New York Times on the Web Forums Science
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
(2628 previous messages)
- 02:53pm Jun 19, 2002 EST (#2629
Sometimes there have to be groups in discussion together,
for closure to be grammatically possible. The reason is that
some maneuvers have to be constrained for closure to occur. Some of
these maneuvers are ineffective if taken by people with names and
reputations, in the presence of witnesses. Groups are important, so
that it can be made clear, after the fact, what was actually said
Congress Gets Bill Setting Up Security Dept. By DAVID
FIRESTONE and ALISON MITCHELL http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/19/politics/19SECU.html
contains a stunning image: http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2002/06/19/national/19secu.jpg
Senators Trent Lott and Tom Daschle,
Representative Dick Armey, Tom Ridge and Representatives Richard
A. Gephardt and J. Dennis Hastert, left to right, in a bipartisan
show of support for the security department.
The facial expressions in this picture are well worth study. I
find them beautiful Here are people resolved to get a situation
straight - along a continuum of trust and distrust - - with
checking, and with everyone responsible for what they say and do.
Such a group of people, in discussion together, mutually
constrain each other in ways that can make closure on facts
clear , or make disagreements clear.
If you have a system including "logical nodes" that are switching
back and forth - you can't get closure. In groups, especially when
there is a good deal of mutual information, mutual distrust, and
competence - such evasions can be stabilized into the form of
I'm trying to get some things checked about my background -
because if they are, I believe that a great many things can be
sorted out, in my interest, in the national interest, in the
interest of the University of Wisconsin, and in the interest of the
decency and safety of mankind. The image above is real, but in a
sense, it might be thought of as a "miracle." What I could do with
such a miracle, or even a much lesser miracle!
Here's an example or a pattern of such "miracles", one of many
Suppose that Captain Dale Burke, head of the University of
Wisconsin's police force, agreed to go with me and participate and
monitor my discussions with others, for the purspose of getting some
issues about my background straight. Two of his officers, Grimyster
and Driscoll, might accompany us. We could meet with any or all of
the following people:
Sharon Dunwoody, Dean, Professor of Journalism,
and effective minister of information for the University of
Any member of the editorial board of The Capital
Frederick Mohs, attorney, formerly a close friend
and investor of mine, and Regent of the University of Wisconin
John Petersen III, formerly a close friend and
investor of mine, close associate of Mohs', and head of the State
of Wisconsin board of investments.
Someone in Senator Feingold's Middleton, Wisconsin
Any representative of the U.S. government, or
representative of a trusted journalistic organization.
Issues that might never be expected to close, if I tried to see
these people alone, might close definitely, and in a way that would
be in the interest of all people in good faith, if I had Captain
Burke with me. It would be perfectly fair, even expected, for Burke
to try to put me in jail if there was a sensible reason to. That
fact would be my protection - so long as I was acting reasonably,
and telling the truth.
Impossible? Miraculous? Outrageous? By some standards, you can
argue, "yes." But if I could get that help (or help from some other
competent, informed person) -- a lot that could never close
otherwise might be able to move toward resolution in a reasonable
way that "the average reader of The New York Times" would be likely
to approve of.
If for "Captain Burke" you substitute the name of one of a
- 03:55pm Jun 19, 2002 EST (#2630
If for "Captain Burke" you substitute the name of one of a number
of NYT people, similar steps toward closure could also be taken.
Taken in meetings in Madison Wisconsin, in Washington D.C., in New
York City, or elsewhere.
For reasons of the grammar of discourse, there are tasks that
individuals cannot possibly do in the face of opposition, that
groups can do easily, and honorably. I'm facing a few such tasks. If
I can some help on getting those tasks done, I think the world can
be made safer and more comfortable - at little cost.
Whether you "call me Ishmael" or not -- there is a lesson here,
about what closure takes - that I believe needs to be learned.
Especially with respect to military issues on which the survival of
us all depends.
It seemed to me that the work on this thread prior to MD2000 rshow55
5/4/02 10:39am was useful, and I sometimes suspect that some
work since is being useful as well.
- 06:38pm Jun 19, 2002 EST (#2631
6/19/02 7:41am includes this:
I'm thinking that a very few simple things, not
embarrassing, not expensive, not difficult, would be good to do
now. If some journalists could hear some recordings -- one from
last week, between me and the C.I.A. - which NYT could get to if
it wished -- and another that I'm guessing exists of a meeting
between me and a trusted officer of the University of Wisconsin,
Madison - - that could set things up for some graceful, simple
New York Times on the Web Forums Science