Al-Qaeda number three 'killed by CIA spy plane' in Pakistan

Al-Qaeda number three 'killed by CIA spy plane' in Pakistan: "Al-Qaeda's third-ranking leader has been killed by a missile fired by an American drone in Pakistan, near the Afghan border, NBC television news reported yesterday."

I don't know about everyone else, but this sort of thing really excites me (military innovation) because I know it will spin off into civilian uses.

Just look at the DARPA grand challenge- the military funded the development and competion of computer-controlled trucks. Universites set up entire programs around the DARPA challenge. Hundreds (thousands?) of students got excited about this thing and started making driverless cars a reality. Now these kids are starting to graduate. Here is the equation I see:

[Kids with experience creating successful robot-control vehicles now graduating from college]


[billions of dollars in military contracts for autonomous vehicles]


[a huge advancement in autonomous vehicle technology that will permeate into the private sector (read: like the Internet did)]

Many in the world may put down the U.S. and it's enormous military complex as wasteful and unneeded, but they are ignoring the insane rate of technical advancement that it spawns.
They also underestimate the insane rate of dead people that it leaves in its wake.

If robotics are really going to revolutionize everything, then I for one would be happy to see some non military funding sources popping up.

It's true that there have been great civilian spinoffs of military technology.

But, does it then follow that innovations for the civilian sphere are mostly inevitably results of military research?

I don't think so.
Well I see what you're saying, but there is a difference. Sure there are non-military technologies that have changed our lives that did not spin off from a military technology. Also, sure military technology is inherently evil (for lack of a better word) because of the tole to humanity it takes.

There is, however, a different level of thought for engineers when what they are developing is for the military. There is more motivation (again, for lack of a better word). Humans motivated by a need to protect their society or way of life are on a different plane of thought than humans who are not motivated by such factors. These factors are ingrained and primal (survival) and trump that of money or power. If someone feels their society/family/way of life is under attack, they are much more motivated moreso than (I think) any other motivator.

Take Gay, minority and Women for example. Living in a country who has established Isamic law, they lose their rights/way of life. Sure our society is not 100% conducive to thier needs/rights, but we are moreso than other and are moving forward in tolerance more every year.
I'm not sure it's just "primitive" or hind-quarters of the brain type stuff.

Many people view their civilization as the product of countless centuries and countless lives of people and sacrifice.

To see it all go down the tubes isn't just primitive; it's tied in with the very concept of meaning and connection *period.* Only people who have no sense of meaning in their life are happy to "let everything go."

Hence, war.

Put it another way: How'd you like it if the new neighbors' teens teased your daughter because they didn't think she was wearing enough clothes, threaten her with rape, and bullied the local gays? If you were being pressured to keep your wife home, on grounds that she shouldn't be working? And were, as a society, intent on moving in, and organizing politically?

Did you feel like we made some "progress" in the last few decades?

When you feel like not going "backwards," you feel the impulse that can potentially lead to war.

It's not just a "hind brain," "sexual," "primitive," "survival" thing. It's a thing that comes with anyone who thinks building things of the scope of civilizations is worth anything.
I think ultimately, robots will be part of all societies, and they will monitor and report extremist behavior, along with affinity group monitoring of suspected people with strong AI tied to spying networks.
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