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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Drones: Not Just for Missiles Anymore


The internet is abuzz after Amazon unveiled their latest idea: the delivery of goods to your doorstep within thirty minutes via drone. Yes, the infamous drone will finally be put to constructive use. Here's the video, if you haven't already seen it.

The technology is incredible, and their goal is to have these piloted by computers, not humans. Imagine: You punch in your GPS coordinates, wherever you are, and an Amazon ?octo-copter? flies quickly to your location and delivers your package.

Drone technology provides us with a clear, sobering contrast: The private sector innovates new ways to create value for people. The government innovates new ways to destroy value and kill people.

Some commercially viable technologies start out in government R&D labs. But this is merely due to their ability gobble up human and other resources that could be used in more productive ways. There?s nothing special about the individuals ?innovating? on behalf of the government?if they weren?t employed by the inefficient and destructive government, they could work for private, peaceful companies, at no cost to taxpayers.

I would like to point something else out, however. What a contrast between the individuals working for the private sector and those working in government. Here we have extraordinary technology, and the folks at Amazon ask, ?How can we use this to serve people better?? and ?Can it make everybody's lives easier??

The first thing many governmental officials ask is, ?Can we strap missiles to it?? and ?How effective could this be at killing people??

Someday, with Amazon's help, it might be exciting to see drones flying overhead, rather than being a reason to run for shelter.

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