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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 (16724 previous messages)

rshow55 - 04:34am Nov 7, 2003 EST (# 16725 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.

( continued ) These problems have been major barriers to progress in international relations and commerce.

The NYT editorial page often asks diplomats to arrange things that they do not know how to do technically. I think that if you'd authorize someone at NYT to meet with me - we're quite close to a situation where general and simple solutions to this class of problems can be demonstrated and explained so that they can be solved routinely and practically. With a model of the kind of solution needed in general worked out - in the presence of a record that I believe many people and organizations can and will learn from.

The question is how you produce a "win win" solution under circumstances where negative sum outcomes are also possible, and instabilities are a problem. Currently, such circumstances result in stasis, unnecessary losses, and wars.

I know that this is an unusual request - but the thread itself is unusual - and represents a large enough investment and enough complications and potential risks that a sorting out seems in order - in everybody's interest. The thread embodies the hard work and hopes of many NYT people. I hope to do everything I can to make the interaction between me and the TIMES a positive sum game.

I'm hoping that the Missile Defense thread - after a meeting and an exchange of short letters, will clearly demonstrate how to solve the TECHNICAL problems of negotiating stable outcomes to complex games involving both competition and cooperation. In a case big enough to study, but not too big. With real stakes, but not stakes too high to permit intelligent function of intelligent people.

I believe that the work done on the Missile Defense board, which has plainly been an expense to The New York Times, should be a credit to The New York Times, not a source of problems. An investment of time and good faith worthwhile for the Times in terms of both status and money for the times.

I'll call your secretary monday morning at 11:00 ET to see if there is someone I can contact to discuss this. I hope we can arrange a meeting. I'd be honored to recieve your call to me at any time at 608 - 829-3657 or you may contact me by email at this address.


M. Robert Showalter

M. Robert Showalter

7205 B Old Sauk Rd. Madison, Wi 53717

rshow55 - 04:39am Nov 7, 2003 EST (# 16726 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.

I did talk to Mr. Sulzberger's secretary 11:00 that monday.

Later in the day, she was kind enough to call me, and say that Mr. Sulzberger had read the letter - but had not made a decision. I appreciated the call, and I said so.

- - -

A decision entirely consistent with my request was made, and I got this email:

FROM: Len Apcar

DATE: Wed, 29 Oct 2003 10:01:37 -0500


SUBJECT: Missile Defense

Dear Mr. Showalter:

Your letter to our chairman and publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., about your long participation in the Web site's forum on missile defense, was forwarded to me. I thank you for your participation in such a lively and interesting forum.

Many people come and go from our forums and you are certainly free to do so. If it feels like a burden to you, I would certainly understand your decision to move on to other projects and interests. We write about missile defense issues regularly and I have advised our reporting staff about your Web site and your work on missile defense issues in the forum.

Again thank you for your participation on


Leonard M. Apcar

Leonard M. Apcar

Editor in Chief

The New York Times on the Web

500 7th Avenue

New York, New York 10018

phone 646 698 xxxx

fax 646 698 xxxx

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