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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 (16723 previous messages)

rshow55 - 04:33am Nov 7, 2003 EST (# 16724 of 16729)
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.

In self defense, I think it right to post these letters now. If that is "bad manners" - there have surely been plenty of bad manners in postings over past weeks from bluestar23 and cantabb .

October 26, 2003

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. Publisher THE NEW YORK TIMES

Dear Mr. Sulzberger:

I appreciate your time in looking at this email. It includes some links that you could look at if you were interested - but at your level, need not examine .

My name is Robert Showalter - rshow55 on the New York Times Science - Missile Defense talk thread.

The Science - Missile Defense thread is an exceptional thread in many ways. It is big - it has gone on since early 2000 and has included 27,000 posts. It prints out to about 120 inch-and-a-half thick notebooks of text . Much of that thread is archived and organized at , along with summaries and coordinated work.

Setting aside my own work on the Missile Defense thread, the thread represents a great deal of sustained effort from some literate and journalistically savvy people. Many of these people seem to be NYT staff people, judging from what they say. The thread also includes two posters, gisterme and almarst -who seem to have functioned as "stand-ins" for US government and Russian leaders since 2000. - - - 207

It is hard for me to look at the thread and not guess that it represents something in excess of $100,000 of sunk cost to the TIMES - and perhaps some NYT brand exposure, as well. The NYT Missile Defense thread has sometimes been called - the "Robert Showalter show" - I've posted extensively there, and I'm grateful for the exposure. At the same time, the thread has been something of a prison to me - for exceptional reasons known to your organization. I'd appreciate a chance to leave that "prison" - under circumstances that will accentuate the positive and eliminate some negatives - rather than have to leave it "mangled and spun dry". I'd be grateful for help in doing that.

At your level, the big decision, that it seems only you can make, is whether or not a NYT representative will talk to me face to face.

There's been a good deal of discussion on the Missile Defense thread about my circumstances. A poster who has posted extensively, and who readers of the thread might guess was affiliated with the NYT - suggested that I take the matter up with you. Yesterday cantabb posted this:

"And, had you written THAT "short" "well-crafted" letter to him and called him, as you had been planning to do, you would have returned from NYC by now, after a visit to CIA, FBI, Rummy, GW, Rice and the whole gang-- and their stand-ins."

I don't hope for anything so extensive as cantabb suggests, and better late than never.

I'd like to meet face to face with someone on the NYT masthead for at least a few minutes, before being referred "down the line" to sort out something that ought to be simple, set out in 15667-9 Of course I'd be honored to have a chance to meet you - but I know you're probably too busy. I'd be grateful for a chance to meet with Janet L. Robinson or Thomas K. Carley, or anyone else you'd suggest.

A tremendous amount of my effort on the Missile Defense board has been to solve TECHNICAL problems of negotiating stable outcomes to "games" and negotiations, including those that result in wars, that involve complexity, competition, cooperation and high emotional stakes. These problems have been major barriers to prog

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