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Microdust Weaponry and stuff


There are two ways to be fooled.  One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.

~ Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

Future war weapons: nanodust, cyborg insects and mind erasers

By Dick Pelletier

    Researchers at the US Military’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) dream of one day creating tiny dust-like particles called nanodust that could turn enemy combatants into law-abiding citizens. Nanoparticles would seep into a victim’s brain and alter certain neurons that would evoke confusion and a desire to become peaceful, thus rendering the enemy harmless.

    Forward thinkers believe that this technology could one day be expanded to locate terrorists and criminals anywhere on the planet, bringing an end to much of the world’s violence and crime. This radical system, powered by tomorrow’s strong artificial intelligence could search through the minds of potentially dangerous individuals and convince them to not act on their evil thoughts.

    Although this bold science would be capable of examining the brains of everyone, a failsafe mode armed with sophisticated intelligence and the number-crunching abilities of quantum computers could limit scans to people whose profile indicated possible problems, thus protecting the privacy of mainstream society.

    As Orwelian as this wild idea sounds, if it saves innocent people from harm and death, a public more focused on improving health and extending lifespans, than concerns over the privacy of criminals, may find this technology acceptable.

    Other far-out weaponry expected over the next two decades includes the following:

  1. Cyborg Insects. Deadly viruses delivered by cyborg insects may sound like science fiction, but if DARPA officials have their way, it may soon become reality. Researchers have already created moths and flying beetles with electronics built inside them that allow a handler to direct their actions. These robot-bugs will attack specific targets and could inject a lethal biotech disease into its victim.
  2. Nano Mind Erasers. Futurist consultant Al Fin sees this horrific concept becoming reality. Nanodust could fire tiny bursts that would wipe sections of a brain clean without the victim ever noticing, creating an instant Alzheimer’s condition. Neutralizing a person’s memory can be more frightening than killing them.
  3. Nano-Naut Swarms. These shape-shifting ‘smart dust’ particles fly through the wind and can analyze areas with sharp detail and feed information back to headquarters. Originally designed by University of Glasgow engineers to one day explore extra-solar planets, this technology could also be used to spy on suspected terrorist locations.

    Will mind-boggling technologies like these ever become possible? Certainly they cannot be developed with today’s scientific capabilities. And no one would trust that their privacy rights would be protected or that these futuristic systems might accidentally harm innocent people.

    However by mid-2020s or so, experts believe that science and technology progress could turn these possibilities into reality. Author Ray Kurzweil in The Singularity is Near, predicts that we will one day merge our brains with powerful computers, giving us the wisdom to manage even the most extreme new technologies.

    Granted, the social and philosophical ramifications of this weapons future will be profound, and the possible difficulties it poses are unknown.

    But with so much at stake, an advanced society will certainly want to minimize its survival risks, and technologies like these, as terrible as they may seem today, could play an important role as civilization advances into what promises to become a most intriguing “magical future.” This article appeared in various print publications and on-line blogs. Comments always welcome.

Nanodust is the concept of wireless MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) sensors that can detect anything from light and temperature to vibrations. Using a large amount of sensors is not a new concept – the U.S. military experimented with this idea previously during the Vietnam War – Project CHECO – Igloo White has evolved and advanced.

For detailed background see

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