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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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(2227 previous messages)
- 09:34am May 15, 2002 EST (#2228
Global Village Idiocy By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/12/opinion/12FRIE.html
was summarized by the TIMES as follows:
"Thanks to the Internet and satellite TV, the
world is being wired together technologically, but not socially,
politically or culturally."
We have to learn to "wire together" the world, socially,
politically, and culturally, in the ways that make sense for
human welfare -- that is make sense to the people involved.
The internet and other communications media are making that more
necessary than before, but also more possible.
Above a certain level of complexity, staffed organizations
have to be involved, and there have to be ways, that make sense in
context, to check what matters enough.
To accomodate real human imperfections in the ways that matter to
the people involved.
To accomodate the fact that "good will" is only partial, in the
real world, in the ways that matter to the people involved.
To accomodate the fact that all people and organizatins make
mistakes, oversimplify, and mislead in various ways, with various
motivations, not all of them impure, but not all of them pure,
To accomodate the fact that, when right answers matter enough in
action - there have to be ways to find them, in the real world, with
real passions and imperfections, for people as they are.
People "make sense" of their world in a kind of statistical way
-- and it matters very much, whether the "information" they condense
generalizations from is right or wrong. The only way to see is by
crossmatching, and a good deal of intellectual work. This is work
that all people, everywhere do, and have to do to be human. We make
sense of the world, by a lot of talking, and a lot of thinking --
and bring patterns into focus. Often those patterns are wrong -- but
when we look at the same information -- organized in a certain way,
most of us, most of the time, make the same patterns.
Matters of war and peace, and international cooperation
between the US and Russia, in the world as it is, are intractably
complicated, and some of the interactions will take staffs to comb
out and master. Sometimes with involvement of staffs from other
nation states and institutions. This thread is built as an
example of some of the things that would be required to meet the
needs of this staffed communication.
When two cultures that are very different and have systematic
misunderstandings have to make real peace, and learn to interact,
that will take staffing, too.
We are different enough that we can't "take for granted" each
other's minds -- minds that have been formed by "swimming" in very
different "seas" of information.
Contact, and confident cooperation -- will take work,
accomodation -- and, at a number of levels, i a lot of straight
I've written here, a number of times, that
" When the Soviet Union fell, and everyone, on all
sides, had so much hope, we didn't have an end game -- and the
United States was so tied up with lies, that it could not sort out
problems before it -- or help the Russians sort out their
We should work to fix things now -- and efforts in that direction
seem to be occurring.
We have to deal with the limitations, mixed motives, and
ambiguities involved - and there are efforts in that direction.
Those efforts have to be strong enough, and well enough organized,
to carry the day in the ways that matter most.
- 09:36am May 15, 2002 EST (#2229
Last year on this thread, 6/30/01 gisterme asked a big
" How do we move towards the future, and not get
bogged down in the past, except in ways that are necessary so we
can deal with the future?"
(S)he raised the question:
" how one can set up a "negotiating game" or
"structure" that is illuminating, fair and productive?
" How do we move toward a better, fairer, safer
An essential requirement is that we remember core lessons of our
past. From Bosnia to Berlin to The Hague, on a Road Toward a
Continent's Future by ROGER COHEN http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/15/weekinreview/15WORD.html
ends as follows:
" Communism promised equality. Hitler promised the
1,000-year Reich. Milosevic promised glory. All the West
offers, alongside the prosperity of this boardwalk, is the rule of
law. It's enough. It's more than enough on a continent that now
knows, as no other, the price of the law's absence. .....
For the rule of law to be enough, the rule of law has to be
respected, and information flows have to be good enough (and
organized well enough) so that crucial decisions are reasonably
Because, as Friedman says in Global Village Idiocy http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/12/opinion/12FRIE.html
, "the world is being wired together technologically" there are new
technical possiblities that can permit us to connect more
humanely and efficiently, socially, politically, and culturally,
when it matters enough to the people involved.
Lchic and I did a 2 hour, 70 post session on negotiation
in the middle east that I think summarizes a good deal about new
opportunities in conflict resolution made possible by the internet,
and prototyped to some degree here MD2000 rshow55
5/4/02 10:39am . The session goes from http://talk.guardian.co.uk/WebX?14@@.eea14e1/1253
. It includes many links to this NYT Missile Defense thread. The
suggestions are directed, by way of example, to Friedman and Fisk,
but are flexible, general, and inexpensive. I believe that if the
staffed organizations of Europe, the US, and other countries thought
about these opportunities, and adapted them their needs and
responsibilities, the good things being talked about and hoped for
about the "end of the cold war" could become real, in realistic,
nutsy-boltsy, comfortable human ways.
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