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The Pentagon's shiny new ray gun

PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
edited March 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/02/29/60minutes/main3891865.shtml

Yes, its official, all that money that the Pentagon has spent on ridiculous pipe dreams has finally paid off!
(Well, except for the fact that the Pentagon has spend an absurdly small percentage of its budget on non lethal weaponry (http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2003/031211-nonlethal-weaponry.htm)).
Apparently this ray gun is supposed to fire highly concentrated radio waves that penetrate just below the first layer of skin, to the nerve endings. The amount of pain caused is so severe that it is essentially impossible to stand in the way for five seconds.
My thoughts about it:
This seems like the most effective thing we could be using for crowd dispersal in Iraq right now. The battle against the insurgency is essentially based on the opinions of the Iraqi people. If they reject the insurgents, like Anbar province did to Al Qaeda in Iraq, the US has its job done for it. It seems clear that it would be much better if the US could accomplish basic crowd control without killing anyone. Of course, I do have qualms over the fact that it is extremely clumsy to use in the cramped urban areas where it would be most desired, particularly when a well placed grenade or any form of IED take out the Humvee. Having this thing in a smaller form would lead to natural abuse, as nobody could prove that a US soldier used the weapon on them. I also fear the day that this technology is somehow used by civilians?
What do you guys think? And how many of you first thought about what would happen if that sucker was used on an icecube?

Picardathon on
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Posts

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    How do you scream 'don't tase me bro' in arabic?

    It seems interesting and could be very effective for the asymmetrical warfare that seems to be the future of conflicts, but I'm sure that thing would abused so often it wouldn't be funny as well.

    tea-1.jpg
  • Phooka1976Phooka1976 Registered User
    edited March 2008
    This is hands down the coolest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. The endless possibilities of the things I could do to people are rushing through my head. Get off my property!!! Get away from my car!!! Give me your wallet or God will smite you!!! Don't believe me?

  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Phooka1976 wrote: »
    This is hands down the coolest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. The endless possibilities of the things I could do to people are rushing through my head. Get off my property!!! Get away from my car!!! Give me your wallet or God will smite you!!! Don't believe me?

    You have given a great example of why this shouldn't be in civilian hands.
    I'm just really scared that the US is going to flood the world with these like the Russians flooded the world with Kalashnakov's [/shiver]

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Yeah...Silent Guardian is a real nasty piece of work. From what I've heard, it makes you feel like you're burning.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • babylonfreekbabylonfreek Registered User
    edited March 2008
    I can already picture the Senate Oversight investigations on that thing.


    "Is it torture?"
    "No."
    "If it was fired at you, would you consider it torture?"
    <silence>
    "If it was fired at me I would probably say so yes."

  • KageraKagera Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Okay, this is supposed too be non-lethal but let me ask a question: Could this thing cause long-term damage to a person? What about if it's used multiple times against that person?

    I hope that's not really stupid question.

    “This is America. We’re entitled to our opinions.”
    “Wrong. This is Texas. And my opinion is the only one that counts."
  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Kagera wrote: »
    Okay, this is supposed too be non-lethal but let me ask a question: Could this thing cause long-term damage to a person? What about if it's used multiple times against that person?

    I hope that's not really stupid question.
    Probably but we don't know.

    I mean hopefully you are only subjected to limited exposure.

  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Kagera wrote: »
    Okay, this is supposed too be non-lethal but let me ask a question: Could this thing cause long-term damage to a person? What about if it's used multiple times against that person?

    I hope that's not really stupid question.

    No long term studies have been done on the effects that this has on targets.
    In theory its harmless, because it just goes in far enough to fuck with your nerve endings. Of course, having your nerve endings subjected to an extremely high amount of stimulation multiple times might not be good.
    As a guess, I say no unless you're a masochist who jerks off to shooting yourself with this thing and cause yourself chronic nerve damage.

  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited March 2008
    I can already picture the Senate Oversight investigations on that thing.


    "Is it torture?"
    "No."
    "If it was fired at you, would you consider it torture?"
    <silence>
    "If it was fired at me I would probably say so yes."

    Yeah, this is definitely a great torture tool, small room with a raygun and you only are free if you tell, you have to say something after ten seconds that could very well be the truth (could just be a lie but that is the problem with all torture).
    Of course, the sheer size of device means that it could probably only be used in CIA secret prisons, but that hasn't stopped anyone so far.

  • KageraKagera Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Actually thinking about it any type of government that would use this weapon to oppress it's people would probably just use guns instead anyway.

    Now for an SE++ level question: What if they point it at your balls though? Will you go sterile?

    “This is America. We’re entitled to our opinions.”
    “Wrong. This is Texas. And my opinion is the only one that counts."
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Kagera wrote: »
    Okay, this is supposed too be non-lethal but let me ask a question: Could this thing cause long-term damage to a person? What about if it's used multiple times against that person?

    I hope that's not really stupid question.
    Probably but we don't know.

    I mean hopefully you are only subjected to limited exposure.
    Spoiler:

    I have a blog. Read it. Blog-reading makes you pretty and popular.
  • AdrienAdrien Registered User
    edited March 2008
    I can already picture the Senate Oversight investigations on that thing.


    "Is it torture?"
    "No."
    "If it was fired at you, would you consider it torture?"
    <silence>
    "If it was fired at me I would probably say so yes."

    Yeah, this is definitely a great torture tool, small room with a raygun and you only are free if you tell, you have to say something after ten seconds that could very well be the truth (could just be a lie but that is the problem with all torture).
    Of course, the sheer size of device means that it could probably only be used in CIA secret prisons, but that hasn't stopped anyone so far.

    They've actually demoed a desktop version.

    No, I'm not kidding.

    With that said, I don't really have any qualms about this as long as it remains prohibitively difficult to make one in your basement. You thought ninja remotes were annoying?

    tmkm.jpg
  • IloroKamouIloroKamou Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Oh, this won't end well.

    And just a thought, shouldn't it be possible to just wear things or build shields that reflect the radio waves?

    "There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts."
  • TL DRTL DR Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    IloroKamou wrote: »
    Oh, this won't end well.

    And just a thought, shouldn't it be possible to just wear things or build shields that reflect the radio waves?

    Damn, you beat me to it.

    Tinfoil hats effective against the CIA? Who'd a thunk it.

    eokNV.jpg
  • Vert1Vert1 Registered User
    edited March 2008
    It's 2008 and we're still stuck using Atari joystick technology. Our troops deserve better.

    blood_berry_new.jpg
    Spoiler:
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I love this thing. Non-lethal weaponry is the best kind of weaponry. The problem with it is that it doesn't generally get the kind of promotion it deserves because high-up generals can't imagine it decapitating brown people.

    They'd rather buy more and better missiles.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Having recently read Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
    Spoiler:
    I'm fairly certain that we either live in a golden age of non-violence or that the teleological fantasies of people like Robert Wright are true and our culture really is progressing. I'm not worried about the occasional slip as long as the trend it up.

    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I love this thing. Non-lethal weaponry is the best kind of weaponry. The problem with it is that it doesn't generally get the kind of promotion it deserves because high-up generals can't imagine it decapitating brown people.
    Well, that, and when you give them to quite a few people they assume they can use them without worry, even after training.

    PSN: allenquid
  • DjinnDjinn Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Because what Iraq really needs is a zappy-ray gun

  • fjafjanfjafjan Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Yeah it's not like the US has a fucking abysmal history of mistreating protesters without this thing.
    Second, the kind of panic it would induce isn't exactly lovable. Using it against crowds seems fucking retarded.

    Also isn't this ancient news? i heard of this almost a year ago.

    Yepp, THE Fjafjan (who's THE fjafjan?)
    - "Proving once again the deadliest animal of all ... is the Zoo Keeper" - Philip J Fry
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I'm not saying that it couldn't or wouldn't be misused. I'm sure it will be misused with great prejudice, but remember that current non-lethal AND lethal weapons are commonly misused, and frankly I'd rather have a few seconds of pain leaving no significant after-effects than be tear-gassed or shot with a rubber bullet.

    Well, I'd rather have none of that happen to me, and I've arranged my life so that it's highly unlikely that I'd ever be on the recieving end of such treatment, but the point remains that, if this weapon does what they say it does, the benefits of having a crowd-dispersal device of this sort outweigh the cultural risk of having a weapon that causes pain but doesn't leave any marks. Surely training and oversight would go along with the use of the weapon; surely we'd trust it more in the hands of a military run by, say, a constitutional law scholar... but that's a different thread.

    New technology demands further study and responsible governance; we can't just drop it because of potential abuses. Otherwise we wouldn't have nuclear reactors or stem cell advancements.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • IloroKamouIloroKamou Registered User
    edited March 2008
    New technology demands further study and responsible governance; we can't just drop it because of potential abuses. Otherwise we wouldn't have nuclear reactors or stem cell advancements.

    Both of which, ironically enough, we've essentially dropped because of potential abuses.

    "There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts."
  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008

    New technology demands further study and responsible governance; we can't just drop it because of potential abuses. Otherwise we wouldn't have nuclear reactors or stem cell advancements.

    Or Terminators and Judgment Day. Well I guess Judgment Day is kinda old tech. But Terminators for sure.

    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    IloroKamou wrote: »
    New technology demands further study and responsible governance; we can't just drop it because of potential abuses. Otherwise we wouldn't have nuclear reactors or stem cell advancements.

    Both of which, ironically enough, we've essentially dropped because of potential abuses.

    Wha? No.

    There are tons of nuclear plants in play, and just because the U.S. government has an idiotic stance on this doesn't mean that private research and foreign firms have abandoned it.

    In short, I'd need to see some serious citations for your assessments.
    Or Terminators and Judgment Day. Well I guess Judgment Day is kinda old tech. But Terminators for sure.

    Luckily John Connor will lead humanity to victory.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Yeah stem cell research is alive and well. Nuclear we've dropped in a NIMBY sense but our military certainly hasn't abandoned the idea. Hell nuclear is a pretty big part of the US military scheme.

    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius
  • KageraKagera Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Why, I even heard they are gonna switch subs from diesel to nuclear soon!

    “This is America. We’re entitled to our opinions.”
    “Wrong. This is Texas. And my opinion is the only one that counts."
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Actually nuclear reactors are expanding again, and most sites with a plant nearby are asking for more since it's good high paying jobs and way less shitty than living by a coal plant. By 2020-2025 we should have more nuclear reactors than we presently have nuclear engineers.

    tea-1.jpg
  • IloroKamouIloroKamou Registered User
    edited March 2008
    IloroKamou wrote: »
    New technology demands further study and responsible governance; we can't just drop it because of potential abuses. Otherwise we wouldn't have nuclear reactors or stem cell advancements.

    Both of which, ironically enough, we've essentially dropped because of potential abuses.

    Wha? No.

    There are tons of nuclear plants in play, and just because the U.S. government has an idiotic stance on this doesn't mean that private research and foreign firms have abandoned it.

    In short, I'd need to see some serious citations for your assessments.
    Or Terminators and Judgment Day. Well I guess Judgment Day is kinda old tech. But Terminators for sure.

    Luckily John Connor will lead humanity to victory.

    I was being more sarcastic than serious, but I wouldn't say we have "tons" of nuclear reactors...We have only 104 nuclear reactors in the states, which account for roughly 16-17% of our power needs, and we haven't built a new one since Three Mile Isle. Compare this to say, France, which gets 79% of it's power from nuclear reactors, and has been steadily investing in and building new plants over the last 30 years.

    But ya, I know that in the general sense, the world hasn't given up on nuclear. Hell, we're in the process of building experimental fusion reactors in europe!

    "There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts."
  • AdrienAdrien Registered User
    edited March 2008
    IloroKamou wrote: »
    I was being more sarcastic than serious, but I wouldn't say we have "tons" of nuclear reactors...We have only 104 nuclear reactors in the states, which account for roughly 16-17% of our power needs, and we haven't built a new one since Three Mile Isle. Compare this to say, France, which gets 79% of it's power from nuclear reactors, and has been steadily investing in and building new plants over the last 30 years.

    But ya, I know that in the general sense, the world hasn't given up on nuclear. Hell, we're in the process of building experimental fusion reactors in europe!

    I think it'd be more appropriate to say that the American people have given up on nuclear.

    tmkm.jpg
  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    Actually nuclear reactors are expanding again, and most sites with a plant nearby are asking for more since it's good high paying jobs and way less shitty than living by a coal plant. By 2020-2025 we should have more nuclear reactors than we presently have nuclear engineers.

    More plants than Engineers? Wouldn't that be several thousand plants?

    That seems like overkill...

  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    Actually nuclear reactors are expanding again, and most sites with a plant nearby are asking for more since it's good high paying jobs and way less shitty than living by a coal plant. By 2020-2025 we should have more nuclear reactors than we presently have nuclear engineers.

    More plants than Engineers? Wouldn't that be several thousand plants?

    That seems like overkill...

    What happens when you add in nukeular engineers?

    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    Actually nuclear reactors are expanding again, and most sites with a plant nearby are asking for more since it's good high paying jobs and way less shitty than living by a coal plant. By 2020-2025 we should have more nuclear reactors than we presently have nuclear engineers.

    More plants than Engineers? Wouldn't that be several thousand plants?

    That seems like overkill...

    Well, each plant needs more than 1 engineer, but maybe it was technicians then. Regardless we're slated to put up a dozen plants over the next decade. I know Texas is going to be one of the first with NRG and I'm pretty sure Com-Ed/Exelon are planning on replacing and adding at least one in Illinois. Which is great, because we only get 50% of our power from nukes at the moment.

    tea-1.jpg
  • EranusEranus Registered User
    edited March 2008
    I heard about this thing on NPR months ago. Talking about harmless ways of stopping people in their tracks, how many people have been killed by tazer-happy cops?

    Brawl code: 1075-0447-8909 tag: CRONO
    Spoiler:
  • whitey9whitey9 Registered User
    edited March 2008
    The part of me that wants to see how bad waterboarding really is also wants to try this.

    llcoolwhitey.png
  • FencingsaxFencingsax Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Guys, the thing says more reactors than number of engineers we currently have. Not more reactors than engineers period.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • CervetusCervetus Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    whitey9 wrote: »
    The part of me that wants to see how bad waterboarding really is also wants to try this.

    I feel the same way actually, but I'm kind of retarded.

    I think it's a pretty good thing, because it's better to abuse intense pain than anything else. We're already killing a bunch of innocent civilians in Iraq, so it's at least a step up to briefly torture them with supposedly no long-term effects instead.
    IloroKamou wrote: »
    Hell, we're in the process of building experimental fusion reactors in europe!

    Oooh, you're European, that explains the soccer pic.

    The libertarian response to anything is, "Sure, that works fine in practice, but it doesn't fly in theory."
  • DukiDuki Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    More stuff like this please Pentagon thank you.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Cervetus wrote: »
    whitey9 wrote: »
    The part of me that wants to see how bad waterboarding really is also wants to try this.

    I feel the same way actually, but I'm kind of retarded.

    I think it's a pretty good thing, because it's better to abuse intense pain than anything else. We're already killing a bunch of innocent civilians in Iraq, so it's at least a step up to briefly torture them with supposedly no long-term effects instead.

    ^ This. There are obviously better ways to effect crowd control, but in Iraq crowd control under the situations one would want to use this currently means shooting people because you don't know who's wearing a suicide vest and using the crowd as cover.

    With any luck this sort of thing can replace rubber bullets since those things most certainly are capable of killing and do so quite regularly when employed.

    The Company: The CYOA game that anybody can join at any time - running now!
  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited March 2008
    Weren't they having trouble with an earlier version of this and small metal/conductive things getting superheated... like buttons or buckles? What ever happened with that?

  • HozHoz Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Having recently read Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
    Spoiler:
    I'm fairly certain that we either live in a golden age of non-violence or that the teleological fantasies of people like Robert Wright are true and our culture really is progressing. I'm not worried about the occasional slip as long as the trend it up.
    After we just came off the most brutal century in human history, I'm skeptical.

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