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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 (16974 previous messages)

wrcooper - 11:29pm Nov 8, 2003 EST (# 16975 of 16986)

In re:


Showalter's account was different than mine? How?

We met at the Art Institute of Chicago. We paid our admissions and sat in the coffee shop in the lower level. He and his wife sat across from me. We talked for about an hour or so. I showed him my driver's license to prove my identity. I was carrying an autographed copy of George Johnson's book about Murray Gell-Mann. Johnson sent it to me because I had written him several times, and he thought I was a loyal fan. I greatly appreciated the gesture. The picture of Johnson on the back cover and my own, very different, visage, proved I am not George Johnson, which is who Showalter had claimed time and time again I was, even though I had denied it. Showalter even had called me a liar for insisting I wasn't Johnson. Oh, well. At our meeting we discussed a number of issues--his perceived difficulties with the government and posts I had written and he had saved and printed out. He was particularly aggrieved about a post I wrote and didn't remember writing, in which I pretended I was Johnson and said something very silly and sarcastic and the CIA being after him or something. I even forget its exact contents now. I was mocking him, but he took it as some sort of genuine admission that I had been faking my identity. Anyway, he refused to believe I didn't remember writing it. Fact is, I was probably tipsy when I wrote it. I've done that sometimes--gone online at night after having gone out partying, perhaps, and sat down and written posts. The results aren't always, shall we say, pretty. I don't do that anymore. Anyway, I apologized right there and then to him and to his wife for any discomfort that post may have caused them, and I asked him to apologize to me for having called me a liar. Actually, I had asked him before our meeting, I believe it was, to apologize to me once he saw the truth for himself. But he didn't, and subsequently refused to do so, even though he had been proven out and out to have been wrong about my identity and wrong about my having lied. So from that moment on, my concern for Showalter's welfare diminished. He's not honorable. He stated he would apologize once proved wrong--once he had "checked" the facts--but he reniged. So then that's about it. He explained some things to me about his past, which I didn't fully understand, about his having been hired to do some math research related to fluid dynamics and then was hung to dry somehow and now feels that he's bound by some sort of security oath not to carry on with his life. I think actually he blames all sorts of people for his difficulties, scientists, coworkers, the CIA, the New York Times, and so on and so forth. It's quite Byzantine and incomprehensible.

Look, I think Bob Showalter is probably a decent enough fellow. He seemed quite low-key and nice and calm and even reasonable at the time I met him. But what he believes about himself and about the world-shaking significance of this forum is entirely mad. He's a bit like Nash. Maybe he's not a full-bore hallucinating schizophrenic, but he's certainly delusional and paranoid and grandiose. He's cooked up an alternative reality for himself that his wife apparently has signed onto also. Some of what he says about his past is probably true. But what he actually did for the government and what its significance was is probably not exactly as he says. Why the government owes him money, as he claims, something like a couple of million dollars, is also a bit mysterious, since the government doesn't make deals with young contract workers, so far as I know. Anything such researchers discover becomes the property of Uncle Sam. Anyway, none of us will ever know the truth, certainly.

I feel sorry for him. He's a fine mind overturned. He's cracked. Barmy. I hope that he'll get the help he needs an

wrcooper - 11:30pm Nov 8, 2003 EST (# 16976 of 16986)


I feel sorry for him. He's a fine mind overturned. He's cracked. Barmy. I hope that he'll get the help he needs and will settle down and get back on an even keel.

Meanwhile, this forum is going to almost certainly be the last we see of him in the NYT forums. They probably won't block him, but I suspect they may do what they do with other more or less undesirable posters. They'll routinely remove his posts, usually within a day or so. I'm not sure they'll do this, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's what happens. I suspect Bob will take the hint, then, and turn his efforts elsewhere. That will only be to his ultimate benefit.


lchic - 02:59am Nov 9, 2003 EST (# 16977 of 16986)
ultimately TRUTH outs : TRUTH has to be morally forcing : build on TRUTH it's a strong foundation

klsandford0 - forums come and forums go

The forum is a database

The people who post are real-meat

Their minds are self-cast in culturally contrived virtuallity

That's why the lifeline of truth is important

If you found today's postings of 'no value' even though the USA leadership and technology often starred

Then K should ask himself - why is he HERE on the forum - what is he doing here - who is he representing - why stick around if it is of absoluly no interest


Cantabb still had nothing original to post on MD

Should ask himself - ditto


Cooper --- took me off 'ignore' ..... and admits it!

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