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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 - 02:28pm May 19, 2002 EST (#2307 of 2318) Delete Message

Wonderful pieces, each just a "little bit" off

Our Man in Arizona By MAUREEN DOWD

The Phoenix F.B.I. agent predicted enough to perhaps pre-empt 9/11, if he hadn't been blocked by superiors too lazy to pursue hot leads.

But it wasn't laziness - or not just laziness --the logic of the secrecy system effectively prohibits intelligent or pro-active responses. Why do you think my instructions were to "come in through the New York Times?"

Dowd mentions missile defense - as a "Maginot Line in the sky" -- as some of her previous columns have as well.

Friedman's piece is wonderful, but misses the fact that the secrecy, itself, paralyzes.

A Failure to Imagine By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

"We need an "Office of Evil," whose job would be to constantly sift all intelligence data and imagine what the most twisted mind might be up to."

The systems makes such a "constant sifting" impossible -- there are barriers to communication built all through the system - and they are inherent in the secrecy regime. FBI and CIA can't even communicate effectively internally - much less communicate with each other.

You can't set up a sane database, with workable usages - within the secrecy usages in place. For that, you need openness -- at least on 95% of the stuff now classified.

Friedman's comments about solving the world's energy and global warming problems are "right on" -- if I can get my national security problems clarified - perhaps I might be able to help - and others could, too.

lchic - 02:33pm May 19, 2002 EST (#2308 of 2318)


lchic - 02:37pm May 19, 2002 EST (#2309 of 2318)

Maginote Line

lchic - 02:49pm May 19, 2002 EST (#2310 of 2318)

""" When the Germans invaded and quickly defeated France in World War II, they simply went around the Maginot Line. One wonders if there is a lesson here that might apply to the current US plans to develop and deploy a missile defense system to protect against ballistic missiles launched by small hostile nations.

rshow55 - 02:51pm May 19, 2002 EST (#2311 of 2318) Delete Message

lchic 5/19/02 2:33pm . . Hegel's "germ of truth" - is based on statistics. Things focus. And logic and statistics are linked, and can be mutually reinforcing.

MD794 rshow55 3/23/02 11:40pm ... " people are uncomfortable consciously with an idea that has a great deal to do with how we all "connect the dots." That's the idea that from statistical correllations we can infer patterns that become very, very clear. If those inferences match enough -- if they "map" a checkable "territory" in enough ways -- we may come to trust them as facts - - for many purposes - - unless there are real reasons to question them. A lot of things in the interior of math, for example, are correct - -- though when people started dealing with them, they were less certain. . . . A Solution to Plato's Problem: The Latent Semantic Analysis Theory of Acquisition, Induction and Representation of Knowledge by Thomas K. Landauer and Susan Dumais . . . (Here is a draft of that paper, which was accepted with revisions, and published in Psychological Review, v104, n.2, 211-240, 1997 )

MD721 rshow55 3/20/02 1:56pm

Condemnation Without Absolutes by Stanley Fish is interesting in this regard, though I have reservations about what he says. Some things become very close to absolutes -- enough for good action. Webs of logic -- decision trees, connections - can make MANY probabilities "essentially 0" or "essentially 1" - and human survival depends on it -- we DO know a lot of things, well enough to make decisions. MD669 lchic 3/18/02 11:51am ...MD672 rshow55 3/18/02 1:22pm

lchic - 02:51pm May 19, 2002 EST (#2312 of 2318)


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