[thechat] Your Opinion is Required

Luther, Ron Ron.Luther at hp.com
Wed May 29 08:31:01 CDT 2002

Hi Syed,

Another thought provoker eh?

Here goes:

Q 1.        What do you think about thousands of ballistic missiles and
nuclear weapons which are in possession of USA, UK, France, Russia and

(1) I think I could get a bundle selling them on eBay.
(2) If I could only get my hands on one of the Chinese --- I'd have a full set.  [Collect 'em all!]
(3) I've been reading a nice book that has an interesting chapter or two on personal 'sphere of influence' versus 'sphere of concern' and the frustration it can cause you to spend too much time and effort on areas you cannot influence.  It's all in *how* you go about changing your world.

Q 2.        Are these powers of the world justified to possess such
amount of such destructive weapons?

- My friends have often said "Too much is never enough!".  {Of course, they may have been talking about alcohol, sex, or rock and roll ....}

- Justified to who?  To the governments who don't have them?  Why?  What's the point?  Is there something in the Constitution of France that requires them to be considerate of the opinions of non-resident Inuits?  I don't think so.  Sovereign nations need only justify enough of their actions and policies to their immediate constituents - enough to keep themselves in power.  Why would someone else's opinion be important to them?  Trade relations?

Q 3.        Why do these countries prohibit other countries to have
these weapons when they have these with their own-selves?

Change is stressful.  Preservation of the status quo is preferred.  Consider an aquarium full of cichlids.  Introduce a newcomer without tearing down all the existing territorial walls ... and the 'old guard' will quickly kill it because there is no territorial room for it.

A newcomer to the nuclear arms club could change the balance of power in unpredictable ways - and "surprise", in this venue, is always considered a 'bad thing'.

Q 4.        If these powers think that other countries are non-sense to
have such weapons then do these powers have any sense; if we observe
their character in world community?

Hmmmm.  I think maybe you are confusing the 'rhetoric' for the 'reason'.  A 'superpower' may *say* they don't want the Inuit nation to have nukes because "the  Inuit nation is made up of 'unstable children'".  This is not the reason.  This is merely what they *say* is the reason.  This is the rhetoric.  The real reason is the impact it could potentially have on the current pecking order.  Sure - that characterization may be defaming and it may hurt the Inuit's national pride and feelings --- but again the question is "So what?".

[That's also rhetorical if you haven't guessed by now.  The challenge is thinking up a way in which it is beneficial for the 'haves' to be considerate of the 'have-nots'.  Some time ago it was noted that the Bill Gates and Ted Turners of the world would give _much_ more money to charitable causes if only there was a 'scorecard' which showed them as "on top" of the other folks.  At present there is only the Forbes list which shows how much they have hung on to - not how much they have given away.  We need to change the metrics and expectations if we hope to engender any sustainable long term change - and that's a very tough challenge.]

Q 5.        Will there be any threat to world peace if small countries
start their own space program for scientific researches?

1) Of course not.  I'm fairly certain the Arianespace folks would gladly rent research space to the Intuits and take their money.  NASA might be willing as well. And the (former) Russians? Well - you might not need as many kopecs to rub together to get their interest. No problem - play within the system and everything will be fine.  <g>

2) You did say "space research" and not "rocket research", right?  Cuz you realize we'd have to squash any 'rocket' research since that could potentially be used as a tactical delivery system against us.

Oh well ... back to work!

Have a great day Syed!


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