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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 (5401 previous messages)

rshow55 - 09:56am Oct 31, 2002 EST (# 5402 of 5406) 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.

manjumicha 10/30/02 7:05pm - - - thanks.

Are we over relying on human capacities? Maybe - but we're trying to expand them, at least a little.

You're right enough that

"Unfortunately, most people do "get off" on missiles, bombs and wars. Contrary to your valient faith in the "goodness" of man, the reality is that people will do evil things and get off on violence if they think they can get away with it without too much cost to themselves . . .

But they do care about costs to themselves, if they think about them. People "get off" on sex, too - but more often than not - they show a good deal of restraint in their daily lives, and expect and get a good deal of restraint from others.

As for me, I know a certain amount about military matters, and fighting, and sometimes have been known to "get off" on them. Even work on them. deals with a tragedy and a technical mishap. The NYT commented about it in

The Search for a Knockout Weapon

"Russia's use of a dangerous gas to knock out terrorists has underscored the urgent need to develop safer methods to immobilize hostage takers without harming their hostages. "

and got me to thinking about the second patent I ever got.

For an atomizing nozzle that was a dual purpose device - a way of investigating mixing fluid mechanics, for internal combusion engine emission control and other purposes - - and also an idea that interested people at Ft. Dietrick concerned with preparation of anthrarx and other spores. The idea was that if you could flash dry an aerosol where, odds were, there was only one spore per droplet . . you could get some very "good" agents. I wasn't exactly proud to work on that. But I did. Under false pretenses, too.

Did much of that work at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, as an investment of the University - - and penetrating some classification defenses - and giving a report of scramjet mixing. (The effort got messed up when I got a very low draft number - and had to get into a Army Reserve unit on a day's notice, and go to basic training - leaving a couple of my friends stranded at APL while I did that time.) The editorial deals with one issue - pharmocology - and neglects another, very important for practical dosage. That issue is mixing.

With heterogeneity as great as it has to be expected to be

(See one of my favorite pictures - "Turbulent Water Jet" from Dimotakis, Lye and Papantounious, 1981, #166 in An Album of Fluid Motion assembled by Milton Van Dyke -- 1982 - a result I predicted analytically, which helped me "recruit" Steve Kline)

- - any "knockout weapon" is going to push some people in a crowd very near death, or kill them. If "knockout weapons" are used - antidotes and treatments need to be well worked out - - and trained teams of medicos need to be right behind the soldiers.

manjumicha 10/30/02 11:58am . . are people ugly and dangerous often enough?

Sure. But with costs as great as they are -- if we can get some key facts about the Cold War sorted out, and some frauds exposed - - we can be a lot safer - without anybody becoming a saint.

If people looked at all the interlocking things on this thread that could be checked - - and checked some of them - - we could have a safer world - for reasons that might be selfish - but reasons that would make us safer and more decent than we are today.

If somebody with power (a leader of a nation stat

rshow55 - 10:28am Oct 31, 2002 EST (# 5403 of 5406) 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.

If somebody with power (a leader of a nation state, maybe) wanted to get some checking done - - there's are a good many "leads" on this thread.

The costs of checking are substantial. A private detective might not get everything on this thread "run down" for $50,000 - - though that would be a start.

Such a start would go a long way towards focusing the odds on whether or not I'm playing "Ishmael" - or telling detailed, crosscheckable things that I are checkably true.

Checking isn't easy, for anything complicated, where motivations for deception and reasons to doubt statements exist. But what are the costs of not checking the subject matter under discussion here?

I believe that some trillion dollar errors are being made - and that chances for safety are being wasted in addition to the money.

mazza9 - 10:33am Oct 31, 2002 EST (# 5404 of 5406)
"Quae cum ita sunt" Caesar's Gallic Commentaries

"I believe that some trillion dollar errors are being made - and that chances for safety are being wasted in addition to the money."

Robert you're entitled to your opinion. That doesn't make them facts.

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