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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?
Read Debates, a
new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every
(2347 previous messages)
- 02:11pm May 22, 2002 EST (#2348
A CONVERSATION WITH Hugh Gusterson Finding Rich Fodder in
Nuclear Scientists By CLAUDIA DREIFUS http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/21/science/21CONV.html
... makes sobering reading. I was personally interested in this
Q. How did you perceive the marriages and personal
relationships of your weapons scientists?
A. I often found emotional distance in their
relationships. . . . . . the demands of classification and secrecy
can cause a tremendous distance in a marriage, cause a lot of
I'll vouch for that, as it relates to a marriage, and all sorts
of personal and professional relationships. I believe that I've
faced a much harder burden than most involved with classification
have had to face. I've said that I've felt myself to be in an
impossible position -- and have asked to be debriefed, face to face
- for a long time. That can be checked, on the basis of available
material that is or was on the web, whether you "call me Ismael" or
4/4/02 1:21pm includes this:
"Some of my background, which you also know, was on this thread
before March 2, and is now set out on a Guardian thread ..
Psychwarfare, Casablanca -- and terror
"I believe that I'm doing, as nearly as it possibly can be done,
exactly what Bill Casey would want me to do now, for the good of the
United States of America, and for the safety and decency of the
Is there deception here? About things that matter? Not
every aspect of that question can be checked, but a lot could be.
- 02:16pm May 22, 2002 EST (#2349
I wish someone could explain to decision makers, carefully and
face to face, the essential points in
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 http://lsi.argreenhouse.com/lsi/papers/PSYCHREV96.html
Not easy reading. But if the key points in it were understood,
national defense would be much more effective, and our diplomacy,
dealmaking, and peacemaking would be, too.
Landauer, Dumais, or others could probably do that very well.
Landauer and Dumais includes this:
"Landauer and Dumais draw this basic conclusion:
"" . . . with respect to (correlations) supposed
to allow the learning of language and other large bodies of
complexly structured knowledge, domains in which there are very
many facts each weakly related to very many others, effective
simulation may require data sets of the same size and content as
those encountered by human learners. Formally, that is because
weak local constraints can combine to produce strong local effects
". . . a particular computational arrangement is
"" We, of course, intend no claim that the mind or
brain actually computes a singular value decomposition on a
perfectly remembered event-by-context matrix of its lifetime
experience using the mathematical machinery of complex
sparse-matrix manipulation algorithms. What we suppose is merely
that the mind-brain stores and reprocessed its input in some
manner that has approximately the same effect(10)."
If people are like that - - and they are, and that can be
checked - - many or our security procedures, at FBI, CIA, and
NSA are disastrously bad. Something we've had reason to
suspect, again and again, from bad decisions.
People need many dots to collect and variously connect.
Restriction of information, and conversation - - simply doesn't
permit the process by which people reason to go on effectively or
With computer tools we can make the process better than it
With current security rules, and restrictions on information, we
make the process much worse.
The Bush administration, almost always, is making the
wrong decisions in these matters -- favoring secrecy and
closedness - when it doesn't work well for national defense, or any
other reasonable purpose save fraud.
- 03:33pm May 22, 2002 EST (#2350
Fraud hasn't yet made 'word of the day' in the NYT
- 04:39pm May 22, 2002 EST (#2351
Showalter, talking of dots above, somehow reminds one of
of the Sower
"" You Reap What You Sow!
5 Principles of reaping and sowing:
1 You only reap if you sow.
2 You always reap what you sow.
3 You always reap quite a while after you sow.
4 You always
reap much more than you sow.
5 Whatever you reap will be sowed
and reaped again. ""
The good-seed equates with 'truth' ?!
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