Attack of the Micro-Drones
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  • Jed

    “The attack of the micro-drones is just one of the surprises the future holds in store for us, and most of these surprises, like the drones, will be both blessing and curse.”

    It’s obvious how drones are a curse, but there’s no argument to be made that they’re a blessing.

    • Walter Russell Mead

      @Jed: I suspect it’s going to be harder for terrorists to operate and it’s also going be a lot harder for psychos to abduct kids. Fewer people are going to get lost and die in the wilderness. More quake victims and miners are going to be rescued. Firefighters and others making emergency repairs in places like nuclear power plants are going to have more and better information. Life is going to get a lot harder for poachers, especially in Africa; drones may save the rhinoceros.

  • Wired Magazine had some interesting history, and some thoughts about the potential uses for inexpensive drones: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/06/ff_drones

    Coming, no doubt, ready or not. A bit scary, too.

  • Glen

    For the foreseeable future, the most common – and effective – “personal drone disrupter” is likely to be a common shotgun.

    • Walter Russell Mead

      @Glen: or perhaps a flyswatter. Some of those things are going to be fragile and small.

  • Kris

    [Comment disappeared?]

    [email protected]: Old-time religion.

  • Brendan Doran

    As far as drones…Abu Muqawama explains why not much changes..they know something about war over there.

    http://www.cnas.org/blogs/abumuqawama/2012/06/dont-fear-their-reapers.html

  • thibaud

    The positives far outweigh the negatives here.

    Drones are to physical facilities services and location-based collaboration as surgical robots are to surgery.

    They’re a vastly improved, more effective and efficient means of coordinating any kind of physical collaboration that depends on real-time, geo-specific information.

  • doc feelgood

    That reminds me of that wonderful science fiction novel of Isaac Asimov, “Fantastic voyage”.

    A soviet scientist, owner of secrets on advanced miniaturization processes still unknown to the US scientists, has defected to the US, and is on his way to the weapon research center of the Pentagon to deliver his knowledge to the host nation.

    His car is rammed by another driven by KGB agents, The scientist, injured by the collision, falls into coma due to the formation of an edema in a brain vein.

    A team of medical doctors, attempting to rescue the poor fellow, gets onboard on a submarine. The sub is then miniaturized to microlevel into a drone version collected in solution in a syringe. It is injected into the blood stream of the dude. The story is pretty fascinating.

  • Charles Starnes

    If drones are truly dangerous in an un-defenseable way, wouldn’t it be unacceptable for rouge elements or adversarial governments to exist?

    The answer seems that tolerance for such groups would be nil. They would be inviting extinction from powerful actors (like us) whose constituents would have no tolerance and support giving no quarter.

    This was the argument for the Iraq war, but there were no more terrorist attacks and imminent fear faded in much of our citizenry.

    If populace lived in consistent fear of drone attacks or surveillance, there would be no constraint on our response(s).

    We’re not accustomed to that as an operating environment, and neither are our adversaries. It could easily become reality.

    That’s the best reason there will in reality be a check on how drones are used.

  • Kris

    [email protected]: Fantastic Voyage was indeed a fun (and educational) novelization by Asimov. As to the movie, I have to object to any process that reduces anything of Raquel Welch.

    [email protected]: Forget drones. Biotech is the real danger.

  • Dave from Boston

    All these new technologies are going to make our existing conventional means of projecting power quite vulnerable and possibly obsolete.

    Can you imagine what a swarm of those things could do to a battle group? And all without being detected by any kind of radar I’m aware of.

  • “If populace lived in consistent fear of drone attacks or surveillance, there would be no constraint on our response(s).”

    A warm thanks to Mr Starnes for some acknowledgment of Human Nature actually operates. Politically dangerous waters, of course – you may be interpreted as suggesting that what would be deadly and horrific in the hands of our enemies may not be ALTOGETHER benevolent even in our own hallowed hands. And here I was getting the impression that absolute power only corrupts absolutely when placed in the hands of godless socialists.

    BTW, didn’t Tolkien – whom I’ll admit I may be misreading (can’t I get anything straight?) – have some interesting things to say about just this possibility? Or has he too become one of those “classics” whom everyone reads and nobody listens to?

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