[FoRK] beware inevitability! a foil to the technologicalsingularity?

Robert Harley robert.harley
Fri Oct 14 15:02:33 PDT 2005


>I think BOTH sides of the aisle were firmly convinced that we were
>losing the Cold War in the 1970s.

In the 1970's, both sides were worried that some minor event would
trigger stupid destruction that neither wanted. Simplifying slightly,
Andrei Sakharov drove the disarmament process that made both sides
stand down to make such a trigger impossible (think the
S.U. unilaterally offering access to every square inch of its
territory for inspections, revised by some into a victory for Reagan's
post-facto "trust but verify" credo).


>Liberals thought we should concede [...]

Mind if I share in Russell's "laughable" remark in response to this?


>The idea that by the 1990's the USSR would have completely collapsed
>would have been laughable in 1985.

No it wasn't. "Senator, I served with 1985. I knew 1985. 1985 was a
friend of mine. Senator, you're no 1985".

By 1985, the cold "war" was obviously coming past its prime. Merkuns like
to claim "victory" in what wasn't a war - describing it as such does a
disservice to those who have fought and suffered through wars. The
"victors" were the people of eastern Europe who forced changes in
their governments through their action and political pressure - in
particular their governments were no longer minded to oppose the
popular will as they had done after the Hungarian Uprising or the Prague
Spring, or even the feared crackdown on Walesa's Solidarity that never
happened. The "victory" was brought about by Hungary opening its
border with Austria - that doesn't require a posteriori 20-20 vision,
it was as clear as night and day when it happened. Obviously
pressure from Western states contributed, but courage and action by
the masses of people concerned carried the day and, belately to their
credit, the unpopular governments of eastern Europe more or less
graciously conceded to the former's aspirations, reformed and started
playing the democratic game. Methinks that in the end of the day, the
prosperity of the EEC played a bigger hand than any threat of MAD, but
that's a post for anyther day.

Rob.

Post scriptum: Yadda yadda.

Post post scriptum: Just because I'm a card-carrying big-mouth doesn't
mean that you can't engage in debate! Sloth is a deadly sin
(apparently) so get posting already!



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