Strong opinions, weakly held

The latest moronic missile defense news

The reason I always harp on stories about missile defense is that the missile defense program is emblematic of government activity that’s expensive, useless, and exists only for symbolic value. It’s hard to make progress when it comes to preventing weapons proliferation, so the government comes up with these missile defense programs that will theoretically keep us safe from the bad people who want to kill us. The only good thing you can say about missile defense is that unlike invading other countries, at least these programs aren’t actually killing people.

Anyway, the latest absurd turn is that in response to threatened North Korean missile tests, the Pentagon has changed the status of the test system in Alaska that never worked to operational. It doesn’t work any better than it did before, but it’s no longer in test mode. That’s a relief.


  1. Massive government spending on research (even quakery SDI) is some other technologies might benefit.

    Some folks would claim that the space programs were useless, but we did benefit greatly—not necessarily for the simple act of landing some guys on the moon—but for all of the peripheral advancements and knowledge that came about because of that.

    I believe the same will be true for SDI, just not as great (Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, et.al. were for the pursuit of knowledge and to achieve specific goals), because SDI’s goal is impossible without employing magic.

  2. Bah, too much cut ‘n’ paste & not enough ‘preview’.

    The first line should read:

    “One positive result of massive government spending (even quakery SDI) is that other fields might benefit indirectly.”

  3. The space program gave us lots of great stuff. True, we’d have probably invented Velcro sooner or later, but where would we be today without Orange Tang?

  4. If you want benefit from massive govt spending on reaseach, put the money in research, not SDI,

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