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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 (5701 previous messages)

rshow55 - 06:24am Nov 13, 2002 EST (# 5702 of 5709) 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.

Took a break. Needed some time off.

kalter.rauch 11/13/02 4:42am - - - I stand by my estimates - I think you're doing a lot of fast talking - and the physics I said was easy is easy.

So is the manufacturing.

With nukes, even when the structures are easy and the math is easy - there's a component in the drawings that has to be made of "unobtainium" . - An unavailable metal.

For EMP weapons, there are no such restrictions. Fig 2 in The E-Bomb - a Weapon of Electrical Mass Destruction by Carlo Kopp works on simple compression of a magnetic field by simple, predictable distortions of a cylindrical conductor by a simple explosive package.

There are very important, inescapable reasons why we have to learn to make peace more effectively than we've done so far. That does not make me a pacifist.

But I'm working - so is lchic - - and my own estimate is that we're probably, speaking in an actuarial sense - saving more than 1,000 lives per hour of our work.

Even so - if you check I'm a strong supporter of strong military forces that can be effective as part of a more complex situation.

rshow55 - 06:57am Nov 13, 2002 EST (# 5703 of 5709) 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.

Maybe my estimates are wrong -but I've sometimes felt that lchic and I have done better than that at increasing world safety. That the NYT and other posters have made big contributions, as well.

I've posted these references from time to time - and think they're right.

1999 rshow55 5/4/02 9:39am . . . 2000 rshow55 5/4/02 10:36am

Now, right or wrong, when I started on this thread I thought the risk of destruction of the world, from chain reaction nuclear screwups I knew something about - was running about 10%/year - an expected value of more than half a billion deaths a year - plus the aesthetic unpleasantnesses that the end of the world may involve, depending on how you want to think about it.

Half a billion deaths per year - as an actuarial "expected value" is several WTC disasters per hour.

Now, I feel those risks are MUCH less - because communication between the US and Russia, tense as it is - is much better - and because feedbacks are better.

I also feel that if we keep at it - and if things focused on this board and elsewhere are more widely understood and used - - the incidence of death and agony from war in C21 might come down to much less than 10% of what it was in the 20th century.

Still too much agony to imagine - too many deaths for a person to count. (Ever counted to 10,000 yourself? ). Too much agony, too many deaths, however much, and however many, in clear senses. All the same, less and fewer are better.

If lchic and I have had an actuarial effect saving ten million lives - a tiny proportion of world population - that corresponds to about 1000/lives per hour or our work. Maybe we've done better. Even a few lives saved per hour of work wouldn't be so bad. Anyway - I think the work has been pretty effective - and we're both working hard, doing the best we can - and, often - grateful for some of the chances we've had. Though sometimes cursing some chances we'd like to have - and haven't had.

Is the work worthwhile to the NYT? I don't know. But I hope so.

mazza9 - 09:58am Nov 13, 2002 EST (# 5704 of 5709)
"Quae cum ita sunt" Caesar's Gallic Commentaries


Be kind to Robert. When he stuffs the barrel into his mouth and pulls the trigger, we can hope that his belief system is such that he knows that he has "done a good job" and is just "SO UNAPPRECIATED!"

Last evening my daughter, (high school sophomore), asked me to help her understand the "Allegory of the Cave". I was able to get her attention by citing Elle Brown in the movie "Legally Blonde" who learns of the Socratic method while attending Harvard Law. We then talked of the person who is chained to a chair in the cave unable to "know anything" except for the shadows on the wall. Knowledge is becoming unbound, turning around, adapting to the light which is near blinding, and then realizing that what you now see is the truth!

Well Kalter, Robert is chained to that chair and there is nothing we can do about it, except rail at his inability to "not see it" and "not get it." His fantasy is evident in his constant referral to his favorite shadows, "Casablanca" for one, and his recent desire to "team up" with ILM and Speilberg, Lucas, and other genius' who know and make the shadows! Of course, the reason they can make the shadows is that they are unchained.

Poor Robert!

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