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Next up — the anti-eagle drone

Friday, February 10th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — a variant on my cherished “eagle/weasel, carp/osprey” pairs — this time a mechanical vs organic pair ]
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Air superiority on this occasion belongs to the eagle:

A golden eagle carries a flying drone away during a military training exercise at Mont-de-Marsan French Air Force base. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

What’s next?

**

Humans train and launch eagles; humans train and launch drones:

What must follow, to my way of thinking, is reciprocal escalation.

After the anti-drone eagle as depicted above, we will have the anti-eagle drone, then the anti-drone eagle modified to take down anti-eagle drones in an ascending spiral of anti-anti-anti drones and eagles.

Thus also: eagles : air force :: dolphins : navy

**

Sources:

  • Reuters, France watches skies for Russian wargames, domestic drone threat
  • MakerFaire:Lisbon, FPV Drone Racing at the Maker Faire!
  • Business Insider, The US Navy’s combat dolphins are serious military assets
  • Mosquitoes of the mind

    Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — or should that be Uber über alles?]
    .

    uber-drones
    Forget billboards — motorists now have ads buzzing a few feet above their windshields — MIT Technology Review

    **

    There is an endless variety of possible starting points for a critique of oneself and the world. One might start from:

  • the message in a fortune cookie
  • whatever one’s parents imparted
  • whatever one rejected of what they imparted
  • Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates
  • a return to the Green Line
  • Palestine from the river to the sea
  • the sweet humility of the Magnificat
  • the fierce doctrine of Original Sin
  • the Cloud of Unknowing
  • the uncontaminated Unity of Godhead
  • the Buddha’s Noble Truth of suffering
  • the shining suchness of the Tathagata
  • something Karl Marx said, or Darwin
  • a tall tale from Chuang-Tzu
  • Lao Tzu’s unspeakable truth, unmappable path..
  • or the way someone reacted when one trod on their foot in the subway
  • Myself, I tend to go from either:

  • the Bene Gesserit adage, Fear is the mind-killer
  • or its obverse in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Yoga is the cessation of waves in the mind.
  • **

    Which brings me to advertising.

  • Yoga is the cessation of waves in the mind.
  • Advertising is the paid attempt to capture my attention regardless of my wishes in the matter.

    In terms of the Yoga Sutras‘s goal of an unruffled mind, advertising attempts to stir up trouble — not in Syria or Afghanistan, or even in my kitchen, but within my consciousness.

    And I’m not alone in detesting this invasive behavior. “Nearly 90% of people watching timeshifted shows fast-forward the ads,” the Guardian reported in a piece titled TV advertising skipped by 86% of viewers, and while Victoria may have a secret ingredient which makes her ads memorable — I’m referring here, of course, to a recent Nobel Prizewinner — most ads are simply irritants.

    The benefit of advertising, to those whom it speaks, is that it acts as a road-sign to what we may want. It’s adverse effect is to clutter up our lives with road-signs to irrelevant and possibly offensive destinations. Apples don’t need little stickers on them proclaiming “apples by the Creator” but a discreet mention of “All purpose disinfecting cleaner by Bright Green” was quite helpful to me the other day, as I was wandering the aisles of Safeway in search of a brand they no longer carry..

    And yes. Advertising drives sales drives manufacturing drives employment drives a roof over the head for many who might otherwise find themselves in the rain. Granted.

    **

    But here come the mosquitoes.

    The image at the head of this post comes from an article titled Uber’s Ad-Toting Drones Are Heckling Drivers Stuck in Traffic.

    The unfortunate drivers in traffic jams in Mexico City are close to ground zero of an epidemic; Beelzebub, remember, is Lord of the Flies.

    Véra Nabokov, preemptive strikes, and the Talmud

    Friday, May 20th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — i personally am better acquainted with “innocent until proven guilty”, but.. ]
    .

    Contemplating this:

    in light of the Talmud:

    Obviously if Véra Nabokov intended to protect her husband, she intended to shoot his would-be assassin right before the assassination attempt, not right after it.

    **

    If Someone Comes to Kill You, Rise Up and Kill Him First:

    Several days before the horror of September 11, 2001, Israel’s Foreign Minister Shimon Peres spoke to Conservative rabbis in an international conference call. Responding to a concern expressed about Israel’s policy of preemptive targeted killings of suspected terrorist leaders and the inevitable collateral damage, Mr. Peres defended the practice, citing an oft-quoted rabbinic legal dictum, “Im ba l’hargekha, hashkem l’hargo,” “If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him (first).” The uproar last July by Israel-bashers and, more credibly, by the Israeli Jewish public after the Israeli army bombed a Gaza apartment building, inadvertently killing fourteen civilians, including nine children, along with arch-terrorist Salah Shehada, again focused attention on the issue of collateral damage in the implementation of “Im ba l’hargekha.”

    File under preemptive strikes, targeted killings, drones, Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi, etc.

    Is claustrophobia the fear of walls — or of eyes?

    Friday, March 25th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — something’s closing in on us ]
    .

    Tablet spec escher drone

    **

    Sources:

  • Adam Elkus, I was not kidding
  • Plain Dealer, Akron Art Museum rescues M.C. Escher from his reputation
  • Official policy targeting weddings?

    Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — as if in brutal proof that “the bed waiting inside belongs to death” — that bridal and burial veils are one ]
    .

    Does the Coalition have an official policy targeting weddings?

    Sorry to be so blunt about this, but I get déjà vu these days when I read about Coalition attacks on wedding parties.

    **

    Today, for instance, WaPo has this headline:

    WaPo

    I believe that headline is only in white on a black background because that’s the “style” for WaPo’s “video channel” pages — but it’s suitable, really, eh? Funereal?

    Lest we forget, let’s see, now, Wikipedia has entries for:

  • Deh Bala wedding party airstrike of July 6, 2008
  • Wech Baghtu wedding party airstrike of November 3, 2008
  • **

    Then there’s December 12, 2013, reported by the admirable Greg Johnsen:

    Greg Johnsen

    If I’m not mistaken, that was also the occasion of these two headlines from Conor Friedsdorf:

    Friedsdorf 02

    Friedsdorf 01

    Stunning, those headlines. Of course there may have been other funereal weddings that I’ve missed.

    **

    Oh, and there’s always the money to consider:

    more than $1 million

    **

    Headline sources:

  • Air strike on Yemen wedding kills
  • Sorry our drones hit your wedding party
  • If a drone strike hit an American wedding
  • The Wedding That a U.S. Drone Strike Turned Into a Funeral
  • Yemeni victims of U.S. military drone strike
  • Gregory Johnsen’s piece is beautifully written as always. Conor Friedsdorf’s title alone — The Wedding That a U.S. Drone Strike Turned Into a Funeral — deserves high praise.

    **

    Déjà vu? If these things keep on happening, I’ll have to call them flashbacks.


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