I don’t know if kids these days still use the slang, but back in the glory days of blogging, a way to mock chicken hawks was to call them keyboard warriors or the 101st chairborn. These were people convinced they were fighting terror by advocating aggressive foreign policy in the safety of their own house (or by other insulting assumption their mother’s basement). I guess an even sillier bunch were the people who felt brave and manly while playing, say “Call of Duty” or “World of Warcraft”.
The worlds most powerful person clearly thought that web addiction would make his people weak. Xi JinPing decided to crack down on the internet at a time when capitalists and commentators on capitalism were very focused on web companies (to the extent that “tech” came to mean something to do with the internet and not something to do with computers (or something to do with rockets and jets — it’s meaning when I was a child).
Silly Xi, virtual reality goggles are now part of a system of war weapons which has made — well I’d say all the other weapons obsolete. Notably, Ukraine’s painful losses are mostly losses to first person view (FPV) drones. This despite the fact that Ukraine is ahead of Russia in the use of drones. The operators are in bunkers. They might or might not be chairborn (I guess they are standing by choice and I am sure that no one knows). In any case, war for the combatants who are devastating their adversaries is a whole whole lot like a video game.
I note that the critical weapon was developed, in large part, by private citizen hobbyists. Ukraine’s War-Critical Hobby Drones vs. Russian Swarms – Pilots Say Crowdfunding Won’t Cut It Much Longer. Yes Republicans in Congress are a problem, but note that GoFundme has also been a critical source of aid to Ukraine. I am looking for a story, which was presented almost as a human interest story, from early in the war (I will have to screen out the thousands of recent articles on this critical issue OK this is from April 2 2022. Notice that is is presented almost as a human interest story. I don’t think the reporter(s) understood that they were reporting on the near future of war (oddly I find no byline).
This shows the strength of freedom — the key technology was largely developed by private citizens acting on their own. It would not have been possible in a fully disciplined society (like Oceania in 1984). It also shows the extent to which world militaries have been barking (and sending hundreds of billions) up the wrong tree.
However, it does not show that Xi’s complete failure to understand the contemporary world and his contempt for freedom have made China weak. Like just about everything, the drones are mostly made in China. Also, of course, there are large numbers of people with lots of experience playing virtual reality video games in China.
HIstory is a prankster and not even Xi Jin Ping has the power to eliminate the threat due to Xi Jin Ping’s power.
I close with a question. Congress is finally nearing a deal on fiscal 2023 discretionary spending. What is the budget for FPV drones and training operators ? Is there a plan to counter China’s drone production dominance ? Has news about actual wars had any effect on US preparation for war. ANy ?