Drones, Modern Warfare and Amazon

The CNAS website, which stands for the Center for New American Security, has its own podcast site, “Drones Podcast Series,” hosted on Soundcloud, It affords a fascinating independent porthole of information and discussion into the still little-known world of drones.

These days all most of us know about drones are twofold: Amazon and other companies are trying to perfect drones in similar private research efforts akin to the current race developing auto driving cars, and, the use of weaponized drones by the US in the War on Terror in the far Middle East, mostly in Afghanistan and Iraq, although recently, apparently a Russian drone was fired by the Syrians or Russian advisors or somebody against ISIS.

The world of drones evolving into weapons of modern warfare is fascinating. Many boys, myself included, loved to buy those cheap balsa wood glider planes, and see who could launch theirs the furthest and achieve the longest flight times. Little did I know that even in the years of my childhood, now quite distant indeed, gliders of the World War II era hauling “commandoes” as they were called then to behind enemy lines, towed by larger transport planes, were beginning to evolve in fits and starts over the coming forty years or so into instruments of novel warfare by the late 1980’s, all in relative obscurity from the mass public awareness.

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The Other Side of Amazon

I am a very loyal Amazon.com customer. I mostly patronize it for the eKindle eReader ecosystem which I find the best, most convenient and one of the greatest boons to my learning and reading ever. I am so enamored of it that it has inspired me to take up the typing cudgel after many years again of pseudo-literary writings, some fiction, and one new genre for me, a review of books which I plan to expand from one useful genre pertinent to Kindle users, and some others on politics, and the history of medicine.

But I was dismayed to read this weekend’s not so flattering article about Amazon’s work conditions and culture as revealed in an article by the New York Times this weekend, entitled: “Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big
Ideas in a Bruising Workplace, ” that changed my view of Amazon severely within the time it took to read this lengthy and scathing article.

I fear that this could be the new way as the activists would say, of technologically oppressing the modern worker. One of the first of cours portrayed by Charlie Chaplin a century ago was of pushing the worker to the limits of speed of performing tasks of simply repetitive tasks on the assembly line, speed the line up, force the worker to put together as many widgets as possible, or in his case in the movie, tightening two big lugs on machinery with both arms simultaneously. The funny but starkly satirical lesson-bit was that after work he was still automatically tightening the lugs for hours with no wrenches in his hands without being able to stop after his shift was over.

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