THE TRANSHUMANIST SCRAPBOOK: DARPA’S NEW EXACTO SMART BULLETDecember 28, 2014
Here's an interesting new development in military technology from the good folks at the Diabolically Apocalyptic Research Projects Agency (DARPA), shared by Mr. V.T., a regular here:
The first few paragraphs say it all:
"Accuracy’s the name of the game when you’re a military sniper. If you fail to acquire a target, you risk the safety of fellow troops by highlighting their presence and potentially giving away their positions. But hitting moving targets is no mean feat when conditions are challenging, for example during shifting winds or poor visibility if the landscape is dusty.
"That’s why the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) embarked on a rather ambitious project which set out to develop technology that would “revolutionize rifle accuracy and range,” with the ultimate goal of improving sniper effectiveness and increasing troop safety. And what have they come up with? None other than movie-style, self-guiding bullets that can change course mid-flight.
"Their new “Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordinance” (EXACTO) bullets seem to function in a similar manner to the laser-guided bombs developed by US scientists during the Vietnam War. The technology marries .50 caliber maneuverable bullets with a real-time guidance system that allow the projectile to change direction during flight in order to correct for anything that may throw it off course.
"The EXACTO bullets are complete with optical sensors positioned on the surface of the nose that collect in-flight data which is then sent to internal systems for interpretation. The data gathered is then used to adjust the position of a series of external fins on the projectile, which changes its direction."
"Ok, so what?" you may ask. "What has this to do with transhumanism?"
Well, bear with me here. Obviously, such a smart bullet would be a vast "force multiplier" for conventional military forces, vastly increasing the range and accuracy of small fire weapons and snipers, nor does it take much imagination to see why. If force X's troops have weapons accurate to, say, 2,000 yards while force Y's weapons are only accurate, under the best of circumstances, to 1,000, then force X has a distinct operational and tactical advantage over Y.
But if you've been following other developments in biological and genetic technology, you'll recall a whole host of technologies are just now coming on line. The FBI, for example, is reputed to have a DNA testing device that can be deployed in the field and give accurate DNA analysis within an hour, without having to send samples to far away laboratories and then to wait for several days before the results are known. Other biometric technologies are proliferating, for example, technologies are being designed to dispense medicines, implanted in an individual, electronically, rather than relying on humans to remember to take their prescriptions in pill form. There have even been suggestions - though in my opinion it's still too early to tell if they are plausible or feasible - of the remote biometric sensing or ability to analyze DNA. Already we have seen similar claims and stories, many quite plausible, for such an ability to read, and/or manipulate peoples minds and emotions remotely, and in a general way.
Suppose for a moment that such suggestions are true, or might eventually become true. DARPA is renowned not only for its out-of-the-box thinking, but for its almost Kammlerstab-esque ability to combine technologies in unique ways, to produce "force multipliers" in military technology. Now imagine that EXACTO smart bullet has been "updated" to include such biometric sensors. In other words, one might have a smart bullet that could be specifically targeted to a specific DNA signature as a kind of ultimate assassin's weapon. Or, similarly, imagine an EXACTO smart bullet designed to seek out people with certain emotional signatures or brain wave patterns, and you get the idea: as the transhumanists' "singularity" approaches, such technologies would seem to indicate that the "Hell" rather than the "Heaven" versions of the event is looking more likely.
In other words, DARPA'S EXACTO smart bullet is but a "Mark I" version...
See you on the flip side...