Friday, August 01, 2003


If you haven't checked out Neal's link to the Self-Healing minefield, you really should.

It'll surprise no-one who's been reading the blog for a while to learn that our old friends from Alliant Techsystems are involved in the project. You'll recall that Alliant was named a "recalcitrant producer" in a Human Rights Watch report for rejecting an appeal to forego any future production of antipersonnel mine components.

Good luck to Dr. Thomas Altshuler and the team working on the Self-Healing Minefield. Perhaps when you're finished you can turn your attention to developing a self-healing leg for me.

They're not the only DARPA boffins who can't be accused of not thinking outside the box.

DARPA and two private partners were due to launch a futures market which would enable investors to bet real greenbacks on future acts of terrorism, assassinations and other catastrophes:

BBC News Online: Pentagon axes online terror bets

The idea was to improve the prediction and prevention of events by using the expertise of the open market instead of relying only on government agencies -- but the project was shelved after an outcry by US politicians. Islamist terrorist opens a vial of sarin on the Washington subway in the morning rush hour, killing 200 people -- and the capitalists who'd bet on such an outcome get rich. Brilliant!

Meanwhile, the group that planned the attack has also been buying up Death Futures, so they're able to take the profits when their man carries it out. Even the sworn enemies of capitalism win -- which would go to show that behind all that "we will strike the infidels in their beds" crap they were really dollar-grabbing fat cats all along.

The idea has a certain warped brilliance to it.

Now, how much am I bid for a suicide bombing on Oxford Street?

More at:
NY Times: Poindexter to Resign Following Terrorist Futures Debacle
NY Times: The Right and Wrong Stuff of Thinking Outside a Box
Washington Post: The Furor Over 'Terrorism Futures'


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