Hello! This is my first post here, so I suppose I should introduce myself. I'm Charles Pence, a philosopher and historian of biology by trade, and a brand new assistant professor at LSU. I also have projects in the digital humanities, as well as the philosophy of technology, particularly the role of emerging technologies in warfare. Hopefully, you'll eventually see posts on all of the above from me here.
For the moment, though, I wanted to think a little more about some remarks that I offered at the 30th Anniversary Conference of the John J. Reilly Center at the University of Notre Dame, my graduate alma mater. I was asked to give comments on a set of reflections offered by George Lucas (the ethicist and philosopher of warfare; no Star Wars content from me yet), covering the history of the last thirty years in weapons technologies. I knew that I wouldn't have anything adversarial as far as comments – George's work is great, and was intended to be an approachable summary. Instead, I wanted to explore a theme that George brought out in his remarks (and which many others have advocated as well). It is a claim often-repeated that the shifts currently occurring in military technology are somehow qualitatively different from prior technologies – a difference not merely in degree, but in kind.