Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×

278 comments

First PlowedShare (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32707848)

First PlowedShared

Re:First PlowedShare (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708146)

I plowed yo mamma. Then we shared her.

Okay... (4, Funny)

kurokame (1764228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32707850)

So now they're going to microwave my food before it's even done growing? That's...nice...

New slogans for new applications (3, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708076)

"Pain that's too cheap to meter!"
Some such rubbish was spouted about civilian application of nuclear technology (which also started as a weapon).

Or more realistically, how about private & city lands covered in helpful signs like:
"Keep off the grass. Violators may experience discomfort or agony!"
"Keep out. Or else."

Re:Okay... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708432)

Yo dawg, we heard you like microwaved food so we pre-microwaved your food so you can post-microwave it after we pre-microwave it.

Popcorn (5, Funny)

ByteSlicer (735276) | more than 4 years ago | (#32707856)

Imagine the fun we could have with one of these on a corn field.

Re:Popcorn (4, Funny)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32707976)

Does corn grow well on hills(?) because I, for one, volunteer for summer popcorn 'snow'boarding patrol.

why do people work for Raytheon? (1, Flamebait)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32707874)

What sequence of moral thoughts goes through their heads?

I'm interested.

("To turns swords into ploughshares" is cynical nonsense, of course - why really? Is it just the money?)

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32707896)

("To turns swords into ploughshares" is cynical nonsense, of course - why really? Is it just the money?)

Someone else paid for all the expensive R&D. It really is that simple.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32707902)

Same... Why do people work for the US Government (or any Govt for the matter.)?

I am interested too.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708400)

For me, it was to help a group of people that usually don't get much respect (actual civil service). Unfortunately this is often done in spite of government.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1)

CdBee (742846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32707944)

You know what they say - Mechanical engineers build weapons, civil engineers build targets. If you're a mech.eng and you need a job....

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (5, Insightful)

LambdaWolf (1561517) | more than 4 years ago | (#32707958)

why do people work for Raytheon? What sequence of moral thoughts goes through their heads?

Because they're also producing agricultural tools perhaps? Say it's for the money if you want, but results are results.

Okay, so the agricultural application is a recent development. And the military-industrial complex is full of greed. But if your question is whether anyone at all can work for a defense contractor with a clear conscience, there are—believe it or not—still people who hold onto the hope that the American military is in fact capable of bringing about more freedom and democracy in the world, no matter how poorly it may have been used recently. Just because you don't see it that way doesn't make them wrong. Not to mention, there are also people with enough knowledge of history to understand that, even if defending our home soil from invasion by a conventional foreign military is a farfetched idea right now, the only reason it stays that way is because our military is so damned powerful.

("To turns swords into ploughshares" is cynical nonsense, of course - why really? Is it just the money?)

Attempting to metaphorically turn swords to plowshares is uncynical, almost by definition. Or are you saying they're disingenuous when they say that?

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32707982)

On behalf of the rest of the world; please don't bring us any more "freedom" and "democracy".

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708136)

Oh, you like it.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708450)

No matter the technology, users are the same everywhere. They don't read the entire documentation, don't work thru the examples, and blame the technology when old, obsolete methods are forced into an incompatible framework. SSDD

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708494)

On my own behalf, please do.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (5, Insightful)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708280)

Okay, so the agricultural application is a recent development. And the military-industrial complex is full of greed.

You might not realize this, but very few people in the US still seem to have an issue with greed (or sloth and gluttony, for that matter). No, the real issue people tend to have with the military-industrial complex tends to be the whole killing people for money (again, very few people in the US seem to per se have an issue with the military killing people). The fact that "killing people" has changed to "defrosting oranges" doesn't really change the amorality of it, any more than the various unethical WW2 German and Japanese medical experiments being collected and used by Allied doctors after the war (fruit of the poison tree and all). In short, that's why there's a question of morality in this instance.

But if your question is whether anyone at all can work for a defense contractor with a clear conscience, there arebelieve it or notstill people who hold onto the hope that the American military is in fact capable of bringing about more freedom and democracy in the world, no matter how poorly it may have been used recently.

Yea, um, you don't bring freedom and democracy with a gun any more than you bring religion with a sword. That is, while it might eventually have that effect, you do so only through amoral means and potentially leaving a multi-generational grudge against its foundation which is likely to eventually unshackle people from that imposed following/belief once they become enlightened to just what was done to make so many people follow along. If there does exist any real long-standing system of belief that can and should be followed, subjugating people to follow it isn't the way for that system to exist. Of course, I like how you use the word "freedom" instead of liberty. Considering one of the main tenets of liberty is a lack of outside coercion, it'd be clear why we couldn't spread that through force even if we wanted to.

Not to mention, there are also people with enough knowledge of history to understand that, even if defending our home soil from invasion by a conventional foreign military is a farfetched idea right now, the only reason it stays that way is because our military is so damned powerful.

That'd be a point, if that's what we were developing the technology for. But, clearly this sort of technology is more a "what if" of technology in that regard; if it came down to defending the border, I'm pretty sure the military would prefer killing the armed invaders, not merely causing them pain. So, instead, the technology seems only well suited for other military and non-military applications, directed at unarmed civilians (this agricultural benefit seems in the same scope of university researchers who claim just about anything they do, no matter how mundane, has military application). In short, yes conceptually a need for a military is prudent. But, unless a person has joined the military or defense contracting in some fashion with the mind to change the military towards that just end, then simply riding along with the colossus with some lofty ideals rings quite hollow. Those who are working for change, though, I can see being, if not with a clear conscience, at least with one that's a lot less murky than those who would first excuse the military or defense contractors' actions and only perhaps later acknowledging that in a very limited circumstance, those actions might have been not entirely warranted.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (4, Informative)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708412)

Yea, um, you don't bring freedom and democracy with a gun any more than you bring religion with a sword.

Bringing religion with the sword has been wildly successful. Islam, for example, is the largest religion in the world today precisely because of its military efforts in the first few centuries of its existence. Bringing freedom and democracy doesn't work as well because those things require voluntary participation of the group you're "freeing". If they don't want it collectively, then it won't stick.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (2, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708508)

That's just plain ignorant. Islam is the largest religion in the world today, but not for that reason. Islam was primarily spread via traders. They'd go in to a principality and tell the local ruler that they'd cut them a discount if they converted. They'd also promise to share their technology with them. At that point in time the various Islamic centers of learning were advanced, I mean really advanced, compared with just about everybody else.

That's the reason why there's so much diversity and it's such a large religion. It's not really that different from the local royalty in Europe deciding what religion the people of their township would practice.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708544)

Islam was primarily spread via traders.

That is wrong. Islam was primarily spread by the sword. For example, the entire Middle East, North Africa, and India were all converts by the sword. Indonesia, Malaysia, etc were converts via trade, but they form a minority of current Muslims in the world. And need I remind you that Islam would not have been in a position to make such offers, if it didn't have a vast economic base to begin with?

That's the reason why there's so much diversity and it's such a large religion.

Much of the diversity of the religion predates this period. For example, the great Shi'ite/Sunni split came shortly after the death of Mohammad. And Mohammad deliberately put together a religion that was inherently multicultural.

islam = microsoft? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708558)

Islam was primarily spread via traders. They'd go in to a principality and tell the local ruler that they'd cut them a discount if they converted.

Even if that was true (and it's the first time I'd heard it), how do you think it got big enough that it had sufficient market power to abuse its monopoly in that way?

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708420)

> the American military is in fact capable of bringing about more freedom and democracy in the world,
> no matter how poorly it may have been used recently

Are there really more cases of the USA actually bringing democracy to a country significantly earlier than causing it instead to happen later (or even destroying an existing democracy?).

So far "freedom and democracy" appear to just be the "PR" reasons, with the real reasons being $$$ or other.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (3, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708542)

In my experience, there are a lot more of us defense contractors on slashdot than the angry anti-raytheon guy would like to admit. Anytime I post anything related to intelligence or military operations, I'm pleasantly surprised at the amount of quality discussion that ensues (rebutting the tin-foil hat, dirty hippie, libertard majority that linger around here).

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708564)

I asked the question precisely because I've seen that there are so many defence contractors, but at the same time I know it's a casual, generalist and fairly anonymous environment.

I'm surprised you read anger into the asking of a question. I do hope I am doing nothing to promote aggression.

Anytime I post anything related to intelligence or military operations

Hmm.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32707972)

As with everything else brutal and stupid.... money.

Hey these people are going to pay me a crapload of money to design new ways to kill my fellow man.
But they promise not to use it unless they really really need to.
And they told me they would never lie about that. or sell it to someone who would.

captcha:society
[epic sad facepalm]

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#32707992)

For the same reason that people joined Stalin's NKVD, or Chavez' Bolivarian Circles. Any more questions?

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708004)

I'm a programmer and have never particularly cared what my employer does with the software. If I'm paid well and given interesting work I would have no problem working for a weapons manufacturer. Am I really the only one who feels this way?

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708022)

I agree with this. To be honest I think that designing a missile targeting system would be kind of a dream job for me... it seems really cool.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708006)

Why do people like guns?
Why do people like to destroy their own bodies?
Why do people like faster cars over slower cars?
Why do people even consider suicide, considering what is "after" it?
Why do people believe in religions?
Why do people get excited over law-breaking?
Why do people bully other people?

It is all preference. Some people just LOVE their guns. Obviously some of it is to do with the money and position too. A position like that is relatively stable, regardless of country-wide instability.

And think about it, this gun would save lives over the whole penetration-with-bullet thing.
I don't see anything wrong with causing a bit of pain to someone over wrecking their insides with a bit of metal travelling at great speed.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708070)

Why do people like to destroy their own bodies?

Few people do. Now there are many people who like to do things that happen to destroy their own bodies (e.g. smoking). But they are not doing it in order to destroy their bodies, but despite it destroying their bodies, and if there were an alternative which would give them the same experience without destroying their bodies, they'd readily switch to it.

Why do people even consider suicide, considering what is "after" it?

Because those people consider the expected future life worse than what they expect after death.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708050)

Why wouldn't people work for Raytheon? Not everyone obeys the same moral and ethical standards that you or I might. Personally, I might even considering working for them for a bucketload of money and some self-justification of "protecting the free world".

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708102)

Reminds me of this from :
"http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/the-secret-life-of-wikileaks-founder-julian-assange-20100521-w1um.html
", mostly at Melbourne University - with stints at the Australian National University in Canberra - but never graduated, disenchanted, he says, with how many of his fellow students were conducting research for the US defence system."
According to Assange, the US Defence Advance Research Project Agency was funding research which involved optimising the efficiency of a military bulldozer called the Grizzly Plough, which was used in the Iraqi desert during Operation Desert Storm during the 1991 Gulf War.

Because they aren't idealistic hippies? (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708118)

It may shock you to learn but plenty of people are perfectly ok with the idea of developing weapons. They understand that human history is fraught with wars, and that things often go badly for the losers of those wars, sometimes they are completely wiped out even. Thus they are fine with the idea that we ought to have the very best weapons for our own military. They understand that even if the US did give up all armaments, the rest of the world would not.

People work for Raytheon because it is a place where you can do interesting engineering, and they aren't troubled by the fact that it has military applications.

While you can certainly say the world would be a better place if humans stopped fighting, you are naive if you think that Raytheon stopping the development of armaments would lead to that.

Re:Because they aren't idealistic hippies? (1, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708158)

This answer is inadequate, and can be used to justify the production of weaponry for any regime from Ancient Greek Democracy to Hitler's Nazism. "Well, look at what has happened in the past - we must be strong or we'll be crushed!" is the mantra of every abusive government.

You can pretend that what your government actually does with the weaponry is not my department [youtube.com] , but you're bright enough to see your link in the causal chain of events. So unless you're exercising wilful intellectual dishonesty your brain has at some point justified the ends. What I want to understand is: what is the moral framework which has enabled you to justify the ends? And what was the argument leading to your conclusion?

FWIW, my personal experience working with specific ex-Raython people is that they were simply racist, believing in the supreme importance of their culture (not even a white man's burden) and domination by the Anglo-Saxon "indigenous" of their nation. But it surely doesn't come down to that for all weapons contractor employees.

Re:Because they aren't idealistic hippies? (4, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708172)

Godwin's Law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." Once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress.

Reductio ad Hitlerum, also argumentum ad Hitlerum, (dog Latin for "reduction to Hitler" or "argument to Hitler," respectively) is an ad hominem or ad misericordiam argument, and is an informal fallacy. Engaging in this fallacy is sometimes known as playing the Nazi card, by analogy to playing the race card.

Re:Because they aren't idealistic hippies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708194)

Godwin's Law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

It's an over-quoted corollary of the infinite monkeys/Shakespeare hypothesis, trivially true and as specious in its applicability to knowledge and logic as Godwin's current employer.

Once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress.

No. You might as well state that the same applies to Stalin's NKVD or Chavez' Bolivarian Circles, or that Sycraft-fu's foe policy is irrational merely because it uses the term "grammar Nazis". This particular proposed corollary of Godwin's law is a straight humorous non sequitur.

Reductio ad Hitlerum, also argumentum ad Hitlerum, (dog Latin for "reduction to Hitler" or "argument to Hitler," respectively) is an ad hominem or ad misericordiam argument, and is an informal fallacy.

Reductio ad Hitlerum is an argument of form, "the Nazis did that, therefore it is wrong!" A proportion of the argument I presented was of form, "Your reasoning is so broad that it could be used to justify working for the Nazi military machine," a reductio ad absurdum.

Don't hand-wave - think! Look where it got IBM ;-).

Screw Godwin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708490)

To paraphrase Freud, sometimes a Nazi is just a well-known example of some of the worst in the human race. As the extreme terminator of a range definition whose other end was "Greek Democracy", it sets an appropriate boundary

There's Godwinism and there's False Godwinism.

Re:Because they aren't idealistic hippies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708238)

Why does it have to be a moral decision? I think modern weapons are really cool and would love to work for a weapons contractor.

Issues of who my country decides to use those weapons against don't really concern me. The US is involved in two wars right now and I don't particularly care about the number of Iraqis or Afghans that have been killed in them or the weapons used to do it. If your moral framework is causing you sleepless nights over these things I feel sorry for you. I really don't think I'm racist to feel this way, if the US started a war with Canada or even a civil war with some of the states I would probably feel exactly the same way. I'm sorry if this is hard for you to accept but some people just extremely apathetic.

Re:Because they aren't idealistic hippies? (2, Interesting)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708260)

It's not causing me sleepless nights that I have decided to work at Raytheon (or similar) because I don't work at Raytheon (or similar).

You and a few ACs have come out with the "it's fun and I just don't care if a bunch of strangers are horribly oppressed and/or killed" answer and it's the most credible so far. But I'd appreciate an attempt to explain what's brought you to thinking like this. You weren't just born with that attitude. It developed somehow. Can you ask yourself how it developed? I am interested.

Re:Because they aren't idealistic hippies? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708378)

I've actually given this a lot of thought, and had a girlfriend who didn't like it about me, but I'll try to explain.

I'm not an uncaring person, I care a great deal about friends and family and would do almost anything for them; I'm even kind to strangers I encounter. But when I read about people getting killed on the news I don't feel anything.

There is a lot of suffering in the world. War causes a lot of suffering, but so does famine, diseases, natural disasters and other things. To me it seems disingenuous to care (or pretend to care) about the some people dying and not others.

Consider this example: I read a story about the horrors of the Iraq war and decide not to take a job at a weapons manufacturer, and feel good about my self. Later I read about how thousands of Chinese workers are killed each year due to lax safety standards in that country; I vow to stop buying all Chinese made goods and feel good about myself. I read another story about how I can save a child from dying of Aids, malaria or malnutrition for just pennies per day; to me this means that every penny I spend on myself and not these causes means a child has died so that I could buy what it was I bought, in order to feel good about myself I have live in near poverty, and give all my excess income to charity.

This is the thought process that lead me my current way of thinking; if you take this stuff seriously you're just going to feel guilty all the time because there's always something more you could be doing, or something more you could not be doing, so I just stopped caring.

I realize that life isn't just black and white, and a lot of people would say "you do what you can, but draw a line somewhere", but I wouldn't know where to draw that line, so I just chose to not care about anyone that isn't directly in my life.

Re:Because they aren't idealistic hippies? (1, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708438)

Thanks for making the effort to explain.

How about drawing the line somewhere you might consider manageable? Or, if you're not sure what you can manage, try somewhere almost arbitrary. Then adjust over time to accommodate your life without becoming totally uncaring.

I am reminded (frequently) of the story about the boy throwing washed up sea creatures back into the sea. An old man approaches him and mockingly remarks, "You'll never save them all, you know."

"Yes," he replies, "But I've saved that one. And that one. And that one."

The world doesn't run because it's full of superheroes destroying villains, though the worst people try to paint it that way because it causes others to lose hope and become uncaring and cynical. The world runs because enough people are fairly balanced.

Re:Because they aren't idealistic hippies? (2, Funny)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708264)

Bah! The weapons developers are no better than those Jews whose government invaded poland.

Re:Because they aren't idealistic hippies? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708354)

Is there a moral difference between killing a Jew who is of no threat to you, and killing a Muslim who is of no threat to you?

Re:Because they aren't idealistic hippies? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708512)

Yes, in the modern era, killing a Jew makes you antisemitic, and killing a Muslim apparently makes you a hero. Or does that only apply to torture?

Either way it's fucked up beyond belief and the primary reason why there'll never be peace in the Middle East.

Re:Because they aren't idealistic hippies? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708550)

No, the primary reason there will never be peace in the Middle East is because there is exactly ONE democracy (Israel) surrounded by a bunch of theocracies. The one pseudo democracy (Egypt) has had the same "elected" official since the discovery of electricity.

Re:Because they aren't idealistic hippies? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708312)

This answer is inadequate, and can be used to justify the production of weaponry for any regime from Ancient Greek Democracy to Hitler's Nazism.

However, that does not make the argument false. In Nazi Germany there were people who did not particulary like hitler or the war doing military research (disclaimer: my grandfather was one of them). Either because they feared Stalin more than Hitler, or because they liked doing research better then dying at the east front. Those people were generally nither racist not fascist (and the US came to employ quite a few of them after the war. Remember Wernher von Braun?)

Re:Because they aren't idealistic hippies? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708410)

However, that does not make the argument false.

It makes the argument vacuous, and inadequate as a justification.

In Nazi Germany there were people who did not particulary like hitler or the war doing military research (disclaimer: my grandfather was one of them).

In Nazi Germany it was far more difficult to stand up and refuse to do particular work on moral grounds. It's true that you will do a lot of things when you fear for your life, right down to Sonderkommando duty - but still other Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, political dissidents and other deviants[tm] remained faithful to their principles to the moment a gun/gas chamber was presented to them. But none of us have been forced to make that sort of choice, and I'm not going to insult your grandfather by claiming he was weak not to have chosen another path.

Anyway, that's really not a problem in the US and the UK. We're still so damn lucky.

Either because they feared Stalin more than Hitler

I wonder whether this could be mapped to today's environment. Does a Raytheon employee work there out of fear? Because he fears, say... the Taliban? North Korea? What does he think they're going to do to his nation? Or does he fear what will happen to his country in quality of life terms if it no longer has the military power to exploit other continents?

Those people were generally nither racist not fascist (and the US came to employ quite a few of them after the war. Remember Wernher von Braun?)

I think I linked to Lehrer on von Braun somewhere in this thread ;-). I'm not quite sure that von Braun was "neither racist nor fascist" - he wasn't exactly moving to Israel or Africa, and if you're a leading technologist believing in domination by the strong, of course you'll spearhead technology wherever's strongest.

I'm idealistic (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708206)

After looking at the body of a dead girl, slaughtered for the crime of going to school, I decided that wasn't happening to my daughters while I'm alive. The idealist bullshit here is nice, and I bought into it until I realized that the consequences would be slavery. Literally. War is a disgusting, brutal thing, but I now know why it's worth it.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (5, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708164)

Compared with advertising it's relatively squeaky clean in terms of morality.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (3, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708204)

What sequence of moral thoughts goes through their heads?

"Non-lethal weapon are better than lethal weapons".
"Let's give violent resolution of conflicts a non-lethal possibility".

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (3, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708246)

Are you just going by the Slashdot article summary, or are you actually aware of what Raytheon builds? No-one who applied to work at Raytheon assuming that they build peacemaking equipment to reduce the suffering of war would be given a job - it'd be a classic case of showing a lack of interest in your employer at interview.

Are you aware of who Raytheon contracts to and for what purposes their clients buy those tools, or are you assuming that all its clients fight wars for defensive purposes and with the aim to create a minimum of suffering?

Raytheon isn't staffed by idiots, and, "well, they don't really know what's going on," isn't an answer. Because they know what's going on, I want to understand how they justify their employment. Everyone so far has come out with one of the extremes:

  1. "because I don't care and just want a fun job/money" (credible, if somewhat pathetic); or
     
  2. "because without firms like Raytheon my daughter would be raped in the streets by the enemy" (nonsense).

Is that all?

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708276)

Well what other reasons are there?

Either you don't care, or you think the weapons will be used by the "good guys" to kill the "bad guys". I'm sure there are also a few people in there who are just sadistic and like the idea of contributing to human suffering; is this the one that you're waiting for people to admit to?

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708304)

No. I don't want to put words in people's mouths, but there are many possible arguments, such as Darwinian "it's animal nature to want to dominate" - with individual, regional or racist bases; or "white man's burden" style reasoning which dominated British Empire. But these are just scantily outlined first thoughts. I'm looking for a sound thread of reasoning adequate for someone who has actually decided to spend his life working somewhere like that.

There has been some "it's either me or them", but it wasn't really upheld by any evidence: most countries don't have access to Raytheon-style tech yet their borders aren't endlessly invaded and their people slaughtered. Indeed, some nations seem to prefer to keep a smaller military and are happy to push instead for diplomacy managed with limited centralisation of power. The EU was borne of this philosophy, as indeed was the US - though the US combined this with a degree of isolationism which it has monumentally abandoned over the last century.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708296)

Just to play devil's advocate... why is number 2 nonsense?

Assume Western countries stopped all weapons development today, and 20 or 30 years from now muslim countries had vastly superior military technology. Do you really trust they wouldn't try to impose their ideals on western culture (eg. women should not be educated). If they were sure to win a war because of their military power, are you 100% certain they wouldn't start one?

Or were you thinking that if weapons manufacturers disappeared from the US every other country would stop developing weapons as well?

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708338)

Your strawman: Remove all defences.

Your result: We are overrun by the (non-existent, but that's by the by) superpower Muslim bogeyman.

Your conclusion: Existing military strategies are necessary.

Possible alternative: Limited military for the purposes of national defence combined with strong diplomacy and multilateral arms limitation treaties. Abandonment of defence research and production with the purpose of supporting oppression and endless war.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1)

silentsteel (1116795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708532)

Because people with a true sense of history understand that this world is not black and white. It is several shades of gray at any given time. While, yes, Raytheon manufactures equipment used by the military, many of these technologies trickle down to civilian use, and make America, and its allies, a more comfortable place to live. Its two biggest competitors are good examples of this trickle down. Boeing and Lockheed Martin manufacture just almost as much commercial air equipment as they do military equipment. Today, most people do not even realize that Boeing is a defense contractor.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708228)

Morals? soulless people do not have morals...

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708572)

Morals? soulless people do not have morals...

They do have red hair.

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708466)

Why is working for Raytheon (or any other defense contractor) implied to be an *immoral* choice?

I'm interested.

("Make love not war" is naive nonsense, of course - why really? Is it just that you don't bother thinking through the consequences of trying to live in a dangerous world without any means for defending yourself?)

Re:why do people work for Raytheon? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708496)

Why is working for Raytheon (or any other defense contractor) implied to be an *immoral* choice?

That wasn't implied in the question at all. I was hoping to understand why Raytheon employees consider it moral. I want to do that by understanding what their system of morality is and then learning how they used it to make the conclusion that working at Raytheon is moral.

I can't imply that working at Raytheon is immoral without forcing a system of morality on you, but I'm not doing that - I want to know what yours is.

Is it just that you don't bother thinking through the consequences of trying to live in a dangerous world without any means for defending yourself?

You might want to read the thread. In "working for Raytheon" vs "no means for defending yourself" you have a trivially false dichotomy.

Some people want to remain free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708556)

Defense is required as long as people believe that it is moral to use force against someone else to take something they have. And as long as the insane in charge in some countries that will be the prevailing ideology for a long time.

The short answer is that some people want to remain free and not slaves of others.

In Soviet Russia... (5, Interesting)

Hymer (856453) | more than 4 years ago | (#32707932)

...and most of the former Eastern Europe, they used old T-34 (with turret removed) as tractors in the 1950'ties and 1960'ties.

No, not the usual "In Soviet Russia..."

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#32707936)

...and most of the former Eastern Europe, they used old T-34 (with turret removed) as tractors in the 1950'ties and 1960'ties.

In Soviet Russia, tank drives you!

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708052)

In Capitalist America, microwave microwaves you.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32707996)

In Soviet Russia you remove the cannon.

This sounds "half baked" (1)

seeker_1us (1203072) | more than 4 years ago | (#32707934)

What are the microwaves going to do to the nitrogen fixing microbes in the soil? What about the worms that keep the soil tilled and fertile? I'm wondering if the vinyard owner is going to wake up next year and find his land unfarmable. Not to mention the question about what happens to other wildlife, or people.

Re:This sounds "half baked" (2, Interesting)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#32707950)

The boundary of effect on the pain ray is pretty distinct. There was an episode of Futureweapons a while back where the host and some colonel were standing a few feet apart from each other; one was affected by the pain ray while the other wasn't.

So, you could aim the edge of the beam parallel to the ground to avoid any undesired effects to the soil (if there even are any - I'm guessing that the beam doesn't penetrate very far at all).

As for other wildlife, I would assume that birds and such would learn to avoid the area the same way people would.

Re:This sounds "half baked" (-1, Troll)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708170)

As for other wildlife, I would assume that birds and such would learn to avoid the area the same way people would.

You mean by seeing the bodies of their comrades slow-roasting in the fields?

Re:This sounds "half baked" (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708210)

What are the microwaves going to do to the nitrogen fixing microbes in the soil? What about the worms that keep the soil tilled and fertile?

I'm wondering if the vinyard owner is going to wake up next year and find his land unfarmable.

Not to mention the question about what happens to other wildlife, or people.

First of all, I think they'll find out very fast (in about a year or so :-) if there are measurable harmful effects.

Secondly, I think the harmful effects would be limited to the microbes at the surface, not covered by any dirt, ie. those microbes that are already dead due to UV radiation... ;-)

Also if it affects the worms, they'll go underground very fast (as worms go, which is in fact pretty fast considering the scale). Flying insects might suffer, but I'm not sure if that's good or bad for most (non-insect-pollinated) farming.

Arrest him already (1)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 4 years ago | (#32707938)

Who is this Frost guy and why do they need a pain ray to stop him from killing crops?
Just arrest him already if he's damaging property. Sheesh...

Re:Arrest him already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708026)

He is a vampire with aspirations to godhood. Trust me, it is not the crops that you should worry about.

Two types of people... (3, Interesting)

SmarterThanMe (1679358) | more than 4 years ago | (#32707960)

I don't think greed is an actual issue. I would imagine that there are two distinct major camps of people that work for Raytheon and similar companies. People that feel that they are doing the right work, and people who just don't think about it at all.

Some people who work for these companies (a friend of mine included) genuinely feel that they are doing the right work. They've come to the ethical conclusion that Raytheon and similar companies are doing work that makes them and other people safer. Think 2nd Amendment types who scream about the need to have a personal arsenal of weapons with which to "defend" themselves. Not that I agree with these people, but it's a legitimate perspective.

Then there are people who just don't think. I would say that this is the minority of the people who work in the more intellectual ends of the military industry. You have to remember that half of people are below average, and it doesn't relate just to academic (or cognitive) intelligence. Socioaffective (or emotional and interpersonal) intelligence is also an important mental factor. These people view their work in the same way that all of the rest of us view our work, just something to do between 9am and 5pm every weekday.

Of course, there's variations on the theme, but I'd say that in the end 90% of people in the military industry can be categorised one way or the other.

Re:Two types of people... (1)

moz25 (262020) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708230)

You have to remember that half of people are below average

If half is below average and half is above average, do people who are average exist? :-)

Re:Two types of people... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708278)

Thinking that one is doing good is often just clever self-delusion, unfortunately.

My co-workers, friends and most everyone I encounter seem to think that I am a peace-loving type. I go out in the woods and camp, take pictures of beaches and flowers, write about my feelings. I've opposed certain wars and capital punishment for various reasons.... Yet, I don't oppose them on any philosophical grounds. Quite the contrary, actually. I think wars are necessary. I think having the biggest and most horrifyingly destructive weapons does more to maintain peace than anything else.

I have weapons, but they are kept locked and hidden and would be useless in a defense situation. I have them because it's an almost zen-like experience to trek out to the range at 5AM in the morning. On shooting days I do not drink coffee, do not get angry at people who cut me off in traffic, do not let rage creep in. Any of these things would mean that I would miss my target (and those rounds are expensive). But many people assume that I'm some 2nd Amendment prepper type because I have these weapons.

I oppose capital punishment because it is not meted out evenly to all the convicted. The moment that we have mandatory punishments for those capital offenses, I will support quick and immediate execution of those convicted. I don't believe in extenuating circumstances because that's too often abused so that money buys leniency.

People are not so black and white as one would assume. They rarely have any guiding principles. They are a lot like our political parties. There's no guiding principle, maybe except for political expediency. It is a political trick to make people believe they are fundamentally different from others so that they can get your vote.

Ice (2, Interesting)

symes (835608) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708062)

I might be wrong here - but doesn't the fact that microwaves pass through ice crystals more easily than squishyt fleshy stuff mean they'll cook the oranges and leave them with a light dusting of frost?

Re:Ice (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708402)

cook the oranges and leave them with a light dusting of frost

Bam! You should be on food TV.

When all you have is a weapon ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708074)

everything looks like a target.

Misread title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708080)

Am I the only one that read microsoft pain ray keeps frost from killing cops?

Re:Misread title (1)

p0p0 (1841106) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708464)

I read Microsoft too. Is it bad I wasn't surprised?

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Frost (1)

LambdaWolf (1561517) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708094)

What I want to know is, how does the frost feel pain, and should we be concerned about humane alternatives?

Pirate Defense System, perhaps . . . ? (5, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708134)

Maybe this "Active Denial System" could be deployed on ships to ward off Somalian pirates? I mean, deploy a series of these around the perimeter of the deck of the ship, so the crew doesn't actually need to aim them, just flip a switch. This would create a "ring of pain" around the ship. The crew can be holed up in their safe room.

First Mate: "Captain! There's pirates off the starboard bow!"

Captain: "All hands to the safe room!"

In the safe room . . .

Captain: "Now let me read the instructions. Set power to 1000 W. Cook until pirates have fled. Cooking times will very depending on how tough or tender the pirates are.

Meanwhile, back at the pirate cove . . .

Pirate #1: "How was your pirating today?"

Pirate #2: "Terrible, I am like totally fried . . . "

Unfunny Comedian: "Thank you! Tip the veal, try the waitress . . ."

Re:Pirate Defense System, perhaps . . . ? (2, Interesting)

TouchAndGo (1799300) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708174)

Oddly enough I seem to remember a sonic based weapon along these same lines designed for exactly that intent. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techinnovations/2005-11-07-cruise-blast_x.htm [usatoday.com] Obviously not as fun as microwaving some peg legs, but still cool

Re:Pirate Defense System, perhaps . . . ? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708588)

Too easy to block as well. Simple ear protection would do it. This would require a complete tinfoil outfit. There could be a bright future for some entrepreneurial SlashDotters.

Re:Pirate Defense System, perhaps . . . ? (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708184)

Pirates (before device is switched on): Arrrrrrrr!

Pirates (after device is switched on): ARGH!

Re:Pirate Defense System, perhaps . . . ? (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708336)

You are thinking too high tech. Two snipers per ship are enough.

Re:Pirate Defense System, perhaps . . . ? (2, Informative)

Ross D Anderson (1020653) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708498)

Having guns on board means they cannot dock at a lot of ports though

Re:Pirate Defense System, perhaps . . . ? (2, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708460)

Funny perhaps, but there is a degree of logic in this. A non lethal way to move them away from the ship, then you put cheap, fake towers on the ships that don't have the $$$ for the whole system. This makes it a version of Russian Roulette for the pirates. This would seem a humane way to reduce pirate problems off Somalia.

Then again, I'm not totally against just shooting them via snipers, but this would be less expensive and likely more effective if all you have to do is throw a switch. Assuming you can aim it around the ship without affecting the people ON the ship.

Re:Pirate Defense System, perhaps . . . ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708586)

deploy a series of these around the perimeter of the deck of the ship, so the crew doesn't actually need to aim them, just flip a switch. This would create a "ring of pain" around the ship.

Love Is A Burning Thing
And It Makes A Painful Ring
Bound By Wild Desire
I Fell Into A Ring Of Pain

CHORUS:
I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Pain
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher

And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Pain
The Ring Of Pain

The Taste Of Love Is Sweet
When Hearts Like Ours Meet
I Fell For You Like A Child
Oh,But The Fire Went Wild

CHORUS
I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Pain
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher
And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Pain
The Ring Of Pain

Love Is A Burning Thing
And It Makes A Painful Ring
Bound By Wild Desire
I Fell Into A Ring Of Pain

I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Pain
I Went Down(down), Down(down), Down(down)
And The Flames Went Higher Higher Higher

I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Pain
I Went Down(down), Down(down), Down(down)
And The Flames Went Higher Higher Higher

And It Burns

Nothing Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708156)

Absolutely no chance of unforseen, unwanted, undetectable, harmful mutations here.
Absolutely no chance of unforseen, unwanted, undetectable, harmful effects on microorganisms and insect life.

I read the title three times (1)

TouchAndGo (1799300) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708168)

Each time I thought it said it keeps frost from killing cops. I was starting to wonder if frostbite was the leading cause of police fatalities.

A Microwave people warmer (2, Informative)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708198)

was proposed in a 70's IEEE publication I read while killing time at the computer center help desk as a student.
It was thought at that time that microwaves could be used safely to heat the occupants directly, without raising the
ambient temperature. Apparently this idea did not fly after later scrutiny.

Re:A Microwave people warmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708324)

Ha ha ha, oh wow.

I can only imagine what the thought process of the person thinking that up was.

"Man it's cold. I'm gonna go microwave something. WAIT A SECOND! Microwaves make things hot and the inside of the microwave stays not hot! Maybe I can use it on people to do the same thing!" Talk about stupid ideas...

Next up comes using sandpaper to scratch itches, laser matches, nuclear bombs to kill cockroaches, and an external antenna to increase cellphone reception.

what's the impact on organisms? (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708258)

you know, bees, birds, ladybugs and other beneficial creatures. And how about soil biology? without healthy dirt, you end up dumping more chemicals on your food to get in to grow (nitrogen, etc). I'm not a PETA nut, hell I love bacon, but just wondering. If people run from that thing, everything in the orchard may too.

Re:what's the impact on organisms? (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708346)

You do know you don't want flying and walking things in your orchard right?
Also the cutoff area of effect is pretty sharp you can aim it so it doesn't affect the ground.
Everything that's flying/walking around your fruit trees should probably not be doing that. And even if it did it'd leave the zone pretty fast.

Re:what's the impact on organisms? (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708380)

I doubt the microwaves would penetrate that far into soil, and it seems counterintuitive to construct a device that blankets a large area with microwaves instead of just sweeping the fruits once in a while.

Kids these days... (1)

Heshler (1191623) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708452)

This brings a whole new meaning to "get off my lawn!"

Other weapons to adapt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32708510)

Wouldn't a nuclear explosion also warm the crops?

Project Plowshare (2, Interesting)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708534)

1. I've read The Zap Gun (Dick's novel-length version of Project Plowshare [wikipedia.org] ). The "plowsharing" metaphor is heavily ironic: "plowshared" consumer goods are useless, or purposeless, or trivial, or outright annoying -- e.g. there's a talking ashtray named "Ol' Orville", if memory serves.

2. "Operation Plowshare [wikipedia.org] , better known as Project Plowshare, not to be confused with the anti-nuclear Plowshares Movement, was the overall United States term for the development of techniques to use nuclear explosives for peaceful construction purposes."

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...