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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 - 07:44pm Apr 21, 2002 EST (#1616 of 1634) Delete Message

These articles from the NYT adress questions of trust. We need to establish workable, practical patterns of trust. Often, that means that key questions of fact have to be checkable.


Once Bitten, Twice Shy By JANNY SCOTT

"In a world that seems so suddenly filled with suspicion - in the parish, in the workplace, among nations - can trust be recovered?"

United We Expand by Henry Fountain

Europe Has Problems, But Not Like America's. Maybe. By JOHN TAGLIABUE

After the Scandal, a Grim Thought: Can It Be Fixed? By MELINDA HENNEBERGER

We want our trust to be based on facts - - - not fictions -- and when we must live with uncertainty, we need to know it.

Sorting the Reality from the Virtual by John Schwartz ends with this line.

" If there's no way of establishing what is true . . . we're sunk."

We don't have to be "sunk" -- we are moving into times with new opportunities, that can make us both safer and more comfortable. But we're at an intermediate stage -- where new problems are arising along with our new powers -- and these problems aren't yet solved.

Magazine: Where Here See's There By GEORGE PACKER . . . " The world media machine has given us a global village - just not the expected one"

"By now everyone knows that satellite TV has helped deepen divisions in the Middle East. But it's worth remembering that it wasn't supposed to be this way.

"The globalization of the media was supposed to knit the world together. The more information we receive about one another, the thinking went, the more international understanding will prevail. . . . .

"But this technological togetherness has not created the human bonds that were promised. . . .

"In some ways, global satellite TV and Internet access have actually made the world a less understanding, less tolerant place. What the media provide is superficial familiarity -- images without context, indignation without remedy.

The technical togetherness provides necessary conditions for understanding, tolerance, and effective cooperation. Not sufficient conditions. We've got more to learn. Some key points concern context (there has to be enough for what people need to do) and cooperation and communication along a trust-distrust continuum.

I've been concerned about building stable peace, and cooperation, between groups that naturally and properly distrust each other, that are afraid of each other, and are very different. Distrust needs to be accomodated, acknowledged in a humanly workable context, and accomodated.

People can trust facts of mutual interest, and accomodate each other in ways complicated enough for safety and productive interaction, if the key facts can be checked.

The following postings talk about how real checking can be done, in the context set out in MD1076 rshow55 4/4/02 1:20pm :

Challenge, questions, and invokation of the need for force:
MD728 rshow55 3/20/02 8:58pm
... MD729 rshow55 3/20/02 9:32pm
MD730 rshow55 3/20/02 9:37pm

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