[fa.arms-d] Arms-Discussion Digest V3 #43

arms-d@ucbvax.ARPA (06/11/85)

From: The Arms-D Moderator (Harold Ancell) <ARMS-D@MIT-MC.ARPA>

Arms-Discussion Digest Volume 3 : Issue 43
Today's Topics:

                            Arms-D Returns
                   Neutron bombs and nuclear winter
                        Il Principe e Discorsi
                          Star Wars software
                    Emotions, Morality, & Actions
                    ABC Program The Fire Unleashed

Note from the Moderator:

Sorry about the week+ long hiatus in digests; I moved last week and
our new, improved phone comany(s) took a long time to get my phone set
up.  Digests will become a lot more frequent again.

Sometime while this was happening, submissions to ARMS-D@MC and
ARMS-D-REQUEST were apparently failing with weird error messages from
the UCB mailer.  The messages did get through to MC, which is where it
counts; they weren't getting through to a co-moderator.  The upshot is
don't worry about error messages you get when you send mail to ARMS-D
unless you get error from your host mailer saying it can't send to MC
or from MC's mailer saying "I see no ARMS-D here."

I've fixed up the archiving situation on MC (digests starting with 27
hadn't been getting archived.)  ARMS-D digests are archived in
BALL;ARMSD ARCnn, where nn ranges from 1 to 12.  This digest will be
the first in BALL;ARMSD ARC12.  Enjoy.

					- Harold


Date: Wed, 22 May 85 04:30:29 pdt
From: rimey@Berkeley (Ken Rimey)
Subject: Neutron bombs and nuclear winter

> From: <decvax!watmath!looking!brad@Berkeley>
> It seems to me that even if the superpowers became convinced of
> this, all that would result is a strategy change involving the use
> of neutron bombs on cities instead of regular H-bombs.  Neutron
> bombs disable the city and destroy the industrial base without
> causing a major firestorm, from what I have heard.  (When I say
> destroy the industrial base, I mean make it unusable)

Except for its ability to kill people who are shielded from other blast
effects by say a tank, I don't see how a neutron bomb is much different
from an ordinary nuclear bomb of similar explosive power.  (This
hypothetical ordinary bomb is smaller than those found on ICBMs.)

Whether a bomb is designed to produce lots of fast neutrons certainly has
no bearing on whether it will start fires.  Whether any bomb will start
a firestorm, who can say?

Knocking down factories makes them unusable.  The neutrons won't carry
THAT much momentum. :)  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think they
will induce an important amount of radioactivity.

I don't mean to address whether small bombs and careful targeting could
wipe out industry without causing nuclear winter.  I suggest only that
neutron bombs are not relevant.

					Ken Rimey


Date: Sun 2 Jun 85 17:29:05-EDT
From: Rob Austein <SRA@MIT-XX.ARPA>
Subject: Il Principe e Discorsi

All this talk of Realpolitik caused me to dig out my copy of
Machiavelli.  I found the following at the end of Max Lerner's
introduction to the book, seems somewhat apropos.

	Machiavelli sought to distinguish the realm of what
	ought to be and the realm of what is.  He rejected
	the first for the second.  But there is a third
	realm: the realm of what can be.  It is in that
	realm that what one might call a humanistic realism
	can lie.  The measure of man is his ability to
	extend this sphere of the socially possible.  We can
	start with our democratic values, and we can start
	also with Machiavelli's realism about tough-minded
	methods.  To be realistic about methods in the
	politics of a democracy at home does not mean that
	you throw away all scruples, or accept the superior
	force of "reason of state," or embrace the
	police-state crushing of constitutional liberties.
	To be realistic about the massing of power abroad in
	the economic and ideological struggle for the
	support of men and women throughout the world does
	not mean that you abandon the struggle for peace and
	for a constitutional imperium that can grow into a
	world republic.


Date: Fri, 31 May 85 10:19:32 EDT
From: Jeff Miller AMSTE-TOI 4675 <jmiller@apg-1>
Subject: Help

A request for help from any and all;

     I'm trying to track down a mailing address for a West German
electronics firm; TST < Tele Security Timmann > in Poecking, W.

     I've about tapped out all sources for their full address and
telephone no.

      TST manufactures secure voice encryption equipment, supplies
about 14 foreign armies.  Information available from Janes is sketchy.


 P.S.  Thanks for info on h-h ( Helicopter vs helicopter ) which has come out 
       in recent discussions.   


Date: 31 May 85 12:41:23 PDT (Friday)
From: Hoffman.ES@Xerox.ARPA
Subject: Star Wars software

In the April 19 issue of 'Science', there was a news article about
Pentagon research grants to universities.  A companion piece entitled
"Star Wars Grants Attract Universities" included a statement that "100
million lines of error-free software code must be written" followed by a
quote from Edward Wegman of the Office Of Naval Research that "we don't
want to have a few lines of bad code mistakenly set off a nuclear
weapon," reportedly said "only partly in jest."

In the May 31 issue of 'Science', there is a letter in response from
Anthony Ralston saying, in part:

	... In no foreseeable future -- and this certainly covers the
	10- to 20-year period during which the SDI is to become
	operational -- is there any valid prospect of writing 10
	million or 100 million or anything approaching this number
	of correct lines of code.  There is even less prospect of
	writing a program such as this that will work the first time
	it is used, as it must.  No regimen of testing or simulation 
	and no application of program verification techniques is even 
	on the horizon that would not leave such a vast program with
	many bugs.  Thus, quite aside from any other technical,
	political, or economic objections that might raised about the
	Star Wars system, its computer software problems doom it to
	...[T]he project itself is intellectually dishonest.  Is 
	intellectual honesty one academic value that will succumb
	to the economic difficulties in which universities find
--Rodney Hoffman


Date:           Thu, 30 May 85 09:55:04 PDT
From:           Charlie Crummer <crummer@AEROSPACE.ARPA>
Subject:        Reversal

> Date: Tue, 28-May-85 07:49:12 PDT

> From: ucbcad!tektronix!carlc@UCB-Vax.ARPA (Carl Clawson) (the physics net)
> Subject: Yet Another Flaky Paradox

> This has more to do with clear thinking than with physics, but here goes:
> When you look in a mirror, the image you see is reversed left to right.
> Why is it not also reversed in the vertical direction?

> -- Carl

One might also ask why an image is not reversed in sex, e.g. man changed to
woman.  Or why time is not reversed, or why charge is not reversed, or why
the mirror image of a legal decision is not the reversal of the decision.  
A mirror does not reverse everything.  It produces an image that can be 
gotten from the original from the process called parity transformation which
is a description of what a mirror really does, not some ideological 

I am glad that you brought this "paradox" up because it is a simple 
illustration of the origin of the kind of fuzzy thinking that resulted in
the "Star Wars" proposal.  
Much like the word "reversal", the word "shield" conjures up a 
concept.  It brings up the  vision of an
impenetrable surface that is interposed between us and the enemy.  It is
purely defensive but unfortunately there is no reality to the concept in the
context of nation-nation confrontation.
"Star Wars" is the result of the typically ideological refusal to take "no"
for an answer.  It is an attempt to jerry-rig the physical world to do
some equivalent thing, sort of like trying to design a mirror that would
produce a sex-reversed image.  No amount of engineering will suffice; it
only happens in Sci-Fi.  Much time, energy, and ingenuity is going into
the project of pursuading people to BELIEVE in the concept and this has
nothing to do with its reality!  If people can be pursuaded to believe in it,
rather like some believe that Uri Geller has power to do things that are
known ("common sense") by all to be impossible, then they will FEEL safe.  

Of late in this country many people have been pursuaded that their innate
ability to discriminate between reality and fantasy is merely a manifestation
of "doomsaying" or "negativism" and just hampers them in "getting with the
program".  A magic show is fun because the audience knows it is being fooled.
The same show would be an insult to the intelligence of that same audience if
they were being asked by someone they are supposed to respect to believe
that they are not being fooled.  This is the case of Reagan and "Star Wars".



Date: 30 May 85  19:02 EDT (Thu)
From: _Bob <Carter@RUTGERS.ARPA>
Subject: Reversal

[Excerpts from above message from Charlie Crummer removed - Mod.]

Why don't you just answer the question to PHYSICS and save the
irrelevant polemic for ARMS-D?  Carl knows about parity reversal.
That's obvious from the way he asked.  But it is an interesting
question to lots of lay readers the list.  This first occurred to me
when I was a small child, and it took me a bit of hard thinking to
figure out.  It's fun to think about again.  Hearing you emote about
something completely unconnected is about as much fun as getting one
of those prerecorded phone calls selling life insurance.

You're thoughtless and self-indulgent to cc: to both lists.  Most
of us read them both anyway.

One good reason for not mixing the two up:  People who do find
themselves saying some quite dopey things.  As:

		  or why the mirror image of a legal decision is not
    the reversal of the decision.



Date:           Wed, 5 Jun 85 13:20:59 PDT
From:           Richard Foy <foy@AEROSPACE.ARPA>
Subject:        Emotions, Morality, & Actions

Charlie Crummer  questions if a human being can act without emotion.

People wyo think that they are acting with cold logic, without
emotion, have fooled themselves. They think that they hve put aside
their emotions. Instead they have pushed them out of awareness. That
is they have put a disconnect into the corpus collosum which connects
their left hemnisphere with the right hemisphere. Their non-verbal
hemisphere still has the pattern of the emotion.  It still connects
the pattern with the hypo-thalamus and the amigdala which generate the
energy of the emotion. They still are under the influence of the
emotion. They just aren't aware of it. Thus they act less wisely than
if they were in touch with the emotion. It like the person who shouts:
"WHO'S ANGRY?  I'M NOT ANGRY." (Drastically simpified)

The structure of the brain, the biochemistry of the brain and
endocrine system do not allow one to act without the energising of the
hypo-thalamus. They only allow us to be unaware.
richard foy


Date:           Fri, 7 Jun 85 09:58:25 PDT
From:           Richard Foy <foy@AEROSPACE.ARPA>
Subject:        ABC The Fire Unleashed

Seeing The Fire Unleashed last night made me almost want to give up.
However the fact that so many people are beginning to really see the
hazards gives me enough hope to continue.

[End of ARMS-D Digest]