My father always taught me that every argument has two sides. Make sure you understand the other side even if you disagree. My grandfather always taught me to listen, to hear exactly what the other person is saying before disagreeing. The differences between people, he always told me, is the distance between your ears. If you don’t listen, then the gulf is wide, if you listen then the gulf isn’t that great.
Being frustrated is ok. It is ok to hear rhetoric and in hearing it, step back for a moment and then breathe. We like those who passed before us need to consider those who follow us. Will be remembered as the last generation or the first?
I know that as a technologist the systems I have contributed to, helped build and deliver have been used to make the world a better place. But I also know that they have been used as places to spread disinformation, places to share ideas and ideals with which I struggle. The problem isn’t the technology it is the fact that information spreads so quickly, even if it is wrong.
Consider, as my father said, both sides. Decrease the distance between us by listening. We are unique, and we are not unique. In that difference and similarity, we have to find more common ground. There is enough anger in the world already.
One of the most exciting technology changes over the past year or so is the ever-increasing reality of the drone market. I posted a view of Greenwood Indiana from above on my blog today, the images in that post were taken from an airplane that we were in, flying over Greenwood. I have similar pictures of our house in Maryland, but from a lot lower. I took video of the top of our house with our drone and posted those on our youtube family history channel.
It is a concern of mine as to how far drones should go. One of the things I projected a few years ago was the concept of modular drones. Drones that allow you to carry and deliver different information pending the attached payload. I’ve seen. However, that concept misused already. Someone shared, anonymously video of a drone with a gun attached, that could be fired remotely. I would say the concept and process of controls would be difficult, but I’ve seen my kids operate a joystick, their ability to place a hovering object exactly where they want it on a screen, makes the reality of drones with weapons a little scarier.
What this creates is an ever increasing need for governance around Drones. Today, the FAA has stepped in and created no-drone-fly zones around the major airports. I would suspect based on those no-fly zones (but I do not know this for a fact) that other zones are also no-fly, that are not currently airports. That said, we need to understand that initial statement on my blog today, listen. The logic of do you think this is the right thing to do, is critical. More and more often as I consider and evaluate drones, I ask myself that. Indeed, I have posted some posts on many different platforms poking fun at the ever expanding technology of drones. Not that poking fun isn’t also a way to get issues out in the open to have them discussed.
Let’s start the broader conversation about what it means to be responsible, as far as drones. If you have a metal detection zone and you are on the beach, I think the rule should be that you don’t hover over humans. If you have a drone with a 4k camera, you don’t fly over people you don’t know. I understand the joy of seeing your house from the air. It is cool to see things from above. If in trying to see people you know you fly over people you don’t know that is cool. But if you are hovering over a person that isn’t in your family, worse, hovering just because they are famous, then if your drone gets shot out of the air it isn’t the other person’s fault. It is your fault! Let’s have a little restraint.
We can call it the responsibility of drone owners. See if drone owners don’t behave, then the issue becomes one of law. The reason for many laws is not that legislators and government officials like to create laws that have to be monitored and maintained. They have to create laws, post signs and tell people no BECAUSE SOMEONE DIDN’T LISTEN the first time. When it was a recommendation, please don’t do that. Once you increase the distance between you and the other person speaking by not listening, then the gulf is too hard to close.
Listen. Be responsible in how you fly your drone so that the rest of us can enjoy our donors.