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
(2678 previous messages)
- 05:20pm Jun 22, 2002 EST (#2679
I'm trying to put things out that can be checked - - in
many ways. Something I've often tried to do in the past, as well.
- 05:41pm Jun 22, 2002 EST (#2680
I'm sure nobody would mistake me for a guy as bright as Greg
Smith is going to grow up to be . . . but still, I think this is a
fact. People are often afraid of me. A lot of people. I was very
disappointed when I discovered that folks at the C.I.A. were afraid
of me. They seemed very afraid, distressingly, boringly afraid. It
seemed strange, somehow, for C.I.A. to react that way, yet it was
oh, so familiar. . .
Here's an interesting article.
Bringing Up Genius .... When Greg Smith passed his
mother and father intellectually at 5, they took it in stride. But
then the world beat down his door, offering opportunity and danger
in equal measure. What's a parent to do By Tamara Jones Sunday,
January 13, 2002; Page W07 http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A16604-2002Jan8
starts as follows:
"The first death threat, veiled in a poem, came
when he was 8 years old. . . . . "
Suppose you're a kid, not as smart as Greg Smith, but not slow,
and people want to fight you - just for who you are. From the time
you're five, maybe. Unless I'm wrong, a lot of very smart people
have such experiences - and most find ways to conciliate.
Suppose instead, you happen to fight and win. And keep at it. And
fight a lot. And take fighting for granted.
Suppose your negotiation with your parents is that, if you have
to fight, you have to hide it, and you have to be the very best kid
you can be, in every other respect. What's so wrong with that?
This can be checked, I think. In 1966, the first year 6 Year
Ph.D. program had more than 30 males -- and almost all of them
gathered, without me, to discuss whether or not they could, if they
attacked me together, take me down. It was a serious discussion. I
eavesdropped on it - - and told them the obvious truth -- of course
they could. It was easy for me to point out how - I thought about
such things. . . . I think some may remember the conversation.
Unless they'd practiced, I didn't happen to think, then, that
they could have taken me down. Though I didn't say so. The fact was,
when I burst into their little meeting, I was in tears. I was trying
hard to fit in. I didn't want to fight with anybody.
There was nothing particularly surprising or unphysical about me
at the time, or later.
Some U.S. military people, a little later, found me an
interesting student to talk to.
- 05:42pm Jun 22, 2002 EST (#2681
I've often felt a lot like Cassandra, whose situation is
described so beautifully in Playing Know And Tell By JOHN
I was also very interested in the "increased sensitivity to
anger" discussed in Physically Abused Children Recognize the Face
of Anger By ERICA GOODE http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/18/health/children/18ABUS.html
which includes this:
" a new study offers a clue to how an experience
early in childhood may exert such a powerful and long-lasting
influence. Repeatedly exposed to the rage of unpredictable adults,
abused children appear to develop an exquisite sensitivity to the
emotional signals of anger, the study finds.
My parents have always been extraordinarily good to me, and I
wasn't abused at all -- but I did develop a good deal of sensitivity
to facial expressions. Had I not done so, I would not have survived.
I was on the recieving end of some of the same kinds of hostility
that Greg Smith has faced, and reacted to it differently. (Though I
notice that we both care a lot about peace.)
- 05:54pm Jun 22, 2002 EST (#2682
So how does this make me a bad guy?
If you were in my position, and had gone through the things I've
gone through, you'd try to do the same things I'm trying to do, as
best you could. Just like I am.
I've been doing the best I could - and I haven't always been
- 06:09pm Jun 22, 2002 EST (#2683
I want to take a break, and go for a walk. But I feel justified
in repeating MD2641 rshow55
6/20/02 1:00pm . . .
Does anybody blame me for this? Or for this: I'll do whatever I
can to keep the world from blowing up, which it easily could now.
And do what I can to keep people from butchering each other, when
that happens to seem possible.
I'm not asking anybody to defer to me, or trust me. I'm doing my
very best to let people check - it only they had the courage to do
I could be wrong, but it is my personal judgement that if people
would actually talk to me, and learn a few things, we could have a
good shot at real, stable peace in the Middle East. Some other good
things might be possible, too. I think I've been useful already,
with the stunning, graceful help of lchc , who is plainly
smarter than I am in many decisive ways. MD2000 rshow55
New York Times on the Web Forums Science
Enter your response, then click the POST MY MESSAGE
See the quick-edit
help for more information.