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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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new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every
(2155 previous messages)
- 11:11am May 11, 2002 EST (#2156
So God's Really in the Details? by Emily Eakin http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/11/arts/11GOD.html
...is a wonderful, wonderful piece! In that article (and a wonderful
illustration in the print paper) some basics about the strengths and
unavoidable weaknesses of probability arguments are set out vividly.
Eakin doesn't, in those few words, set out everything in
Scientific Reasoning: the Baysian Approach by Howson and
Urbach, ..... or everything that J.M. Keynes wrote in A Treatise
on Probability . .. . But how clear she is about what she
And what her piece implies about what checking can and cannot do.
What are the odds? You have to check.
A "baysian probabilty" is a construction that attempts to
"connect the dots" after a somehow reasonable "collecting of the
The more dots, and the more different ways to check parts and
pieces, the more reliable an explanation for a particular
purpose can be.
- 11:12am May 11, 2002 EST (#2157
A Man Who Would Shake Up Science by EDWARD ROTHSTEIN http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/11/arts/11WOLF.html
is fascinating, as well.
the search for evidence matters when it matters, for the reasons
it matters -- and those reasons can be compelling. Krugman's been
dealing with problems of that kind, and Smoking Fat Boy http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/10/opinion/10KRUG.html
is another fine example.
When the stakes are high enough -- and when decent decisions have
to be made -- times may come where checking has to be morally
forcing -- and the techniques of checking have to be competent.
These days, on these issues, there's room for improvement.
- 12:06pm May 11, 2002 EST (#2158
For its part, the industry must continue to look at its
structure. Fragmentation of the industry into more than 100 parts
has created an unstable environment [Rail : UK ] http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/transport/story.jsp?story=293901
- 12:12pm May 11, 2002 EST (#2159
RU : PU : tactics
- 12:23pm May 11, 2002 EST (#2160
With information flows as they are, with hardware as old as it
is, and with the complications involved -- our nuclear arrangements
just about have to be unstable, too. I worry about it. That could
destroy the world.
How could anybody check - a real person - with real
distractions - with the mechanics of concealment that is actually in
The technical parts of the question - "how do you
check" have been a major subject of this board, since September
2000 -- and remain so.
The things required to actually check missile defense are the
things required to actually check many other things that also
Matters of life and death. Matters of propriety. Matter of
interest and comfort.
Missile defense is a major issue - discussed here, and elsewhere.
On questions of the mechanics of verification --
discussion where the NYT staff can see it is important - because the
NYT is in an almost unique position to exercise leadership on the
subject of checking MD2101 rshow55
5/8/02 7:51pm .
- 12:35pm May 11, 2002 EST (#2161
I'm having to spend time on solar energy questions, and that's
going well, and is enjoyable. But it is important to talk
about questions of checking that apply to missile defense and
Some of that mechanics is set out in links in MD1076 rshow55
4/4/02 1:20pm . . . and a good deal could be set up, fairly
quickly I believe, if I could be either "completely
unshackled" MD2131 rshow55
5/9/02 8:41pm or have my situation with respect to security
rules defined in a way I could understand, and explain to others.
It seems to me that if the government wishes to restrict any
product of my mind in any way based on national security law - they
should talk to me about what the restrictions are.
I do not personally believe that there is a single thing that
I have ever written on this thread, or any guardian thread, that
ought to be considered classified or restricted by classification
laws in any way.
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