Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Counter-Intelligence and The Minority Report

Are we expecting the intelligence community, law enforcement, and homeland security to predict the future like the "Pre-Cogs" in "The Minority Report" predicting future-crime?

What other types of crimes would we ever expect the government to be able to foretell? Theft? Assault? I don't expect them to be able to predict any of it. So why do we expect them to be able to read the future and know when some individual is going to go radical and start killing or hurting people?

No automated system or very intelligent system will any time soon be able to predict the future for us no matter how much data it can access. If it was possible right now then people would be using it to make money in the stock market or to make some other financial gain however systems that involve humans do not always behave rationally, sometimes behave chaotically, and therefore cannot be fully predicted. And when systems do get close to being able to predict things with some coarse level of detail then often those involved learn to game that system to their own ends essentially nullifying the conclusions drawn from it.

And if we ever do get a system that can predict the future, won't any actions taken based on it change the future? And if that future is changed such that what was predicted does not come to pass then was the prediction wrong? Temporal paradoxes? What??

I'm not saying that we shouldn't try to catch terrorists and criminals, we most definitely should. However, relying on foreknowledge may not be the right answer. maybe all we can do is try to discourage those that might want to do harm by being prepared and vigilant and by fighting our adversaries ideas and beliefs with the ideas and beliefs we hold true in the free world.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Forget Robots, What About My Own Personal Drone

Amazon has it backwards. Instead of them using drones to deliver packages to me, just tell my drone where to pickup the packages. Imagine, without all the pesky logic concerning airspace crowding and drones bumping into each other, if we all had our own personal drones to run errands for us, to go forth, like ahead in traffic, to gather intelligence for us.

Forget something at work, no problem, send your drone back to get it.
Wondering why traffic is all jammed up ahead of you on the freeway, no problem, send your drone on ahead to feed video back to your car.
Live event that you can't get to, send your drone to beam back a live stream.
And so on and so on.

MIT Tech Review has a page dedicated to Drones: here

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Failed States Are Civilization's Tumors

If nations are not or cannot successfully be "nation builders" or in the business of nation building then surely the United Nations should be.

The world cannot afford any longer to leave areas open to lawlessness and barbarism simply to let them some day become civilized and safe. As failed states, failing states, and areas without any law and order; without any government continue to grow, the UN must begin to consider itself taking on the duty and responsibility of helping the people in those areas to build legitimate states.

This will not be simple, cheap, or quick but the world pays the price for doing nothing with these areas as terrorists use them for safe haven. These areas have become tumors in the world that continually metastasize, spreading the disease of death, violence, hate, and suffering throughout the rest of the world.

Any new territories that come from such nation building efforts as well as every other nation should at a minimum accept and adhere to the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

For a list ranking all states by multiple factors in terms of stability see THIS page.