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 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  /

    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?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (16631 previous messages)

cantabb - 11:36am Nov 6, 2003 EST (# 16632 of 16664)

rshow55 - 11:16am Nov 6, 2003 EST (# 16629 of 16630)

I have some ideas. There are some things I'm very clear about - and I'm much less clear about some others.

Nothing unusual, is it ?

Both lchic and I have many motives - as you'd expect for full human beings.

Yeah, some you're "clear about" and some "less" so.

I would like to be able to set up something very much like AEA again - and do it honestly - and work with Lchic in that format. I'd like to be able to do that with people involved in AEA fully informed, and satisfied to the extent that was reasonably possible.

Go do it, if you think you can !

Is this your motive ?

In ways that were reasonably satisfactory to my wife, her husband, the New York Times, other members of families involved, the federal government, and other people more-or-less connected. In ways that most people at the UN, if they happened to notice, might think fair. To get those things done, lchic's identity has to be clear - and what she's done, and why, also needs to be clarified in some ways.

Back to the same set of self-defeating conditions, eh ?

Your 'plans' are your own, nothing to do with NYT, federal government and UN ! As to lchic's affiliation and her motives, no body knows. May be just to "partner" with you ?

I'm absolutely clear of this. Lchic and I are partners, and have been for years now - and the partnership has been a vital part of my life - as my partnership for many years with Steve Kline was a vital part of my life. My partnership with Steve was more convenient and conventional in a number of ways because Steve was male.

You mentioned this dozens of times. NO significance or relevance, here ?

I'm absolutely clear about something else. Lchic is the most valuable mind, in the ways that matter to me, of anyone "that I've never been near". We've gotten close in ways that count, just the same. And she is academically and intellectually as ambitious, and as solidly grounded, as anyone I've ever known or known about.

THAT is your personal opinion. I am not blind to the reciprocity. Nothing to do with the Forum or the "average readers of NYT."

She worries about 'world peace and stability' a very great deal, too.

ASK her to join the back of untold millions around the world, including some in Australia.

"Can [you & lchic] do a better job of finding truth?"

YES, perhaps, IF it comes out of a "dispenser" after pressing the RED flashing button marked in bold, "TRUTH" ! Till then dream on...

rshow55 - 12:36pm Nov 6, 2003 EST (# 16633 of 16664)
Can we do a better job of finding truth? YES. Click "rshow55" for some things Lchic and I have done and worked for on this thread.

Comments on Cantabb's comments

Cantabb: "Back to the same set of self-defeating conditions, eh ?"

I think they are essential conditions for a working relationship. And conditions that have to be accomodated in an arrangement that can be stabilized. That looks possible to me - but it is another example of a kind of problem I've been working on here -- The question is how you produce a "win win" solution under circumstances where negative sum outcomes are also possible, and instabilities are a problem.

My guess is that's a problem that interests "the average reader of the NYT. "

Cantabb: "Your 'plans' are your own, nothing to do with NYT, federal government and UN !

They are connected in the ways they happen to be - in the particular circumstances involved.

I said "My partnership with Steve was more convenient and conventional in a number of ways because Steve was male."

Cantabb: You mentioned this dozens of times. NO significance or relevance, here ?

For interpersonal relations that work - things that actually matter have to be accomodated - especially when, for basic reasons, stakes and emotions are high.

There's a strong argument for confidentiality - and for decouplings that say " X has nothing to do with Y " - and for "iron walls" - a quote from MIT deals with the point.

" Reviews of this nature are time consuming because of their thoroughness and their complexity. They are also confidential for the simple reason that the reputations of the individuals are at stake. Unless and until it is determined that the allegations are justified, it would be unfair to comment on any aspect of the review. Furthermore, public comments before the facts are known might damage the review itself.

" MIT will continue to honor the confidentiality of the inquiry because of our commitment to due process and fundamental fairness."

One can give much weight to those considerations - and still worry about issues of logical structure and manipulation. Under the usages MIT is using - it makes some sense to think about logical analogs of the

Interactive Graphic: How the Partnerships Worked available at

If people can have private conversations that others know nothing about - and wish to manipulate the picture to be presented of a circumstance - there are as many ways to bend the truth as Enron found to shuffle accounting - and more. These shell games have to be subject to some checking - if anything is to be checkable at all - and if any really complex cooperative sequences are to be consistently constructable.

There are strong arguments for confidentiality and social fictions. There are very strong arguments for openness , too. You need both stances - and reasonable decisions about how to switch from one to the other - that people can agree on well enough to do their work and work together.

There's no contradiction at all - but it takes care.

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 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  / Missile Defense