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Are drones good or bad?

Donald Bird

Are drones good or bad?

Star wars is just a movie, right?

Are drones good or bad?  The simple word “drones” has immediate visceral reactions.  Personally, they seem to be an invasion of privacy in the most basic way.  Yet other uses for the little creeps have credence and purpose.

The drone debate is really about the corny yet truthful statement in Spiderman.  “ With great power, comes great responsibility”.  Drones that are operated by the hands of loving, kind and generous people require little thought to accept.  Drones operated by the hands of angry, malicious, jealous and fearful people warrants much restraint to ponder the idea of leaving the country.

Similar to gun regulations we should ban the use of drones to people who have predatory tendencies.   A psych evaluation should be required as well as drone community service program which educates the user about pros and cons of usage and warning of penalties for misuse.  The idea of thousands of stalker-personalities with access to people’s homes and lives gives me the chills.  Our republic is based on the “idea” of freedom to pursue happiness.  Nothing is more debilitating then a creepy R2D2 hanging out at every hill and valley of our human experience.

If that is not creepy enough, these peeping toms are positioned outside of our homes.  Taking the place of the nelson rating system by literally tracking what we watch on TV.  Literally, tracking what we eat, when we take a crap and when we sleep.  Privacy has become a second priority to this idea of protection.  In Mexico, police walk around with machine guns in the more dangerous areas.  This type of commando street theatre may make us feel safer after years of getting over the shock of it, but does that make it a good practice?

The delicate line between privacy and safety is heavily debatable in a “post 9-11 society”.  The question has to be: Are we acting out of fear or progressively building a safer community?  This question of what constitutes a civil right and what freedoms can be seen as negotiable are paramount in how we construct a functional society.

We have seen how surveillance and over policing can turn bad quickly.  This is because our perception is the only lever we have to inform our lives.  During the Bush days when we went to airports on a color coded fear system, we had no other choice but to internalize our fear and find people to blame for it.  Now we are free again to use our own judgment about the danger in our mist.

So instead of using fear as a mechanism to make us police others and ourselves we have adopted a new approach.  We are surveying emails, phone calls and daily routines.   Our shopping habits are tracked, our workout routines are measured, and our elimination timetables are analyzed.  We may be safer now then ten years ago but we are also caged animals with an invisible fence around our yard.  What happens when we leave the yard?  What animals lurk outside of our big brother state that think poorly of our policies and procedures.  How do we fair in that environment?

Only time will tell on what the right move is.  It is fair to say that this debate is just getting started.  We will never be able to get rid of drones but who gets to use them is where the meat of this debate lies.  We need to demand to know what these people do with our information and how does it affect our daily lives.  The debate continues on whether or not drones are good or bad; in the meantime drones please allow me to use the bathroom in peace.

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