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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes: Notes on the Spears of God


In the early decades of the twenty-first century, the most commonly held truth is that knowledge is power. Yet a select few men and women begin to suspect what few will admit: we know nothing at all.

The world’s oil resources have dwindled. The rich are turning richer and the power-mongers are becoming more powerful. China and the United States dominate the globe in a geopolitical chess match. The human mind has merged with the cybergrid, yet the human race seems not to have evolved much at all.

Then, on a remote South American mountain, two scientists stumble on a grisly scene. Here, while trying to protect an ancient sacred rock, a primitive tribe has been slaughtered. No witnesses remain to reveal what could have inspired such carnage. Or so it would seem.

In the international arena, meanwhile, a new global race is on: a weapon capable of tipping the balance of power is discovered. Among the competitors are a National Security Agency director who is playing at an elaborate doublecross within his own agency and a vengeance-seeking Israeli meteor hunter. Shamans and zealots, geniuses and madmen–all seek to unlock mysteries that fell to earth millennia ago. But the key lies with four mute children who may unwittingly hold the secret to the planet’s survival–or its destruction.

Summary

Latin America features ecological "islands" called "tepuis," jungle realms so isolated from their neighbors that evolution proceeds in unique ways. In one such pocket biosphere lives a tribe called the Mawari. They are possessed of a strange meteorite that fell to Earth generations ago. This worshipped object carried biological agents that infected the Mawari and gave them strange mental powers. Now, their existence made known to outsiders, the tribe will become the focus of the First World's greed. But what the Westerners don't realize is that by breaking the isolation of the Mawari they are infecting the whole world with the germs of a potential apocalypse (or salvation, if the two can even be distinguished).

Central to the fate of the Mawari are two scientists, Michael Miskulin and Susan Yamada. They are on an expedition to the region, backed by the finances of Miskulin's rich uncle, Paul Larkin. When they arrive, they find all the adult Mawaris slaughtered and only four children left in hiding. The scientists bring the orphan children back to America and the refuge of Larkin's home.

It eventuates that the slaughter was engineered by one Gen. Retticker, who is in charge of a military project to create the perfect soldier. He wants to reverse-engineer the mental powers of the Mawari for his own uses, and has his own pet scientist, Darla Pittman, in his employ. Darla doesn't know about the genocide necessary to secure her a certain meteorite sample, and she goes to work eagerly.

But Retticker's strings are being pulled in turn by a weird cabal: Doctor Vang, leader of a conspiracy to boost mankind onto a new evolutionary plateau, and his associates, evangelist George Otis and adventurer Victor Fremdkunst. This cabal plans to trigger the End Times by stoking war in the Middle East. And the last major player is Jim Brescoll, head of the NSA, who has his own designs on the Mawari survivors.

But the wild card is that the four Mawari children—Alii, Aubrey, Ebu and Ka-dalun—have plugged into the global infosphere and are about to start pulling cosmic strings of their own.


MY THOUGHTS AND PERSONAL OPINION 

The truth behind the fiction


Technology has always been an important factor in war. The latest breakthroughs within bio and nanotechnology is being converted and transferred for defense purposes. The shift from dependence on military hardware to dependence on scientists show the diffusion of military power.

Today’s military strategy is heavily based on reconnaissance, surveillance and earth observation systems fed into pattern recognition systems that scan for military movements or troop enforcement.

Moreover, human body is now being used for weaponization. Bionic implants enhancing physical strengths shows great potential in biodesign soldier systems. Robotic retinas and “listening boosters” could give extrasensory powers. Bioengineering human tissue for extra strength, nanomedicine or genetheraphy that increase key vital soldier parameters.

The future of biotechnology and the use of human body for weaponization blurs the line between hard science and science fiction.


War and the future generation


War is a regrettable attribute of the international system. While it is not always inevitable, its frequency has caused states to remain armed and ready to defend national interests. Technology has played a leading role in extending the scope of the battlefield as well as its scale.

While we may not be able to totally banish war as an instrument of state policy, new influences may move us in directions which will allow us to limit and control – perhaps even to avert unnecessary violence and death as a result of state actions.

In all these research to enhance human capabilities, and the never-ending search for defense advancement, new opportunities arise for every nation to capture, to incorporate significant new military capabilities

How we respond to these new technologies will have profound effect on how we will see the future and how far we will evolve, and what its legacy will be for future generations.


Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes : Who will guard the guards?

We are now standing at the threshold of an era, which will see the introduction of a new class of weapons and technologies – those designed primarily for destruction and greater lethality. The adoption of these new capabilities will mark not just the beginning of a new technological revolution in warfare, but also a new era in the elaboration and clarification of war.

National defense is a must for every nation – to protect its territories, and to implement law and order in their respective nation.

The use of human body for weaponization - bionic implants enhancing physical strengths (biodesign soldier systems), robotic retinas and “listening boosters” for extrasensory powers, bioengineering human tissue for extra strength, nanomedicine or genetheraphy – means that technology is making us less human.

We must wake up. To restore the glory and purpose of creation. To make all humanity see the need to plan for the long-term survival of our species. To rouse us from our drive to self-destruction.
The question before us then is : Do we have the power to adopt not only to these new systems but to control and regulate their use for the purpose of long-term human survival and not for human extinction.


I leave you this question, Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

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My book notes and personal opinion about technology and war. Submitted as part of the requirements in MIT – 502, Technological Change, Master in Information Technology under Prof. Enrico R. Hilario.

Book Citation:
Hendrix, Howard V. Spears of God. Del Rey Books:New York, 2006
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About the Blogger

Yodi Insigne
Yodi de Veas Insigne is one of those delusional sorts who imagines himself a useful contributor to the greater blogosphere (Well, that's what he's trying to accomplish).

He started blogging for three reasons:

1. He always felt he has something important to say,
2. Books can make him cry,
3. He want to sleep at night.

He is a certified bookworm, travel junkie, shutterbug, movie freak, Mangyan freethinker who sleeps a lot and think a lot. He got a little vice, which is black coffee and cashew nuts. He got colorblindness on yellow and green - and he freaking loves it!

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