When you control a budget that exceeds a trillion dollars, you don't have to wait until after Thanksgiving to start writing your holiday present wish list. The Department of Defense (DoD) has just released an early version of its small business programs for 2012, with every branch clamoring for futuristic technology that ranges from transforming robots to nanotech medicine to sensors that can figure out political beliefs through language analysis.
These kinds of sci-fi projects come naturally to DARPA, the military's in-house tech shop, which proposed a number of programs with strong potential in the civilian world.
One of their solicitations, titled "Rapidly Adaptable Nanotheraputics," aims for a solution to the problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. The program calls for the development of programmable antibiotics in the form of nanoparticles with specialized NA attached. As doctors encounter different strains of bacteria, they can simply reprogram the molecules to inhibit the growth of the new bug, rather than hitting it with the stronger antibiotics that encourage even more dangerous resilience.
Another DARPA request could change search and rescue by creating what amounts to a long-range tricorder. "Biometrics at a distance" would produce a device that could search for signs of life from up to 30 feet away, and through any intervening walls or rubble. Then, once the device finds somebody, it would analyze heart rate, temperature and other markers to determine that person's health. Quick analysis of the different levels of injury among a mass of buried people could help first responders triage whom to extract first.
The DoD solicitations, released on November 9 under the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer program, provide a good overview of the ideas that have grabbed the imagination of America's military, and the obstacles they anticipate having to overcome in the future. To the branches of the DoD outside of DARPA, those concerns, and thus the solicitations, have a much more pronounced combat orientation.
For instance, the ground-pounders over in the Marines and the Army went for more practical gear.
To help keep their growing fleet of robots operational even without the GPS system that guides all U.S. military hardware, the Marines want a new system for determining planetary location. Why the Marine think the GPS system, which forms the backbone of modern military logistics, would go dead is anyone's guess (Chinese cyber attack? Space debris? No 3G?). But if unmanned air and ground systems could also navigate by sensing the Earth's magnetic field or analyzing starlight, robo-Leathernecks could keep taking their fight to the enemy even without satellite navigation.
Between requests relating to defeating IEDs, better protecting soldiers and making training more realistic, the Army managed to slip in a solicitation for an intriguing new weapon system. The "Hovering Tube-launched Micromunition" would combine mortar rounds and UAVs to create a new, more precise, more carefully timed form of artillery. The goal of the program is a round that can be fired from already existing mortar and artillery pieces that sprouts wings while in flight, and then hovers over the target area waiting to strike.
Interestingly, the Air Force solicitations more closely resemble the conceptual DARPA projects than the practical equipment sought by the Army, Navy and Marines.
Like DARPA, the Air Force also put out some feelers for a remote sensing tool, but this one detects state of mind, not health. Saddled with the clunk name of "Discourse Analysis for Insights into Group Identity and Intent," the program would develop a semi-automated system that would determine someone's intent, group affiliation and mood based on their language and cultural context.
While these examples highlight some of the more important priorities for a military facing significant budget cuts and the end of over a decade of constant war, they are hardly the only small business programs offered up by the DoD for next year. To view the rest of the many small business opportunities, futurist technology requests and advanced weapons, check out the individual reports.
With the invention of the arrow, we lost the face to face understanding of war. Everything develops after that is to kill the enemy remotely, autonomously, hacking, virus or some other sideways way, not face to face.
In the days of swords, battles were face to face and the leader of the battle led the battle.
Now it’s all politics and the solders are calculated disposable death pawns, all severing corporations leaders, none of us will ever see or know all our lives.
DARPA’s Christmas wish list is for us citizens to have weirder ways to kill and die, all for the benefit of Corporation Profits.
On the philosophical base, war hasn't really changed. From the beginning, as the human race evolved to a more intelligently decisive problem solving species, we have increasingly found ways to improve the efficiency of inflicting violence upon our enemies. From this we have shaped civilization as we know it.
In a particular segment of human civilization, the time of the sword did not see every societies kingdom leader ride into combat, especially if that leader thought he was so above the people. They would rule in a fashion where all beneath them only serve the person to do their bidding. That's where the name for pawns come from. In this instance the modern world is no different from the ancient one.
The motivations for war hasn't changed, nor will it. The only thing that changes is the appearance of war based on ever evolving technology and tactics.
One not too far off futuristic war is politically declared.
The “Computerize Autonomous Drone War”, begins.
A solder goes to his or her office and sits down in front of their computer. From computerized strategy a order is given to the solder to go to battle. The solder pushes a key to attack his enemy, to kill him.
Somewhere half way across the world, the enemy soldier sits at his desk in front of his computer a computerized strategy order is given to fight.
At the end of it all, citizens die and corporations just keep getting richer, all keeping themselves very distance from the war itself.
I don't know what weapons will be used in world war three, but in world war four people will use sticks and stones.
I love the way DARPA finds all of these benevolent reasons for their tech. A robot to test chemicals, a "tricorder" to detect life signs in mass graves. Like come on who's buying that??
DARPA's real wish list; RFID chips implanted in every man woman and child in the U.S
Nobody really likes Americans anymore. Just keep on building your fortress ... bla bla bla... i do not care. But stay away from my country. You are not welcomed here.
Well you gotta admit, with those chips the government might be able to track your movements, but you'd never have to get another credit or debit card ever again.
Nor would you have to worry about credit/debit card theft.
In order to kill the human thirst for violence, you have to kill the human. But that won't go over so easy, as the human will violently fight back for existence. Violence is inherent to the existence of all animal based life. Human's are no different. No matter how intelligent we are. Only inanimate objects do not have minds to think, act, or instigate violence.
club>spear>bow and arrow>sword>missle(chinese made missles before guns)>gun>nuke >clubs
You forgot the computer and the robot in between nuke and clubs. Actually you can remove the clubs after robots. After that, that'll just be it. Robots and computers will be the Achilles heel of human civilization's supposed immortal safety from self-destruction.
Why's that Airman working with computers that look like they were made in the mid 1990s?
DARPA< CHRISTMAS<WISH LIST OF WEAPONS.
It time to play Sesame Street game.
Can anyone pick the one thing that does not belong?
DARPA< CHRISTMAS<WISH LIST OF WEAPONS.
It time to play Sesame Street game.
Can anyone pick the one word that does not belong?
Worse than DARPA, Christmas is the real problem. A pagan holiday upheld by practioners of Christian faith, distorted by the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ with the practice of the Greek winter festival Saturnalia involving gift exchanges and parties involving binge drinking and sodomistic fornication (you can call it californication).
It allows for a tradition of excessive spending in wasteful extravagance in which corporate machines such as Wal-Mart always come out as champions. In the meantime, a non-religious fairy-tale personality is constructed for the youth to inspire them to behave and uphold high moral values so that they can be rewarded with whatever their hearts desire.
As such a holiday that is suppose to be of religious derivation is a holiday in which the concept of thanksgiving (in the sense of a state of gratefulness that comes from acknowledging all the worthwhile, non-trivial things you have in your life like friends, family, shelter, sustenance, and good health), high moral content and goodwill are lost in translation.
But I guess it's okay if junior gets that PS3, princess gets the latest Teen Magazine fashion trend for the next year, and the misses gets a few rocks and metal worth the best slave labor and genocide from West Africa. So long as no one complains about not getting what they want. No one wants to live in a home full of tension from a family not pleased with their unfulfilled material desires.
alright seriously, you guys need to take a chill pill. it doesn't matter where these holidays come from, just that it is. if you don't like it, don't celebrate it. pissing on other peoples parades isn't going to help anything.
as for war, it's inevitable because it is the ultimate form of legislation that works. if you want something done and the other group wants something else done, then they fight. the people who are still alive afterwords get to enact their rules and sayings and the losers don't care much anymore because they are dead and decaying.
to mars or bust!
I like Christmas. Just not for the exact same reasons as everyone else. Just pointing out the realities. The same too with war. People just don't like the cold hard truth.
BTW, not all fights end in death (especially not street fights or schoolyard brawls). I think you mean to say that the victors of a conflict get to impose their will on the losers so long as the losers no longer have the means or the will to fight back. Once you destroy this in an opponent, you achieve victory in a fight. This can be viewed on the personal level by one's submission, being beaten out of consciousness, or physically injured to a point requiring a lengthly recovery, followed by the psychological trauma imposed by their opponent that will make them reluctant to take on a physical challenge from them again.
And, that's yet another improvement on war. We don't have to destroy an entire society to win. We just need to destroy the will to fight. It's a little more civilized than just taking life after your enemy submits. This is how war was waged in the early stages of civilization.
@pheonix1012 Jesus is the Reason for the Season. I never say "happy holidays".
As far as the RFID chips I'd rather have to remember a pin than give a government agency access to my privacy.
If legislation ever passes making it the law to get the RFID (mark of the beast) I'm outta here.
I have posted this 3 times today.
The first 2 times, it got edited on the fly.
Each time was separate segment of time.
So let’s try this again, shall we.
DARPA< CHRISTMAS<Christmas list.
Now lets do a Sesame Street Game and see with thing does not belong.
Ya know, I am really annoyed I feel instinctively my words were edited on the fly.
Fascism is the only word that comes to mind now.
And you know who you are.
At least the editor saw my orginal comments and was effected. I must of struck a nerve.
I find the title of this article "What the Defense Department Wants for Christmas" is kind of childish, armature or childish or just a little out of reality.
The Defensive department is absolute in its goals, but it has to be, it is for defense of us. And at the top of us are the politicians. And we may often judge daily, or even minute by minute what is correct of our politicians, they are elected officials by the public.
“Christmas the world is a Christian world and holiday”. It is around many feelings and beliefs of the Christian belief. They are the plan and for told birth of Christ, his life, and death, his sacrifice, forgiveness and life and our life. I am not an expert on Christian words. I just write now as me, in the night. My thoughts, concepts, feelings maybe written poorly expressed.
Still this article is not about religion and this fine, but it mentions Christmas which is just speaking large of a great disrespect for other people’s feelings or beliefs. You use Christmas as a coin word and hurt many by your trivial point. I can only guess you are not religious and since you make you point public are anti religious.
We are all judge by our own actions. If you, Stuart Fox, wish to be anti religious that is you and a separate subject of this article. Put your bias someplace else, sir!
But DOD or DARPA is governing by law and the politic and the community of the people, not you.
Q, I promise, my words were edited each time above. I will live and die as that being a truth. I was not allowed to post my own words, but somebody else edited them. Fact, I did not say any bad words or curse word or any hate words. My words were in fact very simple.
I will try to post them one more time.
11/14/11 at 3:58 pm
DARPA< CHRISTMAS< Wish list for Chistamas.
Thinking in Sesamee Street, what one thing about does not belong in this picture.
In my onw opinino and belife, "Christmas" does not belong.
I will poste again and wonder if this makes it to reality.
I believe in Christams. I do not believe it is part of this article.
RFID law will never happen. Mainly because of the stigma most people have against needles and surgery. That alone will stop such a law in it's tracks.
When will somebody realize that a trillion dollars is a lot of money, even if it's paid by somebody else and spent on questionable projects. Please translate to free healthcare, schools, education, infrastructure, investigation, etc. etc.
Is there intelligent life on other planets?
No, they're all dead.
Too brief a glimmer of life in the untold eons of time before they self-extinguished.
Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.
Looks like Nayibe Ramos needs 3 new monitors for Christmas.
She needs three new monitors and a computer for christmas. Those things are old. I use to use that in middle school. She's probably working on Windows 2000 too.
DARPA spending = Research & Development which = university and firm level projects which = educational funding and market infrastructure for job creation. Things are interconnected. Not directly. Without DARPA we wouldn't have the internet, let alone computers sophisticated enough to supplement the research and analysis of academic endeavors across the world. So it's tied to the business of war. That's not going to go away so long as we're here. But it doesn't mean that something good can't come out of reseach and development that's meant for the DOD's business as usual.
BTW, our own little corner of this galaxy is so vast we wouldn't notice intelligent life a few dozen lightyears from us, let alone the rest of the universe. I have a working theory that Earth is simply not connected to the greater galactic community because we're not even on the map. No one knows we're here and we haven't generated effective means of communicating and reaching other worlds that already have ways to do so with other cultures. Sure we're trying to make contact now, but our methods are probably very archaic compared to what they do which is probably more realtime in terms of communicating with worlds across the galactic plane. It'd be like an isolated tribal nation on Earth that has no clue of what's going on in the rest of the world because of their level of development, the size and reach of their civilization, and geographic position on the globe, isolating it from the existence of the rest of the world. Chances are they're out there and they don't know we exist anymore than we know they do.
Really?? Obama already tried, and it's only a matter of time
“The Secretary shall establish a national medical device registry (in this subsection referred to as the ‘registry’) to facilitate analysis of post market safety and outcomes data on each device that—‘‘(A) is or has been used in or on a patient; and ‘‘(B) is a class III device; or ‘‘(ii) a class II device that is implantable.”
That's from H.R 3200 (section 2561)
Read the Patriot Act 2, in it, legalized execution of American citizens without trial by jury. (This is already taking place). As well as secret imprisonment w/o trial, that is already happening. The bringing about of a secret government w/o elections. The abolishment of private property. Making the civilian population available for labour (you are their property and they will tag you like cattle) I’m not making this stuff up, all of this is passed right under our noses while we are worrying about brown guys in caves.
People have a stigma against having their infant children molested, but the TSA does it every day in the name of "National Security".
RFID legislation will be passed whether people want it or not. And the government only has to offer an incentive, say $100 and %80 of Americans will line up for it. It will be voluntary at first, then mandatory. It is written so shall it be done!
Think about it, you will always know where your children are, no more fraud, easy access to medical records and documents (drivers license, passport etc). Why WOULDN'T you want to get an RFID implant...no surgery necessary, just a small injection. That is the propaganda they will use, and once it's on CNN & NBC and a few celebrities endorse it, the sheep will flock like birds.
@Grunt - I stopped developing remote tools of war in the 1990's for exactly the reason you bring up. As long as war is sanitary, it can be prosecuted elsewhere and the average US citizen doesn't really care. Drop a 2Klb bomb in your state, much less neighborhood, and war would be scrutinized much better by the civilian citizens who ultimately approve it. I went from luxury to having my vehicle repossessed in doing it, but I slept well at night. I did my 6 years for my country and in doing so I learned why others don't like us very much.
@highermorals - The average US citizen would LOVE to stay out of your country. The institutional mentality of the CIA and the concept of "the devil we know is better than the devil we don't know" have led Americans to unknowingly fund some things we don't believe in as a country. We only find out about it decades later. Personally, as long as someone doesn't attack me, I only begin to care how they live their life when they rape and kill their neighbors because their great-grandfathers came from someplace else, or force a certain gender, group or race to follow different rules than you yourself obey. “Higher” morals don’t include genocide and human-rights abuse. If you can live with that, I can live with you.
@pheonix1012 – You are free to speak your mind, but views expressed like your “Christmas” tirade are the reason wars are fought. An off-topic tirade about a subject touching on everyone's strongly-held beliefs is EXACTLY what starts wars. If folks are polite and stay on topic, folks can disagree without bloodshed. Insult someone's prophet or god or grandmother and they won't feel much like having dinner with you. Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Those are computer monitors with terminals, not computers. As long as the front end functions, you put your money in the room you don't see. If you differentiate large computer systems from what you “used in middle school” that would be apparent. We can't afford our wars anyway - why spend money just to have the latest "stuff"? Ideas like "this monitor consumes X amount of electricity" as opposed to an LED monitor" are hard to put first when you are fighting a decade of war.
@All – the fact is that we wouldn’t be posting here without DARPA. Just about everything we take for granted today, from the Internet to an iPad, started with technology built for DARPA. For better or for worse, remote wars are a reality. In my opinion, many things that have saved many American lives, including my own, have a much higher cost in building resentment towards this country. This spiral won’t end well – sooner or later someone with views like those that have been expressed in this forum will get possession of a nuclear device and the REAL war will start. The CIA isn’t always right, but they have probably delayed nuclear war by 60 – 70 years at the expense of many smaller countries around the world. Which is better depends on which country you live in – and having slept next to nuclear weapons I’ll take the US, thank you very much.
Oh yeah, Merry Christmas, DARPA!
Bucks, Blisters or Blood - Everyone needs to pay for the freedoms we enjoy!
Almost 300 years ago Voltaire made the comment, “Earth is an insane asylum, to which the other planets deport their lunatics.”
Look around, and give me a convincing argument why Earth’s population couldn’t possibly be composed of a bunch of misfits from elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong, ‘misfit’ might just refer to those unique individuals who didn’t fit into a highly structured society where bland, obeying sheep are the ideal citizen. –Too artistic and free-thinking? It’s off to Earth for you. –Too fair, independent and open-minded? It’s off to Earth for you. Too intelligent (or too stupid)? It’s off to Earth for you. Too wonderfully virtuous (or too criminally evil)? It’s off to Earth for you. –Too clever and ingenious of an inventor, or too capable of a leader who solves too many problems? It’s off to Earth for you.
What an interesting mess we've gotten ourselves into!
Don’t kid yourself that those ‘other planets’ are all a lovely utopia composed of ‘E.T.-Phone-Home’ flower children. They aren’t. All it takes is a few Darth Vaders in high places, using some high tech ‘Ghost-Buster’ tools such as we’ve seen on Star Trek plus the ability to package and transport these pesky troublemaking essences out to a remote star on the outer rim of the galaxy, and there you have it: The Nuthouse Earth Cockroach Motel. “They check in, but they never check out.”
Furthermore, if Voltaire actually had first-hand knowledge of such things, what better way to start educating (and warning) a totally ignorant public than to write such comments into ‘fictional’ stories such as MEMNON THE PHILOSOPHER.
Here’s a YouTube video which details an interesting letter that Voltaire wrote to the Count of St Germain in 1760, regarding this very subject. The point of interest is 4 minutes and 20 seconds into the video:
This is apparently nothing new. Left to our own inherent crazy political, financial and ethical deficiencies, every few thousand years the misfit citizens on this planet tend towards degenerating into a Sky Net (Terminator) style of existence, once a certain level of high technology has been achieved while also maintaining a barbarian level of ethics regarding basic Human Rights. “Do unto others, before they do unto you” is the wrong way to go about it.
Popular Science is repeatedly reminding us how fast we’re speeding towards that cliff, and by all indications we’re seriously running out of wiggle-room.
Check this out:
As a wise old Buddhist friend of mine once said, “For those who don’t think they’ve ever lived before, how do you think you could get so screwed-up, in just one lifetime?”
Don't go near the light.....
"Marines want a new system for determining planetary location. Why the Marine think the GPS system, which forms the backbone of modern military logistics, would go dead is anyone’s guess (Chinese cyber attack? Space debris? No 3G?)." ~ The frequencies that current GPS operate at are susceptible to interference from Solar Flares.