Posts tagged: technology

When Technology Backfires: The New Warfare

A couple days ago, I stumbled upon this very interesting article on Wired:

When Technology Backfires - The New Warfare

A very trendy subject nowadays, when we’re on the brink of getting into a war or two… when Europe is crashing down to pieces… the Arab world is angry at pretty much everyone… and the Asians are now working on weaponry taken straight from Star Trek…

We’ve got to face it: war is much scarier and more complex than ever before. Cyberspace has officially become the “fifth domain” for warfare, next to the classic: land, space, air, and sea. The Anonymous hacker organization has already won several battles against governments all around the world, with just a touch of a keyboard.

This is the future of warfare: a few brilliant youngsters and their supercomputers. The times of men freezing in trenches, waiting to shoot the enemy without getting bombed first is soon to be over.

Today, the US drones can shoot down a target with one single “laser death ray”, as tests have recently shown.

war plane

According to CNN, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), the service’s technology development arm, announced the new Laser Weapon System had successfully tracked, engaged, and destroyed a drone in flight, during an over-the-water engagement at San Nicholas Island, California.

Next step on the list: controlling the death ray with nothing more than thoughts. That’s right, as you’re reading this, scientists are working on ways to control machinery with the power of the human mind. And, but the looks of it, it won’t take long until they’ll turn this sci-fi scenario into reality.


If you can’t read the chapeau of this article, it says: “The idea that paralyzed people might one day control their limbs just by thinking is no longer a Hollywood-style fantasy”. Indeed, it’s already happening:

I was blown away by this video! That man can move a prosthetic arm with his thoughts. So why couldn’t a trained soldier control a drone in the same manner? Right now, it sounds very likely, doesn’t it?

In fact, a lot of the things we used to watch on Star Trek are now about to take shape into the real world.

According to Russia Today, the National Intelligence Council (a US-based coalition of spy agencies) has just released its “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” report. The most amazing minds of this century have gathered to write this 140-page report and share with us their predictions for the next two decades.

These include: physical enhancement (aka turning yourself into a superhero), limb-replacement, retinal eye implants that enable night vision and neuro-enhancements that could provide superior memory recall or speed of thought. Also, human-like cyborgs could very well walk among us in as little as 18 years’ time.


It all sounds amazing, doesn’t it? People enhancing their bodies to get stronger and live longer and healthier lives… no more war victims… cures for today’s most destructive diseases… oh, yeah, and mind control over every top-notch machinery. Sounds amazing… and pretty scary, doesn’t it?

After all, if a soldier can fly a drone by focusing his thoughts on his mission… what stops a brilliant hacker from taking over? Can you be 100% sure that a more powerful mind and/or a more powerful technology won’t force a US drone to start shooting its death ray the other way around?

I tend to believe the US intelligence is overestimating their technology and their staff… while underestimating our enemies. It’s not the first time they do it. Right after the government set up TrapWire and installed “hi-tech” surveillance cameras all across the country… hackers have already found a way to cheat the system.

Here’s just a comment one of them left on a forum: Pretty awesome hack to make your face invisible to cameras!”

And let’s not forget about the computer virus that infected a nuclear plant in Iran, controlled from a PC miles away:


Today, you can control anything with technology and, soon enough, you’ll be able to control any technology with the power of your thoughts. That will be the moment when the human mind becomes the most sought-after battlefield. As the article on Wired very well puts it:

This new battlespace is not just about influencing hearts and minds. It’s about involuntarily penetrating and coercing the mind.”

By Alec Deacon