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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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(5590 previous messages)
rshow55
 06:31pm Nov 11, 2002 EST (#
5591 of 5651)
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.
From my "Putin briefing" of March 2001  previously on this
thread: (links work)
Think about the "rate of return" of "investment decisions
Saddam, Iraq, Russia, other nations, and other players are
facing. Some options make much more sense than others.
rshowalter
 09:53pm Oct 16, 2002 BST (#350
of 367) 
rshowalter  05:30pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1394
I'll imagine that you're the great leader that the quality
of your thought and "staff work" indicates.
Suppose I take a shot, in the next hour, trying to speak of
Russia as a "statistical ensemble of businesses  with
expected rates of return that make them unattractive" 
and discuss how you might radically increase the
attractiveness of your country from a business point of view.
I'll speak of "expected rates of return"  as in compound
rates of interest  and talk about the key thing  which is
the total RISK DISCOUNT  make Russia more reliable, and you
will RADICALLY shift its marketability upwards.
rshowalter  05:36pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1395
Perhaps this model is simple enough for you to use and
evaluate, punching numbers on a hand held calculator.
Sometimes the biggest effects are easiest to see in a simple
case, where relations stand out starkly.
Suppose you think of an investment,
where at time 0, you put in a cost, C and
after a time of t expressed in years (which could be a
fraction)
you get a Payoff, P , if you win and the
PROBABILITY OF WINNING is a value a , between no chance
( a = 0 ) and certainty ( a = 1 ) so that
0<= a <= 1
It is worth noting, and especially worth noting for Putin,
how the value of a matters.
rshowalter  05:38pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1396
Reliability is valuable (and unreliablility is very
expensive ) from a gambler's (or investor's) point of view
!
rshowalter  05:41pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1397
the expected rate of return, r , for this lump model
is
r = [ln( aP/c)]/t
In words, the effective compounded rate of return (compound
interest) is the natural logarithm of the risk
discounted payofftocost ratio divided by the time
between putting out the expenditure C , and getting the
payoff P .
rshowalter  05:43pm Mar 23, 2001 EST (#1398
Note:
it isn't the "best case" payoff to cost ratio,
P/C , it is the risk discounted payoff to cost
ratio (aP)/C that the investor, if he's a rational
gambler, looks at.
rshow55
 06:41pm Nov 11, 2002 EST (#
5592 of 5651)
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.
For Iraq, what would the economic payoff, P , from
relaxing sanctions be? (In round billions)
How much time, t , would it take to get sanctions
relaxed, if cooperation with inspections occurred?
What would the cost, C be, in money and trouble?
What are the risks or uncertainties, lumped as a
discount, a , associated with the inspection option?
The "effective rate of return" is VERY high, if Saddam has
the wit to execute that strategy, in a way where his regime
survives  especially if it is done gracefully. High for Iraqi
citizens, as well.
Now, look at the same calculation with respect to
war.
The "payoff" from resisting inspections is negative
, and very large   the costs are LARGE   it is a VERY bad
bet.
Saddam is a chump and an idiot to choose war.
Russia's interest is clear, too. It is to facilitate the
inspection process, corner much more oil business than would
otherwise occur  and generally reduce risks and cost by
helping with communication.
And if Russia wants to maximize its security  it should
facilitate inspections and use the "moral capital" from that
to insist on getting some key questions long discussed
on this board answered.
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