Posted by: thescoundrel | May 13, 2007

Nightmarish Visions devoid of Lilacs and Roses


Every now and then I read a science article that leaves me disturbed about the scientific endeavor. One of latest articles I have been following is such a project. As a kid and following my entry into adulthood (many friends and family may argue I have not yet reached that point of existence emotionally and mentally, to them I say Plbtttttt, up your nose with a rubber hose!) I was always fascinated by the Start Trek series. The series postulates many scientific expositions some of which have already been birthed or are in the early stages of evolution. One of those speculated engineering visions was the cloaking device used by some alien races as a way of hiding their spacecraft from their opponents. Of course speculation about cloaking devices was not new to Star Trek. From our early stages of life we have devised ways to camouflage our scent, ourselves and even our equipment from our prey and the hunters that prey on us. The submarine was/is one of the great examples of how skillfully camouflaged pieces of military equipment could/can create fear and devastation on your opponent. The search for ways to camouflage has even created a mythic story suggesting that in an experiment attempted by the US Navy to camouflage a naval destroyer back in 1943 they created a passage through a time barrier. Starting with the Roswell incident in 1947, then Project Rainbow and on though to the present many different UFO stories have grown out of what is suggested as the US Air Force experimenting with stealth aircraft in the New Mexico wasteland. Through the last few months a new science story keeps showing up about the latest attempts to create a more advance version of “cloaking” machines. In an article on physorg.com: theoretically a group of scientists have created an “invisibility cloak” that can hide objects by bending the electromagnetic radiation used by vision, radar and microwaves. They theorize that the cloaking materials will soon be realistic for flying and military craft and that in a few years it should also be adaptable to humans. Now the idea of a Klingon ship decloaking and surprising their enemy makes for great Science Fiction movies. But the reality that such technology possibly is close at hand leaves me pondering: are we not once again running before we can walk. The arrival of this technology could create an even more terrifying time period than the Worldwide affects of the Cold War between the US and USSR. No matter how you look at it the only realistic applications of this technology will be usable for the military and intelligence agencies. Once such technology was perfected the possible military aspects are ominous. Forget the idea of cloaking a Jet Fighter. Once perfected you could cloak an ICBM. Once perfected you and your enemy could launch undetectable space weapons that floats over each other’s heads. Once perfected you could cloak a human that could enter your residence without worry of detection. That would be right up the alley of criminals and many of the worldwide intelligence services. Worse yet – the consequences once this type of technology gets into the hands of zealot organizations like Al Qaeda and Hamas. My personal hope is that such technology is much further away than the article suggests. But the persistence to have the technology is there and like any Military focused Pandora’s Box the better advantage goes to those that have it first than those that get it last. I have often heard it said that science is a two edge sword: it can make our lives more comfortable and/or it can leave it more perilous. From this technology I only foresee nightmares filled with terror – not sweet dreams of walking among lilacs and roses.

Now that I got that off my chest — Have a Happy Mothers Day everyone!

“As God is my witness, I thought Turkeys could fly”
quote from The Big Guy in “WKRP in Cincinatti “

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Responses

  1. I often listen to a radio show Quirks and Quarks, a science program that tries to increase my science knowledge on various levels.
    Often when I hear things like what you mentioned above my first reaction is “wow, that’s amazing” followed by an uneasyness triggered by a lack of trust in humanity. I think it comes with the territory.

    Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed that very much (in an uneasy kind of way 😉 )

  2. Welcome and thanks for the input. Every scientific adventure is usually a double edged sword. It can cut a path to lead humanity towards advancement and enlightenment that sweet dreams are made of or it can recoil and create the visions that nightmares are made of. In the end it is up to mankind to temper and direct the steel of science. But throughout history when mankind has failed that responsibility, they have failed miserably.


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