The Gun As Blogject

Hopefully, if you read this blog regularly, the idea behind “blogjects” isn’t new. A blogject is really just a version of something Bruce Sterling earlier coined as being a “spime“. Which, btw, isn’t a new idea either … just a new term he coined. After all, the RadTag I did in mid-2004 was specifically designed to be an anti-terrorist blogject/spime (you can see/read a bit more about that over on the Core forum – Link).

Anyway, for anyone who hasn’t noticed the plethora of articles discussing blogjects, here’s an interesting related item I culled from the New Scientist (Link):

The idea is to give guns a Bluetooth transmitter chip controlled by a sensor which detects when the firing pin is triggered. So every time the gun fires a shot it automatically sends out a low power radio signal to a belt-mounted GPS radio which determines its wearer’s precise position.

So, BANG, and the belt radio transmits a pre-recorded message saying “gun fired, send backup” accompanied by the GPS position.

This leads one to the obvious: why not have every gun do this? After all, once police-issued firearms have this self-reporting capability, criminals aren’t likely to covet owning one should the opportunity present itself. Want to prevent brazen thefts like the recent theft of military weaponry in Brazil? Turn them into blogjects. Pretty obvious.

Does anyone think that in the future guns in general will have this feature? I doubt it. In the U.S. at least, we can’t even enforce registration laws. Something tells me the same people who are OK with domestic spying will go ballistic if the government says they’re passing laws that require guns be turned into blogjects. Of course then discussions will pop up about when it’s okay and when it’s not okay.

Anyone remember the rental car agencies that got into hot water for tracking how fast their customers were driving and imposing their own fees for breaking the legal speed limit? That got people pretty angry. And they were breaking the law!

The amusement never ends.

{Update: I posted a comment over on the SL Future Salon blog that I figure might be of interest here since this post seems to be generating some traffic. Here’s my comment in it’s entirety but without the blockquote tags to keep it readable:

I recall the Koster post.

Here’s how I more or less view this:

a) program an object to be “aware”
b) create a representation of the virtual object
c) fab the object
d) expand awareness to the real object by d/l’ing the programming/AI
e) the virtual object becomes representational of the real*
f) the real goes through it’s material lifecycle to the point where it prepares for a final power down
g) last data transmission to the virtual object at it’s “death”
h) the virtual object continues on as part of the history, but also as part of the evolution; it’s like DNA
i) new virtual object created from the previous data – 3D/programming/collected information/etc
j) continue cycle

If you recall the Make presentation [within the Second Life simulation], I brought up that someone needs to code an AI in SL and d/l that to one of those robot mice. That was part of this idea of connecting the two.

*Here’s the interesting part: what if the virtual and real aren’t doppelgangers in so much as they’re more like twins separated by types of reality? One exists in the virtual and has a virtual lifecycle and one exists in the real with it’s associated lifecycle. During this existence there is a continuous exchange of data. Extend “spime” to “dspime” – the ability to exist independently in both realities but evolve using information from each.}

5 thoughts on “The Gun As Blogject

  1. Even if all guns were enabled with technology that sent usage information, what is to stop criminals from disabling it? They don’t seem to have a problem filing serial numbers off of gun barrels. I would guess the big engineering challenge would be in making it REALLY difficult to counter. But we’re talking about a single implementation here. Looking at the big picture, I’m happy to see the “blogject” concept in a New Scientist article.

  2. What if the gun reported tampering as well? True, true. Great insight as always.

    Here’s a seemingly benign example: hotel beds as blogjects. Imagine the outcry! haha
    Accelerometers, strain gages, GPS, oh the possibilities…

  3. Simple. Extend Heisenberg concepts for encryption to weapons. A key part of the gun’s mechanism could be integrated into the technology. Remove the technology and the gun simply won’t function.

    That doesn’t stop someone from taking the weapon into a shop and remaking it. But then that’s always an issue. The trick is to make it not worth the time or effort. Or trouble. What if the gun reported tampering as well?

    You do however hit on the real issue of this post: the big picture. Which objects will society allow to become “spimes” or “blogjects”? Which will they protest?

    Here’s a seemingly benign example: hotel beds as blogjects. Imagine the outcry! haha

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