - especially since there is now an enormous
amount of communication between different countries, and different
press organizations, all over the world.
Sometimes, morality counts for a great deal, and people behave
very well. The NYT has often been involved in such cases. A lot of
problems DO get pretty well solved, step by step. Some aspects of
the ENRON case show examples.
It may be that the risks of carnage from war are going down
significantly, right now, it seems to me.
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