Sunday, 21 February 2016

eye in the sky or death by powerpoint

Earlier in the week, a somewhat silent moment of panic circulated through the general tensions and fears but was quickly subsumed with more pressing business of the day when the pilot of a maverick airliner had to concede that he’d been temporarily blinded by the dazzle of one of those laser-pointers—the kind which might enthrall cats or manage the boredom of an audience girded for a rather long presentation. Through the aircraft was forced to divert to another airport, the only casualty was inconvenience, this single incident—duly but forthcoming about report—highlights that this was not a unique near-miss and there have been some six thousand such occurrences world-wide in the past six years.
The annoyance is a prickly subject since we are not fans of the posture of a nannying-state but such intensity laser beams for public-consumption seem to serve no further purpose than that of blinding of airplane pilots. Given the penchant of the West for air-warfare for combatting Vanilla-ISIS, one wonders why they just can’t invest in a high-powered disco-ball like we have to lay low all their opposition. If one has the technical capacity to make a laser that’s above the requirements of the classroom, then go ahead and terrorise all of us. There’s the chirping of crickets in the auditorium now—as most of our sleeper-cells or time-travellers we’ve sent back have started that conversation with “well, you have an internal-combustion engine” or “you take a drone” and the conversation ends there—with the temporal-tourists burned as witches and the terrorists dismissed as not having the acumen alone for malice. An old and burdened argument holds that no nation in the Middle East held the manufacturing capacity to make its own weapons of destruction, but the same probably holds for the post-industrial West. Why re-invent the wheel? There is an age of majority for operating a car and such and one wonders if one ought not have at least a rudimentary understanding of the workings behind such conveniences in order to use them—for everyone’s benefit.