Periodically throughout history, Russia gets a hair up its ass to invade another neighboring country— Finland will back me up on this— and in this short week so far, Russia has flooded the Ukranian peninsula of Crimea with over 16,000 troops and counting, claiming that in the turmoil in the Ukraine, Russian citizens in Crimea are being killed. Shit just went all crazy.
The US already has a pretty dominant position in robotic aerial warfare, and we’re working on our own fleet of ground and naval drones, and we’re not the only ones. Russia has been very busy the past few years putting together its own rolling robot legion of death. At this point, it might be hard not to imagine that any full scale water breaking out in the next 10 to 15 years could be fought almost totally through robots.
In every Cold War era movie involving nuclear war, there’s a long, complicated process of obtaining, matching, verifying, double and triple checking launch codes before nuking the shit out of the Russians. And this makes sense, considering the gravity of starting World War III and obliterating hundreds of millions of people. But in reality, for 20 years, the launch codes for every single one of America’s launch sites was 00000000. On purpose. Because while JFK’s idea of using cryptic launch codes was well intentioned, most generals figured that if the time came, they didn’t want to waste valuable seconds with verification when they could be nuking Moscow.
In almost every textbook for decades and decades, there’s been the notion that it was agriculture that spawned the rise of complex civilization. And while agriculture may have played a part in getting the ball rolling, it turns out that it’s likely that war played a much bigger role in advancing society.
Agriculture only has to get so big and only has to create a certain level of technical innovation before it’s good enough. And there are plenty of cultures that had plenty of agriculture (much of native North America and sub-Saharan Africa) that never developed large scale, complex civilizations. War creates a need for defense, banding together in larger groups and teamwork to develop and produce technology. Think of places like most of Europe, which was locked in constant warfare for a thousand years, Mexico and Central America, the Middle East and East Asia— all places where war played a huge role in the creation of complex societies.
British army officer Adrian Carton de Wiart has the best opening paragraph of any article on Wikipedia
Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart VC, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO (5 May 1880 – 5 June 1963), was a British Army officer of Belgian and Irish descent. He served in the Boer War, First World War, and Second World War, was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear, survived a plane crash, tunneled out of a POW camp, and bit off his own fingers when a doctor refused to amputate them. He later said, “Frankly I had enjoyed the war.
And the rest of it is seriously badass as well. If we could have cloned this man, humanity would have long since conquered the entire galaxy.
The Pacific war during World War II was a bloody, crazy mess. Battle after battle fought on remote jungle islands in the Pacific Ocean left many soldiers on all sides alone and confused. There are numerous stories of soldiers, both American and Japanese, who lived for decades on some island, unaware the war had ended. One of these men, Hiroo Onoda, wasn’t convinced that he should stand down from his post until he was rediscovered by the modern world in 1974.
“At around 18:45 UTC OpenDNS resolvers saw a significant drop in traffic from Syria.
On closer inspection it seems Syria has largely disappeared from the Internet.”