[ExI] The Doomsday Clock

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Jan 28 23:22:44 UTC 2017

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf
Of Adrian Tymes
Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2017 2:26 PM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: Re: [ExI] The Doomsday Clock

On Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 10:41 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> As I understand it, the system calculates where a rocket will land, 
> then makes a decision on whether or not to use a THAAD.  Usually that 
> decision is
> no: THAAD is an expensive bird, one you probably wouldn't want to use 
> to shoot down an unguided potshot with small payload.

Okay, then:
* North Korea launches a nuke at California.
* Mr. Trump inserts himself in the loop and says, "No THAAD; it's going to
land out in the desert, and we're keeping our assets to protect important
stuff."  (He would be contacted over any potential international incident,
and thus have an opportunity to do this.)

Ja, but we are talking about two different things.  The Palestinians are
firing cheap rockets into Israel with not much explosive and no guidance
system.  Those are unlikely to cause serious damage worth a THAAD.

Should North Korea fire an ICMB at the US, we will return fire before we
even know what is the payload.  It might be an EMP, which detonates above
THAAD range.  But they only get one shot.

>...Hamas has learned to fire from hospitals, schools, and other places
which, when carpet bombed, make for great PR...

Israel has learned to deal with it.  The rocket launchers are now often
spotted and destroyed before they can be fired.  Plenty of Palestinians do
not want their neighborhoods bombed, so they call in the coordinates of a
rocket as soon as they see one.  Crowded neighborhood, likely there will be
a few percent who are collaborators with the Israeli government.  They can
call in, illuminate a target from an apartment window with a laser invisible
to the eye, bad guys setting up rocket next to local school, suddenly it
explodes before they can even get the launcher set up.

What eventually helped reduce this was having the international community
blame the Palestinians for calling down fire on a civilian population by
firing rockets from a neighborhood, rather than the Israelis.  Any country
is expected to return fire if fired upon.  Civilian casualties are the fault
of whoever fired first.

>...LM (and those in the military looking forward to cushy jobs with LM, if
not already on LM's payroll) sets up the tests.  That's like the tobacco
industry setting up "scientific" studies to "prove" tobacco is harmless and
nonaddictive.  The same sorts of biased experimental setups, measurement
errors, and data fabrication are likely to occur...

It would be more like the tobacco consumer community setting up studies to
prove tobacco is harmless and nonaddictive.  Did they do it?

>...For trusted experiments, those conducting the tests would need to have
no personal stake in the outcome, to a high enough degree of probability.
Unfortunately, this pretty much excludes the US military (given the
long-established "anyone who helps us look good, we'll reward later", such
that any given participant could be considered to be aware of and counting
on subsequent payback, or under the orders of someone who is)...

Are you arguing that a THAAD cannot hit a non-cooperating target?  Why do
you think that?  Ground-based and space-based Radar can't track it with
sufficient precision to get a THAAD in the neighborhood to close enough that
its endgame guidance can take out the target?


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