Just-in-time Zombies

The End of War Crimes is an amazing, mind expanding, read over at SF author Peter Watts’ blog “No Moods, Ads or Cutesy Fucking Icons (Re-reloaded)”. The article primarily deals with the potential consequences of new technology that reads pre-conscious brain signals as a means of reducing reaction time, e.g., your gun decides when to fire based on your reaction long before your conscious mind could even have made the decision. The applications are obvious in a military context, but possibly the biggest incentive is harder to spot.

“All of this stuff is disturbing enough as it is. But White takes the next obvious step down that road. Just as Big Pharma cranks up its prices two days before the new regs kick in, just as the logging industry finds out which forests are slated for protection and then clear-cuts them before that legislation passes, the military now has an incentive: not to limit the technology, not to improve its ability to discriminate foe from friend, but to deploy these weapons as widely as possible:
‘…international humanitarian law would create perverse incentives that would encourage the development of an entire classes of weapons that the state could use to evade criminal penalties for even the most serious types of war crimes.’
So whatever you do, son, stay jacked in, keep online, because zombies— zombies can never be found guilty.” – Peter Watts


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