DARPA is the the organization charged with not only thinking outside the box, but building whole new boxes that others may not have even thought of. It is from their research that the internet actually sprung. They are the people who took a simple unclassified Russian theoretical paper and turned into Stealth Technology that helps the US dominate the Air, and reduce vulnerability on the sea.
As an agency of the Department of Defense their purpose is to prepare the US for the technology of the next war. While there are off-shoots from this research, like the internet, that benefit all mankind, it is not their mission. This got me to thinking about whose mission is it, and why can DARPA be successful in its tasks and whoever is looking out for all mankind not so much?
Unfortunately, I see conflict as an unenviable, but inherent, quality in mankind. It was there in the beginning, it is in the first book of the bible, and I suspect, despite what Gene Roddenberry would have us believe, will be there in the end. If we look at all the advancements of mankind, they are inevitably fueled by war and conflict.
Take for example Spaceflight. Rocketry was envisioned by Robert Goddard in the 1920’s. He worked his life to make it a reality, but it was not until the Germans developed the V2 in the second world war that real progress and application was made. It was those same German rocketeers who took us to the Moon.
So, who is it that governs this balance of finding ways to kill and maim each other and turning the instruments of war into tools for peace? When we had a widely accepted and “common” moral code we looked to our politicians. Now that we no longer have a common morality I am not so sure.