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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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(2249 previous messages)
- 03:56pm May 16, 2002 EST (#2250
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.
5/16/02 3:39pm are by Mark Heumann, and summarize a series of
postings lchic and I did from http://talk.guardian.co.uk/WebX?14@@.eea14e1/1253
- 04:34pm May 16, 2002 EST (#2251
5/15/02 9:34am includes this:
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.
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.
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?
" How do we move toward a better, fairer, safer
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 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.
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