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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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(1625 previous messages)
- 07:58pm Apr 21, 2002 EST (#1626
lunarchick - 09:45pm Aug 24, 2001 EST (#8118 of 8127) . . .
So much American commentary re the progress of Bwsh is theatre
critique. Just for interest, i'd like those Texan_Kids to sit around
in a studio and discuss this Sheild matter. I wonder what concepts
each individually had of the Sheild - from their diverse backgounds,
pre Bwsh peptalk ... had they heard of it? Wonder what they
understood when Bwsh put the policy matter to them. Wonder how
they'd relate it, if they'd understand anything at all. Wonder how
many come from paid up members of Greenpeace families. Wonder if
they'd be more entertaining on The News Hour than the Bwshophile
from the Wall Street j :)
If the kids made their stock-in-trade paper aeroplanes to launch
around the studio .. would they see, in the practical sense, the
shortcomings of the paper tiger?
almarst-2001 - 09:50pm Aug 24, 2001 EST (#8119 of 8127)
There is a wide-spread suspicion in Russia that a real aim of the
NMD is to ensure the US military domination.
The good will toward the West was lost when the bombs started
falling on Serbia.
- 07:59pm Apr 21, 2002 EST (#1627
- - - - - - four days later - - -
rshowalter - 05:35pm Aug 28, 2001 EST (#8211 of 8214) . . .
Robert Showalter firstname.lastname@example.org
From Envisioning Information by Eward R. Tufte, p. 50
" We thrive in information-thick worlds because
of our marvelous and everyday capacities to select, edit, single
out, structure, highlight, group, pair, merge, harmonize,
synthesize, focus, organize, condense, reduce, boil down, choose,
categorize, classify, list, abstract, scan, look into, idealize,
isolate, discriminate, distinguish, screen, pidgeonhole, pick
over, sort, integrate, blend, inspect, filter, lump, skip, smooth,
chunk, average, approximate, cluster, aggregate, outline,
summarize, itemize, review, dip into, flip through, browse, glance
into, leaf through, skim, refine, enumerate, glean, synopsize,
winnow the wheat from the chaff, and separate the sheep from the
Since so many ways of seeing and connecting to information are
possible, how are people to agree?
Especially when people have different basic beliefs, different
interests, and come from different backgrounds and assumptions, both
intellectual and emotional?
At one level, people will NEVER agree about everything on any
complex subject such as missile defense, and it would be both
unrealistic and inhuman to ask them to, or force them to.
At the same time, different people, with different views, have to
cooperate in ways that fit human and practical realities, and it
often works. It happens because, in areas where accomodation occurs,
there are common bodies of fact , that people may feel differently
about, but about which they agree in operational terms. So that
people can be "reading from the same page" -- and with the pages
We need some islands of technical fact to be determined,
beyond reasonable doubt, or in a clear context.
We need those "islands" to be clear, at a level beyond
politics - - at a level where people with very different interests
and feelings can refer to "the same page" - and a page including
points that can be both widely understood, and widely trusted.
Unless we can get these "islands of technical fact" we're
very unlikely to reach good decisions. And the human stakes, and the
stakes for the whole world, are high enough that we need good
Moreover these facts have to be understandable to, and persuasive
to, the people actually involved , with the ways of thinking they
actually have, the interests they actually have, the feelings that
they actually have, and the level of knowledge and attention that
they can actually bring to bear.
It isn't possible to get "everything" that clear on a complex
subject -- or even most things. But getting a few key things clear
would help a lot.
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