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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 - 07:28am Jun 15, 2002 EST (#2538 of 2540) Delete Message

I've been thinking, and resting, and it's nice to get up early, drink some coffee, look at this forum, and see reasons to be cheerful.

I had an interesting conversation with a CIA person last week -- and if what she said was really operational, I should be able to call up some of the Senate and Congressional people who are trying to salvage the skilled, honorable folks and good technology involved with CRUSADER -- and make a suggestion on how that technology might be used. I should be able to "get through the system" in the way things are SUPPOSED to work in America -- without any concern about classification according to inheritance rules.

Be fun to think about -- and actually fun to do. Might serve the need of the people involved with the CRUSADER issue - be in the national interest -- and assure me that I really CAN talk to people, without harassment and classification troubles.

Seems to me that a lot of things might be getting better.

rshow55 - 07:36am Jun 15, 2002 EST (#2539 of 2540) Delete Message

I'd insist that I knew the REAL NAMES of the people I was dealing with - so I could reasonably judge them along the trust-distrust contiunuum where human beings actually have to interact together. And, for some purposes, I'd like to meet fact to face - for my comfort - and for theirs.

Don't know if my suggestion would be so good -- I think it would be fun to make a breakthrough about getting mass into orbit (if not earth orbit, moon orbit) - - and folks from "the old gun club" would be able to figure out how to do it, if I'm right. I make plenty of mistakes, of course, but I do try to check, and even if my musings on this issue are "way off base" -- well, they might stimulate some useful thoughts in the minds of people I talk to. That's how people work, and how sociotechnical systems work, when people are dealing with each other as people.

I'm also musing about "debriefing" in ways where the information is fed, not to CIA, or DOD, but to some Senate and Congressional committees. (Delusions of granduer maybe - but operationally doable - if my security problems are as well dealt with as I'm told they are -- I could maybe get a foundation to give a small grant to fund the debriefing.)

Maybe I ought to go back to bed for a while -- I'm feeling cheerful, and that can be dangerous. Seems to me that there are a lot of good things that could happen, pretty gracefully, and that there may be ways we can all be a lot safer.

I'm trying to figure out "what would Dwight D. Eisenhower want done, given the mess that has occurred?"

Can't know, of course. But I'm sure he'd want to preserve everything good, everything already working well, when changes were made.

rshow55 - 07:44am Jun 15, 2002 EST (#2540 of 2540) Delete Message

I very much appreciated last week's WEEK IN REVIEW , and though I'm sure it didn't link directly to this thread, the pieces did get the Phuds I was talking into a more receptive frame of mind, and I appreciated that. It was all good, but I was especially pleased with two pieces:

Scoring Points While Connecting the Dots By ALISON MITCHELL http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/09/weekinreview/09MITC.html

and

Playing Know and Tell by JOHN SCHWARTZ http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/09/weekinreview/09BOXA.html

I was really pleased with the grace of some of Schwartz' language:

"But Cassandra's curse was one of the most ingenious of Greek myth.

"There she is, desperate to be understood, treated as if she is mad or insensible, but actually cursed. The god Apollo, in a twist, gave her the power to see the future but not the ability to communicate it to others: nobody believed her warnings.

. . . .

"And then again last week at the most un-Cassandra-like forum of a Senate hearing she stood her ground through hour after hour of testimony. She presented a gentler, more accommodating demeanor, but the message is still the same, age-old yet urgent:

"Listen.

I've sometimes felt a little like Cassandra - and feel good, just now, that people are opening their minds some, and there may be some folks willing to listen, and check. NOT I hope, to trust in the too-usual negligent sense, but to listen, and to judge. About a few things, that matter in a few spots.

One spot bothers me especially. I've got concerns about our nuclear controls. Think they are screwed up enough that they might end the world. I'd feel better if I were more sure that my worries were groundless.

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