Back in 2008, Vinay Gupta wrote The Second Amendment in Iraq, Combat Robotics, and the Future of Human Liberty. He shortened this long title in his blog sidebar to ‘your liberty will not survive combat robots’. I think he was spot on, but the technology is not robots, but drones.
Over the last couple of days I’ve seen tweets like these about fairly disturbing developments in the news:
I don’t want terrorists threatening the peace and stability of where I live any more than the next person. But I also don’t want a situation where a government I disagree with has the technology to hunt me down and kill me with drones.
As Vinay states in that article:
Developing robotic combat capabilities will have three effects. Firstly, it will enable governments to successfully fight insurgencies abroad… Secondly, those combat robotics capabilities are very similar technologically to the capabilities required to control and oppress the domestic population… Finally, use of these technologies in foreign wars will force those who wish to do battle with the US for their political autonomy to strike at the US civilian population, as there will be no effective way of combatting US foreign policy in the field.
Our liberties are being slowly eroded and chipped away in the name of convenience and the ‘war on terror’. And, right now, I (and many other people like me) feel pretty much powerless to stop it.
I visit Hacker News every day. It’s a great resource of technie-related things – not just code stuff but things that people who work in that kind of area are likely to be interested in.
I’ve created something similar: http://ednews.meteor.com
Eight years ago, Will Richardson tried to create a ‘Digg-like site’. For whatever reason, it didn’t work in the medium to long-term. But his reasoning still stands:
[Th]is is all stemming from a bigger burr in my brain of late that has to do with the seeming randomness of all of the really great work that people in this community are starting to create. It’s just feeling like it’s all over the place, and that if we could in some way get our collective act together, we could start creating an incredibly valuable resource. I know it’s all about small pieces loosely joined, but wouldn’t it be great to point the newcomers to one spot that was a clearinghouse for all of this work? Not to mention the value it would have to us old timers in terms of bringing people in. I mean all of a sudden, it seems like everyone has a wiki, and most all of them have great intent and good content. But there’s also a lot of duplication of effort, and more importantly, dis-connection, at least that what it feels like to me.
Yes, these days we have Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and many other social networks. But if the tech community find value in Hacker News (and they do!) why not one for education? I know there’s sites like Spigot but, while I find them useful, they’re not community-contributed links.
If there’s interest and it gains some traction, then I’ll work together with a few folks to deploy it to its own server/domain. 🙂
Try it! Add some links of your own: http://ednews.meteor.com
PS Let me know in the comments what you think (and if you have any problems with it!) I came up with the idea literally just now and did a quick search to see how I could deploy something today!