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                      Junious Ricardo Stanton

                      Disruptive Technology

                    "Disruptive technologies hold within themselves the capacity to alter our lifestyle, what we mean by work, business and the global economy."

            We live in a society that values innovation, that loves to tout itself as a culture of great inventors and super smart. Truth be told, there have been some very ingenious inventions and developments produced here. On the other hand there have been some inventions that are quite disruptive and down right negative, that pose a serious danger to humanity. Often inventions intended to serve humanity have been used to humanity's detriment.

            There are people whose minds are so deviant they work on programs and inventions knowing they will cause major damage to people. In the name of "progress" there are technologies and programs being developed that pose a grave danger to humanity and the very planet itself. There are agencies and programs we rarely hear about, know nothing about or know about but don't know the depths of their nefarious plans and operations actively at work deeloping new weapons technology.

            For example we know about the CIA but most don't know about their evil programs like Project MK ULTRA and Operation Monarch where they used former Nazi scientists to develop mind control drugs, techniques and devices. "MK-Ultra was a top-secret CIA project in which the agency conducted hundreds of clandestine experiments—sometimes on unwitting U.S. citizens—to assess the potential use of LSD and other drugs for mind control, information gathering and psychological torture. Though Project MK-Ultra lasted from 1953 until about 1973, details of the illicit program didn’t become public until 1975, during a congressional investigation into widespread illegal CIA activities within the United States and around the world... The program involved more than 150 human experiments involving psychedelic drugs, paralytics and electroshock therapy. Sometimes the test subjects knew they were participating in a study—but at other times, they had no idea, even when the hallucinogens started taking effect. Many of the tests were conducted at universities, hospitals or prisons in the United States and Canada. Most of these took place between 1953 and 1964, but it’s not clear how many people were involved in the tests—the agency kept notoriously poor records and destroyed most MK-Ultra documents when the program was officially halted in 1973."

            Project MK ULTRA was supposedly shut down following Congressional hearings on the illegal activities of the CIA and FBI led by Idaho Senator Frank Church in 1975. Another investigation headed by Vice President Nelson Rockefeller amounted to a mere whitewash of CIA illegalities.

            Today the US outsources much of its innovative development to universities and private contractors but also funds and maintains an agency called the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). DARPA conducts the type of research and development you'd find in science fiction novels, motion pictures and video games. Under the rubric of defense this agency is developing a plethora of weapons and support technologies that are truly mind boggling. What is now called DARPA partnered with universities and the military to develop the Internet which we have seen is an innovative amd disruptive technology, one that has transformed our lives.

             But DARPA is developing technologies far more lethal and intrusive. Drone warfare and electromagnetic weaponry are examples. Currently they are working on an exoskeleton, a light weight suit that will protect soldiers from injuries while enhancing their physical and psychological capacities.  "The Warrior Web program seeks to develop the technologies required to prevent and reduce musculoskeletal injuries caused by dynamic events typically found in the warfighter’s environment. The ultimate program goal is a lightweight, conformal under-suit that is transparent to the user (like a diver’s wetsuit). The suit seeks to employ a system (or web) of closed-loop controlled actuation, transmission, and functional structures that protect injury prone areas, focusing on the soft tissues that connect and interface with the skeletal system. In addition to direct injury mitigation, Warrior Web will have the capacity to augment positive work done by the muscles, to reduce the physical burden, by leveraging the web structure to impart joint torque at the ankle, knee, and hip joints. The suit seeks to reduce the metabolic cost of carrying a typical assault load, as well as compensate for the weight of the suit itself, while consuming no more than 100 Watts of electric power from the battery source."

            Evolving disruptive technologies impact the everyday economy, the workplace and even health. Robotics is one example. "This is an exciting area of Disruptive Technology that promises a lot. Advanced robotics corresponds to increasingly capable robots or robotic tools, with enhanced 'senses,' dexterity, and intelligence. They can perform tasks once thought too delicate or uneconomical to automate. These technologies can bring amazing benefits to society, including robotic surgical systems that make procedures less invasive, robotic prosthetics and 'exoskeletons' that restore functions of amputees and the elderly."   

            Next week I will offer several additional types of disruptive technology and what they may mean for the future.


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