If you are interested in reading a novel of the real robotic revolution–including both existing and not-to-distant-future tech–then “Burn-In” is a book for you. This is the second book in a series co-authored by P.W. Singer and August Cole. Both of these boys have chops in the government, think tanks and “fiction as future” worlds. Once again, the physicality of the book is key. Great cover art and great end sheet art. Much appreciated.
Yes, you read that correctly. Sure, there is a novel taking place, a narrative that is keen enough to keep our attention, but underneath is the beating heart of a robotic future that may or may not be taking place right this second. Had a conversation recently with a friend who used to be in special operations. He described to me a recent test of a potential battlefield bot, and sure enough, on the pages was something very similar. But the tech isn’t what hooked me. What the tech is doing and what it WILL do to our species is what my takeaway is. If you are like me and think that things like Instagram have melted the brains of most of those surrounding us, just wait until we have things that make Instagram taste like ginger-beer.
If I’m running big tech I double down on pushing past all restraint. Why? Because we have already proven there is ZERO repercussion for anyone doing so. There is just too much money to be made and too much willingness by the public to be drained of our data. Give us the virtual because the natural is too slow and boring. (Not me, of course, I’m ready for the great unplug.)
After reading this I’m reminded of a line from a David Ignatius book which goes something along the lines of “This modern world of ours is easier to bring down than you might think.” (paraphrasing) And for you skeptics, just think about the almighty thumb drive. So small, so sleight but just ponder the impact that little device has had on our world over the past decade. Or the email attachment. More than anything else, I find these books lead to interesting discussion.