[ExI] Drones

ddraig@pobox.com ddraig at gmail.com
Tue Jun 15 14:08:39 UTC 2021

On Tue, 15 Jun 2021 at 23:33, spike jones via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> We knew this was coming several years ago when the quad rotor drones began
> to show up

When I was a kid, there was an article in a local newspaper in Melbourne
about a weird death.  This guy had heard a noise outside, opened his back
door to see what it was, and a remotely-controlled model airplane flew at
high speed into his chest as he stood in the doorway, killing him. The
police said it was a terrible accident, but I always wondered if it
actually was an accident.  The plane seemed to be remarkably precise in
it's flight path. I was a kid at the time, and I've never forgotten this
article.  This was 1978? Something like that.  So, yeah, drones have made
it easier to kill people (look at the footage of the resistance in Iraq
dropping explosives onto US tank commanders from a drone) but I've been
wondering since the 70s why this has taken so long to come about.

Autonomous drones, though - that's very scary.

I read a story about the same time - it was in an SF anthology edited by
Sam Moskowitz, I think (Futures to Infinity).  Looking up the name of the
story, I've just discovered it was written by Phillip K Dick, which is
pretty cool to now realise, actually.


The newspaper article and the SF story made a powerful impression on me at
the time (I was about 10 years old, I think)

Anyway, there's a pile of things I've carried around in the back of my head
since I was a kid, wondering when they'd manifest into reality.  The
newspaper article and "Second Variety" are two of them.

(I'm still waiting for roads to be dug up for their hydrocarbon content,
amongst other things).

  ddraig at pobox.com              ddraigbot / NSO / Connery
our aim is wakefulness,  our enemy is dreamless sleep
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