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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 (5541 previous messages)

rshow55 - 08:13am Nov 8, 2002 EST (# 5542 of 5547) 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.

commondata 11/7/02 5:00pm

With some problems fixed, we may be able to handle complexity better .

Just now, I find my eyes are tired - that I'm rusty enough in a few spots on the math in Graham and McRuer that I'm taking time to be careful.

Commondata - I sent you an updated disk yesterday.

For myself, I'm partial to the idea of continuity and differentiability of space - until I see a LOT more evidence against than Wolfram or anybody else seems to have on show. There has been good reason to suspect problems with calculus itself - since before Clerk Maxwell's time, and in gross ways since. I was assigned to look for them. With Steve Kline, believe I have.

Once those problems get solved in a way that fits into our socio-technical system, the "failure of classical mathematics" should be less convincing.

Amos Tversy missed getting a Nobel in Economics by dying - though he's given much credit in On Profit, Loss and the Mysteries of the Mind By ERICA GOODE which starts


"Everybody said it that way.

Here's a really good 3 volume book FOUNDATIONS OF MEASUREMENT by D.H. Krantz, R.D.Luce, P.Suppes, and A.Tversky

In it, Tversky and others make it clear that, as of now, there was no solid logical connection between the world of mathematics and the world of measurement.

If I can solve a lingering security probem, much discussed on this thread, I think that problem of linkage would get solved, in a way very much in the national interest. Results that would be useful in neural medicine, cardiology, physics, engineering, and elsewhere.

And difficulties with "complexity" would, in large measure, fade away - because in coupled cases, equations could be constructed that actually fit the cases being modelled in detail.

Anyway, that's just opinion - though it is an opinion that Steve Kline shared .

Issues set out in rshow55 11/6/02 2:37pm seem to me to be worth taking care about. I have no reason to doubt what is said there - and don't think any competent engineer who looked at the matter in detail would doubt the points made either.

rshow55 - 08:21am Nov 8, 2002 EST (# 5543 of 5547) 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.

5537 manjumicha 11/8/02 1:38am . . should emphasize STRONGLY how vulnerable we are - and with a little thought - how unstable our "fail safe" nuclear weapons systems have now become.

Not to mention our hospitals.

Sometimes, technical judgements have to be made. And said clearly enough so they can be understood. We are vulnerable, and there is no non-porous defense from very dangerous weapons - of many kinds - we can't forsee them all, but we can be sure of our vulnerability - a vulnerability that occurs in too many ways for defense to be fully reliable - now or ever in the future.

For example, see Fig 2 Explosively Pumped Helical Flux Compression Generator in The E-Bomb - a Weapon of Electrical Mass Destruction by Carlo Kopp Department of Computer Science

The design could easily be made as a hand grenade, a mortar round, or the kind of small grenade launched from a rifle grenade launcher. In mass production, such weapons could probably be manufactured at a cost under $50 each - likely under $20 each. So sized, it could knock out a socio-technical system as complicated as a hospital - or ANY major internet or telephone or semiconductor manufacturing facility in the world.

There are a number of things to conclude from this - one that seems compelling to me is that our nuclear weapons systems are obsolete menaces. Inherently unstable. Inherently vulnerable to first stikes from a competent nuclear equipped foe. We should take the damn things down, as a compelling matter of public safety.

A matter of aesthetics, as well.

Another point ought to be simple - and it is very important. No defense is going to keep us perfectly safe - but reasonable safety is going to require shared moral standards for the great majority of people all over the world.

Weapons of mass destruction are ugly. They are immoral. We should be against their use by anyone - - including ourselves.

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