I liked that story, but honestly don’t think it’s very much about drones, not even really about the human-rights impact of drones. It’s mainly a story about the rather callous approach the U.S. takes to its foreign policy, being somewhat unworried about “false positives” in killing off people it sees as enemies. It does it whatever way is expedient, whether with drones, the old-fashioned approach of dropping bombs from airplanes, or the even older-fashioned approach of paying unsavory people to assassinate people it doesn’t like. I don’t think there’s a technological way of solving the problem — the solution has to be political, finding a way to change U.S. foreign policy. (I have ideas on how to do that, too, but they aren’t technological ones.)
I agree with you that it’s about foreign policy. But whether or not it’s about drone tech or the human-rights impact of drones I don’t think is even up for debate. It clearly is, also, about that.
I invite you to read my (currently heavily downvoted) comment expanding on that. You may need to hit the + button to read it.
But the gist is: how the tech we create is used should matter to this community, and censoring it is a contribution to the problems we are facing—problems that get upvoted here all the time. In downvoting this the community shoots itself in the foot. We have a culture tag for a reason.
and censoring it is a contribution to the problems we are facing
Downvoting is not censoring.
It’s a form of censorship when the end result is reduced visibility.
No it isn’t because lobste.rs let’s you order posts by the time they were made.
Someone has downvoted as incorrect. In case someone does not know, you can go to http://lobste.rs/newest to see all posts in chronological order. Unless one considers the merciless movement of time as a form of censorship, nothing downvoted is censored.
(Sir, if you think that a -2 is “heavily downvoted”, you have had a very charmed life.)
I agree with you that it’s about foreign policy.
So, you even agree that this is about foreign policy–a topic that is not anywhere in the Lobsters tag list. It is clearly off topic. If you want to make it a tag, file a ticket like the rest of us and let the community decide. That’s how the system works, and it does so far seem to be working. It’s more productive to do that then to try to shame us on Twitter–that just pisses off some people, and drives off people that might’ve otherwise really enjoyed participating here but whose first contact with the site was your tweet.
Secondly, while we all probably would agree that we are about how the tech we create is used, in this case it is very unlikely that anybody here has much to do with the software or hardware used in these alleged strikes (and yes, without links to incident reports or coverage, we don’t know for sure if any of this actually happened).
Indeed, the MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper drones often used in these sorts of strikes were created at least 20 and 15 years ago, respectively. Thus, it doesn’t really make sense to bring that article up here–I’d be surprised if anybody here worked on those projects. One might as credibly bring up Krupp or IBM involvement in the Holocaust, and while those are interesting datapoints and could spawn good discourse, they would not really be considered culture. Practices or law or historical would all be good tags for such a submission, along with a comment justifying and shaping the discussion.
The culture tag in its current incarnation seems to be aimed more at the culture of tech folks, as in the day-to-day “what social interactions do I have with other developers/engineers/designers”. It is, in my reading, more limited in scope than how we affect people outside our sector.
EDIT: Fixed a couple of typos.
I have downvoted this post because I believe it to be an act of childishness. Even if the original article you are referring to is technical and the community was wrong to downvote you, this is not how one has a productive conversation about it. You’ve effectively had an online tantrum.
Really? I think your comment is childish and shows a narrow-minded worldview, where what’s a relevant signal to you is perceived childishness and “online tantrums” over the content and reality of (1) the consequences of your own actions, and (2) the apathy you display toward others and the responsibilities to them that you carry (which by eschewing, you seem to not realize, goes only to your own personal detriment).
Don’t allow my communication imperfections to stand in the way of you doing the right thing.
I’m sorry but I’m having a very difficult time understanding what you’ve said in this response. It seems you are very upset that other people do not feel the same way as you about the article you posted. Perhaps it’s worth taking a moment and reflecting on the reality that many people will not value the same things as you and move on.