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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 - 04:55pm Apr 25, 2002 EST (#1758 of 1805) Delete Message

Clean water with low enough salinity to drink and use otherwise is another matter. Current desalination schemes that had decent throughputs, last time I checked, used about 200 x more energy for desalinization than thermodynamics requires -- so there's room for progress here. I think, with a lot fewer engineering resources than those being wasted on "missile defense" we could move a LOT of the way toward the thermodynamic limit -- and make the whole world (especially the world of the Arabs) a much more livable place.

rshow55 - 05:09pm Apr 25, 2002 EST (#1759 of 1805) Delete Message

Great pieces, lchic! . . . . . the water ref, too! . . For "connecting the dots" you're a marvel!

Hatred of the city .. . of the mass media . . of science and technology -- prudence . . . liberty . . . the emancipation of women . . .

In additions, shame. Sexual shame. Shame at having failed to modernize.

. . at the same time, hungers for the good things we have -- a conflicted hatred, twisted and based on falsehoods believed with that special passion that comes from a need to deny painful, shameful truths.

The "Islamist fanatic" is in an unstable conceptual world -- and if the anger is very high now, the fictions are especially fragile, because of all the detailed information from the internet, and the media - making it harder and harder to deny certain patterns of fact.

To deal with many details on which patterns of hatred depend, we need to be able to show the truth. To do this, it is very important that we be honest ourselves. Not only can we afford to be honest - - it is our best defense - and our best way of fighting the hatred. (If we, as a culture, tell some lies, the Islamic cultures tell MANY more.)

rshow55 - 05:10pm Apr 25, 2002 EST (#1760 of 1805) Delete Message

Issues of shame are especially interesting, because the "moral indignation" of the Islamic fanatics often masks some very, very ugly facts. (In N. Pakistan, and much of Afghanistan, child molestations, according to sources I've read, is commonplace, and only about a third of the population even judges it as "wrong.")

MD648 rshow55 3/17/02 7:45pm includes a reference that is somewhat obscurem but that I find powerful, credible, and wrenching.

THE UNIVERSALITY OF INCEST by Lloyd DeMause at (scroll down to article)

THE UNIVERSALITY OF INCEST makes bracing reading, but if it is as credible as I suspect it is, ought to give people sentimental about the "inherent goodness or mankind" pause.

When I read DeMause, I thought this --- if what he says is true, the catalepsy of some countries and cultures - - including Islamic cultures - their inability to show the economic growth one would expect, may be in large part due to having such a huge framework of lies and brutal usages, that there is just not the common ground, and respect for truth, that the complex cooperation of modern economic life takes.

. . . .

If they lied less, on all sorts of subjects, they might be able to succeed in kinds of complex cooperation where they now fail. We should ask them to lie less - - use information to force them to lie less.

That means that we should lie less ourselves. In a world where honor counts for so much, boondoggles like the "missile defense" fiasco are even more costly than they first appear.

We're in situations complicated enough that truth is not only our best hope -- it is often our only hope.

mazza9 - 06:16pm Apr 25, 2002 EST (#1761 of 1805)
Louis Mazza

Yeah! We should consider the Palestinians pain. Just look how caring they are to their own.

Palestinian Rule of Law

How do you negotiate with this vermin?


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