Drones: A Blind Intelligence

   I’m pretty proud of this piece and I thought I’d kick us back off with it. I expect it to be controversial, but I’m happy with the research that I did and I want to be able to put more serious work on here as well as my regular programming. Even if you don’t agree with it I just hope you enjoy it and feel free to comment.


A Blind Intelligence

Nation of Change

     In the novel Ender’s Game, children are selected to train for an interstellar war using simulations in the form of games. The idea of the game allows players to make riskier decisions because of disconnection from reality. Casualties do not matter as long as the ultimate goal of decimating a pixelated enemy is met. Little do the characters know, the simulation is real, and they successfully drive an entire race to extinction. Orson Scott Card wrote this novel in 1985, but in 2002 his idea of dehumanized conflict became real as the CIA launched the first modern Predator drone strike near Khost, Afghanistan (Sifton, 2012). Like Ender’s Game, drones objectify the target. Human beings become voiceless, neon monsters on a motion-tracking camera to an aerial sniper behind a computer screen. This is the reality of drone warfare. Drones are a silent killer that causes unrest in communities and tarnishes the American presence in the Middle East. They are said to be safer for troops because an unmanned aircraft saves lives from combat fatalities, but their use increases distrust and hostility to those serving on the ground. With every unintentional casualty, terrorist organizations such as ISIL gain fuel to lure traumatized populations into joining their cause. By using drones, the U.S. also opens the gate for further violations of international humanitarian law by countries like Russia, creating a new arms race (Boyle, 2013, p. 22). By using armed drone technology, the military willingly adopts terrorist tactics. The U.S. government has crossed the line from War on Terror to War of Terror. Continue reading

Festivus For the Rest of Us: Part I

It’s The Most Magical Time of The Year

Ah, December. What a magical time. Frost in the air, cookies in the oven, stockings hung on the mantle with care. It’s a time when families gather all around and set out as a pack to choose one tree that will serve as a reminder to the other trees not to get too cocky as we parade it through the streets atop our four-door, family vehicles before dragging it inside and decorating it’s withering body with sparkles and various other whimsical baubles. We prefer to put them in front of large windows so that its slow and drawn-out, but none the less beautiful, death tells passerby’s “Hey, hey look at all this shit we can pile on this thing. I know right? Keep it moving, plebeians”.

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree

How much better does your slowly rotting carcass look in our house that it does from that

tacky whore, Debra’s?

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Working Nine to Five

Walking into work after class felt like slowly scraping away at a chalkboard locked inside my skull. Mentally, I had just about had it with remembering to open each eye after blinking and the fact that my feet somehow continued to shuffle one after another is a miracle. Between analyzing every minuscule detail of Richard the III and decoding whether or not toddlers can be racist based on their Teletubbie preferences, I was a lobotomized mess. The lack of sleep combined with mental anguish was beginning to drive me insane. For some reason my mouth constantly tasted like cotton balls and those weird off brand gummy bears and my hands were always covered in hives. My legs essentially felt like I was saving up for a broomstick harvest at a contemporary crafts festival. It was leggings day, every day for fall was gonna come early this year regardless if it was 93 degrees outside. Wild animals scurried away from me when I went outside. Hordes of vultures circled my house. Murders of crows haunted my ears as I aimlessly plucked out an out of tune rendition of “Banana Pancakes” on my sad little ukelele. There would be no banana pancakes here. Nay, I say! Nay! For they are too happy a thing to reside in the darkness that was my heart in the depths of despair that were these times. Continue reading

The Carshank Redemption

   It was the darkest of days. The sky looked like the bath water of a chimney sweep and the air was pungent with decay from the surrounding forest and gardens. This was the third day of heavy rain and I had just about had enough of it. By some divine coincidence I had managed to leave class and make it to my car in between the brief pauses in the storms but today my luck had run out.

   It was a wonderful thing to attend a university surrounded by a nature reserve but it also meant that thousands of tiny black Lovebugs had an endless amount of space to reproduce into black swarms that drunkenly bumbled about the air like Football fans the day after Superbowl. It was infuriatingly amazing how they were able to dodge the constant sheets of rain. It was like a force field was protecting them from the rain just long enough to get tangled up in my hair.

   I stood there under the awning of the front building, remembering where I had parked.

   All the way at the back of the lot. My car locator app said .984 miles away.

   What was that? Some kind of death sentence? This backpack was weighing on my back with the stacks of textbooks crammed into every possible nook and cranny of its interior. I used a backpack made for hunting purposes so I could get a nice refreshment straw attached but I had to remove it to make room for an analysis of Richard the III. As if he couldn’t get any more foul, his very presence in the curriculum had robbed me of convenient hydration.

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