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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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(1894 previous messages)
- 10:09am Apr 30, 2002 EST (#1895
Odds Are Stacked When Science Tries to Debate
Pseudoscience By LAWRENCE M. KRAUSS http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/30/science/30ESSA.html
Odds of success depend crucially on format, and with the formats
currently available and in use, closure simply isn't possible.
There are many, many problems in the world that can't be adressed
unless this is fixed. And there are no simple answers. But,
with currently available forms, there can be good answers.
If closure really matters, and if persuasion in a central issue,
cutting off contact isn't a fully satisfactory answer, to say the
For persuasion, status arguments only go so far, because there
are crucial differences of opionion about status. When it matter
enough (for instance, in jury trials) ways have to be found to say
"here -- look for yourself."
The rules of evidence, and challenges of presentation, involved
in saying "here - - - look for yourself" are large -- but for
some purposes, there is no choice, if answers matter enough.
Krauss's piece ends:
"Of course, as has once happened to me, you might
find yourself debating a U.F.O.-believing creationist. But you
can't win them all."
What happens when one is dealing with "missile defense boondoggle
believing" people - or anyone else with a stake in a system of
fictions - under the formats of a radio show? Format counts. Means
of checking to closure count.
To win when it counts, patterns of persuasion better than those
now in existence have to be found. I suspect that some of the best
experts about practical persuasion anywhere work for the New York
Sometimes questions are simple -- but sufficient answers are not.
For any specific missile defense program, these basic
Can it see the target?
Can it hit the target?
Can it hurt the target?
The answers are not simple.
And as of now, patterns of checking are nothing like sufficient.
Even at the New York Times.
- 10:10am Apr 30, 2002 EST (#1896
4/20/02 5:51pm asks more detailed questions connected to the
simple ones above, and continues:
These missile defense programs need to be evaluated in a
reasonable tactical context, subject to the countermeasures that can
reasonably be expected and specified.
For action, there would have to be "fights" about these questions
-- contractors, and the military, would have to be forced to contest
these issues. - Or accept anwers on a clear nolo contenre basis. If
world leaders wanted to bring this force to bear -- one way or
another -- it could be done -- and pretty gracefully. . . . .
Mechanisms for actually getting the questions above answered, in
ways that would be required for practical decision, have been
discussed on this thread for nearly a year, and in some detail
Challenge, questions, and invokation of the need for force:
3/20/02 8:58pm ... ... MD729 rshow55
3/20/02 9:37pm ...
Comment and response:
3/23/02 2:28am ... MD783-784 rshow55
Key technical background MD84 rshow55
I raised some related questions in MD1240 rshow55
4/10/02 6:45pm and there was some discussion in MD1242-1243 gisterme
4/11/02 1:55am . . . .MD1255- 1268 rshow55
4/11/02 7:32am , MD1281-1282 gisterme
4/12/02 3:00am , and in MD1290 rshow55
4/12/02 9:45am "gisterme" , MD thread's "Condoleezza Rice
"These "questions" that you've pronounced to be so
important seem to have little substance when exposed to the harsh
glare of reality."
Well then, why not subject them to a "harsh glare of reality"
sufficient to actually establish the key facts and relations? It is
in the national interest to do so. But there are very strong
military-industrial intersts, and usages, that are set up to
suppress discussion of the most key questions about system
How do these things get to closure ? That is a technical
question, and to a very large extent, a question about formats, and
rules. Current rules are falling short. Often, I'm falling short, as
well, but I've been working to get these points across.
- 10:14am Apr 30, 2002 EST (#1897
4/29/02 4:45pm . . . raises interesting points.
In the end, when it matters enough, people have to make decisions
for themselves, that THEY are comfortable with -- and it involves
"connecting the dots."
How those dots are connected matters a great deal.
Unless we find ways to get closure on facts and relations that
matter, more effectively than we do now, most of the most
ugly problems in the world will remain unsolved.
When people get their facts and relations straight, they do quite
well already. It is when they do not that things go terribly wrong.
- 10:19am Apr 30, 2002 EST (#1898
The engineer says 'explain your problem' and looks for a solution
Perhaps too few now realise that there IS still a NUKE
The practical take-down is an engineering problem - the decision
political ... and that takes LEADERSHIP!
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