Mesh Wars : How to make Skynet

Ok – bit of a weird one today – a mishmashed collection of various tech bits that more or less revolve around a theme. It’s a concept-link-latte. I’m not sure what the theme is, but it’s something like

“What the fuck are we building here?” or
“How to make Skynet in 5 easy lessons”

1) Genetic Algorithms again.

Genetic algorithms are simple little programs that simulate evolution by (re)combining groups of actions, keeping the ones that works best, ditching the rest, then recombining again. They can arrive quite quickly at solutions to complex problems.

Here’s a fairly remarkable video where a simulation of a person teaches itself to walk

2) “Situational Awareness

O how I love it when my hysterical bug-eyed predictions come true.

Some Australians have spent a mere million dollars and invented a thing which stitches together all of their CCTV camera feeds so you can walk around in them like doom. You could use augmented reality to turn the homeless people into Zombies so you don’t feel bad about killing them.

These are using existing CCTVs… but you could just as easily (in fact more easily) achieve the same thing using

3) Perch and Stare bots


So you just fly a bunch of these things into an area and position them such that you can create a 3D map of the place… with proper depth-perception (as is on Darpa’s shopping list) maybe.

I learned how to use these


last week – they’re little mesh-networking things… cheap as chips with a line-of-site range of about a mile… works through walls etc to a more limited extent. I saw one this morning that had a range of 40 miles… which is… miles!.

I’m not sure that these would have the bandwidth to transmit real-time video (my ones run at 38400 baud)… but you get the idea. It’s not entirely outside the bounds of possibility to drop a cluster bomb of CCTV cameras over an area and operate them from another country. They’re so cheap though that you and I could probably do it.

4) Automated Kill Zones

As being set up by the Israelis.

Accompanied of course by flying drones, and flotillas of euphemisms designed to obscure the fact that what’s actually happening here is that people’s Dads, Brothers, Sons, Daughters, Husbands, Wives, Mums… are being killed.

Still as long as they’re not controlled by n’ n’ n’ nineteen year olds, what could possibly go wrong?

Anyway… enough about that… back to the warm, touchy-feelyness of

5) a plane that looks like a dolphin


The cool thing about these, is that they’ve actually made them, and they actually go… quite well.

It’s electric – hydrogen fuel-cell powered. Lots of specs and whatnot on the site, though right now they’re just tinkering with the toy-sized version – the skin of which is made with a CNC milled mold… which is used to shape fibre-glass.


Something well within the abilities of 5th generation repraps in other words… something largely creatable from a direct digital->physical process in other words.

So maybe you wouldn’t have to drop a cluster-bomb filled with Perch-and-Stare drones, but a single reprap with a load of vitamin parts.

A way to go yet of course. I’m still of the opinion that humans are the ultimate vitamin part… and whatever emerges, it will be a human/machine symbiote, rather than a machine takeover.

I mean in a way we’ve already got this – except that the machine, isn’t a physical object… it’s a set of formulas, laws and conditions – it’s debt-based currency and corporatism, with it’s grotesque and alien offspring… “defence” industries, privatised prisons, privatised water/food/health systems, derivative colonialism etc etc.

We’ve actually already got the monster. Skynet is just something that will flex its muscles in the sunlight (one bright morning), several sheddings-of-skin into the future.

2 Comments » for Mesh Wars : How to make Skynet
  1. Your grasp of the future frightens me. And I didn’t even click on any of the links.

  2. admin says:

    How lovely of you to say :)

    Actually it’s my grasp of the present that tends to offer the greatest cause for… concern.

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