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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 - 04:00pm Apr 23, 2002 EST (#1711 of 1712) Delete Message

Sometimes issues of context matter a great deal. Things get fixed, a piece at a time, specifically in a specific context. When people have information. I just searched and reread entries to "Krugman" and "Kristoff" in this thread.

Krugman and Kristoff have done a tremendous amount of good work, that I've found inspiring.

Krugman's work on the importance of facts is wonderful, I think -- and The Angry People is a fine example. Different people care about different things -- have different priorities. But if people lie less, and get misled less -- even with very different interests - a lot more reasonable could be worked out, and a lot of the most ugly things in the world would be corrected. Better checking of facts would reduce the effectiveness of lies and fictions - and it is technically easier than it used to be.

Kristoff's A Slave's Journey in Sudan makes a point about morality that is important and compelling -- and not distracting if you believe, as Kristoff does, that you have to weigh, and count. Weigh and count in terms of things as they are, taking care to find out the truth, in a context that can be checked.

To find solutions, it is necessary to "connect the dots" -- the title of Connect the Dots by PAUL KRUGMAN

MD1055 rshow55 4/4/02 7:54am sets out a series of postings, on this thread, that I hope have helped to focus the need for "connecting the dots" -- the need for collecting facts, in space and time, so that coherent patterns can focus, not to be believed too easily - but to be checked.

Mazza sometimes helps with this focusing, but . . . as I said in MD329 rshow55 3/10/02 3:03pm

Mazza, I believe that the level of coherence and respect for evidence almarst has shown far, far exceeds yours. Your purpose, almost always - is to distract, and defocus the coherent.

It is always possible to impede a "connecting of the dots" -- and distraction can be very effective when done by professionals. For some facts, including simple ones about missile defense, there need to be umpires.

rshow55 - 04:06pm Apr 23, 2002 EST (#1712 of 1712) Delete Message

If enough people recognized how strange our military-industrial-political complex is, and how many assumptions - some horrible, some silly, it is based on - - the United States, and other countries, might come to some better decisions.

Almarst has asked me about the military-industrial complex. Last month, the print part of the NYT Magazine had this lead:

. "3.10.02 In this week's issue, two lumbering, bureaucratic dinosaurs -- the Coca-Cola Company and the United States armed forces --- wrestle with institutional intertia and an uncertain, occasionally terrifying future. . . . . . . . Inside the Pentagon, as Bill Keller explains, the beleaugered theorists in the Pentagon's new Office of Force Transformation are up against defense contractors who "have so thoroughly dispersed their subcontracts" that no congressman can oppose these outdated weapons systems. As the defense budget grows and battlefield tactics shift, our nation's primary strategic enemy, Keller writes, may not turn out to be not Al Queda terrorists but "the vested-interest politics and sclerotic culture governing military affairs. The Fighting Next Time (video):

"Connecting of the dots" would be both practical and effective if real leaders, with real power, wanted it to be.

If they asked for the focusing, it would happen, and attract enough attention to make a differnce.

It seems to me that this focusing is more likely than it used to be.

MD329 rshow55 3/10/02 3:03pm

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