Re: eeyore and tigger

From: John Clark (
Date: Thu Jun 15 2000 - 10:05:45 MDT

Spike Jones <> Wrote:

> Plutonium is just too hard to get,

I hope you're right but there are thousands of tons of the stuff and 9 pounds
can make a bomb. It's not like money where you can keep track of every cent,
whenever you process or machine Plutonium a little sticks to the machinery and
is unaccounted for. This worries me.

>too hard to handle.

I'd have to be careful or I might get cancer, but if I'm crazy enough to kill a
million people I probably wouldn't let a little thing like that stop me.

>He said that the NMD was so vulnerable that it has
>a number of soft radar sites, so that if any one of these is taken out
>the whole system is useless. Nowthen, it doesnt take an extropian
>to figure out that *no* weapon system is designed with multiple
>single-point failure modes and zero redundancy.

One half a megaton explosion 90 miles above Washington would create an EMP
that would shut down the entire eastern seaboard power grid and blow out every
civilian computer and RADAR from Boston to Atlanta. Perhaps the military stuff
is tougher but I'm skeptical, they've got sensitive electronics connected to huge
antennas and the pulse is so fast, much faster than lightning, that fuses are useless.

>Production is cheap, way cheap in comparison to that.

Cheaper than mass producing simple dumb ICBMs? I don't think so.

>Once we design a space based laser system

Space based? I didn't know you were talking about a permanent orbital
battle station. OK. I'll orbit a much cheaper satellite of my own in a similar
orbit but moving in the opposite direction. A modern anti tank gun fires
a round that weighs about 5 pounds and moves at 1 mile a second,
it can destroy a 70 ton M1 tank. The relative speed of our two satellites
is 11 miles a second, 121 as much kinetic energy per unit of mass,
so a projectile that weighed about half an ounce could nock out a M1.
Your space station will certainly not be a tough as a tank so I think I'll
just throw a bucket of sand in your path. Even if you miss the grains the
first time every 45 minutes the come around again.

>Recall that the photons that come out of the business end of
>a laser have *already* passed thru a highly reflective surface.

Only one end of a LASER is highly reflective, the other end, the one the beam
comes out, is about 50% reflective and with many high power LASERS it needs
to be replaced after every shot.

>those who design and build missile defense systems are not hurting for
>employment. They could make waaay more money elsewhere, but dont.

I don't believe that for a minute. I think the reasons for the project are bureaucratic
momentum and a childish fascination with things that go boom. I'm childish
myself and like things that go boom too, but there are limits I will not stoop to.
OK, it's easy for me to say that because I'm not an expert on light weight high
energy chemical LASERS, but if I was where else could I find a job? It's either
star wars or the golden arches, hold the pickles hold the lettuce.

             John K Clark

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