Reflect and Recap on Drones

Tags drones, UAV, UAS

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I want you to consider and have some fun with the following thoughts.

Beware of people who want to scare you about these powerful new “surveillance” technologies. They want you to confuse intention with reality and therefore confuse your sense of the expected with the unexpected. Huh?

Intent and Accusation

“They are out to get us all.”

The favorite new bugaboos are the “personal privacy”, “personal liability”, and the “personal risk” issues. We’ve all been here and heard it all before, of course.

People who confuse intention with reality do make accusations.
This is one of the Laws of Human Gravity.

When you see this pattern happen in our society with systematic regularity, it is time to pay careful attention.

“Heaven forbid a rabid swarm of micro-drones controlled a malicious teenage hacker attacks your helpless child in a public park.
It could happen!”
“We must have policies.”

There are indeed “factual” and significant issues here. It’s just that predicting and then producing a practical and applicable set of realistic “policies” beyond some basic technology standards and market dynamics is currently and probably forever beyond human capability.

If you doubt me, then please explain to me why DARPA publically asks for answers to these very questions year after year from the very best minds they can find and pay? Maybe you can earn a few bucks?

Perhaps this idea that government without actual and practical boots on the ground feedback can create useful and practical “policies” is itself an illusion. Well Dooh!

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

By in large, most government agencies and political practitioners are not going to protect you or your personal or property rights in any case. This pays them nothing, rewards them little, and they are more interested in other things.
Being human, they act in the same manner as you do.

Per the current political norms, the current push will be to regulate drones “appropriately”. Every agency involved would appropriately prefer a regulated monopoly within their control. They will try it.

In this current state of climate change, lawyers from multiple lettered departments will sue each other over jurisdiction at considerable taxpayer expense.

Information is Power Over the Ignorant

I expect the City of Somewhere to outlaw drones any day now.
You say it already happened? No way?
Their police and fire departments already budgeted for their own departmental drones.
Oh. They did that?
They even spent the money last year and already own police and fire drones?
Now the departments can’t fly their observation drones in the city even in an actual emergency?

What Are They Thinking?

There will be no spectacular aerial tours of the City of Somewhere’s public tourist attractions.
No legal ones that is.
People already do them – permits be damned. Amazon sells the tools cheap. The public loves to watch them. People click the Google and Facebook ads.

It already happened more than once folks.

In 60 Minutes or Less

Amazon can’t deliver my new Blue Suede shoes.
The pizza place can’t get me pizza and brews in 15 minutes or less.

The new way of doing things might be dangerous. We must have rational policies.”

We wait for the FCC and FAA (and a host of others organizations with other letters of intent) to ponder the unthinkable navel of unexpected possibilities.

We do tend to forget we got paved roads not because of buggies or automobiles but because of people who rode bicycles. Really? Yes really.

In Home Town USA

“Sir? Do you have a permit to fly here?
Do you have a certified license approved by the FCC, FAA, USDA, EPA, and Homeland Security?
I need to see your union pilot’s license right now.”

“Sir, I’m not flying it.”

“What do you mean that you’re not flying it?
You appear to be controlling it.
You are watching it.
You’re poking away at your phone.
This woman says you are harassing her.
Is THAT your drone?”

“Officer, I know it was him.
He chased my dog with that THING.
He’s intentionally scaring my dog.”

“Honestly Officer, I’m just texting my wife to remember to pick up the pizza for dinner.

I have been watching.
I think maybe the drone has scouted that tall building and the park for a basejump.
You know - a live-feed video for a marketing promo.
They do them all the time these days.
Check out the people on the roof of that tech company building over there.
Good luck getting by their security…”

“Officer, I know it was him.
He just laughed at me.
He’s taking videos of me.
I demand you arrest that man for invading my privacy.”

“Ma’am, this is a public park.
I can’t arrest him for using his phone.
I can’t arrest you for sunbathing in the nude these days either.”