Re: hi! please read this

Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Thu, 04 Feb 1999 11:57:29 -0800

Hi Mitch,
I was at a conference yesterday, so hopefully this is an early enough
response. Basically I came up with a guess based on my experience
with embedded software systems having to do with real-time guidance.
The model is the following, I simply took the industry standard
predictions about failures of types of chips, a break down of the
typical effects of such a failure, calculation of the known number
of missiles, and the possible effects of lack of maintenance of the
missile systems from commonly reported information about Russia, it's
economy, and the state of it's military and particulary nuclear missiles.
It's the fear of the unknown, no matter how slight, which is worrisome.

That said, there is no proof that the Russian government has actually
built the type of failsafe, counteroffensive system that is mentioned
for various technical, safety, and political reasons. Further, the
probability that a chain of events leading to a ground level detonation
or accidental lauch is near zero. The posting you read is simply a 'what if'
game just to review the possible risks.

For more information about models, mutual destruction, bluffing, etc., I recommend
Games as Models of Social Behavior. Also, there are plenty of books on
Bayesian models of probability. You can cite me as a Dr. of Information
and Computer Science, but make sure you also explain the context of the post,
i.e. take those numbers with a grain of salt.

Good luck in your debate.

Greg wrote:
> Hi! My name is Mitch and I have a question for you. I participate in a
> debating league in my school. The topic for this year is Russia. My partner
> and I have decided to run a case that has to do with Russian Y2K problems. I
> would like to know if I can quote your article on Russian collapse due to the
> Y2k bug. I found it by doing a search on Y2k stuff. Also if you have any
> special qualifications. I noticed that this is a email going to a edu address
> so I was hoping that you were a professor or a teacher. Please write back to
> me soon, I have a tournament this weekend and your article would be awesome to
> use! Thanks for addressing this quickly!
> Mit
> ch Linder