Airplanes have been used to rain death down onto hundreds of thousands of people in their 100-odd years of existence. They also changed the way that people travel. A six month wagon trip turned into a three day train trip turns into a six hour plane flight. That’s airplanes, a morally neutral technology that is both mankind’s greatest dream (flying! like the birds!) and a great tool for his stupidest God damn habit (killing people).

Drones are not as obviously useful as airplanes, since they are not for ferrying humans across countries, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have real purpose. Their defenders are right — drones can be used for film-making, search and rescue, crop-dusting, perhaps even war journalism. But people who confuse the technology with the dead Pakistani children, or with a lying government are forgiven for being unable or unwilling to remember that it’s not the drones themselves that are the problem (mostly, the tech is new…).  The killing, the surveillance  the lobbyists (yep), and the uneven application in the law is and will remain the bigger problem with drones. But they will not be un-invented, so what now?

The rest here.


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