Monday, January 19, 2009

Pattern Recognition # 9 - Are We Geared for War or Peace?

Back before Daddy Bush invaded Iraq the first time, I knew he would do it. In the years after the Vietnam war, they spent lots of money developing weapons for fighting in the desert. Vietnam stuff was engineered for fighting in the jungle. Would the military and their suppliers spend billions of dollars developing a new generation of tanks, hummers, drones, lasers, GPS and more and not find a place to test them out?

If we look at the history of inventions, we see a pattern. When new inventions are created, one of the first customers for them are the military. This is not just hardware either. Remember when we discovered that the CIA was using psychics? If we know that the military labs are researching anthrax, what else are they researching?

They would never spend all that money developing a new generation of weapons and not use them. All that stuff, like laser guided sighting and targeting systems, GPS directed weapons, new tanks, etc. So now we have lots of people looking at the military as a steady paycheck. They will put them to work somewhere.

Interestingly, I just ordered a new documentary from Netflix about this subject. I am curious to see what kind of information is in there. I suspect from the blurb I read that it is about how over many years and generations, wars have been used to perk up the economy.

Check out today's headline in the New York Times

More Americans Joining Military as Jobs Dwindle As the number of jobs across the nation dwindles, more Americans are joining the military, lured by a steady paycheck, benefits and training. The last fiscal year was a banner one for the military, with all active-duty and reserve forces meeting or exceeding their recruitment goals for the first time since 2004, the year that violence in Iraq intensified drastically, Pentagon officials said.

Maybe the time will finally be right to shift our economy to focus more on peaceful applications of technology and peaceful employment of our people. We can dream, can't we? What will it take to make it real?

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