Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Schelling's Nobel Lecture
See the video here (via Mark Kleiman). The joyful lunchtime thought from Prof. Kleiman:
Here Schelling is back to arms control, and he's about as cheerful and playful as a wolfpack: grimly satisfied that, surprisingly, we've gone sixty years since Hiroshima and Nagasaki without seeing nukes used in anger again, and grimly determined, though only cautiously optimistic, about keeping that record going.
The take-home point: The nuclear taboo might never have been created, but now that it exists we should all treasure it. We all need to hope that the Iranian mullahs are as wise as LBJ and not as batsh*t crazy as John Foster Dulles, and the United States has to learn what it means to be deterred.
That's partly why I'd be happy to try to distract Dr. Strangelove types by throwing them the bone of nuclear-powered space probes to explore the outer Solar System. Though I fear that the truly batsh*t crazy types who want to have things like "little" nuclear bunker busters handy are beyond simple distraction.