Category: Features

Book Review: Out of the Mountains

By Dan Gettinger A solitary drone flies over a far away mountain valley in Afghanistan operated by a pilot thousands of miles away on a distant base in the Mojave desert. The drone is the icon of remote-controlled warfare. In…

Plato and Drones

In September, Bard Classics professor Thomas Bartscherer delivered a lecture about drones and Plato’s Republic. Here are the notes.   I. Background reading 1) Virgil, Aeneid, Book III (excerpt) 2) Apollonius Rhodius’s Argonautica, Book II (excerpt) 3) http://livingunderdrones.org/victim-stories/ 4) Conor…

Bard and West Point Debate on Drones

On September 12, Bard and West Point students, cadets and faculty engaged in a public debate at Bard College. The resolution was: drones do more good than harm. The affirmative and negative sides were comprised of a mix of Bard…

The Rise of the Drone Lobby

By Arthur Holland Michel On September 24, Bloomberg News reported that in the past year the defence contractor Northrop Grumman has greatly increased its lobbying spending to fight proposed cuts to the military’s Global Hawk drones, which Grumman makes. Grumman…

The Possessed Fighter Jet

By Arthur Holland Michel In the public imagination, military drones shoot at things. But in fact, throughout their history, drones have much more often served to be shot at. This week, Boeing released a video of its latest drone project:…

The Maker Faire Movement

By Dan Gettinger At the 1964 World Fair in New York City, enormous modernist pavilions displayed the latest technological creations. It was a time of great advances in science. Amidst the monuments to the achievements of the Atomic and Space…

Armed American Drones for Niger?

By Dan Gettinger Niger is in a tight spot. In the wake of the recent French intervention in Mali along its western border, Niger faces a continued threat from Islamist militant groups allied with al-Qaeda. In the vast Sahara desert…

A Pirate Drone in Germany

By Dan Gettinger At an election rally on Sunday in Dresden, a drone crash landed in front of Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. After flying above the crowd, the drone was forced to the ground when police found and arrested…

Art Show: “Under the Last Sky”

  Departing from the recent drone art that plays into to the collective imagination rather than challenge it, Under the Last Sky  brings the spectator into contact with the unseen technology that enables drone operations. Artists Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky…

The Drone Journalism Revolution

 By Matthew Schroyer Sometimes, the most powerful ideas sprout from a series of seemingly intractable challenges. In 2011, amid the collapse of print media, widespread political upheaval, and natural and manmade disasters journalism faced a new set of challenges. The…