Gabriella Blum. But what happens when ordinary people have the same tools at their fingertips? Advances in cybertechnology, biotechnology, and robotics mean that more people than ever before have access to potent From drone warfare in the Middle East to digital spying by the National Security Agency, the U. Advances in cybertechnology, biotechnology, and robotics mean that more people than ever before have access to potentially dangerous technologies—from drones to computer networks and biological agents—which could be used to attack states and private citizens alike.
In The Future of Violence , law and security experts Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum detail the myriad possibilities, challenges, and enormous risks present in the modern world, and argue that if our national governments can no longer adequately protect us from harm, they will lose their legitimacy. Consequently, governments, companies, and citizens must rethink their security efforts to protect lives and liberty. In this brave new world where many little brothers are as menacing as any Big Brother, safeguarding our liberty and privacy may require strong domestic and international surveillance and regulatory controls.
The Future of Violence
Maintaining security in this world where anyone can attack anyone requires a global perspective, with more multinational forces and greater action to protect and protect against weaker states who do not yet have the capability to police their own people. Drawing on political thinkers from Thomas Hobbes to the Founders and beyond, Wittes and Blum show that, despite recent protestations to the contrary, security and liberty are mutually supportive, and that we must embrace one to ensure the other.
Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published March 10th by Basic Books first published September 21st More Details Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Future of Violence , please sign up.
Be the first to ask a question about The Future of Violence. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Disappointing overall, and at times shallow and boring. One emerges with the assessment that the two authors are easily impressed by surface-level phenomena. They maintain that narratives taught in civics class suffice to illuminate the origins and practice of politics. They perceive a simple world, where stated intentions equal actual objectives, costs can be judged relative to ostensible objectives without minding actual effects, correlation generally implies causation, and the direction of th Disappointing overall, and at times shallow and boring.
They perceive a simple world, where stated intentions equal actual objectives, costs can be judged relative to ostensible objectives without minding actual effects, correlation generally implies causation, and the direction of the arrow of causality can be promptly determined. These are characteristics more of a Haidtian moral matrix than the dispassionate analysis one might have wished for in a book of this kind.
The authors speak confidently about their ability to understand and predict this neatly modeled world of theirs, not particularly endeavoring to uncover their own implicit premises--brief mentions of Western liberalism aside--and rarely hedging or qualifying their rather confident assertions, many which could readily be challenged. In the gulf between reality and academia, this work is more a product of its environment than a root cause analysis that will stand the test of time. On the bright side, in largely restricting themselves to disruptive technologies with ETAs defined with pretty firm confidence margins, we were at least spared yet another alarmist narrative of shoddily-premised and amateurishly-informed more speculative futures, which in this instance might have been titled something like "the state v.
Indeed, the most readable part of the book is the initial bit that discusses some of the developing technologies of mass empowerment that are set to make the first half of this century an "interesting times" to live through per that purported old Chinese curse. There is nothing new here, but it is at least a useful overview of biotech terrors to come as well as the developing arms race in autonomous weaponry, soon to be wielded by state and non-state actors both. This is followed, alas, by the middle portion of the book, where I suspect the authors will tend to lose readers who aren't Beltway policy wonks.
These chapters are, chiefly, tedious apologia for the ostensible origins and continued existence of the state. The authors glimpse the coming sea change, but prove ultimately unable to transcend or escape the shore. Almost pathetically obsessed with the continuation of the authority and legitimacy of the status quo in political organization today perhaps their jobs depend on it? Their own authority bias here leads them down a garden path of motivated reasoning that is sure to not only find itself on the wrong side of history, but soon enough swept into its dust bin.
The authors rehash elementary early modern political theory at length--beginning with the Hobbesian war of all against all--taking it all at face value as would any freshman. To say that this is a historically uninformed and philosophically unsophisticated analysis would only scratch the surface here, and the authors seem impossibly yet genuinely unaware of troves and generations of thinkers and scholars who advanced in leaps and bounds on everything they discuss here.
One might have hoped, ultimately, for a deeper nonideological and amoral "check your morality at the door, please" analysis premised, say, on an evolutionary and game-theoretic angle instead of this longwinded trite elaboration of the dominant political mythology du jour, consisting of little more than post-hoc rationalizations that already read akin to medieval notions of the divine right of kings. What's a little surprising is that the authors even acknowledge these being mere justifications for the Westphalian order, prompting the question of whether this ought to not be read as an extended bit of demagoguery in the Menckenian sense of "preaching doctrines one knows to be untrue to men one knows to be idiots.
Never, for instance, do they differentiate between positive liberty and negative liberty--a distinction both elementary and essential--which, unsurprisingly, helps lead them absurd conclusions such as that "mass surveillance makes us freer.
At root, though, unexamined and uncontested, lies the belief that, given sufficient resources, the state can, in fact, actually achieve its ostensible ends--whether those ostensible ends be the provision of security as such, or the maintenance of a Tofflerian surplus order. This is a perspective uninformed by economic law and untempered by a developed intuition about spontaneous order; both being sides of the same coin, as per Hayek's dictum that "the curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.
Other authors from Bill Lind to T. Hammes have made the case that the inability of the state, with every conceivable home court advantage that it has, to significantly hamper let alone eradicate these 4GW adversaries--in this case, the drug cartels and their international distribution network--perfectly showcases its impotence in credibly countering more dangerous internal and external adversaries going forward.
Instead of the epistemic humility to limit themselves to the merely descriptive and predictive, the authors here choose to be prescriptive; too bad, only, that it is on such an axiomatically deficient and analytically shallow platform. As such, this amounts to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic--or make that SS Leviathan. The book best serves to underline the incompetence of the extended modern state apparatus to comprehend and cope with the rapidly multiplying and escalating challenges to its formerly unilateral hegemony.
tyruvyvizo.cf | The Future of Violence - Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones, Benjamin Wittes |
As Boyd would cackle, "you're not even in the game! You'd never imagine the authors to have heard of these newer developments, even as events were in the process of overtaking and obsoleting their manuscript. In their conclusion, the authors tacitly acknowledge that the future is ungovernable, but go on to say that they're "not ready to give up on the state" yet. Good for them.
For a deeper, more realistic, and better informed picture of the unfolding twenty-first century, pass on this and read the likes of John Robb and old curmudgeon Bill Lind instead. May 12, Candi Cross rated it really liked it. Research gem! This book reads as an exhaustive summary and contextual theories on the technological advances that have shaped our lives for better or worse.
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Our innovation continues to comfort, elevate and destroy us in astounding ways. Oceans and buildings cannot keep any of us apart and that is both beautiful and dangerous. I particularly appreciated the in-your-face excerpts on privacy since we demand it from the government yet keep broadening the access, person to person, without any regard Research gem! I particularly appreciated the in-your-face excerpts on privacy since we demand it from the government yet keep broadening the access, person to person, without any regard of how much of our deepest selves we share.
Apr 24, ash newton rated it it was ok. Started out to be about the technology, then took a hard turn to some history of governance and then governance and legal theory. Interesting read, but not what I expected. Apr 19, Jacob rated it really liked it Shelves: research. Look at the title of this book. The Future of Violence. War, war never changes, but violence? We are absolutely brilliant about coming up with ways to cause grievous harm to one another.
What cool military and privatized inventions await is in the much talked about singularity of technology? The Future of Violence is more concerned about the question of violence on a societal level, which, frankly, is infinitely more interesting. Drones, 3D print Look at the title of this book. And they might be right. The authors do a very good job trying to convey the possible scale of the issue without falling into fear mongering, which is why some of their examples are…rather weak and perhaps worse, unoriginal.
There is a quote by Benjamin Franklin that is used in some circles when the idea of regulation of new tech and general surveillance: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. In the face of these new technologies and potential catastrophes, it is that word that we all have to grapple with and define as a species in order to prepare ourselves for the future.
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May 30, Maria rated it liked it Shelves: sale-book , audio-books , futuristic , military , non-fiction , politics. Wittes focuses on how disrupting technologies will effect both those that currently have power and those that will gain power in the future. Why I started it: This book caught my eye in an Audible 2 for 1 sale.
Why I finished it: Futuristic predictions and philosophy is not my go to genre, so this book was an interesting introduction to a new way of thinking about the future. Why I finished it: Futuristic predictions and philosophy is not my go to genre, so this book was an interesting introduction to a new way of thinking about the future I liked that the Roman roads brought greater safety because Roman armies could move faster, but also less safety as bandits started preying on travelers.
And that the follow up security measure of guards and policing brought greater freedom to individual travelers. That freedom and security are not always at opposite ends of the spectrum. Apr 22, Kevin Christiansen rated it really liked it Shelves: current-events , foreign-affairs , law , military , political. A chilling, yet instructive, primer on the continuing threats of violence that continue to plague us. The book provides a useful summary of a variety of threats and policy considerations, as well as discussions of the philosophical underpinnings for some of our views concerning regulation, privacy, the social contract, etc.
While I would recommend the book, it is neither a light read, nor one that will put your mind at ease about the current state of the w A chilling, yet instructive, primer on the continuing threats of violence that continue to plague us. While I would recommend the book, it is neither a light read, nor one that will put your mind at ease about the current state of the world.
Dec 06, Tim rated it it was amazing. I really liked this book It's a good examination of how advancements in technologies influence the ability of both governments and individuals to both defend and commit violence. It offers an interesting examination of the role of the state in protecting citizens, how it has changed over time and how it might change when subject to technological pressures.
Worth reading again. Jun 19, Lissette rated it it was ok. Overly sensationalist. Sep 25, Rebecca rated it really liked it. Fascinating and the amount of information was great, but could have used more structure. Many of the chapters seemed a bit all over the place.
Mar 12, Siyuan rated it really liked it. Publisher: U. Army War College. Document Type: Article. Length: words. Wittes and Blum argue technological Sign In to view the full article. Gale Academic Onefile , Accessed 22 Sept.