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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?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

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rshow55 - 02:11pm May 22, 2002 EST (#2348 of 2359) Delete Message

A CONVERSATION WITH Hugh Gusterson Finding Rich Fodder in Nuclear Scientists By CLAUDIA DREIFUS ... makes sobering reading. I was personally interested in this part.

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 pain.

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 not.

MD1077 rshow55 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 world."

Is there deception here? About things that matter? Not every aspect of that question can be checked, but a lot could be.

rshow55 - 02:16pm May 22, 2002 EST (#2349 of 2359) Delete Message

MD2311 rshow55 5/19/02 2:51pm

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 )

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 in aggregate(9).

". . . a particular computational arrangement is not assumed.

"" 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 safely.

With computer tools we can make the process better than it was.

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.

lchic - 03:33pm May 22, 2002 EST (#2350 of 2359)

Fraud hasn't yet made 'word of the day' in the NYT

lchic - 04:39pm May 22, 2002 EST (#2351 of 2359)

Showalter, talking of dots above, somehow reminds one of

The Parable 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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