The musings of Mr Monkeysized


If this is a computer game… by monkeysized
March 18, 2010, 16:58
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…then I’m not Mr Monkeysized.

It’s one thing to call it war-by-video-game, but this feels more like the weapons control room of a ship.

The excellent Der Spiegel series on drones put me onto the video. Astonishing stuff, and a vital part of trying to work out the morality of the whole business.

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Of Reapers, Predators and excellent journalism by monkeysized
March 18, 2010, 14:06
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The excellent journalism of which I speak is in Der Spiegel, and this is a continuation of yesterday’s post about Drones and un-monkeysized warfare. This one is about another part of the same set of reports into unmanned drones. Yesterday I referenced the bit from an expert at Brookings – today we hear from the ‘pilot’ himself – in itself an excellent bit of monkeysized journalism. Here is Bryan Callahan:

Killing someone with an RPA is not different than with an F-15. It’s easy to think that, to fall down that trap. We’re well aware that if you push that button somebody can go away. It’s not a video game. You take it very seriously. It’s by far nowhere near a video game.

Well this supports what I wrote yesterday, that the business of war had already moved a long way from twatting someone over the head with a rock. From Slingshot to matchlock to B52, this dislocation was already there, and waiting for us to get used to it or not. Far better, I suggested, to deal with death in a way that made us more aware of what it actually involved – such as having to kill an animal if we wanted to eat meat. This isn’t so different from Ancient Rome, where they gained insights into the reality of death by watching gladiators battle to the death in the sand in front of them (not an option in most bits of England in 2010).

Mrs Monkeysized disagreed. But then she hates the idea of killing rabbits, and has much more of an instinctive dislike of war than me. She also mentioned that she can’t work out whether I am in favour or against monkeysizing. Hmm again.