RE: state of memes

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Mon Oct 01 2001 - 11:56:13 BST

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: state of memes
    Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 11:56:13 +0100 
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    Hi Aaron,

    I'd agree with your view that Iraq becoming a nuclear power is not something
    to be welcomed, but there has been a kind of patriarchal attitude from
    existing nuclear powers- "we're all right to have them- but you can't".
    What that fails to acknowledge is that this position of exclusive access to
    the only military technology that ensures a degree of genuine sovereignty
    for a state, worries many nations, and not surprisingly the more aggressive
    of these have persued, and still persue achieving this regardless of what
    others may want.

    Actually, I wanted to ask a couple of quick questions, one related, one not
    so related. First, you've posted a few times about the attack on the towers
    and the forces involved leading to the massive extent of destruction. One
    discussion I've heard (amongst students I teach) is about whether the
    hijackers intended to cause the towers to collapse, or whether they intended
    only to kill themselves and those on the plane, with crashing into the
    towers being more of a symbolic act. Do you think they would have worked
    out how much damage they'd need to do to bring the towers down and cause the
    most destruction, or where they more opportunists?

    The reason this question comes up probably comes from UK experience of
    terrorism, where warnings are given, or bombs are detonated late at night or
    at weekends, such that the death toll is minimal. The terrorists in Norther
    Ireland have a sense of public opinion- hence the 'mistake' at Omagh, where
    20+ people died because the warnings were too late, and incorrect about the
    bomb's location. That assumes of course that the US attackers were
    similarly minded as the likes of the IRA, but the scale of this event
    suggests otherwise.

    The other question, completely unrelated, is a quickie about this new theory
    of the universe's origin, I've been reading about in New Scientist, the
    ekpyrotic theory I believe it's called. Since you're the only physicist I
    know, what's your view on this?


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