Separating the men from the toys – the future of warfare and of sport?

Another thin picture (see also this posting) of unmanned aircraft, the MQ-9 Reaper:

Here. Bigger (recommended). Recent article, which includes another great photo here. Our guys said gimme in summer 2008, so they have them now? Thank you Instapundit.

Who would have thought it? The future of warfare is blokes flying radio-controlled toy airplanes. At present it’s still men against toys, with the toys winning, but soon all nations will have them, and millions of others besides.

This was how chess got started, wasn’t it? First men killed each other. Then, they said, why don’t we just use sculptures of men, and move them remotely? That way, nobody gets hurt. I think I smell a whole new sport here. Imagine it, fat blokes at an airfield having aerial dogfights, where the losers lose their airplanes, but nobody dies. Great TV! Watch those dogfights! Superstar controllers will be feted in the media. And, they won’t die. They’ll have dual scores: kills, and killeds. Nerd heaven.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

One thought on “Separating the men from the toys – the future of warfare and of sport?”

  1. 6 comments on the original posting:

    There’s probably some economics of warfare type thinking to be done about this. What happens when only one side has robots; how can the other side respond? What happens when both sides have robots. Hmmm.

    Posted by Rob Fisher on 03 March 2010

    Indeed there is! Both sides, all sides, will surely have these things very soon. They are very cheap, and will soon be mass produced amazingly, will they not?

    And if you can’t produce expensive and clever ones, you will surely try making cheap and cheerful and very numerous ones.

    It could get very interesting. And like I say, great TV, especially if the TV people start sending up their own versions of these things.

    Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 03 March 2010

    It all reminds me of the very early years of air warfare, during WW1.

    Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 03 March 2010

    Brian, Chris Anderson, of Wired magazine, and author of The Long Tail, has started his own firm, DIY Drones, which assembles kits so that folk can make their own UAVs and other things. For the tech-savvy person, this is a wonderful business:

    Posted by Tom B on 04 March 2010

    You can buy a radio controlled helicopter from Tesco for £30.

    There is presumably a direct continuum from this to killer drones in the American Air Force and being used by the CIA. I don’t know what it means. Will our wars be fought by machines without the killing, or does the possibility of killing always have to exist, and be exercised occasionally, perhaps in the same way that futures traders actually take delivery of the commodity, just once in a while, to prove the system works.

    Posted by Michael Jennings on 04 March 2010

    The print edition of this:

    has Peter Crouch’s upper torso and head with extended arms (cropped from the image on the website), looking rather suitable for one of your thin pictures.

    Posted by Antoine Clarke on 04 March 2010

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