TED Conversations

Tank General

general, Thinkingtanks.com

This conversation is closed.

Does society need guns for peace? How can humanity transcend violence?

In his TED Talk (attached) Peter Van Uhm argues that "sometimes only the gun can stand between good and evil… The gun may be the most important instrument of peace and stability that we have in this world."

Is his thesis sound? Does society need guns? Can we feasibly rid society of violence? Are guns and other forms of weapons necessary for an orderly society? Given recent outbreaks of violent large scale massacres and terrorists attacks how should governing authorities approach gun and weapon control?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Nov 2 2012: Guns seem to get old fashion nowadays, almost anachronistic in our times of drones.

    Once autonomous drones have been developed they could be transferred into a commodity and by its economy of scale, they would become as cheap as our smartphones today.

    This way we would be liberated of the weight of our clumsy guns and were elegantly protected by this new hovering iGuard devices. Realtime voice and gesture violence detection software would then do the job for us and initiate appropriate actions and counter measures according to a choosen level of defence which could be updated, also in realtime, according to a 'world violence broadcast service' based on our current GPS position.

    We would just walk on as usual and the 'math' just happens for us within the drone near to us.

    A wide variety of drone to drone (D2D) and drone to non-drone agressor (D2NDA) weaponry could be purchased on the market, as well as drone-jammer and stealth drone technology.

    By unboxing a new ordered drone, the process of learning by the drone begins. It would be a bit like a duckling hatching its egg and the first person to see, becomes its person of main interest. To get full family protection, all members should be gathered, otherwise they would be determined as potential threat and would need another 'learning' loop to get included afterwards. Once this was set, we were ready to go, and only enemy drones of higher sophistication and better armor and weapons would be left as the only danger to us and our beloved ones.

    Collateral damage due to drone malfunction and 'misinterpretation' would have to be accepted by society, but the positive effects outweighs those risks anyway. Somewhat the same as it is with guns today, I suppose ... Or am I mistaken? :o)
    • Nov 2 2012: Unfortunately, I think much of your scenario will come true. Smart weapons will likely make guns obsolete.
      • thumb
        Nov 2 2012: Yet i still hope we will outrun this and act at least once as we call ourselfs: Homo Sapiens
    • thumb
      Nov 4 2012: Thanks much for the great comment. Very interesting and pretty scary. So as technology advances are we stuck in a never ending arms race? As I mentioned to Mr. Anjorin, the risk that dangerous weapons fall into the wrong hands will likely increase with technology and globalization (easy access to information, materials, and black markets). Is there a solution outside of pushing forward an arms race under the guise of defending ourselves? I'd like to believe culture and education are better answers but advancement in technology could outpace the evolution of more rational behavior.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.