Now, I've written about this article before folks, but as I've written before about analogical reasoning (see Giza Death Star Destroyed, Appendix to chapter nine), one of the implications about cross-contextual mappings is that new or changing contexts bring out or add new increments of information to old forms or concepts. And so it is here: the new contexts that we have been exploring with space collateralization, asteroid mining, and the implied privatization and militarization of space add a context from which to appreciate the following document, which I have commented on here before. (My thanks to Mr. T.W. for bringing it back to our attention in these contexts).
Before I show you the article, a caveat: the article is quite lengthy(113 pp), but my comments will be focused on just a few pages. But first, scroll through this and get a "feel" for the document:
If you're like me, you noticed one very important thing when you reached the end of the document: there was very little to do with space. It was mentioned occasionally, but the thrust of the document is quite different. The question is, why? We'll get back to that.
But before we do, I want to direct your attention to pages 17, 50, 57, 59, and 96.
First, note on p. 17 that NASA draws attention to the fact that India now graduates more software developers than does the USA, and that more software code is written in Bangalore than in Silicon Valley. This occurs in the overall context of the document, which is to emphasize the fact that the emerging new technologies of transhumanism, the so-called GRIN technologies that Dr de Hart and I wrote about in Transhumanism: A Grimoire 0f Alchemiccal Agendas, genetics, robotics, information, and nano-technology, are so transforming warfare that almost any form of it involving these technologies makes it unthinkable, and unwinable for any party.
Secondly, notice on p. 50 the reference to the ability of electromagnetic radiation to interfere with and to modify proper brain function, even to the point of "lethality." This confirms in passing what most already know, namely, that such "brainwashing" technologies exist. But again, the occurrence of this bit of information is in the overall context that the new technologies basically make warfare unthinkable.
Then on p. 57 we have mention of new kinds of explosives, that can greatly enhance "conventional' weapons capabilities. One of these, isomers, I blogged about years ago recounting DARPA's quest to create a halfnium isomer bomb. But note also the mention of "antimatter" and LENRs, or low energy nuclear reactions, the official name for cold fusion. This, in the context of the overall theme of the paper - the new technologies and the unthinkability of war - suggests that the possibilities of cold fusion have already been explored with respect to their weaponization. This allows one to play in the fields of science fiction, as images akin to the "red mercury" scare of the 1990s and the idea of "clean" hydrogen bombs - bombs not needing an a-bomb to act as the "fuse" - recur. But again, the overall context: new technologies are making new weapons of mass destruction, from information cyber-warfare to nano technology, genetics, and new materials research, make warfare an increasingly unthinkable proposition, all of which is suggested on page 59, with the reference to "global precision strikes on the cheap."
As if to drive all this home, on p. 96, the study specifically mentions what will not be "survivable," listing "runways, surface ships, manned aircraft and vehicles of any type, and all this due to their "size and multi-physics signatures."
In short, the huge American military will shortly be as obsolete as the wood and bailing-wire bi-plane.
So, what about the fact that, with few exceptions, there is little mention of space in this study? Why is NASA bothering to conduct such a study at all?
In my last book, Covert Wars and the Clash of Civilizations, I pointed out that the famous Brookings Report, conducted in the early days of NASA, was due careful consideration not just because of its statements about the discovery of extraterrestrials or their artifacts, and because it suggested that such evidence be suppressed. These statements, of course, have contributed to the report's notoriety, and indeed, most people equate the report with this one very narrow aspect of its many recommendations. But there are many others in the report, not the least of which is the extensive battery of suggestions for the various sociological studies that it recommended NASA undertake. As I suggested in that book, it may not be going too far to say that as far as the Report was concerned, NASA's primary function was to conduct such studies, not to explore space. The real exploration, I suggested, was being down elsewhere, and in secret. NASA's function was to work out the cultural implications of what would eventually happen as secret space exploration and technologies gradually impacted the public culture.
In Covert Wars and the Clash of Civilizations, however, I also made mention of the notorious "think tank hoaxed report," the Report from Iron Mountain on the Possibility and Desireability of Peace. That now notorious exercise of political satire made the point that war and its possibility serves an essential socially and culturally-organizing function. But what would happen, it asks, if "peace" were to break out? or even, as it also implies, technological advances made any war basically unthinkable. Then, it argued, something else would have to be invented to take its place, and that, it argued, was either a global environmental threat, or a vast space program...
If this is beginning to sound familiar, it should, for this has been the precise burden, at least in the case of the financial elites and the environment, for some time. But now NASA's report is, in its own peculiar war, echoing the basic thesis of the Iron Mountain parody and satire... war is becoming unthinkable, by any of the GRIN-related technological means. Space may be the result... and a war there... well, not so unthinkable. Of course, we've first got to get to the "asteroid" stage in a major way, mining and defending against the "strays" and establishing a much larger and more permanent human presence in deep space, and on nearby celestial bodies. That, I suspect, will then invite the final stage...
See you on the flip side.