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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 (16727 previous messages)

rshow55 - 04:48am Nov 7, 2003 EST (# 16728 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.

Working for closure – under circumstances where perfect trust of the New York Times wasn’t be expected of me – but where I was trying to accommodate every reasonable need of the TIMES - I thought hard about the minimum agreement I needed to serve my needs (and anxieties - which are real human concerns, and often rational.)

In negotiations in good faith - text that is not set - but is to be discussed - is often read over answering machines ( especially if, as often happens, people are listening. ) That gives people time to think - and text can be discussed without a permanent record. I read this text over Apcar's answering machine yesterday - because I wanted to get phrasing right on key issues ( marked below ) . I think it was obvious that that all the wording was subject to modification.

This is text I read without ( as I remember) commenting on it, except to explain, at the beginning, that this was a draft for discussion:

- - - - -

Leonard M. Apcar Editor in Chief The New York Times on the Web 500 7th Avenue New York, New York 10018

Dear Mr. Apcar:

I appreciated the chance to talk yesterday morning. I'm writing this note to summarize things where it seems to me we are in at least rough agreement. I hope that my understanding matches yours, but hope much more that we can work out any problems that remain - and reach a true and comfortable meeting of the minds. I have the greatest respect for The New York Times - and especially for The New York Times on the Web , and want to do so. The tenor of our phone conversation made me feel that we are close to agreement. I'm not claiming you or your organization have agreed to anything here - but hope we come to a clear agreement roughly along these lines soon.

Everything we talked about yesterday was consistent with your email letter to me of 29 October, but I felt the need for some additional discussion and clarification - perhaps because of oversensitivity on my part, due to past experiences with another large institution. I felt much more comfortable after we talked yesterday than I had before.

I understand that The New York Times can't and shouldn't give me any special status - and I appreciated the step you described on 29 October of informing your reporting staff of the existence of my postings. I also appreciated the thanks in that note - and I want to thank you, your specific organization, and the whole TIMES for a forum I've very much appreciated. I'll write a more extensive note for that purpose later.

At the same time, I've had concerns, perhaps irrational dealing with the TIMES, but inescapable due to my background, about being effectively blacklisted or blackballed through the direct or indirect agency of The New York Times, in ways that "the average reader of The New York Times" might consider unfair if she knew about them, and considered them in detail. Part of my problem is that I've long worked on problems that have very high theoretical payoffs, and that seem technically straightforward, too - but problems that are unstable under current social usages. 15368 ( copy 15367 enclosed ) describes and links to some things I'd like to have a reasonable chance of doing. In addition, I need to be able to discuss my background with editors and publishers, if I am to publish a second, co-authored edition of Simulation and Approximation Theory by S. J. Kline, as Steve Kline wanted me to do. I'd like to interact with mathematicians, neuroscientists, teachers, and others. I'd like to do many of the other normal things that people do. To do any of these things, I need to give an account of what I've said, done, and tried to do. I'll

rshow55 - 04:50am Nov 7, 2003 EST (# 16729 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.

( text for discussion, read over the phone to Apcar, continued )

To do any of these things, I need to give an account of what I've said, done, and tried to do. I'll have to, and want to, refer to the Missile Defense board.

I'm not asking the NYT to endorse me in any way - surely in no way beyond the respectful language you used about my board work in your letter of Oct 29 - and in the respectful language of our phone conversation. Nor am I asking the NYT to forgo any of the powers it has as a newspaper - if I've done something the NYT wishes to print a story about, or inquire about for a journalistic purpose. Nor am I asking the TIMES to forgo communicating anything that it feels a duty as a citizen to communicate to anyone.

Here are issues where I DID want some discussion - so that we could get a comfortable meeting of the minds. The wording is from the draft I read from

But I DO ask that anything they tell others about me - they also tell me

And whatever agreement we come to about confidentiality or non-confidentiality can be shown to people I interact with - with the expectation that I ask these people to report back to me about whether their communication conforms to it.

Examples - - - for purposes of clarification - - might be discussed over the phone.

- - - -

I then had lunch. When I looked at this board again - I was looking at extreme defamation from bluestar23

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