Misdirected genius


Last night Esteban and I happened upon a PBS program about modern tank warfare. (We’d been hoping for Rudy Maxa. Wrong day, apparently. Sigh.)

Once I resigned myself to my fate, I actually started to enjoy the show. It was fascinating to hear about how the Russians retooled their tanks — even as World War II was raging — to adapt to the changing battle conditions.

I’d also never thought about the cat-and-mouse game between our modern weapons’ heat-seeking capabilities and their targets’ stealth. Who knew that coating tanks in mesh could make them less visible? And who would have thought that an explosives-laden shell would reduce a missile’s damage?

But as I listened to the engineers and the generals and the historians, I was struck by one thought: What a horrible waste of human ingenuity.

I know that much of the technology we now take for granted — GPS, for instance — was first developed for military applications. But what might we have achieved as a species if we’d channeled more of our energy and money and time into more benevolent technology instead?

We’ll never know, of course. But it’s interesting to ponder.

No Responses Yet to “Misdirected genius”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: