[ExI] foundation and empire
spike66 at att.net
Fri Sep 2 20:17:53 UTC 2016
From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of John Clark
Sent: Friday, September 02, 2016 11:58 AM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: Re: [ExI] foundation and empire
On Fri, Sep 2, 2016 at 12:00 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net <mailto:spike66 at att.net> > wrote:
>it makes not one bit of difference if they should or shouldn't because presidents DO make the call on nukes and they will continue to do so… John K Clark
> >…John suppose the person who wins the election (we are told he or she won) is distrusted by the current administration (and congress (and most of the rest of us (not mentioning any names (don’t need to.))))
Then the lame-duck congress drafts a bill like the old stadium cheer: Hey hey whaddya say, let’s go take that ball away… Lame duck congress passes it,
>…Passed by a congress where both houses…and where each one is trying to convince voters that they are tougher on defence issues than anyone else in government? Pigs will fly first…
Keep in mind that this might be our ooooonnne and only chance, our one chance to solve a problem which has been there since the whole notion of the executive branch controlling the nukes first evolved. We know we have a single-point failure there, and we know the results would be catastrophic. We can estimate the risk with each new administration, but risk accumulates. Unless this is fixed, eventually nukes will fly for reasons such as someone lost their temper, or were being threatened (with something more mundane than missiles.)
If congress realizes that this is an opportunity that may never be seen again, ever, and realize that the whole world becomes safer if about five guys in congress must authorize any attack, and this might be the one time when a new president goes in with the level of distrust, bipartisan distrust as the next one will have… If congress will recognize this is our oooonnnne chaaaance to make safe a very dangerous situation, then acts on it, this will fly before pigs do.
It’s our one chance, this year. This is the year when both major parties pretty much distrust their own candidate, and durn sure distrust the other one. One chance, one.
>…On a separate matter, I looked at the title of your post and wondered if you too were an Isaac Asimov fan… John K Clark
Of course. Asimov was brilliant. We think of him as a terrific Sci-fi writer, but in my view his most brilliant work was the non-fiction essays he wrote as a monthly column for Fact and Science Fiction magazine, which I read in my misspent youth after I finished with the latest National Geographic (for the articles you know, only the articles.) That science non-fiction stuff was terrific. I bought the bound copies and read all of them after college was finished. Brilliant stuff.
Were Asimov among us today, he would relate to my One Chance argument I make above. Congress has nothing to lose, and Obama has everything to gain if he signs off on that deal. Reason: it would be a real and lasting legacy. Without that, he has a goose egg as soon as that system fails, that bill we had to hurry up and pass to find out what is in it. When that eventually collapses, he has no legacy at all that I can tell. But if he managed to solve that huge problem, that single point failure which threatens the planet, he would be remembered for that. Historians will look kindly on it.
Consider Asimov’s history non-fiction approach. That was brilliant too, but because he didn’t interpret history as this army defeated that army and the other thing. He recognized that it was all about technology, how this technology defeated that technology, not which band of apes defeated which other. Brilliant stuff, simple enough for a child to understand, and I can give you a good example of one who does.
Mental exercise in the spirit of Asimov: list all the presidential administrations you know (no looking up anything, put your OK Google phone away) and give a legacy in one or two words if possible, or a short phrase. Doesn’t have to be something good, just the most memorable with the most lasting repercussions or most well-known. Examples, Eisenhower: interstate highway system. Nixon: Watergate. WJClinton: Monica. Ja we know these guys did other things, but these are what they are remembered for. Repeat for the current administration please. Doesn’t want it to be Benghazi or a health system that eventually went away. But if he had instead: prevented nuclear war, well that’s a pretty damn good lasting legacy, ja? That’s what I would be doing right now in that seat, and try to get it through before the election if possible.
Then we really don’t need to tie ourselves in knots like we have been and have a virtual civil war over a job that really isn’t all that powerful; it wouldn’t much matter. We wouldn’t have billions of dollars spent on getting a job that pays a couple hundred thousand. It wouldn’t matter all that much who had that office.
This is our one chance John, one.
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