New York Times on the Web Forums Science
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
(1955 previous messages)
- 11:24am May 2, 2002 EST (#1956
Plenty of oversimplification, blindness to complexity, and
tendency to arrogant judgementalism - - lots of places. But we're
gaining the means to handle and explain complexity,
and to show the consequences of oversimplification, about context
and about consequences.
People like lchic are showing what can be done - and having
Some days (maybe it is hormones, I'm not sure) - I wake up, look
around, and smile. Are things hopeful? Is it possible that some
things can get much better? Sometimes, ugliness, horror and all, it
seems to me that there's a lot of reason for hope.
Nobody could hope to "solve all the worlds problems" -- but would
it be practical to go a long way toward solving some of the biggest
ones? I think maybe it is, and that some things on this thread are
showing "prototypes" of how some things can be practically improved.
I'm pleased about some of the things that are happening, at the
level of negotiation structure, in the middle east. By making
conversation much less restrictive, and providing reasonable
structure, including complexity when it needs to be there -- deals
too complex to close before, even too complex to see clearly before,
may be understood, to the level where people agree about facts, and
what the possibilities and necessities of the situation are. And
U.S. Contemplates Next Moves as Threat of New Violence
Looms by Karen DeYoung, Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday,
May 2, 2002; Page A http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18173-2002May1.html
"Since last week's Bush-Abdullah meeting, the
Saudi and U.S. governments have been in near-constant contact with
each other. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Faisal, who has
remained in Houston, speaks with Powell several times a day,
"White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Bush
believed the Saudis were playing a "very constructive role" in the
region. But he said that current Middle East diplomacy "involves
multiple conversations on multiple levels" and that it was
"oversimplistic" to say that the Saudis had taken on a special
I hope people remember that, when things are coming into
convergence, there are prodigiously large word counts. Then
there is a need to clarify, classify, organize, and condense
- so that everyone who has to can understand the things (including
the meanings, and multiple disagreements about words) on which
effective agreements depend.
The internet can handle the high word counts - in places as
public or restricted as they need to be.
With staffing, the internet provides new technical means that
can also display the classifications, organizations, and
clarifications that are worth setting out. By doing so, it can
accomodate and make visable both where people agree, and where they
I hope that when negotiators think they have "a meeting of the
minds" they take the trouble to use internet resources to make
clear what people intend - using words, pictures, graphs,
numbers - multiple views -- whatever it takes. Costs of this work
are real, but fairly moderate. When it matters enough for people to
be clear about facts - they can be clear -- and can refer to common
5/1/02 10:51am ... MD1935 rshow55
Could we learn to make wars much less likely, and, when
they do occur, much less costly?
It seems practical that we could, if we worked at it, and we
could do it soon.
- 01:10pm May 2, 2002 EST (#1957
If you're suggesting that lchic's rude crude behavior is a
contribution, well as the target of these puerile, (oops lchic that
is Latin for CHILDISH!), proddings I can't agree.
lchic how was May Day for you? Burn any synagogues? March for
LePen? Pick your nose?
- 01:31pm May 2, 2002 EST (#1958
Mazza, not everybody is a perfect, as graceful, and as balanced
as you are. Still, people make progress, and sometimes there's hope.
Even for folks who haven't joined "toastmasters".
Advertorial: Hydrogen: promise and challenge http://www2.exxonmobil.com/files/corporate/020502.pdf
"Hydrogen vehicles may become an important part of
our energy future if known problems can be overcome."
Large scale solar energy as an approach:
4/5/02 8:40pm ... MD1194 rshow55
4/10/02 9:59am ... MD1236 rshow55
- 01:34pm May 2, 2002 EST (#1959
A Russian Role in NATO http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/02/opinion/_02THU2.html
"A productive partnership between Russia and NATO
could powerfully reinforce President Vladimir Putin's efforts to
reorient Russia's foreign policy toward the United States and
If the Russians and the other members of EU and NATO can use the
communication, definition, focusing resources now possible -- a lot
of good things could be worked out - and a lot of nonsense,
injustice, and lying ruled out.
Including nonsense about "missile defense" -- and other
boondoggles and excesses that the US, without aid of discussion from
other powers, may not be able to sort out for itself.
New York Times on the Web Forums Science