[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 (2115 previous messages)

rshow55 - 09:34am May 9, 2002 EST (#2116 of 2138) Delete Message

MD2105 manjumicha2001 5/8/02 11:15pm asks beautiful, much appreciated questions, that I will try to answer clearly. I'm trying to do so both carefully and concisely. That's taking thought and effort, and is my highest priority today. Some preliminaries involve the issue of "how do you check?"

Let me touch on checking the three issues manjumicha2001 5/8/02 11:15pm asks about.

AEA was an effort to make specific breakthroughs in automotive design, which were made; to greatly extend the culture's ability to apply and fit mathematical analysis to complex engineering tasks; to demonstrate a new engineering business structure generalizing Lockheed's "skunk works"; and was a test bed that the government and I hoped would let me find the "hidden problem" in applied mathematics that seemed crucial in missile guidance and much else. There's more to say, and I'll be more explicit. A great deal about AEA can be checked, in detail - and I'll open any and all records, and explain the situation as best I can - according to patterns set out in MD1152 rshow55 4/6/02 5:47pm .

My nervous breakdown. : I had been trained to identify and solve differential equations, and sometimes simple systems of them, using the power series method (as described in Kreyzsig's Advanced Engineering Mathematics and many other texts.) I did these computations in my head - and spent much of my time doing so. This was arduous, and involved a lot of concentration. I overdid it, at a time when I believed the solution of the "hidden problem" above was cracking "before my eyes" - when I'd been told that, on delivery of that solution, AEA investors would be made whole, and AEA would be funded for success by the government. My head blew -- I collapsed, and there was memory damage -- serious enough that I had a difficult time relearning to read, and relearning much else. On this matter, only so much can be checked. But a lot can be checked. There are quite complete records on my psychiatric condition since the early 1980's. Watergate was largely about the break-in at the office of Daniel Ellsburg's psychiatrist. Nothing of the sort would be necessary here. Any reputable reporter with a valid reason, or any government or university representative with a valid reason, or anyone else with a reasonable need to know that they can explain to me, can talk to my psychiatrist, and examine any and all of his records pertaining to me. I can't speak for my shrink, but I believe that he would give me a clear bill of health, so far as sanity or rationality goes, for the time he's seen me (more than 10 years.) My first psychiatrist is dead, but all his records can be made available as well. I'll authorize release of any and all hospital records on the same terms.

I was tortured, by the government - and for discussion of how to check I'd have to be talking face to face with a reporter. I'm not sure that checking on this point is either possible or wise. The people who tortured me felt they were doing their duty, and were justified by circumstances. I did not disagree at the time. I may not disagree now. I kept my word to the government in all material respects, and so far as I know they kept their word to me, for more than a decade after this torture occurred.

I'll have more to say to manjumicha2001's very good and much appreciated questions. As stated above, some of the things involved with his questions can be checked.

rshow55 - 12:29pm May 9, 2002 EST (#2117 of 2138) Delete Message

I'm proud of this letter of recommendation by Professor Stephen Jay Kline, NAE, who was voted by the JSME as the most distinguished theoretical and experimental fluid mechanician of the 20th century, and who worked as my partner for a long time. The letter describes work after my injury and recovery .

Steve died in 1997, and I said this at his Memorial service in Stanford Chapel. The last lines were quoted in a memorial article about Steve in a professional journal. .

MD2064 rshow55 5/7/02 2:06pm includes questions I feel I have to ask, and feel are fair:

" How, given the rules of security laws, and my particular circumstances, am I to live my life? How can I practice any ordinary profession, or talk extensively to anyone - in the ordinary, day-to-day manner people do?

" How can I do these ordinary things - without putting both myself and others at risk?

MD2069 rshow55 5/7/02 9:12pm

There are some very serious things to be said against me, and I know some of them. Some people who have special reason to be angry are the AEA investors - and I have no doubt that many of them are angry. I'd pay them back if I could. How, in the situation I was in, was I to avoid the omission of material facts? I saw no way to do so, and did omit material facts that my investors should have known about, and I could not tell them.

I've had some analogous difficulties in other as aspects of my life.

I've been in intolerably awkward positions, and people associated with me have been as well.

James Cameron's True Lies is a movie about a CIA agent who cannot tell his wife what he does. He's as faithful as he can be, but cannot tell "true lies" in all respects - because when unforseen or complicated circumstances arise, anything but the truth can do damage.

In Secrecy , (Yale U Press, 1998) Daniel Moynihan speaks of the enormous damage secrecy has done our society. The paralysis it produces. The conventions against checking that it produces. I can testify to some of the ways the damage happens.

manjumicha2001 - 12:56pm May 9, 2002 EST (#2118 of 2138)

I wouldn't worry too much about investors who lost money. They take calculated risks in people and ideas and, yes, even hypes (remember all those dot-coms & telecom wonders in 90s), and sometimes they make it big or sometimes they lose big. It is a par for the course.

Rest of your story is indeed fascinating and intriguing.

More Messages Recent Messages (20 following messages)

 Read Subscriptions  Subscribe  Search  Post Message
 Email to Sysop  Your Preferences

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

Home | Site Index | Site Search | Forums | Archives | Shopping

News | Business | International | National | New York Region | NYT Front Page | Obituaries | Politics | Quick News | Sports | Science | Technology/Internet | Weather
Editorial | Op-Ed

Features | Arts | Automobiles | Books | Cartoons | Crossword | Games | Job Market | Living | Magazine | Real Estate | Travel | Week in Review

Help/Feedback | Classifieds | Services | New York Today

Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company