Sunday, March 15, 2009
I think it was on Fresh Air (NPR) a while back, there was a program about automation and robot technology being used in combat. All very interesting and stomach turning stuff. But something I heard has stuck in my head. The were talking about the remote control planes that fly missions over Afghanistan (and now Pakistan), and how they are controlled by people on bases in the United States. Some of these people could, conceivably, live off base. So this means that the guy in front of me at the check out line getting coffee and a donut at the local quick store (who just finished kissing the kids good bye for school) could be on the way to the office where he'll remotely control a bomb carrying drone plane to drop bombs on other people a half a world away. Antiseptic killing. I wonder what thoughts might go through a person's mind at night who spends his days thus employed. Actually, I don't want to know. It seems there is no turning back when we have come to a point like this. On Friday, again on NPR, Science Friday, they were talking about a research project that has the potential to eliminate negative memories from mice. The implication was raised that perhaps such a capability could be used by governments to "cleanse the impact of war" from solder. I.e., "it's OK, when you get back, you won't remember a thing". I think of my own family eating breakfast and being struck by a bomb lobbed by an unmanned drone plane remotely controlled by some person a half a world away. Actually, I don't want to think about that.