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Thread: Are nuclear weapons still needed?

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    <3 gator's Avatar
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    Are nuclear weapons still needed?

    Jeremy Corbyn is taking a lot of flack for saying he wouldn't deploy nuclear weapons ever.

    But do we really need nuclear weapons? Do they actually act as a deterrent if nobody ever uses them?

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    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gator View Post
    Do they actually act as a deterrent if nobody ever uses them?
    As a statement of fact there is a very high probability they will be used again in the next 30 years.

    The notion of cold war deterrence is kind of obsolete in the free-for-all that is now enveloping. Given the endless human capacity to fall out and kill large numbers of people after a tribal dehumanising, it is just a matter of time.
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

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    a fool on a journey pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Well they definitely aren't going to act as a deterrent if you declare your intent to never use them no matter what. What a stupid thing for a country's leader to say.

    As for the US, we've used them before and I don't think anyone sane questions that we would use them again under the right circumstances. I think any country would. The threat of mutually assured destruction is a deterrent against using them, so it only makes sense to use them in a case where you're facing destruction anyway.

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    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    Interesting perspectives here on the post-cold war situation from an evolutionary game theory perspective.

    More discussion here:

    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

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    DOA Space Invaders Champion Neville's Avatar
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    I bet Ukraine wishes they still had their nukes.
    “Then there you lie like the one warm spark in the heart of an arctic crystal.”

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    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathogenetic_peripatetic View Post
    Well they definitely aren't going to act as a deterrent if you declare your intent to never use them no matter what. What a stupid thing for a country's leader to say.

    As for the US, we've used them before and I don't think anyone sane questions that we would use them again under the right circumstances. I think any country would. The threat of mutually assured destruction is a deterrent against using them, so it only makes sense to use them in a case where you're facing destruction anyway.
    Except politics, and nations, are not "giant individual people interested in their own survival".

    I get really concerned when people start talking about nations and politics (and corporations/conglomerates/collectives) as though they are singular organisms with a human consciousness and anthropomorphic individual motivations and concerns. An american (or australian) can easily make decisions that are locally or individually optimal but detrimental to the nation...and i'd go so far as to say that people who think that isn't how it works have NO experience. Period. Bordering on "just shouldn't talk about shit they clearly don't understand".

    There's many cases where it makes sense to use big bad weapons in politics, that's why we have pyrrhic victories, poison pills, false flags, proxies, etc, etc. And that's without the personalities, madness, cults, emotions and insanity that actually happen in these environments. And don't get me started on the "we paid for it so we should use it" psychology...or what happens as barriers to entry lower and disposal/removal of old tech comes in...

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    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACow View Post
    Except politics, and nations, are not "giant individual people interested in their own survival".

    I get really concerned when people start talking about nations and politics (and corporations/conglomerates/collectives) as though they are singular organisms with a human consciousness and anthropomorphic individual motivations and concerns. An american (or australian) can easily make decisions that are locally or individually optimal but detrimental to the nation...and i'd go so far as to say that people who think that isn't how it works have NO experience. Period. Bordering on "just shouldn't talk about shit they clearly don't understand".

    There's many cases where it makes sense to use big bad weapons in politics, that's why we have pyrrhic victories, poison pills, false flags, proxies, etc, etc. And that's without the personalities, madness, cults, emotions and insanity that actually happen in these environments. And don't get me started on the "we paid for it so we should use it" psychology...
    True, although I think a difference should be made between a country and its government.

    Governments, like companies generally do act more like organisms because they have a centralised decision making process. That said, their ability to efficiently collect information and then rationally process it to a response is highly limited and driven by more agency conflicts than a strict biological entity, which is why most traditional game theory concepts of MAD were quite fragile.

    But arms races between countries do seem to operate on logics that are very much analogous to biological competition and business competition, with the same often counter-intuitive results.

    The funny thing is, as nukes become cheaper the tendency will be for entities to cheat out of the full-scale nuclear war and nuke other countries through more primitive media for which there may be limited comeback. All the ICBMs in the world won't deter a nuke in a suitcase laid done by a terrorist.
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

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    a fool on a journey pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACow View Post
    Except politics, and nations, are not "giant individual people interested in their own survival".

    I get really concerned when people start talking about nations and politics (and corporations/conglomerates/collectives) as though they are singular organisms with a human consciousness and anthropomorphic individual motivations and concerns. An american (or australian) can easily make decisions that are locally or individually optimal but detrimental to the nation...and i'd go so far as to say that people who think that isn't how it works have NO experience. Period. Bordering on "just shouldn't talk about shit they clearly don't understand".

    There's many cases where it makes sense to use big bad weapons in politics, that's why we have pyrrhic victories, poison pills, false flags, proxies, etc, etc. And that's without the personalities, madness, cults, emotions and insanity that actually happen in these environments. And don't get me started on the "we paid for it so we should use it" psychology...
    Right, they're a collection of people who are mostly interested in their collective survival, represented by a government elected to make decisions toward that end. Instead of naming the specific individuals who would be making the decision to use nuclear weapons, we can simplify by referring to the group that they represent. And yeah, leaders don't always do what's best for everyone. Sometimes I make decisions that are bad for my health too.

    Whatever individual or group we're talking about, if you use nuclear weapons it seems like a good bet that a lot of the world is going to make eliminating you as a threat a top priority. That is, unless you can convince the players that they don't need to worry about you doing it to them too.

    And as far as "we paid for it so we should use it", well, we have been using them. Our nukes have been in use since they were deployed, they're in use right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by ferrus View Post
    All the ICBMs in the world won't deter a nuke in a suitcase laid done by a terrorist.
    This does sound scary, but would a nuke that could fit in a suitcase do any more damage than, say, a van filled with fertilizer? I know a dirty bomb could be a really nasty thing but I don't see it causing the level of destruction and death we associate with nuclear warheads.

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    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrus View Post
    True, although I think a difference should be made between a country and its government.

    Governments, like companies generally do act more like organisms because they have a centralised decision making process. That said, their ability to efficiently collect information and then rationally process it to a response is highly limited and driven by more agency conflicts than a strict biological entity, which is why most traditional game theory concepts of MAD were quite fragile.

    But arms races between countries do seem to operate on logics that are very much analogous to biological competition and business competition, with the same often counter-intuitive results.

    The funny thing is, as nukes become cheaper the tendency will be for entities to cheat out of the full-scale nuclear war and nuke other countries through more primitive media for which there may be limited comeback. All the ICBMs in the world won't deter a nuke in a suitcase laid done by a terrorist.
    Absolutely.

    Although I like to playfully mock pol-sci as a kind of populist psuedo-science for example, there are genuine behaviours, patterns and restrictions of a systemic/game-theory nature that commonly play out.

    These institutions do have patterns and tendancies and systemic equilibria, and they act in some ways analogously to a biological organism, but i'd be very quick to deny that such an organism is best described as a human being. Their inertia, internal structure, and actual operations can be unseen and misunderstood by outsiders or those who haven't experienced them.

    As your video touched upon, its one thing when nukes are first developed: this is a competition essentially between super-powers where only the biggest and most advanced can partake in such and there are a handful of them around. It becomes another game entirely when they become somewhat accessible, either through technology advancement or sheer numerical surplus of their instances...

  10. #10
    singularity precursor Limey's Avatar
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    I might well have been in the US for too long, but that guy sounds like a total pussy to me. He has rounded off shoulders from all of the white guilt that he's burdened himself with, just for starters, then there's his communism branded as socialism take on the nanny state's expansion that make him seem like a 60s throwback.
    The bulk of the professional benefit sponging Jamaican contingent that I went to school are bleating about him every day on social media, like the sheep in animal farm, because in addition to the reinstatement of 'benefits', he's hinting that Britain owes Jamaica reparations.

    <thank you baby jebus that it isn't my tax dollars>
    I don't think we should argue and bicker about `oo enslaved `oo. I say to the Romans, well played sirs! *polite golf clap* - a thousand years! you really had us!

    Regardless of whether the nukes are an effective 'deterrent' or not, you probably shouldn't try to render them useless with hollow promises.
    What a poor man's Joe Hill this guy is. I think his foreign policy would procedurally include his duty of bowing and curtsying to the motorcades of visiting dignitaries, or for anyone state that the UK might have made to feel less good about themselves in the past, maybe he can burn the flag, or flail at an effigy of the queen, like an 18th century Frenchman, or Russian peasant of the unwashed masses, threatening a social revolution.

    Fuck that guy, he's part of the problem of everything that's wrong with modern day Britain.
    He's a future guarantee of a fourth generation of feckless, entitled, hangers-on. Hosts to a never ending stream of parasitic loss to the professionally unemployed natives and the Islamic hordes that are jumping onto the gravy train.
    Toot toot mister Corbyn, full steam ahead.

    The entrepreneurial spirit, the lion, and the bulldog are dead, the unicorn lives, fostering the hopes and dreams of a million more headcount of ruling underclass in its ample "tummy".



    /rambling incoherence

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