Today i will have to rant about this one here: (AT THE END THANKS FORUM)
This movie might be the most ballsy piece of Propaganda i have seen in quite a while.
At first glance it is a movie that shows how hard the job of Drone pilots can be, and what a mental strain they have to endure.
It shows the "horrors" of modern war in a way that seems to be paint them in a light of "oh isnt this terrible?"
But that is only part of the truth, because if it really did this the DoD would have never green light this movie.
So why has this film been allowed to be made?
Well this is complex because it is propaganda on multiple levels and the trailer alone is getting this across very well.
The quote from our main character that goes along the lines of:
"I blew up 8 Taliban today and now i am going home to BBQ"
shows this very well.
This movie shows what the Western world and especially America has as a power. We can kill anyone anywhere anytime and then just go home and enjoy a happy day with the family. Even if we kill some of our own we just go back to business as usual and log that under collateral damage or friendly fire.
The message her is if you get into the way of our plans we will crush you no matter your allegiance.
Then there is another level of propaganda shown that is way more subtle than the other one that seems just obvious.
Drones are not controlled like this they are not flown by a pilot and you dont shoot via joystick.
The drone is flown by a computer on board and at best you give it way points that it then will flight along.
These days you dont get high res photographs or video feed from a military drone as they dont have the bandwidth to transmit that across half the world in real time. What you get is a promt from a drone that if identified a target that fits. If that is a guy just carrying shovels from one village to another or a guy transporting rockets well the drone wont be able to tell that.
I have worked on these kind of algorithms and for the most part it is neural networks that get trained with insane amounts of data. But they are no where near perfect even after hundreds of terabytes of input the best we could achieve in the lab was like 60% correctness. And in the real world they work with less calculation power and less training time as far as i know the US military aims for about 40% but most of the time 35% is good enough.
So that means that somewhere around 60 to 65 out of a 100 targets you kill are actually not opposing forces.
So now you might wonder well you tell me about these algorithms but does the pilot not have to give the kill command?
Well so far as far as i know the Israely drones still require human input as do German ones and part of the US Military does as well. But by now most drones are actually controlled by the CIA and they dont require human input they rely mostly on algorithms.
So how do you do strategic drone targeting then?
Well that is another fun thing as you want to maximize efficiency after all a single rocket you fire still costs somewhere between 10000 and 100000 US Dollars. So you first wait for larger groups of people like a fully packed car or the like.
Then you wait for said car to reach populated area. There you fire the first rocket at the vehicle and then proceed to wait for a while until people come to look what happens maybe try to rescue survivors. This is when you fire your second rocket into the new crowd as it will maximize targets.
The process is called double tapping and efficient on many levels as it trains people not to respond to attacks so you wont have as many survivors and if they do it well you get a whole bunch of targets for free.
And then there is last level of propaganda in the movie that i feel is the most treacherous of them all. It tells you that hey even if this shit is wrong we still got humans there and they would tell you if it wrong. Its the dont worry trust us approach.
Thing here though is that the military uses the same thing we killed Nazis for after WWII they just obey orders.
The irony here is almost painful if you think about what the judges said after the Nuernberg Tribunals.
We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well.
But what they did not know back then is that no one gives a fuck about public opinion anymore we can manipulate that to any point we want these days.
Oh yeah and this one from the trail is also a goody.
If we can cultivate in the world the idea that aggressive war-making is the way to the prisoner's dock rather than the way to honors, we will have accomplished something toward making the peace more secure.
Edit well the forum fucked over my editing so screw this shit.
So lets have another one of these, has been a while and after this week i feel like a little rant would be nice.
Using this as my version of facebook from time to time is quite nice. At least i know that here it takes Facebook 3 steps more effort to get this entry for their data mining. And there we are straight at the topic of todays rant.
The article i linked earlier states that Britain needs to brace themselves because totalitarianism is coming. Well to late, its already there, and in a better way than it has ever been before. I think i wrote pretty much the same rant a few times already, after all there is little to rant about in this time other than that. But the truth here is another.
We live in a world that is controlled by people using fancy mathematics and complex computer algorithms, to figure things out about people. Things those people did not know about themselves, things those people could never possibly know about themselves. For the simple fact that this incredibly complex machine we call the human body, and specifically its brain, has a level of detail to it that surpasses what we can understand. We can build models of it, and we can analyse small parts of it. But we can never comprehend the hole system.
And that is our own body, these days we all live in a world where 89% of the global population has a phone. Compared to that only about 77-78% have permanent access to clear drinking water.
So lets be honest who these days understands their phone?
And i got degrees in electrical engineering computer science mathematics and physics. Sure i understand the principles and given enough time i could figure it out. Probably.
We live in a world that is ruled by the people that build the technology we use. By algorithms that decide what you ever get to see on Youtube, or what makes the front page of Reddit. Even your facebook and twitter feeds are controlled by algorithms you never get to see, and probably could not understand anyway.
Combined with the knowledge that our health data gets sold, our financial records are easily available (if you just know to get them) and you cant travel anywhere anymore without getting tracked by a dozen different sources.
Totalitarianism is here, and has been for the last ten years. We will never get rid of it ever again.
Cause we all have bought into the lie that if shit is just convenient enough and free that is a good thing. No one of us is really willing to pay for entertainment anymore, or news. But also no one wants to see advertisement anymore. We fucked ourselves over and we are going to get what we deserve in the end. But at least it will be convenient, and we could write on facebook about it. Or in my case i may write another rant here.
This topic of course is far vaster than i made it out to be. Because why do they even data mine everything, what do they get from it? Well that and the fact of how they do it, is sadly to complex to write her about. Mostly because i am just to god damn lazy to write that much.
So the article states that the F-16, which is a plane over 40 years old, beats the F - 35 in Dog Fights.
Well, that is interesting isnt it? How could we have made such a step back in technology in the last 40 years?
The answer is simple... we havent. Dog Fighting just isnt a thing that is of importance anymore.
Because simply said it doesnt happen.
Pilots will argue about it all day long, sure. But the truth is, an enemy plane these days gets either shot down long before it gets into range to do a dogfight. Or you failed on all levels of planing before that.
That is totally ignoring the fact that there will be no war in the next century or so where equal powers are going to fight against each other. The next war between Europe and Russia is going to be a cold one. The war between China and America is going to be a financial one. All the wars that are being fought are against people that have no way of dealing with modern technology anyway.
But back to dog fighting. There is a nice story about the Eurofighter, for its design the aircraft was never intended to have a board cannon. Simply because those weapons make 0 sense anymore, other than against ground forces. They totally useless in aircraft vs aircraft fights.
Modern aircraft are able to fly a such high g-forces that you basically never get a clear shot on an enemy plane. And the only way in a dogfight to shoot down an enemy is via rockets. Because they are way faster and also able to "shoot around corners".
But in the Eurofighter the pilots made the demand that the plane needs a cannon, because what happens if they run out of rockets. The truth is, they are long dead at that point anyway. But in the end the Pilots won over the Engineers and the fighter was redesigned from ground up delaying the project by almost 10 years and costing billions of Euro.
There is no recorded case of a Eurofighter using its board cannon outside of training in almost 10 years of combat use. Because simply said it is useless. Bombs and rockets do the same thing only way more efficient.
Now people will argue with the A - 10 all day long. And yeah it is an impressive weapon. But it is totally useless. It was good against tanks, back when it was designed in 1970, These days a modern tank shoots that thing down long before it gets in range to use its oh so feared GAU-8. A weapon that these days can only be used to kill people that cant defend themselves anyway.
So i do like to fly planes in video games as much as the next guy (only not as good probably). But the truth is, dog fighting is a dead thing, these days you shoot down planes long before you even get to visual range. And that will only get worse.
There may be a space for unmanned anti aircraft drones, but chances are those are going to be phased out soon as well. Just like most manned aircraft with them, as drones are just so much superior to a plane like the F - 35 it isnt even funny anymore. Also they cost about 1/100 of the damn thing.
So yeah the joke isnt that the F - 35 is losing dog fighting against a F - 16 the joke is that that plane is still being developed at all, even though it has literally 0 use in a modern combat environment. But i guess you have to waste tax money some way, cant spend it on sick or god forbid education.
We recently had a fun (not really) little conversation about British politics.
During this came up the point of the Trident program.
For those who dont know, Trident is the name for the British nuclear weapons program.
Which if you go through the history, is one of the greatest jokes on world history.
Not only has it caused some of the worst nuclear disasters, it also has fallen flat on the face in basically every test.
It has cost the British population dearly, more than once, and it is continuing to cost them insane amounts of money each year.
All that for the theoretical argument of "nuclear deterrence" something that isnt even the case.
Right now Britain has a grand total of four submarines left that are able to carry nuclear missiles.
Two of which are in such horrible states that they are basically useless.
The other two are right now in the process of being worked into the same state.
(Not that i see this as a bad thing.)
The British nuclear deterrence strategy is:
If you hurt the UK, we got 40 warheads on 10 missiles, that will ruin your day.
The problem with this, is that wars arent fought by nations anymore.
Wars are fought by organizations, like the one we all know and love to hate under the name of ISIS.
The only problem with this?
Well we (aka the western world) did not only create ISIS we are also paying for them.
And arming them, training them, and helping them to gain new followers.
The last one here is important.
We saw this beautifully at work after the last Paris attacks.
Not only are we promoting ISIS by mentioning them at every point, but we also help them by creating the illusion that they can really hurt us.
Which lets be fair, isnt the case.
They killed a handful of people.
Lets put this into statistic.
Paris has roughly 17 Million inhabitants, now if you take the statistics for traffic deaths in France.
And per 4,9 deaths per 100k people and year, that is roughly 170 x 4,9 people a year.
Since i am to lazy to actually do the math right now that is about 850 people.
The Terrorists killed 130 people, so about 1/6 of what dies in Paris per year through traffic accidents.
Even if they planned better, and did this right, and killed as many people as died during the attacks on the World Trade Centers, back in 2001.
That would only be about as many people as die in traffic accidents per year in France.
Terrorist cant harm us, the chances of winning the lottery are about as high as getting killed by one of them.
But the reverse is also true.
The "War on Terror" is one that can not be won, in fact it can not even be fought to a draw.
This war can only be lost, as each person you harm, no matter how badly, is just generate more terrorists.
You are going to slice of one head of the Hydra, but then his sons or cousins or friends, take his place.
The people waging this war know this, as it is a great tool of control.
It keeps people looked in irrational fear, and it always keeps a supply of opponents.
So why is this fought?
Well the simple answer is control.
The complex answer is more control.
As Orwell put it so nicely in a little book you might have heard of called 1984:
"War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength."
An he fucking nailed it with that statement, more than he maybe ever truly understood himself.
He described a system that would be a Utopia compared to what we have now, and still this little bit holds true.
So lets dissect it and analyze why it is so on point.
War is Peace.
As long as we are waging new wars, or the same war over and over again, we get to have internal peace.
People are willing to sacrifice things, be it money, luxury or even their children in times of war.
After all, we do all of this, as the good guys, and we need to defeat the evil others.
And as we all know, nothing can be gained if nothing is sacrificed.
So we are willing to sacrifice 1/5 of every euro we pay in taxes, or 1/4 of ever pound, or 1/3 of every dollar.
These sacrifices are meant to bring us ongoing peace at home, since we fight those wars far away.
We can look at those regions, and say "Hey well at least over here we are peaceful."
Through them we get an illusion of betterment, of the idea that others got it worse and so we must have it good.
Freedom is Slavery
This one is in fact my favorite, as it is probably the one that shows the true irony of how we use words nowadays.
We wage a war to bring freedom and democracy to a different country, but what to we do really?
We enslave the people there, and put them under a government we elected without them ever having a chance.
Then we keep on doing fake elections that mean nothing, as everyone that is even up for choice has been selected by us.
It gets better, in the name of Freedom we enslave ourselves, by laying wired fences around our borders, keeping us inside as much as the others out.
We pray to the god of personal freedom and preach to everyone that they are free to chose whatever they want.
As long it is something we made them want in the first place, be it via advertising or through the news media.
Everyone is free to want that big house, that nice car, that wife or man, and those children, maybe even a dog or cat.
Yet to achieve all of this, we say that they are gonna need to give up their privacy.
We tell them we need to spy on them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, and all just so that we can find those evil people among them.
The irony that
"Freedom is merely privilege extended,
Unless enjoyed by one and all."
Is something none of them get. And so Benjamin Franklin gets to be right once more.
"Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither."
And we are gonna get neither.
We are still gonna be vulnerable to terrorists, and now gonna even be more vulnerable to overreaching governments.
Ignorance is Strength
This one is so obvious i wasnt even sure if i should write anything about it, but lets make it quick.
Ignorance grants us the ability to be hard against others.
As long as we see them as others, and not as people we can do truly horrible things to them.
As long as we see them as immigrants, and not as refugees, that are feeling just that terror we caused in the first place, we can speak full of hate against them.
Though not that i have gone into so much bullshit, lets bring it back to the original point about Trident.
Trident does not work nowadays, because you cant nuke terrorists.
Neither can you scare a country like Russia or China with nukes.
Russia is ruled by oligarchs that dont give a single shit about their population.
Just like the plutocrats we have here, but with the little advantage that they can rule even stricter.
With 40 warheads you may be abel to nuke Moscow and St Petersburg, and a handful of other big cities.
But you are not hurting anyone with that, the population is not going to turn against their leaders.
And the leaders are gonna just ignore it, or use it in their own propaganda.
The nukes in Japan only worked, because the Tenno himself used his final say to sign the capitulation of Japan.
The politicians of Japan urged the people to fight harder even after Nagasaki, they would have not given up.
Only the ultimately benevolent leader forced them to surrender.
For this just imagine what would happen if tomorrow all big cities in the US where nuked.
People would be hurt deeply, but the survivors would still rally to fight.
They would want revenge, and demand blood in exchange for the blood of theirs that had been spilled.
Nuclear deterrence always has and always will be a hoax.
The only reason we never gonna get a WW3 is because it would not be lucrative to the rich.
The same rich that earn ungodly amounts of money with each new war, be it through private military contractors, or through the manufacturing of newer better killing machines.
They earn money on making and sustaining nuclear weapons.
13 Billion Pound each year to be exact.