[Noisebridge-discuss] Sigh -- I'm not helping with Maker Faires this year.
bandit at cruzio.com
Tue Apr 3 14:00:47 PDT 2012
> On Tue, Apr 03, 2012 at 09:42:26AM -0700, Matt Joyce wrote:
>> So, I don't really see the distinction sometimes between "military
>> application" and any other application.
> Stuff designed for killing people, stuff designed for reasons other
> than killing people. Seems pretty straightforward to me.
> Yeah sometimes you can use your M-16 to open your MRE tin to feed a
> starving child, and sometimes you can bash in the head of your ex-lover
> using your cellphone. I'm capable of applying some common sense and
> understanding the basics of why a given artifact was created; I hope you
> are too.
Speaking for myself, as one who has worked on military oriented projects,
things are not always clearcut on their usage.
First, an aside: the purpose of a military is to kill people and destroy
The *political* purpose of a military *by politicians* is the threat of
using the military
to kill people and destroy things.
This is *a critical* distinction.
Another critical distinction: This country seems, for the most part,
to have learned the difference between the *political* goals of a war
and the *military personnel* who have taken the King's Shilling to fight.
I happen to be against what we did in Iraq and (mostly) Afghanistan.
I think it was very unwise to start these wars, and how we fought them.
*But*, I make it a point (as many I know) to *thank the military folks*
for their service. They, and their families, pay a large price for their
Go to any school in New Mexico.
Lots of kids have family members on their third tour.
You think *you* have stress?
A fair number have parents with severe wounds,
and some with folded flags in a box and a little plaque with their
As far as the usage of a military tech: most are dual-use (think
Some are mostly offensive (artillery).
Some are defensive (threat of using the military).
I worked on a project to measure a directed energy sensor.
Basically, a sensor to measure the effectiveness of a
*big hawnkin lazer* to shoot down a missile.
This is a 2-edged weapon - it can attack aircraft or missiles.
The laser heats up the missile and causes a failure.
Thus, it does not deliver the warhead to a target.
The same basic laser can be used against an aircraft.
Is this offensive or defensive?
Depends on who is on the aircraft, what is on the aircraft,
and the intent of the flight.
Personally, I am torn between recognizing budget issues and the recognition
that where I live (Albuquerque) is highly dependent on Federal and
That is a primary reason I have a gig in California right now.
There are no gigs in Albuquerque.
As far as DARPA funds going to MakerFaire?
I don't have a problem with it, because their intent is STEM education.
The press release http://press.oreilly.com/pub/pr/2962
shows this very clearly.
"Makerspace (http://makerspace.com/), developed by Dale Dougherty of
O'Reilly Media and Dr. Saul Griffith of Otherlab, will integrate online
tools for design and collaboration with low-cost options for physical
workspaces where students may access educational support to gain practical
hands-on experience with new technologies and innovative processes to
design and build projects."
DARPA does fund military projects;
they also fund STEM education that applies across the board.
This country has a severe shortage of STEM kids,
which will lead to a severe shortage of STEM adults,
who will develop the next generation of technology which the world (and
USA) will need.
Let us not forget ARPA-net - we could not have this conversation without
ARPA hired BBN, a major Defense contractor, for the basic work.
Please note I have full respect for Mitch and others who agree with Mitch.
I would encourage Mitch and those others to reconsider,
because by not participating in MakerFaire, one removes oneself from helping
kids in STEM education, hacking.
One also removes oneself from the ability to continue engaging
in a discourse on the proper use of the military, and technology for civilian
and other peaceful uses.
If one is preaching to the choir, one gets a lot of "Amens", but little
One needs to be where those on the "other side" will hear one's message.
An absolute refusal to associate oneself with anything tainted by the
leads to the refusal to have anything to do with technology transfer from
military use to civilian use. The medical advances alone are reason enough
for tech transfer - think of the blood clotting bandages as a zen-like
bandit at cruzio.com
I am a systems engineer, specializing in:
- Mission-Critical embedded systems
- device drivers
- control and data acquisition systems
My stuff *works* - *all the time*.
Member: INCOSE.org, PACA.org, IEEE.org, CaliforniaConsultants.org, quelab.net
And to support my son: Proud members of the New Mexico .NET User Group.
Please go to the community website at www.nmug.net.
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