Re: spears versus shields

Michael Lorrey (
Sat, 28 Feb 1998 11:31:12 -0500

Wei Dai wrote:

> In response to Anders' comment of shields not keeping pace with spears,
> there seems to be two ways this could change. One is anonymity as defense,
> as in Vernor Vinge's _True Names_. They can't get you if they don't know
> where you are. The other possibility is nano-defense. (Too bad bobbles
> don't seem to be a physical possibility.)

On the contrary, most forms of personal defense can readily handle most any
personal threat, even so far as poison gas. However, it takes people willing
to purchase and use such tools before thay are of any use. People care more
about the 'appearance' of a threat as a deterrent to a would be attacker. Most
people do not want to have to actually use the guns they carry.

> Which will be widely available first, personal nukes, or personal nuclear
> defense?

I think that the day some terrorist group demonstrates their ability to deploy
a nuke in an urban area is the day that SDI technologies will quickly come to
the market, if only at first for cities to purchase for their police forces.
The difficulty with defensive technologies is the energy requirements versus
reusability. While some kinetic kill missiles would be cheap, they are only
one shot apeice, while a railgun or laser system requires a huge energy
production and storeage capacity. Eventually, though, as the need for high
energy weapons are needed for space travel, they will be come more
commonplace. Also, space based weapons can be lower powered than ground based
installations, as they don't have so mcuh atmosphere to punch through.

   Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------ Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
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