Friday, February 22, 2013

Drone Free?

This animated piece was published as an op ed by the NY Times on Tuesday, February 20, 2013. We have gone way beyond what was existential science fiction a few decades ago, a speculative vision of an oppressive future. 1984 is so old school.  Welcome to our Brave New Surveillance Society. It only illustrates how easily we are inured and conditioned to adapt and accept as long as it doesn't seem to directly affect us. If I'm not doing anything wrong, then what do I have to worry about? It's those "subversive terrorist criminal elements" By the way, have you updated your definition of "anything wrong" lately?
But drones have so many applications. You can own your own drone from Rotary Robotics for $250. A personal surveillance type drone with a camera that can be accessed and controlled from you laptop or, eh? They call their project Drones For Peace.  We all know that drones have many industria and agricultural uses. Here in France and in the USA, farmers now use them to monitor crop conditions. They can gauge soil moisture and fertilization and monitor crop health.
My proposed coupon and a good reason why I am not allowed to
go near technical drawing pens....
But, heck, I know this isn't why you would want to purchase your own personal drone...The personal, perfect, anonymous way to settle a little neighborly dispute...unless your neighbor could ever invest in a personal missel defense system, and take my word for it, folks, the good scientists at Raytheon have been trying to sell you one for years and trying to get it to just work right, one time, at least...They have to justify the Billion plus buck welfare subsidy they have been getting form the Defense Department to just stay in business these days. Until they get the technology down and can sell it to your neighbor, maybe you'd like to take advantage of  my special offer...with my Chinese connection. We're working on a special discout discount coupon deal just for you. Today, you can buy your own personal predator drone system for say, $2,500.a piece, but I can get you a deal in quantiites.For the time being, you are going to have to work out the shipping arrangements with Mr. Zhang Xuejun at BMP. Bejing Micro Pilot. They do take Western Union Money transfers. So we all can have drones, drones for peaceful applications, the police can have drones for surveillance, you can have a drone to take out your obnoxious neighbor and the military/industrial complex is making money hands over fist as they market and sell and infiltrate your consciousness with the idea that this is normal?
Act Now! You can have the drone of your dreams, at a price
you can afford and I can get you a volume discount!
Now stop...imagine the world under Mitt Romney....his line up of neo con jackals in  charge of the military and security applications of drone technology. Imagine trying to reason with John Bolton, who would probably be Secretary of Defense now if the Bishop had been consecrated. I have a lot of issues with the Obama Administrations use of Drone technology as a tool of war fare...but this did not start under Obama...I have been writing about the use of drones as the presently most dehumanizing factor in modern war fare for a few years now. It's too easy, it's too sloppy, it's so convenient...and it's so uhhhhh....NOW! Drugs, video games, alienation,the ulitimate high powered assault weapons...except, instead of being trapped in your parents basement fantasy land, you are in a sealed locked down climate controlled environment some where in in fucking Nevada for 12 hours a day watching monitors and pushing buttons and destroying real lives real people, and making big mistakes, except there is no replay option....How fucked is that?
Here is an incredible piece of testimony in a January 3, 2013 article in the German Journal, Der Spiegel, by an American Military Us Air Force Drone operator, Brian Ferguson who one day realized what was happening to himself and had the guts and the intelligence to walk away. An incredible story, it begins: 
For over five years, Brandon Bryant worked in a elongated container the size of a caravan, without windows, at a constant temperature of 17 ° C, and the door was condemned for safety. Before the eyes of Brandon and his colleagues glittered fourteen screens. Their fingers, four keyboards. It was enough that Brandon presses a button in New Mexico for a man to die on the other side of the planet.
Inside the container, computers humming. This is the brain of a drone. In the U.S. Air Force, we call this piece a "cockpit". A difference that pilots do not fly container - they just fly. 

Please read the article.
What we can humans do? We can dream. We can create. We can use the survival skills that have kept us ahead of the game for a few hundred thousand years to create the reality and the space we need to survive. Because that is what we do best, survive. Long after the Military|Industrial Complex is decaying and risting in the dust, we will still be here....If we ever figure out how to use drone technology safely and in an energy efficient manner, we will be doing it. I have no doubt of that. It's just another one of those pesky evolutionary bottle necks we have always managed to squeeze through.
Here's a vision of a technically evolutionary realizable future scenario by an Egyptian writer, who calles himself Sepoy. He imagines a place named Shura City and how it can be impervious to present drone technology. Much of what he writes makes sense and he admits that he is not an architect or technician.Here is his proposal for Shura City and the PDF if you care to read it.

1 comment:

bj said...

Well, you know what they say ... "You can't stop progress'. With any luck our friends at the NRA will lobby to make anti-aircraft guns and shoulder fired missiles legal for "home protection" 'cause "Ass whut the sekund uhmendmint'sall about!"
Be afraid for your children and grandchildren .... 'cause this shit ain't just comin' ... it's already HERE!