Think of how far Technology has advanced in this last century; one hundred years ago the knapsack parachute was invented, a device that would change the ways wars were fought and made flying a little less dangerous, John Browning finished designing his revolutionary pistol, the Colt M1911, and CRT Television was invented, bravely stepping into a world of projector screens and radios. Those inventions created huge paradigm shifts in the way people could move, could entertain themselves, and kill. In our modern day and age, the vast majority of inventions are catered towards our need to entertain ourselves, many of them beyond the wildest dreams of futurologists. Our tech has expanded to the point were soon we will be able to do some of the things that comic book heroes could never have dreamed of. Remember watching Star-Wars as a kid and seeing Darth Vader get mad over some missing data tapes? The scene looks a whole lot less badass now and way more laughable when you consider that few people even use tapes anymore. Hell, Darth Vader’s suit is in many ways a relic, artificial muscles have been invented and while they haven’t made any arms able to outperform the real deal, they are definitely the kind of prosthetic I’d want. http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2009/03/flexing-carbon-nanotube-muscles.ars Closer to home with our technologies, we find our soldiers outfitted with cameras and gps’s on their helmets and backpacks, their performance monitored and evaluated, their position, as long as these systems last, known at all times. If it were not for the miserly attitude of the Millitary Industrial Complex, we would see this equipment on all American soldiers, and possibly all of their allies soldier’s too. Such technology has positive benefits; the ability to provide soldiers with advanced tactical information plus giving the staff members a better idea for what is going on in the field.
image of a US Army soldier in 2001, outfitted with the then latest technologies for the land warrior project.
Land Warrior as used by a member of he 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, in Iraq, 2007.
Unfortunately such technology could also be used to paint an unflattering view of the soldiers enemies, or the soldiers themselves. The future it seems, could involve simply ‘tagging’ soldiers with micro or even nano chips and using their biometric data, track their performance and increase their capabilities by responding with the proper kinds of drug or mental therapies. Heck by counteracting the fatigue poisons that build up in the human body, and with injections of cortisol and adrenaline you could potentialy create super soldiers who can run faster, longer and hit harder like steve Rogers, the Original Captain America (albeit with tempers more like wolverine). Unfortunately with all this new technology we have created a new generation of men, no longer do we look to the strong or the brave, but rather, to the capable; who the hell knows how to build a car, or how the components work? How would we work if one or more of our currently placed systems broke down. Who do the incapable turn to, when machines make other machines, the job of people simply to maintain the makers. Is this technology that enables us to know what another is doing, feeling, at any moment all the time a true replacement for the human desire for contact or are we all becoming like superman, all knowing, known by all, and yet anonymous, alone.
Images Taken from Wikimedia Commons/Wikipedia.org