favela chic vs gothic high-tech: extra legal guns edition

Posted by on May 25th, 2013

From the pop gonzo journalists at VICE, a glimpse at the world of underground gunsmiths in the Philippines:

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versus

The “hyper futurity”, crypto-libertarian poster kids at DEFCAD with their 3D Printed one-shot Liberator:

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You do the math.

———————–

Answer a)

In the horrible, spectacular events at Woolwich just a few days ago this gun was used:

via Daily Fail

With this result:

Here is one extraordinary chain of tweets by a rapper, Boya Deemarko, who says that one of the murderers fired a gun but lost his finger when the weapon backfired.

———————–

The truth is there is no solution to the math.


Robotic helicopter that can grasp a payload

Posted by on August 29th, 2010

HelicopterGrab

Like the Grand Theft Auto RC missions come to life, this helicopter can grasp objects for transport. They don’t have to be a special size or shape, and it can lift them even if they are not centered. This is thanks to a load-balancing hand (originally developed as a prosthesis) that relies on flexible joints and a tendon-like closing mechanism. As you can see in the video, the light-weight chopper has an on-board camera so that the operator can see what is being picked up. This little guy has no problem lifting objects that are over one kilogram while remaining stable in the air.

Link and photo from hackaday.com.

See also:


Israel’s Bowel (and heart and brain) Disruptor

Posted by on January 21st, 2010

The Israeli Ministry of Defense recently licensed ArmyTec, an Israel-based technology development advisory firm, to mass produce what they call “the Thunder Generator” for military use.  Based on a technology developed to scare birds away from crops, the Thunder Generator uses liquefied petroleum, cooking gas and air to deliver massive sonic shocks.

Much like the wall of speakers at a Butthole Surfers show, the Thunder Generator is disruptive at long ranges (30-100 meters) but likely fatal at the sub-10 meter range.

Developed and produced for the agricultural industry by PDT Agro, a small firm based in Herzliya, Israel, the system detonates a mixture of common liquefied petroleum (LPG), cooking gas and air to generate a series of loud, stunning shock waves.

Using a patented process involving Pulse Detonation Technology (PDT), the system feeds the gas-air mixture into one or more so-called impulse chambers or cannon barrels, where the burning fuel detonates and intensifies in force as it travels through the chamber, exiting in a rapid-fire succession of high-velocity shock bursts.

A small battery-powered control system – about twice the size of a pack of cigarettes – measures fuel pressure, temperature and flow rates while monitoring the continuous intake of the air-gas mixture.

According to company data, the system generates 60 to 100 bursts per minute, each traveling at about 2,000 meters per second and lasting up to 300 milliseconds.

The resulting shocks create a double deterrent to rioters and potential intruders, developers here say, by the extreme air pressure and sonic boom effect generated once the mixture propagates and expands through the air. One standard 12-kilogram LPG gas canister (retail cost: about $25) can produce up to 5,000 shock bursts.

Being a very cheap and simple weapons platform, how long will it take for this to go from active deployment in the field to something you can build as a weekend project with stuff from Home Depot?

[Via Defense News.]


Judge Dredd ‘Black Box’ recorder/spy kit for guns unveiled

Posted by on November 16th, 2009

The idea is that the Black Box electronics would be installed internally in a void space such as the pistol grip of an assault rifle. (It “fits in any weapon type”, apparently.) The gadget would run on a non-replaceable battery lasting ten years or 100,000 shots – covering the weapon handily between major overhauls.

The initial uses of the Black Box would, according to FN, be in logistics and maintenance. The in-gun shot counter would keep track of how many rounds were being fired, updating a future soldier’s digital comm/puter system – Land Warrior or some similar rig – as it went, using some form of wearable networking.

Not only would the soldier then know automatically how many shots he had fired without the need to keep count or look at his magazines and pouches, but so would his team leader – and higher commanders would be warned in advance if their people seemed likely to run out of ammo.

Most current and planned digital-soldier rigs already include GPS, in some cases enhanced by the use of other navigation aids. It seems that with the addition of Black Box, commanders may know not just how many shots their troops fire and when, but where they were as they did so – perhaps in real time. The scheme is somewhat reminiscent of the idea, sometimes suggested for US police, of automatic gun cameras intended to record the target of every shot fired for use in subsequent investigations.

Fans of Judge Dredd will recall that his personal sidearm, the Lawgiver pistol, had capabilities akin to this in some versions – perhaps going as far as the tagging of every round fired with the user’s DNA signature. (Though in the movie, even this level of record-keeping didn’t suffice to protect an innocent Dredd from being busted by his fellow judges for a crime he hadn’t committed.)

FN don’t mention DNA bullet-tagging specifically, but they do say that the Black Box is intended to form just part of their planned “Armatronics™” kit, “a fully integrated system of electronic solutions mounted on or inside a weapon. Additional enhancements for increased functionality to the system are on the horizon as new technologies are explored.”

From theregister.co.uk.


Quote of the Day

Posted by on September 2nd, 2009

Brain thoughts:

Perhaps most perplexing is the question of legal responsibility. If someone wearing a neural prosthesis were to punch someone, who is to blame? The action may have been deliberate, in which case the patient is to blame, or the chip may have been malfunctioning and the responsibility would lie with the manufacturer. Discovering where the truth lay would be no easy task. The law has had trouble catching up with the self-parking car, never mind an electronically controlled limb gone wild.

From the article Bionic brain chips could overcome paralysis, via newscientist. com.


Fisticups combine coffee mugs with violent weapons

Posted by on August 6th, 2009

Bad day at the office? Put your cup of coffee to good use!

Via dvice.com.


Bring out the Pain Ray!

Posted by on August 3rd, 2009

For crowd control, when a single taser won’t do:

The Shockwave is meant to “de-escalate/defuse violent crowd/riot situations,” although I have a feeling that if you Taser the first wave of a crowd, it might get a lot more rowdy — especially if they see that your Shockwave is a one-shot device, or three at the most (plus you can duck).

Photo and words via crunchgear.com.

Forget the geese control it’s designed to do: if it could be developed beyond the few shots it makes, crowd control would take on a whole new meaning.


French Nuclear Test 1970

Posted by on March 7th, 2009

Photo from yourdailyawesome.com, via imgfave.com.


ARM•ME

Posted by on March 7th, 2009

Ideas and photos by Justin Melnick, link via nextnature.net


Robotic Shotgun Autocopter

Posted by on February 24th, 2009

Everyone needs their own radio controlled flying death squad robots.

Link and video via core77.com

See also:


It’s going to get worse, before it gets better

Posted by on January 24th, 2009

No Future
photo by ~emimerx

Let’s start this thing off nice.  Firstly, a belated Happy New Year to everyone.  Personally, I had a freaking fantastic NYE, and I hope y’all did too. 2008 was a great year for me, and building on that, personally, 2009 was filling me with optimism.  So many great projects in the works, so much hope for the Future.

And then I turn on the News. Reality is a harsh mistress my friends.

And now I’m going to tell you all the ways in which we are totally fucked.

Firstly, we’ve got the news from NY, which George Rohac was kind enough to alert me to.

The New York Police Department wants to be able to shut down cell phones, in case of a terrorist attack.

Because, you know Mumbai.  The whole attack was apparently coordinated over mobile phones by handlers who were monitoring the Media.

Which you kind of need, given the attackers were allegedly dosed to the eyeballs on LSD and Cocaine. Making the thing sound more and more like a 24 script-writer’s wet dream.

So the NY police want to prevent a similar coordinated attack.  Does this make sense?  Yes and No.

No, because Terrorists analyse and exploit weak points to create maximum carange.  The best way to do this is by making every attack original. That’s why post-9/11′s hellish flight security measures only punishes the masses.  And those guys sure didn’t need mobile phones, did they.

Yes, because Obama. Here’s my first prediction for the year:  Copycat Terrorism is coming kids.

You can bet there’s armed and angry right-wing militias in the States studying every single bit of data they can on the Mumbai attacks. And thinking they can do it one better.  Have we forgotten who the first people to try to blow up the World Trade Center were. And when that was.  The Clinton era.  Those “evil Democrats” who want to take peoples guns away.

Al Qaeda et al have hardened troops from the battlefields of Afghanistan, Chechnya and Bosnia. The US has a bunch of pissed-off Vets returning from Afganistan and Iraq.  How many people remember the post-WWII crime waves? We have a lot of trained killers out there again.

But let’s keep moving.  Let me tell you why blocking cellphones and filtering the Internet is the beginning of the end of this phase of civilization.

Corporate Democracy hates you.  Every single Democracy is deeply in bed with and funded by the Corporations.

The US passes the DMCA laws because Disney wants to sell more Mickey Mouse dolls.  Then through “Free Trade” it spreads around the world. France wants to filter the Internet so that Carla Bruni can sell more CDs.  Britain apes France, and Australia apes Britain. But of course they do it in the name of the children and the family.  Please.

It’s about CONTROL.  The State exists to command and control.

We are supposed to Trust in Authority.  But the illusion of Control is being eaten away.

Exhibit A:

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The Police, the fists of the State, caught red-handed executing one of it’s citizens.

Has this happened before?  No doubt.  What’s the big difference then? Not only was it witnessed by the train full of passengers, it was recorded by a great deal of them.This clip is just the best of many you can find on YouTube. 

This is evolutionary. If those Cops were more than just brutish thugs, if they had half a fucking brain, they’d have gone onto that train and taken every single mobile phone and video camera away.

As Evidence.

So let’s fast-forward a little.  Because you can bet that the band of brothers, those boys in blue, are mighty pissed off that one of their own had to resign like that. And they’ll be sure now not to go out that way either.  They will confiscate all the phones and video cameras from now on. But some bright soul will have already uploaded photos to Flickr, or even better using Zannel to post it through Twitter. Even better an impromptu citizen-journalist might be streaming the whole affair with Qik or its many clones.

That might work a few times.  Until the Police decide they need to be equipped with mobile cellphone jammers, nominally for the fight against Terror. Then second the shit goes down in front of a bunch of witnesses, on goes the jamming.

But Terrorism is bad, right.  We want to stop that.  It’s all for the Greater Good!

Exhibit B:

Well, let’s wander over to France for a minute.  A bunch of kids decide to drop out and live their own Future in a little village.

There’s a tenuous link to them involving some train derailments.  Trains were hurt, but there were no deaths.  So what happens?

..the French government claims that Tarnac and its small shop are the headquarters of a dangerous cell of anarchist terrorists plotting to overthrow the state. Images of balaclava-clad police swooping to arrest suspects in Tarnac were compared by bewildered villagers to a strange, rural action movie. The government hinted that locals were too gormless to have noticed the terrorist activity in their midst. But after weeks of controversy, supporters are rising up to defend the young people of the village.

Those kids aren’t ETA (the Basque separatists). They’re just saying no to the ‘rat race’ and finding their own niche to live in. Yet they are declared an Enemy of the State that must be crushed.

So let’s go back to the start; to Mumbai.  How did the word get out so quicklyTwitter and Flickr. What did the Government eventually try to stop happening?  You guessed it.  Would this have stopped the handlers coordinating the attacks? Given they were most likely getting their intel from CNN, no.  Would an immediate Media blackout have prevented this?  NO! Because you can bet your asses they had their own, separate cell watching from afar and reporting in anyway.

I repeat, these are well planned attacks exploiting observed gaps in the defenses of their target(s). 9/11 was accomplished with just box-cutters. The best defense is an armed and knowledgeable citizenry; all this just demonstrates the increasing power of mobile communications technology.

Are you still reading?  Did you think I’d forgotten about the Economic Collapse?  Don’t worry, I’m getting to it.

This is, as a Prime Minister of Australia once said, “the recession we had to have”.  This is the System collapsing. The Governments of the world can’t fix Global Warming; it is, quite frankly, all their fault.  They are agents of the Status Quo.

As Dr Horrible sez: “the status is far from quo”.

The next decade will be very interesting.  These are the Breaking Times. The Post-Industrial future is coming, whether people like it or not. You can look forward to more decaying strip-malls and empty shops in general.  eBay and it’s like will be where everyone shops. As everything slows down, people will be forced to prioritize.  Shopping as therapy will become a 20th relic.

The Future as I see it is peer2peer.  The answer is never Fear, but Love.  So I call for Revolutionary Optimism!

I implore you; skip the Corporations and buy from your fellow man as much as you can. Make your own clothes or buy them on etsy at least. Garden!  Barter! Hang out at local markets.  Cook for your friends.  Skip that crappy Hollywood blockbuster and veg out on the Internet instead.  Or with people in Real Life.

Reality is Fiction;  society is a social construct.  The Future has never been more in our hands. Since our species first stopped hunting and settled down to start Agriculture it’s been all about top-down control systems. But, Internet be praised, we are quite possibly positioned for the first time since then to change this. Technology is what defines us as being human; and we increasingly don’t need the Bureaucracy of the State to manage things for us. Instead, we can engineer and maintain solutions that run fine by themselves.

The State’s days are numbered!  Sadly, this most likely means it will become more violent in it’s death throes. The Evolution is not about burning shit down; it’s about obviating all the crap that’s got us in this mess to begin with.

Power to the People!

Thanks for listening; you’ve been a wonderful audience.


Killer robots to get silent-running whisper mode

Posted by on January 23rd, 2009

Georgia Tech has announced plans to silence larger UAVs. From theregister.co.uk:

Some robotic aircraft are already very quiet – the small battery-powered aeroplanes, often hand-launched, which are used for infantry reconnaissance and perimeter security are almost totally silent. Electric quadcopters, as favoured in some situations by the Merseyside plods and (it is rumoured) the SAS, are also unobtrusive. Such technology typically causes a stir only when employed in the form of flying genitalia.

But larger machines, able to tool up with deadly weapons and wreak havoc among their puny human opponents, are much noisier. The racket of engines, propellors and whatnot – when at low level – often warns the hapless fleshies beneath, giving them a slim chance to hide or escape.

Gaeta and his colleagues want to take away that chance. The plan is to equip the roving robotic spyeyes and gun-platforms of tomorrow with Blue Thunder-style whisper mode*. The GIT team have apparently visited unnamed “US military installations” for the purpose of examining machines already in operation.

Silent death from above.


Boeing’s 747 Laser Canon

Posted by on January 7th, 2009

Eye of death:

The YAL-1 Airborne Laser (ABL) has been some twelve years in the making. Now, after various stages of testing and the odd hold-up, it looks likely to be given the green light for an in-flight missile shoot-down sometime in 2009.

Photo via environmentalgraffiti.com.

See also:


Scary MicroAV demo video

Posted by on December 18th, 2008

From Electric Spectre


The “Multiple Kill Vehicle” will destroy us all

Posted by on December 9th, 2008

You know I when I first watched this video I thought I was looking at some highly rendered clip from a new video game; some new boss to be studied and defeated. But this killing machine is very real, albeit straight out of the Terminator franchise.

Meet the Multiple Kill Vehicle:

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I can’t help feeling that we’re all going to die now.

via Electric Spectre | MAKE | Gizmodo


Pillow Fight Pillow

Posted by on December 1st, 2008

Th ultimate pillow fight pillow:

Designed by Vanessa Su, link via core77.com.


“Any Tool is a Weapon if You Hold it Right”

Posted by on November 18th, 2008

I love people. I firmly believe people are smarter, more resilient, more adaptable and downright more awesome than even most people give themselves credit for.

But sometimes, people really piss me off.

That said? Let’s talk about Ontological Violence. For instance, the word on the street is that the ability of homosexuals to marry and gain the same legal and religious protections and rights as heterosexual couples actually damages the status of heterosexual marriage. According to ProtectMarriage.com, all California’s recently successfully passed Proposition 8 did was to “simply restore the meaning of marriage and protects it as an essential institution that has benefited mankind since the beginning of time.”  Search for the documentation backing other recently-enacted anti-gay marriage (or gay adoption) bills and amendments, you’ll find similar statements that make a very fuzzy distinction about where the line is drawn between defending our religious freedoms and impinging on the civil rights of others.

I don’t want to get bogged down here, debating the morality of gay marriage; there are plenty of other pundits who will tell you one version or another of their moral truth. What I’m more interested in is how the very idea of homosexual marriage and homosexuality in general is a threat. I want to talk about how progressive ideas of all stripes – be they subcultures, religions, sexuality, different loves or different goals are transformed in the media and in the hearts and minds of millions into a threat. How has love become a weapon in a war that, according to Protect Marriage,  has been going on since “the beginning of time?”  How has love become a thing that inherently does violence to – if polls are to be believed – a majority of the people in the United States?

Most importantly, however, since this isn’t a piece for Feministing or Feministe, I want to talk about what this means for Grinding, for transhumanism and for the people reading this site.

That people have a tendency to “Other” the people who are not them is not a strange new development. It’s the fodder for a thousand Philosophy 201 classes around the world every year. You can cite Buber, you can cite Heidegger, you could – if you wanted – discuss the tendency for Cartesian thought to make “Self” or “Not Other” the axis upon which existence spins. But on a practical level this does us no good. The entities immersed in the system we call the world (whom I like to refer to as “People”) still display an amazing ability to separate the world into dualities, most notably “Self” and Other.” And if something threatens that sense of Self – and really, anything that is Not-Self threatens Self by its very existence – many people are quick to interpret that Not-Self’s inherient existence as an act of violence.

Whoever you are reading this, there is something about you about what you think, feel, love, hate, fear or represent that makes you – in the eyes of someone else – a bomb. In a world where the media assures us there is a Culture War, we have moved past the point where “Everything is Political.” The politicization of your every action or inaction is now taken for granted. If there is a Culture War - and so many people tell me it’s real - then you, no matter your lifestyle, are not just political, you are weaponized. It only makes sense that in a world where information flows faster and faster between corners of the globe and the people living across it that ideas – especially “progressive ideas” – acquire the high velocity of a bullet. And in this world, there’s never just one bullet, but a hail of them. I grew up in a small community in which I literally did not know that homosexuals existed. Now they are my friends and lovers.  The world opens broader and brighter every day.

Here on Grinding, we talk about bodymods and cyborging and hacks and the bits of science that can push us that much farther beyond the narrow envelope of what is human. When our voices grow loud enough, when it stops being “the guy in the Olympics”, or “that girl with the forked tongue”, or “that kid who can feel your arphid chips in your wallet” – our collective voices will echo like a barrage of gunfire to someone. Given enough velocity, any idea threatening the envelopes of “Self” or “Human” Sounds like the crack of gunfire. Transhumanist voices will sound like violence. Just like queer voices or feminist voices or voices of colour, there will be those (there ARE those, look at Stem Cell research or the nascent anti-longevity movement) who interpret our ideas as a violence done to them.

Why? It’s beyond me. I have my theories, and I tend to point people back to Terence McKenna, Alastair Crowley, Grant Morrison, Robert Anton Wilson, Judith Butler, or maybe Emmanuel Levinas for my beliefs on why we shape our internal worlds like we do. But given this is Grinding and I’ve always got an eye towards practicality here – I want to talk about the stakes. In a world where the spaces between things and people shrink because of the power of interconnective technology what is conceivably on the line when – through the mere act of existing – groups perform violence on each other?

I’m going to take a page from our friends over at Project Marriage and take this back “to the beginning of time”. Well, I’m going to take this back before there were Christian marriages, which is apparently the same goddamned thing.  I’m going to take this little anthropological time machine all the way back to the time of the cave men.

Now I’m many things, but I’m not an Evolutionary Biologist. I’m also not an Anthropologist, but I think Mohinder from Heroes is supposed to be both of those things and if he can manage it, then it can’t be too hard. (Actually he’s a genetics professor apparently, but the joke stands.) However, I do want to talk about our former friends and neighbors, the Neanderthals. Now, we don’t know for certain what happened to the Neanderthrals. What  know they were wiped out. We are here gazing intently into our interweb-reading devices and they are religated to museums, crude graves, buried under rocks and in doomed to Geico commercials. We can construct a lot of narratives as to what happened to our genetically similar, broad-browed cousins, but the specifics, sadly are the domain of the past and as such are ever mutable. We can only ever add detail to the narratives of their passing, we can’t say for certain what made them pass. (Although I’m going to offer a few of my favourite ideas in a bit.)

Bottom line is that we (and by we, I mean Homo sapiens) won and they (and by they, I of course mean Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, and let’s throw in Homo heidelbergensis, and Homo erectus just to get the point across) lost. They lost the whole ball of wax in a game where the stakes are infinite and the play was cutthroat. But how did that happen? For about one hundred and fifty to two-hundred thousand years, they were the biggest game in town. The Neandrethals were everywhere in Eurasia and while their population numbers possibly peaked at somewhere around thirty-five to fifteen thousand, they were still the star players in town, assuming the name of the game was “build intelligent bipeds”. Then, you get a period of co-existence where our heroes the Neanderthals were sharing bits of land with the newest Human upstarts on the block – Humans, fresh, if the story is to be believed, out of Africa.

The Neanderthals may not have been as un-like us as high-school biology textbooks have led us to believe. In fact, researchers at the Max Plank Institute estimate that there’s somewhere in the neighborhood of a 99.9% similarity between them and us. They used tools, and while those tools never reached the sophistication of Eurasian human tools, they theoretically weren’t too far off the “state of the art” at the time. They had fire. There is even evidence they may have had language: They had the pre-requisite musculature necessary for  human-like speech and they carry the exact same FOXP2 gene that we do – a gene tied to  the development of language skills. Prof. Steven Mithen even makes the claim that Neanderthals had a musical language that never bifurcated into two different tracks of cognition – one for language and one for music. Hell, according to some controversial findings, they may have even had musical instruments.

So what did we Humans have going for us? If the margin of survival between our two closely related groups was that narrow, what made the difference? Well, obviously weather had a lot to do with it. The weather in a lot of the areas the Neanderthals called home sucked and was not really conducive to a hunting-based society. But one serious advantage the Humans had in areas where we overlapped in harsh climes was that Humans had a “cultural cache:”  In other words we did more than hunt. We had a back-up plan. Plan B came in the form of rudimentary agriculture, whereas as best as we can tell, our Neanderthal buddies were strict hunters and carnivores. (And possibly cannibals, to boot.)

Our human ancestors also seem to have had larger social groups. While Neanderthals appear to have had small tight-knit family units, the proto-humans were forming things recognizable as communities. This of course, would have created greater social and linguistic sophistication. And as linguistic sophistication grows so does cognitive function. The Humans, by existing in larger communal structures would have been exposed to a greater range of ideas and variations. The Neanderthal would have had tradition and an extremely isolated small family unit, not facing the cognitive and social challenges that an increasingly networked proto-culture faced.

Perhaps they were simply unable to deal with the climate change of the ice age. Or perhaps when thrust into contact with our ancestors they had a sexy party and interbred (although recent studies show a great deal of doubt that there was ever an appreciable amount of interbreeding between the two competing species). There are a lot of theories on why we won out in the evolutionary sweepstakes, although perhaps the most believable (to me at least) is the one put forth by authors like Jared Diamond and Howard Bloom:  When and where these two vastly similar but very different cultures met they did what we all feel the reaction to do when encountering a perversion of “self” – they fought.

The proto-humans, being faster and having projectile weapons that the Neanderthals’ material culture never developed and – according to Bloom at least – harboring an instinctual and genetic drive to win – wiped out the Neandterthals wholesale.

Honestly, it was probably a mix of all of these things:  Climate change, differing community structures, different material cultures, outright naked aggression, scarcity of food. Me? I still leave a lot of room for the humans gaining the upper hand through the use of psychedelics, but I’ll leave “The Stoned Ape” to its own devices for now. What human culture shows in almost all of these scenarios is an ability to adapt faster than their opponents. More to the point, as author Bruce Sterling points out in his book Shaping Things, they appear to have possessed the ability to make mistakes and learn from them with a greater speed; a necessary skill for a successful culture.

The things that saw Humans win that race were not big things, really. Certainly  they were game-changing  ideas at the time: change how families work, orginize the old family units into tribes, divide labor tasks in case the present state changes so we’d have something to fall back on.  Our forebears were able to – and were forced to - try new things in case the old things stop working. These are lesions we should have learned from cavemen. Theirs was a live-or-die situation, certainly but how is now really any different?   

Look at the news, look at the polls. Over fifty percent of the people in this country (not even getting into other cultural and geopolitical morasses, here) do not have the ability to suspend their fear of the Other long enough, to embrace real change, to make mistakes at high velocity, to have a sense of self that is porous enough to allow other kinds of people to live their lives, to let love be not a weapon.

But here’s the part that keeps me up at night:  I love people.  If I didn’t, I think I’d be in a different line of work.  My fear is that the roots of Ontological Violence stem from way back in the day.  Back when two like species met each other on the world’s dusty plains and only one walked away. And the one that didn’t walk away? It had beauty, it had art, it was so much like us… but it didn’t adapt. It didn’t have the little ideas to enable a species to make it through the long haul.  Because of their inability or unwillingness to incorporate little ideas that by the light of the cities look like the simplest fucking things, they  wasted away, or we might have killed them. Who knows?  There’s no one left to tell their tales.

I still love people.

I think we’re capable of wonderful things. I think we’re capable of anything if we let go of our fear and our prejudices and the dogma that stops us from being able to learn and persevere and make new and exciting mistakes.

But I see people preaching hate on the street-corners, defending their god, their religion, and most of all their fears with hate, anger and bile. I can’t help but look at those people who see my Self as a violence against them, and wonder if they can adapt and survive and change. In those hate-filled faces I see for just a moment – despite my better nature – a big-nosed shaggy-headed singing Neanderthal watching in terror as people it cannot understand crest over the ridge with their cunning weapons and dangerous ideas. I can’t help but wonder if we freaks and queers and Others do, in fact, commit a violence against them. Because all of us - The outsiders, the pagans, the Grinders, the subculture kids, the futurists, the cyborgs, the freaks, the fags – all of us mutants and monsters?

If there’s one thing we know how to do, it’s adapt and try new ideas.

Maybe there is a Culture War. And maybe history is just repeating itself.


Skull USB

Posted by on October 24th, 2008

Perfect for Halloween, or everyday wear.

Link via makezine.com.


Release the (robot) hounds!

Posted by on October 23rd, 2008

I’m not a particular fan of Alex Jones, whose conspiracies tend to fall wayy too close to the “Reptoids in the White House” flavor for my tastes, but this article was sent my way by a reader.  Steve Watson of Jones’ Infowars.net links to what appears to be a request for contractors to work on the development of a human-hunting robot program.

Paul Marks of The New Scientist asked police and military technology expert Steve Wright about the proposal:

“What we have here are the beginnings of something designed to enable robots to hunt down humans like a pack of dogs. Once the software is perfected we can reasonably anticipate that they will become autonomous and become armed.

We can also expect such systems to be equipped with human detection and tracking devices including sensors which detect human breath and the radio waves associated with a human heart beat. These are technologies already developed.”

Infowars’ Watson goes on to hypothize that the basis for such a robot would be Boston Dynamics’ “Big Dog”.


Boeing completes successful test of air-to-ground laser turret

Posted by on August 14th, 2008

The Boeing Advanced Tactical Laser C-130H aircraft has completed its first ground test, shooting a high-energy chemical laser through a beam-control system. The gun successfully acquired a ground target and shot the darn thing on August 7, paving the way for an in-air test later this year, hopefully from that bad-ass 747 they’ve been touting. Boeing promises that the ATL will “destroy, damage or disable targets with little to no collateral damage.”

Link via engadget.com.

See Also: