Re: eeyore and tigger

Date: Mon Jun 12 2000 - 17:31:36 MDT

John Clark supposedly said:

>If defense cost far more than offence, and
>it does and always will, then a ABM system can't save it and it doesn't
>matter if the city's value is zero or infinity. Don't misunderstand me, I'm
>not happy with this situation but that's the way things are.

This saying about defense and offense can be turned on its head though.
>From the point of view of trying to destroy an incoming missile, it is
the missile which is on the defensive. If an expensive nuclear missile
can be destroyed by inexpensive attacking drones, then the fact that
defense costs more than offense means that the ABM can work.

This judo twist was also used by Robert Freitas in his article on gray
goo. It had been proposed that gray good would have the edge because
destruction is easier than preservation. But no, Robert Freitas pointed
out that it is the gray goo which must replicate and build more of itself.
It is vulnerable to attack and now it is the attackers of the gray goo
which have the advantage, because it is easier to destroy the goo than
it is for the goo to preserve and replicate itself.

All in all I'm not sure this defense/offense maxim sheds much light on
the situation, when both sides seemingly can use it with equal ease.


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