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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 (5841 previous messages)

rshow55 - 07:40pm Nov 16, 2002 EST (# 5842 of 5855) 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.

5381 rshow55 10/30/02 11:52am ... 5409 rshow55 10/31/02 12:19pm

I did a "briefing" on this thread for our "Putin stand-in", almarst that deals with a lot of reasons why reliability and right answers matter.

When complicated negotiations are necessary - - when we must build shared space - and come up with solutions that are at least good enough - the question " what would a good solution be, from the point of view of the people involved " is both an aesthetic and a technical question. A very practical question. Lchic and I have worked to make the technical aspects of that question sharper - in ways that I think can be useful, and fit here: 5438-40 rshow55 11/1/02 12:00pm

In " Beauty " Mark Anderson quotes Heisenberg's definition of beauty in the exact sciences:

" Beauty is the proper conformity of the parts to one another and to the whole. "

We have time to come up with more beautiful solutions than are being employed now - and we need to take enough care to come up with arrangements that are beautiful in the ways they can be - and avoid ugliness in ways that can be avoided.

It seems to me that a lot is being discussed - and a lot of hopeful possibilities are getting closer to reality. But a time comes when power matters, too, and 5807 rshow55 11/15/02 7:59pm seems worth citing again. It starts: . . . this board is all very nice - as a backwater in which to discuss things. But it is limited.

But if the leaders of infuential nation states actually wanted things checked - - and were willing to ask for that -- the checking would happen.

One would have to expect resistance - but if this board is any guide - the resistance would be reasonable - and progress would be possible.

If only the questions raised by almarst had the specific, crucial backing of real leaders - a lot could be sorted out. rshow55 11/16/02 4:03pm

5799 almarst2002 11/15/02 7:24pm ... 5800 rshow55 11/15/02 7:27pm

I'm taking some time out to rest.

rshow55 - 08:23pm Nov 16, 2002 EST (# 5843 of 5855) 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.

Only Saddam Hussein could have written Letter Submitted by Iraq to the United Nations

Between the Lines of an Iraqi Letter By VERLYN KLINKENBORG comments clearly and beautifully on the letter, and contains this:

the real purport of the letter is perfectly clear. It is a howl of temporary surrender, a plea of continuing defiance.

Defiance to what end? Aesthetics, and poetry, are so central to the psychology of Saddam, and the discourse he maintains with his people, that it ought to be worth some trouble to set out, in detail, how ugly it is for him to have stolen billions, while so many Iraqi babies starved.

To what end - to whose benefit - the defiance? In what way is the indignation, the sense of rightness justified?

One can remember the ancient lines from Maurice, and understand that Iraqis will resist invaders, as other nations will resist invaders:

" This only makes a war lawful: that it is a struggle for law against force; for the life of the people as expressed in their laws, their language, and their government, against any effort to impose on them a law, a language, a government that is not theirs. "

But some things in Iraq are very ugly - and have produced horror, ugliness and suffering in Iraqi terms, and other terms. It is a time to be very careful.

There are plenty of things to be checked. Almarst is right to point them out. If some leaders showed some moderate courage - they could be.

There is enough room for improvement that we ought to be able to make some - and be safer and more prosperous than today.

International law needs to be clarified and renegotiated. With reasonable care and reasonable courage - - it can happen - and the world, including the United States, can be safer than today.

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