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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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(1710 previous messages)
- 04:00pm Apr 23, 2002 EST (#1711
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 http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/23/opinion/23KRUG.html
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 http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/23/opinion/23KRIS.html
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 http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/02/opinion/02KRUG.html
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
Mazza sometimes helps with this focusing, but . . . as I said in
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
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.
- 04:06pm Apr 23, 2002 EST (#1712
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 http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/10/magazine/10MILITARY.html
"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
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