Lachlan Brown on Tue, 2 Apr 2002 05:58:02 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> fingering the trigger/moving the map

"It's a comforting sound on the battlefield, when you're going to sleep
and you hear that sound of the Predator engine, somewhere between a
propeller airplane and a lawn mower, knowing it is looking out for you."

Yes, drone assassin cop thingy. Sounds plausible. Could be handy at the borders. Could be handy for defence in depth and 
pre-emptive strikes. Could be handy at 
demos. Could be useful in the hood. Or 
maybe not very handy at all.

I am reminded of a post to Nettime about the 
V1 sometime last year. I can't find it just now. The accuracy of the V1 
was questioned due to a lack of intelligence on the ground and difficulties posed for German ariel reconnaissance by the Royal Air Force, and there was an attempt to 'reintroduce' the human into the machine.
A discussion ensued concerning the cyborg.

This was one possibility and one discussion.

A second discussion might have emerged if the question was not considered as a problem of 
technology and the human alone, but in material, historical and geographical terms. 

The V1 was a weapon of terror packing blockbuster explosive force. It made a mess 
of central London and disturbed moral in 1944. The British considered the problem in their amaturish way - the way that cracked Enigma - and came up with a solution that combined
geography and media with belief. They moved the map and tied the moved map to radio broadcasting. 

Strikes on central London were reported as
strikes on North West London. The Germans 
did not question the veracity of the BBC 
and adjusted their aim to concentrate on
levelling the City of London. The V1 fell 
short on the Thames and the Railway tangle 
of South East London in Lewisham. There 
were unfortunate outcomes: Goldsmiths 
College in New Cross received a couple of direct hits, (but Goldsmiths could take it!).

The idea to return human pilots to the V1 
was out of frustration over the technical 
knowledge combined with the mathmatics plus 
a basic knowledge of meteorology not 
collating with what was known from 
occasional ariel reconnaisance.
The cognitive and perceptual leap required
to consider the solution to the problem, to 
re-adjust the map of the terrain by denying the picture presented by the BBC 
was not made. After all, this would mean 
that the BBC lied, that a democracy would sacrifice  one of its neighbourhoods for 
the sake of the whole, and that such a basic amateurish solution outwitted the best science
and the most advanced ballistics of the time. Too complicated a set of variables from the perspective of science. Literally unthinkable.

I suggest that we consider the 
problem of the CIA drone assassin thingy 
(along with all the other thingys) in the 
same way, as a cultural, geographical,
media and belief problem. The CIA and its drone-assasin mentality shall not prevail 
over the simple common genious of people 
and cultures. 

Lachlan Brown


>So many details to sort through these days.  Details that are easily lost
in an informational onslaught whose force is as overwhelming as firepower.  
If this information force is artillery, then >details contain our defenses.

Yes, I know a good sys op who has considered
the problem in precisely these terms. 


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