I just watched the movie Iron Man, for the second time. Entertaining, albeit sobering, reminder that our own nation’s superior advances in technology–in this case, weapons technology–can be hijacked by friends or foes and, eventually, used against us. Keeping our weapons out of enemy hands is a problem for the Department of Defense to worry about. I’ve got my own “technology trust issues” I’d like to vent about.
Let me start with my touch screen cell phone. Formerly known as my trusted companion. Keeper of my diary, confider of private discussions. My personal assistant for goodness sake. For no good reason, “it” has turned against me. Randomly dialing people, exposing my conversations for all the world to listen in on. Sneaky thing does this when I least expect it. Like when I’m damning to hell the speeding cab driver, talking to myself, or whispering my sins to Father Mark in the confessional box.
My phone has more commands and function buttons than my ridiculously over-engineered cable TV remote control. Still I have yet to locate what must be a simple “lock” or “please do not call anyone without my permission” request. Working on it.
Technological applications have the ability to betray insects, too, as it turns out. Even the smartest of bugs: cockroaches. This New ScientistTech article explains how a matchbox-sized robot can “infiltrate a pack of cockroaches and influence their collective behavior.” The robot can “persuade a group of cockroaches to venture out into the light despite their normal preference for the dark, for example.”
(Note to self: borrow that little robot to march the menacing mice out of my house and into an open flame.)