How We Wage War With Cameras

Cameras are part of war-waging and they’re also part of the way in which a general population assesses what is happening. 

How We Wage War With Cameras

There are cameras taking part in wars all over the place. The most obvious sense is to be found in the idea of news coverage. We saw in the war in Iraq how news coverage was framed by certain requirements of embedded reporting, so what we could know of the war depended on the angle of the camera, depended on the position of the camera person, where cameras were allowed to go and where they weren’t allowed to go, so the perspective of the camera has everything to do with the kinds of perspectives that the general public nationally and internationally form about what is happening in a war, whether a war is being conducted in a legitimate way, whether a war is being conducted for legitimate reasons, but let’s remember that there are also cameras on weapons. 


Most weapons have cameras built in at this point.  Cameras help to focus on targets.  Cameras help to minimize collateral damage and very often without a camera a missile cannot fire.  Certainly without a camera a drone can’t function which means that the very ways in which we wage war are determined in part by how cameras work and whether they work at all.  

So there are kind of two issues, what is happening with the war and is the war being conducted in a way that is legitimate and then I suppose actually a kind of corollary to the last issue is, is the war itself legitimate? Cameras are involved in all of those questions.  They’re part of war waging and they’re also part of the way in which a general population assesses what is happening and whether it’s right and I think that is one reason why governments seek to control what is actually shown and why certainly under the Bush regime and continued, unfortunately, under the Obama regime there were all kinds of limitations imposed on war reporting, so we weren’t always sure what was happening and we weren’t always sure whether what was happening was right. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy fo Shutterstock

How New York's largest hospital system is predicting COVID-19 spikes

Northwell Health is using insights from website traffic to forecast COVID-19 hospitalizations two weeks in the future.

Credit: Getty Images
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • The machine-learning algorithm works by analyzing the online behavior of visitors to the Northwell Health website and comparing that data to future COVID-19 hospitalizations.
  • The tool, which uses anonymized data, has so far predicted hospitalizations with an accuracy rate of 80 percent.
  • Machine-learning tools are helping health-care professionals worldwide better constrain and treat COVID-19.
Keep reading Show less

Listen: Scientists re-create voice of 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy

Scientists used CT scanning and 3D-printing technology to re-create the voice of Nesyamun, an ancient Egyptian priest.

Surprising Science
  • Scientists printed a 3D replica of the vocal tract of Nesyamun, an Egyptian priest whose mummified corpse has been on display in the UK for two centuries.
  • With the help of an electronic device, the reproduced voice is able to "speak" a vowel noise.
  • The team behind the "Voices of the Past" project suggest reproducing ancient voices could make museum experiences more dynamic.
Keep reading Show less

Dark matter axions possibly found near Magnificent 7 neutron stars

A new study proposes mysterious axions may be found in X-rays coming from a cluster of neutron stars.

A rendering of the XMM-Newton (X-ray multi-mirror mission) space telescope.

Credit: D. Ducros; ESA/XMM-Newton, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
Surprising Science
  • A study led by Berkeley Lab suggests axions may be present near neutron stars known as the Magnificent Seven.
  • The axions, theorized fundamental particles, could be found in the high-energy X-rays emitted from the stars.
  • Axions have yet to be observed directly and may be responsible for the elusive dark matter.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Put on a happy face? “Deep acting” associated with improved work life

    New research suggests you can't fake your emotional state to improve your work life — you have to feel it.

    Credit: Columbia Pictures
    Personal Growth
  • Deep acting is the work strategy of regulating your emotions to match a desired state.
  • New research suggests that deep acting reduces fatigue, improves trust, and advances goal progress over other regulation strategies.
  • Further research suggests learning to attune our emotions for deep acting is a beneficial work-life strategy.
  • Keep reading Show less
    Surprising Science

    World's oldest work of art found in a hidden Indonesian valley

    Archaeologists discover a cave painting of a wild pig that is now the world's oldest dated work of representational art.

    Scroll down to load more…
    Quantcast