It has been said that life imitates art, and if that is true humanity may well be one the verge of ushering in the dawn of a bleak future; one in which man is not master, but the machine. The technology which has developed surveillance cameras to spy on our activities, almost anywhere people gather there is an electronic, all-seeing “eye” watching and keeping track of our every move. George Orwell published the book “1984” in 1949 about a society very much like the direction that America is heading. In this account people live under a totalitarian state which uses weapons of propaganda and public mind-control to maintain the status quo. Big Brother is an enigmatic, unseen, semi-divine symbolic leader who lurks in the shadows above the visible ruling party. Popular social institutions are merely tools of the system whose primary function is to reinforce obedience toward acceptance of the politically-correct revisionist history rewritten in newspapers and books (all media sources) of reality. It is the ultimate social control for the greater good. With that in mind, the 911 terrorist attacks was the tipping point and paradigm shift in national domestic policy because it empowered the government to subordinate constitutionally guaranteed privacy rights to The Patriot Act, creation of the Department of Homeland Security, and Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Adding to this point is the political and military influence on foreign policy in the presence of unmanned aerial drones, which are presently used in the “War on Terror” with a mission to seek, search out and destroy al-Qaeda leadership wherever they may be hiding, but once American combat troops pull out of Afghanistan in 2014, what will be done with this expensive and exquisitely sophisticated technology? Will these formidable and deadly toys which were used to kill people (insurgents, enemy combatants as well as civilian collateral damage) in warfare on faraway lands be flying overhead in cities and neighborhoods across America in the very near future?
It has been talked about more recently after the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 18, 2013 that if aerial drones had been patrolling the vicinity and course the Tsarnaev brothers might have been intercepted by authorities, or at the very least taken out by the drone before they detonated the explosive bombs which brought such horror and tragedy. While this might be an interesting consideration and considering the circumstances quite plausible, but what’s to stop a benign and beneficial service to get out of control and become the “Frankenstein Monster” of tomorrow? Is it paranoia or caution to be a little hesitant to cross into that brave new frontier as depicted in the blockbuster “Terminator” Sci-fi movie sequels? Humanity’s demise started off as just a simple computer programmed to play a simple game of chess that ultimately led to Skynet, which was a computer system developed for the U.S. military by the fictitious defense firm Cyberdyne Systems. Skynet was first built as a "Global Digital Defense Network" and given command over all computerized military hardware and systems. Sounds a bit farfetched until you consider the military already has the X-47B pilotless aircraft and what makes this drone so remarkable is that it just might have the ability to indiscriminately initiate its own attack protocols without direct human involvement; in other words it has the capability toward artificial intelligence (independent self-actualization or initiation). There are already video games where the computer digitally ‘learns’ or grows from the moves initiated by an opponent or player. So, as more programming power and capability is built into it, this cybernetic servant for humanity may one day become its metalloid master.
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April 30, 2013
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