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News China with Drones?

  1. May 3, 2013 #1
    Is this what the world really needs right now. China with thousands of military drones?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/03/china-drone-program_n_3207392.html [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2013 #2

    Astronuc

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    Sure - why not. Keeping up with the other guys.


    It's a matter of drone envy, or some guys have to have cool (or cooler) stuff to feel manly.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  4. May 4, 2013 #3

    Bobbywhy

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    You ask if China having thousands of military drones is what the world needs now. I ask, why not? Do you think that only the "good guys" should be allowed to have (and use) military drones to kill others?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. May 4, 2013 #4
    Massive deployment of drones gives a few practical problems. Our government once asked if our fighter fleet could be replaced by drones doing the same job. I had to help working out that question. Obviously the result was negative, for many reasons. No massive drone raids.
     
  6. May 4, 2013 #5
    You ask, why not? I ask, why don't I have a few drones in my garage? Why don't you? My point is, where does it end? There are some obnoxious barking dogs in my neighborhood that really bug the hell out of me while I'm in my room, snuggled up with my laptop trying to formulate my TOE. You bet I'd like to wheel out one of those drones and take care of those dogs "stealthily."

    Why don't I, cause I don't have a drone, that's why. Now you could say, well you don't need a drone to take care of the dogs, Diracpool, "drones don't kill dogs, people kill dogs." And I'd say, you know, you're right, but it's a hell of alot easier to take care of the dogs with a drone than it is to trudge all over the neighborhood in my Army fatigues. I can do it right here from my laptop while I'm waiting for my cosmology simulation applet to load.

    So, hopefully you retrieved from the above parable/allegory that I am for weapons reduction and even elimination as a global principle, as opposed to the idea that the world is a safer place when eveyone is walking around "packing" a firearm to protect themselves. That's just me, though.

    And yes, I do think that the 'only the "good guys" should be allowed to have (and use) military drones to kill others.' Better that than the bad guys having them, no? As long as the good guys are actually good and are using the drones in a larger effort for peace and eventual disarmament.

    Edit:
    BTW, no dogs were harmed in the making of this post:smile:
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  7. May 4, 2013 #6

    Ryan_m_b

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    Trying to divide the world into good guys and bad guys is dangerous thinking. It blinds you to the bad actions of the good guys and realistic impressions of the bad guys. For example; there are many civilians in countries like Pakistan who would not consider the US good guys with regards to drone use, for good reasons.
     
  8. May 4, 2013 #7
    Yes, I understand that. My feeling is that they should be phased out altogether. But two wrongs don't make a right, at least I don't think so. Ever see the show "Watchbird" with Sean Astin? A cautionary tale. Here's the intro..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CjIYomjZvAE
     
  9. May 4, 2013 #8
    If the US continues to expand their capability, which they do, it's hardly unthinkable that countries that feel that their interests are threatened by the US, will want to match that capability. I scoff at the idea of Americans having a problem with Chinese armament. Pot, meet kettle.
     
  10. May 4, 2013 #9

    russ_watters

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    Er, what exactly do you find "wrong" about drones? As weapons systems go, they are fairly mundane. If anything, the use of drones is a positive thing for the civility of war because drones carry only small, accurate weapons and so limit collateral damage better than similar larger weapons systems. Plus, of course, they keep pilots out of harms' way.

    I have no problem whatsoever with China developing drones.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  11. May 4, 2013 #10

    AlephZero

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    I'm nore worried by people or societies that can use phrases like that, apparently without irony, than by what specific weapons they have available.
     
  12. May 4, 2013 #11

    WannabeNewton

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    LOL astro this is brilliant. Big boy play pen of sorts eh?
     
  13. May 4, 2013 #12

    Ryan_m_b

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    I don't see a problem with drones over the policies and practices of their use.
     
  14. May 4, 2013 #13

    russ_watters

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    Why? It is a fact that in terms of casualty rates, torture, etc., war has gotten more civil.
     
  15. May 4, 2013 #14
    In the larger picture, it really is more the "slippery slope" aspect of China "ramping up" their production of drones that led me to create this thread. It's kind of like the firearm issue in the USA, once they're in and institutionalized, you're not getting them out. But it goes further than that and this is where the slippery-slope aspect rears its ugly head. Forget about international military use of the drones for a minute, think about the domestic surveillance capabilities of these drones. Do you really think this technology is not going to be implemented soon? If not already. And my guess is that it will be implemented in China sooner than in the US. So, see, I care about the Chinese, too:smile:

    Think about it, there's already a camera on every streetcorner in London, and half of the light signals in WA state have "photosafe" camera's to take a picture of your "rolling stops" so you get a nice robotic ticket in the mail every other month, and of course it goes further than that. Why would we be so naive to think that thousands of drones won't soon be flying over China and the US under the guise of some "Amber Alert" crisis or some terrorist crisis, etc. This is how it all starts, and once they're up there, they're not coming down. Where is that eventually going to lead? I don't know, but I don't think it's gonna be good. Again, flip on the movie "Watchbird" as an enjoyable break from your stressful day. Here's where it could lead. Yeah, I know its exaggerated and science fiction, but the idea is there that makes you think...

    Plus, it's got Stephen Hawking in it!!!:tongue:
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  16. May 4, 2013 #15

    MarneMath

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    If you believe having drones is bad thing, regardless of the use, then I am going to have to disagree.

    If you believe that using drones to target civilians (lethal or non-lethal), I can definitely see your point. Although, I don't think it'll be possible to draw a clear dividing line with this issue.
     
  17. May 4, 2013 #16
    It's not really even so much the drones per se, that I'm concerned about. It's more this movement towards and Orwellian 1984 society that concerns me. I don't know if you feel it coming, but I do. Technology has recently hit some threshold, some bifurcation point, whereby we are being evesdropped on to an alarming degree. The concept of an aerial drone is just an iconic manifestation of this Orwellian trend. The combination of drones, facial recognition software, and license plate readers are going to, and already have, put severe constraints on our privacy and civil liberties.

    Is this paranoia? I don't think so. I share a car with a female relative, registered to her, who had their license suspended because she forgot to pay a ticket. It wasn't long after that that I got pulled over because some squad car with a license plate reader tagged my car. Scared the hell out me, what did I do? Nothing it seems, because when the cop came up to my window and saw I was male, he said, "Oh, I guess you're not so in so." And let me go. I already told you about the "photosafe" cameras everywhere that I also have been stung by. The end result is that I sometimes feel paralyzed to do anything, since I have the sense that I'm always being watched. So that paranoia is real, at least, but that's not irrational paranoia, that's paranoia imposed on me by unrestrained surveillance technology and a society that's too passive or powerless to speak up about it.

    So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that, even withstanding focused military applications, simply the psychological effects on peoples in a society should be considered before we happily encourage every country and their neighbor to litter the sky with UAV-drones, which seems to be what many of the posters in this thread think is the right thing to do. That's all.

    Edit: BTW, let me ask when the last time you had a drivers licence picture taken? I've always smiled in my pictures but the last time I went in I was told not to smile. In fact, there was a sign up that said "no smiling." I asked why with no response but kept prying. Finally they told me that smiling interferes with the facial recognition software that government agencies use. Nice to know that the drones are gonna make good use of my frown at some point:frown:
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  18. May 4, 2013 #17
    I smiled for my license (obtained 14 June 2011). No one had a problem with it. Most of the time I get asked to smile whenever I have to show my ID since I had long hair at the time. Apparently they know it's me from the smile. :P
     
  19. May 4, 2013 #18

    jim hardy

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    I've long thought there's a logical disconnect in our behavior.

    The idea behind our second amendment is defense against creeping tyranny.
    Yet we only advocate it only for individual citizens on intranational level, not for individual nations on international level. 20th century should have taught us better.

    'Best defense is a good offense" - Hitler
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick" - Roosevelt
    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state" - Jefferson
    "...‘Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; .." - Churchill

    I fear we are mis-named. Homo Bellicosus might be more apt.
    Sorry, that's just the way it is with large brained mammals. Maybe the dolphins will do better with the planet after we're gone.

    An aside - fifty years ago I read a remarkably prescient sci-fi short story about drones. It was by Robert Sheckley and is now on Gutenberg , so I think it's public domain.
    If you get a few minutes you might enjoy it.
    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29579/29579-h/29579-h.htm
     
  20. May 5, 2013 #19

    MarneMath

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    more_accurate.png

    It relates.
     
  21. May 5, 2013 #20

    Office_Shredder

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    http://www.theindychannel.com/news/bmv-don-t-smile-wear-glasses

    It's not that big a deal. If anything you now know that when you smile drones can't identify you. Tilting your head to the side also makes them think you aren't a person
     
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