RE: complete logical refutation (was: China?)

Tue, 8 Apr 1997 20:24:43 +0100
Richard K. Moore (

4/08/97, David Lloyd-Jones wrote:
>C4 stumbles
> along, the same way C3, C2, and the various c1s always did.
> Throwing a lot of stuff on a screen no more makes sense of it
> than stuffing it in a cleft stick might have.

which he claims
>is actually a factual characterisation of the central problem with C4.
>It thus constitutes a complete logical refutation of the inflated claims
>made for this new agglutination of old technologies.

This statement about C4 has really a rather simple logical structure. It
simply asserts two claims: the claim that "C4 stumbles along", based
perhaps on some undescribed source of information, and the second claim,
based apparently on a personal common-sense appraisal, that C4 screens must
necessarily be too crowded to be useful. That's it.

That "C4 stumbles along" simply isn't self-evident. Desert Storm and later
Bosnian cruise-missle deployment make at least a prima facia case that C4
might have significant tactical value. To make the counter-claim, with no
attempt to even refer to evidence, hardly constitutes "a complete logical
refutation" of anything.

And the assumption that C4 screens must be cluttered and unusable, given
that so many objects are detectable by sensor systems, misses the whole
point of software flexibility: display criteria can be easily invoked - by
voice command if you want to get fancy - so that only objects of interest
are displayed. Again, "complete refutation" is hardly accurate.


This "refutation" thread isn't useful fare for the wsn community.

I do think some of the theses offered in the "Hi Tech / China" paper might be worth discussing. Is "national interest" a major determinant of US China policy - more significant than kultur or human rights? Is "US national interest" now tacitly defined to include, let's say, G7 interests? Do weapons technology developments promise Uncle Sam an alternative to nuclear armageddon - an alternative that can be used more flexibly to bring a future China to its knees without incinerating it?

I don't claim to have "proven" affirmative answers to these questions, but I believe I've made a reasonable case - stronger than DL wants to admit. The world view developed in the paper contrasts in many ways with DL's world view, and could make for interesting comparisons, but this is prevented by his full-scale assault on each minor premise.