[eDebate] ans Snider

Michael Korcok mmk_savant
Mon Jul 3 12:28:11 CDT 2006

your rhetoric makes the assumption that there has not been an on-going nuclear war against the indigenous peoples of Earth, which furthers the on-going genocide by masking it. (yes that line is a BIG hit at parties and faculty meetings whenever the topic of nuclear war comes up).
that "1% each year is 100% given enough time" argument had its hey-day in the late 1970s when several hundred eminent scientists signed a petition making it their centerpiece argument for nuclear disarmament.  the application of the argument to particular policies is tricky but the argument itself is tricky.
the use of 1% steady year after year forever is mostly a flashy math trick.
for example, suppose we run a 1% risk per year for 25 years but then nukes are made obsolete by nanotech.  the cumulative risk would only be 22% that there would have been a nuclear war during that quarter-century.   an acceptable cost to prevent the fashion disaster of having to wear stupid red stars on our hats.
and suppose that we learn from possession of nuclear weapons and get some limited management of them so that the risk of a nuclear war drops slowly but steadily every year...  1% in year 1, .95% in year 2, .90% in year 3, and so on. after 25 years, the cumulative risk of nuclear war would have been only about 10%.  a stinkin 10%!  talk to me when you get a real impact!
and suppose the risk is only .1% every year...  after 500 years the cumulative risk of a nuclear war is still only 40%...  half a millenium worrying for less than a coin-flips chance of a nuclear war?  should have worried about the 4 pandemics, greenhouse-warming-induced-WaterWorld and the 2 asteroids that destroyed France instead!
Michael Korcok
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