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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?
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(2115 previous messages)
- 09:34am May 9, 2002 EST (#2116
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
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
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.
- 12:29pm May 9, 2002 EST (#2117
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 http://www.wisc.edu/rshowalt/klinerec
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. http://www.wisc.edu/rshowalt/klineul
5/7/02 2:06pm includes questions I feel I have to ask, and feel
" 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?
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
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
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.
- 12:56pm May 9, 2002 EST (#2118
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.
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