The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Friday Nerd Linkage

July 5, 2013

starkheadDaniel Bier counters fear-mongering about the world’s first genetically engineered babies, another fascinating case study of global normative ferment.

But in truly weird science, humans can now transplant whole heads (or rather, bodies). Too bad this important advance comes too late for Ned Stark. ->

William Beaty writes about the physics of traffic jams, proposing a simple solution ordinary citizens can use to  escape to de-clutter highways.

Cyber-war, nano-weapons, and killer robots, oh my! International Review of the Red Cross has finally published a long-awaited special issue on humanitarian law and emerging technologies.

Open Democracy has published a slightly more extensive write-up of my killer robot survey results.

Speaking of which, South Koreans would appear to have a killer robot problem:

“An autonomous killer robot being developed by South Korea is facing an unusual series of hurdles this week as its manufacturers struggle to figure out how to prevent it from killing itself. The first prototype of the robot, which is being developed for the South Korean military by weapons technology company Samsung Techwin, was completed in early May. But since then, every attempt to test the prototype has resulted in setback, with the robot taking numerous, sometimes extreme measures to end its own life.”


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Charli Carpenter is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is the author of 'Innocent Women and Children': Gender, Norms and the Protection of Civilians (Ashgate, 2006), Forgetting Children Born of War: Setting the Human Rights
Agenda in Bosnia and Beyond (Columbia, 2010), and ‘Lost’ Causes: Agenda-Setting in Global Issue Networks and the Shaping of Human Security (Cornell, 2014). Her main research interests include national security ethics, the protection of civilians, the laws of war, global agenda-setting, gender and political violence, humanitarian affairs, the role of information technology in human security, and the gap between intentions and outcomes among advocates of human security.