Thursday, March 02, 2006

Shark Spies

DARPA, the Pentagon weird projects unit that seems to make public only its strangest ideas, is at work to make sharks into remote-controlled spies. DARPA is researching ways to put various electrodes into sharks' brains and ping them by sonar to command them. Since sharks move soundlessly and provide their own power, remote-controlled sharks could do all sorts of surveillance that manned and robot subs can't.

Now, mostly this makes me think that before we spend millions teaching sharks the subtleties of martini-sipping and womanizing, we might want to, you know, balance the budget or teach American schoolchildren enough biology to know the difference between a shark and a quark.

But let's just take the idea on its own terms for a moment.

Part of me thinks that the notion is flat-out ludicrous. I'm pretty sure that in 1987 Berke Breathed toyed with running a series of Bloom County strips about shark spies but decided it would be too over the top and instead went a joke about the Pentagon using a big elastic band and a basselope to launch nukes at the Russkies. But part of me is just creeped out by the fact that DARPA is building on successful, non-military research in remote-controlled animals of all sorts (!), which means that it might actually work. Who knows if it's a good idea, but it really might work.

Ever feel like we've gone straight through Brave New World right into Strange Screwed World?

All I can say, is that I'll know for sure that things have gotten out of hand if in twenty years CNNMSNBCFOXAOLGOOGLE News is bio-downloading footage of American shark soldiers taking casualties from improvised explosive chipmunks while patrolling the Baghdad Spaceport Road.


At 9:51 PM , Blogger Mike M. said...

This is just so "Dr. Evil." "You'll notice the sharks have lasers on their heads. I figure everyone deserves a warm meal!"


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home