Jeff Bezos, the (evil?) Genius of Amazon.com, recently made giddy presentation on his dream of having unmanned drones do home deliveries as soon as 2015.
Amazon threw the following video up on their website, just to show you what it could mean.
In case you’ve missed it, this story is all over the news.
This doesn’t surprise me, of course. Innovation always comes from war, and the USA has been at war for virtually all of my adult life, except for a few good years when everything was all soft saxophone jazz and cigars during the Clinton years–and even Sweet William wasn’t above lobbing a cruise missle or two at some warlords or Islamic extremists, where he needed to blow off some steam. I mean, we all saw Blackhawk Down, right?
I’m all about science fiction, but I’m forced to wonder how much progress this really is, and how effective in terms of a cost benefit analysis? How much to develop and deploy? Energy costs? maintainance and repair costs? What about the cost to this guy? At what point is money better spent maintaining the livelihoods of human beings–the people who earn money that they can spend at places like amazon–instead of building unnecessary technology that puts more money into the pockets of rich people at the expense of the working class.? I suppose this would be good for the drone companies, but it’s a largely unstated fact that much of the economic turmoil facing us today is due to those who control the means of production seeking the false efficiencies of mechanization, and the dirty savings that come from shifting jobs to low-wage, exploitative factories in third world countries. For example, we hear about how the Spotted Owl and protective measures to keep it from extinction have decimated the American timber industry, while the simple truth is that far more jobs have been lost to mechanization, and the dominance of a few large corporations which can afford to that investment and scale of operations. Men are replaced by machines. Small, regional, and family owned businesses are drowned by giant internationals.
But I digress. As always. I am indeed excited by one aspect of this plan: I’m going to capture as many of these drones as I can and keep them in my attic–someplace enclosed where they can receive their signals but not escape. I’m always intrigued by the guy at the mall who sells those little remote control helicopters, but I can’t afford the big one. Maybe I’ll only keep some, and do catch and release on the others. What a great prank for kids–instead of slipping white rats or reptiles into school, just release a drone at the pep rally–or the cafeteria at lunch!
Part 2 of my plan for the Amazon drones is more pedestrian: simply put, I aim to get in the way. Just say no to tort reform. I’m spending my millions of lawsuit profist already.