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STORY: Don't Drink and Drone

Clouseau knew that the Mavic Pro's maximum range was seven kilometers. But he had become so dazzled by the Mavic Pro's ability to avoid all matters of trouble that he decided to explore the wind farm, barely visible on the horizon. And despite my pleading, and numerous warnings from the controller itself, he sent the drone past the point of no return — convinced that it would override his control and return automatically if there was any real risk. It was too late by the time he turned around.

Heading back fast yet still five kilometers from shore, Clouseau received a final warning that the battery was critically low and that the drone would make an emergency landing.

Beep.

Beep.

Beep.

The Mavic Pro had flatlined, yet the controller continued to send out a signal to come home. We listened to that goddamn bleeping for a nauseating 10 minutes while Clouseau hoped against hope that his expensive drone would somehow return. It never did, lost to the unforgiving North Sea forever.

It was then that I understood those stories of people driving off cliffs while blithely following the instructions of their GPS navigators. I'm also reminded of Arthur C. Clarke's adage that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I watched an intelligent man do something incredibly moronic after becoming awestruck by an advanced technology. He was drunk; impaired by the gin but intoxicated by a magic he didn't understand, yet trusted beyond reason.

It’s a fatal elixir of blind faith in technology that will only become more potent, I fear, with the advances still to come.

READ FULL STORY HERE

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