[ExI] The Bomb verses a Email server
johnkclark at gmail.com
Fri Sep 16 18:31:22 UTC 2016
On Thu, Sep 15, 2016 at 10:22 PM, Anders <anders at aleph.se> wrote:
>>> this all assumes rational and error-free players.
>> And that is just about as far from a real life situation as it is
>> possible to get.
> Nah. 70 years of no nuclear war gives apparent evidence that things are
> not too bad.
I admit there is some truth in that, if you had predicted the day after
Nagasaki that as of 2016
no other nuclear bomb would have been used in anger I would have said you
> Correcting for anthropic bias and including the numerous near misses still
> seems to lead to the conclusion that the system is not super-bad.
he system was also super lucky,
the human race came very close to extinction in 1962. During the
Cuban Missile Crisis
the president's advisers
(except for his brother Robert)
including all the military ones
were urging the President not to wait and to take action immediately. Chief
of the US Air Force, General Curtis LeMay (a VERY scary man) and the head
of the Strategic Air Command Thomas Powers
(even LeMay called him a sadist) told the president if we didn't order the
missile sites in Cuba bombed within the hour it would be
a blot on the honor of the USA
Kennedy asked LeMay what he thought the Soviets would do if he did that.
LeMay said he understood how the soviets think and because such an attack
would be bound to kill lots of Russians manning the site they couldn't let
it pass, he said they would probably retaliate by bombing our
medium range nuclear missiles in Turkey. Kennedy asked what we should do
then, LeMay said such an attack would kill American soldiers and that would
have to be avenged by bombing nuclear missile sites in the USSR itself.
Kennedy asked what the Soviets would do then, LeMay said he hoped at that
point cooler heads would prevail.
Actually it was even worse than that. We now know from recently
declassified USSR archives that the nuclear missiles in Cuba were fully
operational in October 1962 and that the Russian field commanders were
authorized to fire them on their own authority if it looked like the
missiles were about to be
destroyed or captured. The field commanders had the launch codes! Castro
knew this, Kennedy did not.
The USA thought incorrectly that the missiles were not yet operational and they
never dreamed they could be fired without a direct order from Moscow.
And the USA didn't know until decades after the crises that there were
tactical nuclear weapons
that had no need for launch codes for them to be used: there were
12 nuclear warheads
Luna short-range rockets, and 6 nuclear bombs
that any airplane could drop.
If John Kennedy had done what the overwhelming consensus of his advisors
said he should do, or if Kennedy had the temperament intelligence and
emotional stability of Donald Trump then we would not be having this
conversation right now.
> On the other hand, it does suggest that a less conscientious or sane
> country very quickly could mess things up.
If Trump wins then in 4 years there will be a dozen more nuclear armed
nations in the world, a dozen times more chances that some world leader
will make a mistake. And even if we survive the 4 disastrous years of a
Trump administration and a sane president is elected after him the damage
will be permanent, that nuclear proliferation bell can not be un-rung and
we will just have to live, or die, in a far more dangerous world.
And people still want to talk about Hillary's 5 year old E-mail server. I
don't get it. I honestly don't get it.
John K Clark
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