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 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  /

    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.

Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (4134 previous messages)

rshow55 - 07:23pm Sep 2, 2002 EST (# 4135 of 4140) Delete Message
Can we do a better job of finding truth? YES. Click "rshow55" for some things Lchic and I have done and worked for on this thread.

Piaget’s Developmental Stages from the Encyclopedia of Instructional Technology is excellent.

"Infants mainly make use of senses and motor capabilities to experience the environment. For instance, if infants cannot see or touch an object, they stop trying to find it. . . . The characteristic limitation of this stage is ‘thinking only by doing’.

. . .

The second stage in Piaget’s theory of development coincides the preschool years. Children start to use symbols such as language to represent objects. For instance, the child understands the word “apple” although a real apple is not seen. However, the Preoperational child still learns from concrete evidence while adults can learn in abstract way.

. Image 1: The Preoperational child lacks the concept of number conservation.

. .

"Additionally, the Preoperational child is likely to center on only one dimension of an event and ignore other important details. Also, children concentrate more on the static features of an event than on the transformations from one state to another.

"Last, children in the Preoperational period at times will see some relationships between particular cases while in actuality there is none.

Concrete Operational Stages (7-11 Years)

"The next stage generally represents the elementary grade years. The concrete operational child begins to think logically. Operations are associated with personal experience. Operations are in concrete situation, but not in abstract manipulation.

. Image 2: The concrete operational child is capable of reversible thought only if they operate physical objects.

"Concrete operations allow children to classify several classes into a bigger group or to combine a number of classes in any order. Although objects are moved or reordered, no change takes place. . . . The limitation of the third stage of cognitive development is that operations are only carried out on concrete objects, and limited to two characteristics at the same time."

- - -

Are there limits to what Mazza can think about, or remember?

Could it be that there are some ideas that he can't get, no matter how often he looks at them?

Could the American people be reduced to such a state, very often?

Could this be the human condition, too often?

- - -

If so, that would go a long way toward explaining how the truth can be, too often "somehow, too weak."

rshow55 - 07:28pm Sep 2, 2002 EST (# 4136 of 4140) Delete Message
Can we do a better job of finding truth? YES. Click "rshow55" for some things Lchic and I have done and worked for on this thread.

When information flows are degraded, and other patterns are manipulated, can we be reduced to thinking and acting like children?

Attack On The Ad-Man

This trumpeter of nothingness, employed
To keep our reason dull and null and void.
This man of wind and froth and flux will sell
The wares of any who reward him well.

Praising whatever he is paid to praise,
He hunts for ever-newer, smarter ways
To make the gilt seen gold; the shoddy, silk;
To cheat us legally; to bluff and bilk
By methods which no jury can prevent
Because the law's not broken, only bent.

This mind for hire, this mental prostitute
Can tell the half-lie hardest to refute;
Knows how to hide an inconvenient fact
And when to leave a doubtful claim unbacked;
Manipulates the truth but not too much,
And if his patter needs the Human Touch,
Skillfully artless, artlessly naive,
Wears his convenient heart upon his sleeve.

He uses words that once were strong and fine,
Primal as sun and moon and bread and wine,
True, honourable, honoured, clear and keen,
And leaves them shabby, worn, diminished, mean.
He takes ideas and trains them to engage
In the long little wars big combines wage…
He keeps his logic loose, his feelings flimsy;
Turns eloquence to cant and wit to whimsy;
Trims language till it fits his clients, pattern
And style's a glossy tart or limping slattern.

He studies our defences, finds the cracks
And where the wall is weak or worn, attacks.
lie finds the fear that's deep, the wound that's tender,
And mastered, outmanouevered, we surrender.
We who have tried to choose accept his choice
And tired succumb to his untiring voice.
The dripping tap makes even granite soften
We trust the brand-name we have heard so often
And join the queue of sheep that flock to buy;
We fools who know our folly, you and I.

A.S.J. Tessimond.

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