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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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lchic - 09:41am Jul 10, 2002 EST (#2976 of 3052)

Statistical data saves lives

rshow55 - 10:29am Jul 10, 2002 EST (#2977 of 3052) Delete Message

Rational conduct that requires exception making that is proportionate can save lives - and save waste, as well.

Sometimes, for want of just a little money - more money is wasted.

I'm going to make a guess, maybe a wildly wrong guess. Illustrating a point about "external effects." I think the following things are true.

1. I could be competently debriefed for about $50,000 dollars (1/20 of a million dollars). Checkable "facts" that I've set out on this thread since September 2000 could be checked for internal consistency, and for consistency with checkable things out in the world by competent people with real independence - who could determine the truth, and do it well enough to make a case that could work in a court of law. Everything new or useful that I think I have could be understood and evaluated by others - pretty completely, and safely -- well enough to justify and get additional money and efforts mobilized if that happened to be justified.

2. Getting me competently debriefed would have some small, but real effect on national and business confidence - perhaps 1 point of the DJA -which would be worth more than 50K$ to many institutions, and more than a few individuals.

3. Getting me competently debriefed would be worth more than 50K to the University of Wisconsin - and probably to the Johns Hopkins University and Cornell University as well - - there are costs of having some questions left hanging -- and the potential upsides also seem significant to me.

4. If I were competently debriefed, The New York Times might be a little more comfortable in a few spots -- though maybe not 50k worth more comfortable.

5. If gisterme is a representative of the federal government -- then it would be worth much more than $50k to the country to get me competently debriefed.

6. I only know so much, but I've worked out some things, and if I were free to convey some information to CIA and DOD on a workable basis, it would be worth more than 50K$ (not so much money, after all) to each of them.

7. Getting me competently debriefed is probably worth more than $50k to the AEA investors - who might get back 100x that.

8. Getting me competently debriefed might even have 50k$ worth of entertainment value to some individual foundations.

Nonetheless, such things are "just not done" Especially when the CIA is involved. They would require "breaking" of written and unwritten "rules."

This is just one example among many (and the example may work structurally, even if my assumptions are wrong) of a basic fact. We often do worse than we could, because of problems of organization and difficulties with exception handling.

That's especially true when someone might, perhaps, be embarrassed. We could do with better exception handling, and checking.

We could do with better exception handling and checking on missile defense and in the capital markets, as well. If we had better exception handling, we could reasonably enforce the rules when that makes sense. Now, too often, those rules go unenforced because they are too inflexible - and violated in small ways often enough that BIG violations come to be tolered.

mazza9 - 12:56pm Jul 10, 2002 EST (#2978 of 3052)
Louis Mazza

Let's see...if you're debriefed you get $50K, if not what? Does your head explode? Why don't you write a book?

rshow55 - 01:33pm Jul 10, 2002 EST (#2979 of 3052) Delete Message

Back by 2:30, NY time.

Of course, the upsides for ME are clear -- I get some credentialling problems solved, and get a chance to pay some debts, and make a living.

There are some other upsides, too, I believe.

As for "heads exploding":

"The best way to see and imagine the dendrites and the spines is to see them in three dimensions, and such images are now available after much long, hard work by many people, pushing the limits of microscopy. I was impressed by the image of a dendrite, with dendritic spines from Mark Goldberg's Lab at Washington University in Saint Louis.

If you click on the image in the upper left hand corner, you'll see a beautiful rotating image of a dendrite, with spines shown in clear three dimensional detail. (The image is 1.5 meg) People have different tastes, but I find this image awesome and beautiful.

The same dendrite is shown to the right, after internal Ca2+ concentrations destroyed it. (Ca2+ concentration outside neurons is about 175,000 times the internal concentration. Much lower levels of free internal Ca2+ break the cell apart.) In the case Goldberg shows, application of a drug let in the calcium. In a number of kinds of brain damage, this sort of calcium damage occurs. In epilepsy, which involves repetitive and intense electrical fluctuations in the brain, many millions of spines often shrivel in the sort of way shown, for reasons that are not now understood, or at least not now completely understood.

I think that happens, inadvertently, in some reading instruction, and some other places. Happened to me, I think, when I worked too hard on an assigned math problem. Happens with the kind of treatment Nash had. Seems to me there are things to fix.

Back in an hour.

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