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  1. ----- Forwarded message from Cleve Higgins <fchiggins@gmail.com> -----
  3. From: Cleve Higgins <fchiggins@gmail.com>
  4. Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2012 15:54:31 -0500
  5. To: drone-list@lists.stanford.edu
  6. Subject: [drone-list] intro, and some thoughts
  8. Heyo all,
  10. I have been reading a lot about the role of drone technology in military,
  11. surveillance, and law enforcement, and the thinking about the ways in which
  12. it is part of a larger blurring of these domains (especially in the US).
  13. I'm based in Montreal, a city in the business of aeronautics, and also
  14. computer simulation, and drones have become an important aspect of both of
  15. these industries in recent years. My research has focused on these local
  16. connections, especially when they're related to the universities. Finally,
  17. I'm intrigued by use of drones by social movements for counter-surveillance
  18. purposes (such as the occucopter), as well as emerging examples of hacking
  19. drone communications and control systems.
  21. I'm glad to hear that people other than security and military agencies have
  22. been finding positive uses for drones (such as the humanitarian uses that
  23. have been mentioned already). Though I have skeptical thoughts on
  24. increasing media attention on this side of the drone story. Does it risk
  25. having the role (intentional or not) of glossing over or mitigating the
  26. rapidly emerging new forms of war\repression being carried out by the US
  27. government? And specifically the brutal effects this is having in northern
  28. Pakistan? This is not to say that these problems are being completely
  29. ignored - the critical stories are being written, and that is good. Though
  30. I also suspect that an effect of the surge of these critical stories is
  31. that the US government is trying to come up with ways to defend and
  32. legitimize their actions, and one way to do that could be to emphasize (and
  33. even support) the "dual-use" aspects of drone technology.
  35. I see this in the context of the myth of inevitable, unilinear
  36. technological (and social) progress, and how it downplays the important
  37. role that military funding and direction has in technological developments
  38. in countries such as the US. Many technologies exist in the form they do
  39. because of their military applications. If not for this military support,
  40. it is very possible that the technologies would not exist at all, or at
  41. least not in the form that they do. Innumerable social choices are made
  42. that shape our world, including our technology, and it is always possible
  43. that different choices could have been made (about how much of our
  44. collective social effort we put into military and security areas, for
  45. example). An important aspect of this perspective is that technologies are
  46. very connected to the social relations and values of the contexts in which
  47. they emerge. I think the development of ARPANET by the US military as a
  48. means of better surviving nuclear attack is an example of this, but that's
  49. a whole other discussion. I haven't thought much yet about the context for
  50. the emergence of drones, and I don't want this email to get much longer
  51. than it already is by attempting to do so now, but for starters think it
  52. would be related to the "war on terror", asymmetrical warfare, and the
  53. contradictions of the (declining) US empire as the only military superpower
  54. (attempting military solutions to "policing" problems). I look forward to
  55. hearing anyone's thoughts on these topics.
  57. Thanks for creating this list! Sorry if this first email is somewhat long
  58. and tangential. Mostly I plan on using this list to share articles as I
  59. find them, with brief thoughts sometimes. More in-depth or contentious
  60. discussion is sometimes good though. adelante,
  62. Cleve
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  79. ----- End forwarded message -----
  80. --
  81. Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
  82. ______________________________________________________________
  83. ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
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