Ex-CounterTerrorism Czar: Next terrorist threat will be from those resisting technology

Resistance is futile — or so Richard Clarke, former counter-terrorism czar, wants everyone to believe.

In his 2007 book, Breakpoint, Mr Clarke makes it very clear who the new enemy will be in the coming years: Luddites, his term for those who will not accept the coming technological innovations.

And who wouldn’t just fly like the wind towards the inventions described in his book:

Intelligent video surveillance, in which the software and cameras (not people) recognize aberrant behavior, are already being deployed by companies such as DVTel and Vidient in subways, airports, and other facilities.

Or how about Synthetic Biology, programmable cells that can “seek and invade” other cells.  What could go wrong?

Forget the fact that the book reads like a 5th-rate “Hardy Boy” novel.   It takes us into the hubristic thought process of the power elite.  Their plan: to use advanced technology to become more-than-human, gods if you will.    And anyone that attempts to stop this is by definition a terrorist.

For the next debate may be about “what is a human”: Should humans change the species with human-machine interfaces and genetic alterations?

In a certain way, his novel is like Star Wars told from the point of view of Darth Vader.  The rebel forces must be crushed so “order can be brought to the galaxy.”

And for those who say that Breakpoint is only fiction, Mr Clarke reassures us, “Breakpoint, set in 2012, is meant to be predictive, at least about technology.”   Adding, “Sometimes you can tell more truth through fiction.”

Many of Darth Clarke’s visions of the future have already come true, as the dead and mangled bodies in Pakistan demonstrate:

Aircraft without onboard pilots are already in use.  I fought a bureaucratic battle with CIA in 2000 to get them to use the unmanned Predator to hunt for terrorists and in 2001 to arm the Predator with missiles. When Predator finally was used to attack terrorists in Afghanistan and Yemen, it was probably the first time a robot intentionally killed a human. The U.S. Air Force is now developing UCAVs, unmanned combat aerial vehicles, fighter planes whose pilots will sit safely on the ground hundreds or thousands of miles away from the aircraft.

Yes, sadly, many of Mr Clarke’s predictions have come true.  I just hope, for the sake of humanity, that not all of them come true.

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 at 10:38 am and is filed under redefining humanity, robots, singularity, social engineering, transhumanism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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