I want to point out this article by WIRED's Noah Shachtman on the intersection of technology and the present state of American warfare. In particular in Iraq, technology -- and its limitations -- has engendered various competing myopias about the nature of military power. And yet, the article kind of isn't even about technology.
As WIRED's blogger in Iraq, while Noah gets shown around the latest and shiniest gadgets, he's also getting a peculiar sort of backstage pass to Mesopotamian warfare. After all, he represents neither the superstar opinion-maker nor scrappy muckraker families of journalism. This nerd shows up in the desert wanting to tell the kids back home about your toys, and he leaves with an unexpectedly honest, oblique slice of how things actually get done.
Yes, the result smacks of rose-tinting; or rather, sepia. Apparently everyone is a little bit Lawrence of Arabia. Like almost everything WIRED publishes, between the words is always a hit of existential ennui, but this has little to do with Iraq. For these writers, it's perpetually just after the fin de siecle, the bleak dawn after the balloons drop. The future started yesterday and we were supposed to have starships and cyberbrains and flying cars, but instead we're stuck with this broken world where everything is complicated and everything falls apart, forever. This article almost comes right out and says it, too, which is a bit refreshing. To wit:
They were supposed to be the wars of the future. And the future lost.