Ex-NSA official Thomas Drake sends a special message to whistleblower Edward Snowden “… always check six, as we said when I used to be a flyer in the Air Force. Always make sure you know what’s behind you.” Drake went on to say; “the U.S. government has an “industrial-scale” surveillance system that the Stasi in East Germany would have drooled over.”
Whatever your opinion may be on the gun control debate one thing is clear someone, somewhere, will create a fully functional 3d printed gun and when they do the world will change. Small arms manufacturing could become a kind of cottage industry with people from all over the world creating not only copies of existing firearms but entirely new gun mashups, mixing ideas, capabilities and features from different designers to create an entirely new class of DIY weapons. Current designs are made out of thermoplastic powder but when the cost of more advanced 3d fabrication methods comes down the dream of the homemade printed firearm could become reality much sooner than you may think. 3D Systems Corp has created a 3d printer which uses a high powered laser to fuse aluminum and titanium powders together directly from CAD data to create fully functional metal parts. Electron beam freeform fabrication can also print durable metal parts capable of withstanding the heat and pressure demands of modern firearms which could go a long way toward creating the printed firearms industry. To some this may sound far fetched today but then again in the 21st century so do alot of things. In this Motherboard documentary Vice takes a look at Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed in their effort to create the world’s first 3d printed gun.
In the 21st century it is nearly impossible to escape the watchful eyes of technology, the net and the world, a private dinner cannot be assumed to be truly private nor can a casual “off the cuff remark”. There are no more private places or private spaces. Those in political office and those that seek political power can no longer shape their messages to appeal to a particular audience in a world where nearly everything politicians say and do is on the record. Moments like this represent an important moment in history demonstrating both the power and influence of technology and the value of truth, honesty and transparency.
In science replication of experimental findings and verification of reported claims rules the day. Unless a researchers findings can be reproduced and independently verified it is deemed illegitimate and the research is not only completely abandoned but forever condemned by the scientific world. The mere mention of the men and women that find themselves on the wrong side of the scientific world can cause some to question the judgment and legitimacy of those that even utter their names. In a time when the worlds energy needs are approaching critical levels can we truly afford to so quickly write off such research?