[SATLUG] 1984, Robots, the Military and Technology

Brian Lewis astro at astr0.org
Fri Mar 21 06:10:02 CDT 2008

Can we let this die Or get back on topic?

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 21, 2008, at 3:21, ed <horned0wl93 at gmail.com> wrote:

> pixelnate wrote:
>> On Thu, 2008-03-20 at 23:26 -0500, Will Southworth wrote:
>>> 1984 was written by George Orwell. Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit  
>>> 451.
>> I stand corrected for the second time, thank you. If that is the  
>> only criticism I receive tonight then I consider myself a fortunate  
>> man.
>>> This has very little to do with linux or satlug. Let's get back on  
>>> track and take this flame bait private.
>> Actually, the point hidden in all this is very relevant to the  
>> list. There are some very intelligent and learned people on this  
>> list. This is a city with a long military history and many people  
>> on this list are serving in the military, have served in the  
>> military or are working for the government in some capacity.
>> I would caution everyone that we must be wary of blind technolust  
>> without some sense of the intended use of a technology. The BigDog  
>> project does represent an amazing technical achievement by man to  
>> able to make such a robot. But I believe the geeks/nerds (I use the  
>> terms lovingly) that were tasked to build such a beast have been  
>> seduced into doing it for the wrong reasons. Any project funded by  
>> DARPA will surely be intended for military use, and as is the case  
>> in these times, will most likely trickle down into local law  
>> enforcement. Which is to say that it will ultimately be pointed at  
>> the rest of us. We should be mindful of this as we watch the films  
>> of its amazing movements.
> See again, BigDog, and compare to the robotics in the original movie,
> "Terminator," as well as the Imperial Walkers in "Star Wars."  This
> breakthrough definitely paves the way for both.  Add cloning...
>> As geeks we love to tinker (see the Puppy Linux thread) and we love  
>> to make the automatons dance with our computer magic, but we must  
>> be mindful of the purpose for which some things are built. In every  
>> robot story I know from science fiction, there is always a mention  
>> of the previous generation of robots that did much damage before  
>> people managed to get things back under control. As a freedom  
>> loving human being I would prefer not to be faced with a future  
>> where robots were out to harm me. Watching the BigDog movies, I get  
>> a sense that we are in for rough times ahead.
> In the movie, "Star Trek VI, The Undiscovered Country," and later
> mimicked  by Captain  Picard in ST: TNG, was an intriguing suggestion
> (paraphrased...):  "Advancements in technology and their uses weigh
> heavily upon us of late.  Perhaps its pursuit should be revised to
> consider the premise that, just because we /can/ do a thing need not
> mean that we necessarily /must/ do that thing..."  or words very like
> these...  Wise thoughts from a more recent philosopher...
> Cheers;
> Ed
> -- 
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