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    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?

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rshow55 - 03:56pm May 16, 2002 EST (#2250 of 2251) Delete Message

Human interactions ARE very complicated (the ones we take for granted, living our lives, would be very difficult to describe) and logically it may be "easier" to "not listen" -- "not notice the hanging details" and "not get to closure." I'd have some comments about what Mark outlined above -- but he isn't making any false difficulties than I can see - nor false distinctions.

Does that mean that complex cooperation is hopeless when there are difficulties?

It means nothing of the sort. It means that sorting things out takes work - - including intellectual work -- and that the job of illustrating, discussing, focusing, agreeing - is a complicated job that only human beings can do.

But a great deal is possible. The internet - and related tools have greatly expanded our ability to define facts - and find common ground - given staffs, and some hard effort.

Just because of the limitations on human minds, and the differences between cultures, it used to be technically impossible to have very different people or peoples come to workable agreements on complicated matters.

Now those agreements can be brought to focus, and worked out. It is difficult, but only as difficult (and expensive) as it is.

Carnage and muddle are expensive, too.

MD2247-2249 rshow55 5/16/02 3:39pm are by Mark Heumann, and summarize a series of postings lchic and I did from to .

rshow55 - 04:34pm May 16, 2002 EST (#2251 of 2251) Delete Message

MD2228 rshow55 5/15/02 9:34am includes this:

Global Village Idiocy by THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN 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.

Most things that people do don't matter enough -- specification is hard enough, and expensive enough - that there will be plenty of private function - well removed from the prying eyes of the "global village."

But some things do matter enough to specify. These things can be clarified so that complex cooperation is possible. To avoid fights, or for active cooperation. The communication involved is difficult and expensive (and this should be no surpirse -- an enormous fraction of the effort and attention people put out is devoted to communication - and has been for thousands if not millions of years.) But anything that can be clearly stated - in words, pictures, multiple views - whatever the complexity - can be clearly set out on the internet - if it can be presented to human minds at all.

MD2229 rshow55 5/15/02 9:36am includes this:

Last year on this thread, 6/30/01 gisterme asked a big question:

" 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?

and asked

" How do we move toward a better, fairer, safer future? "

We'll have to do it as best we can, with the tools we have available, and with the limitations that people have.

Because, as Friedman says in Global Village Idiocy , "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.

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