I don’t care for the CIA’s far-flung drone operations any more than I like the NSA’s hometown spying via their domestic data gathering programs. But in the case of the latter, if I had an unlimited budget, I’d have me a big sexy data center too.

I’m certainly not coming to their defense when I say that the only rational justification for their behavior is the curse of technology; if you got something cool, you want to use it. And a new technology screams to be used.

It’s one thing to build a pilotless plane but way cooler when you attach cameras, bombs and rockets to it and then fly it from your laptop using a game console joystick; watching the screen in sick fascination as you’re blowing up shit on the other side of the planet. And you don’t build a hi-tech drone just to park it in the hanger.

And I understand that temptation. When I was five years old I shot the kid across the street in the stomach with an arrow. He dared me and I let him have it. It was so many years ago that I can’t remember if he was aware – prior to impact – that I had done a major system’s upgrade when I replaced the rubber tip with a penknife sharpened point.

Give a boy a well-meaning educational present like a chemistry set and the first thing he’s going to try and do with it is build something that explodes. Give him a telescope and it won’t be long before he’s training it on some girl’s bedroom window.

It’s the curse of technology.

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