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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?
Read Debates, a
new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every
(1757 previous messages)
- 04:55pm Apr 25, 2002 EST (#1758
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.
- 05:09pm Apr 25, 2002 EST (#1759
Great pieces, lchic! http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/165xqyni.asp
. . . http://www.sacbee.com/content/lifestyle/story/2319783p-2747920c.html
. . the water ref, too! http://www.dundee.ac.uk/pressoffice/annualrep9900/world.htm
. . 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
. . 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,
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
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.)
- 05:10pm Apr 25, 2002 EST (#1760
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.")
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 http://www.psychohistory.com/
(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
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.
- 06:16pm Apr 25, 2002 EST (#1761
Yeah! We should consider the Palestinians pain. Just look how
caring they are to their own.
Rule of Law
How do you negotiate with this vermin?
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