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rjbs (4671)

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I'm a Perl coder living in Bethlehem, PA and working Philadelphia. I'm a philosopher and theologan by training, but I was shocked to learn upon my graduation that these skills don't have many associated careers. Now I write code.

Journal of rjbs (4671)

Friday May 05, 2006
08:35 PM

new, exciting forms of killing

[ #29534 ]

I'm watching a documentary about the creation of new weapons systems. It's always interesting to see the technology, but I'm always made somewhat uncomfortable by the fact that the machinery is designed to take human life. Many of the military personnel they talk to use euphemisms which, I imagine, are drilled into them to depersonalize battlefield killing. (I'm really just guessing at that.) They say, for example, that they will "deactivate an enemy installation" (by raining shrapnel into a foxhole).

This doesn't bother me much, because I get the impression that, despite the language they use, they know exactly what they are saying, and they take it very seriously. The weapons designers, on the other hand, come off a little creepier. "It's really exciting, you know? It's a great feeling to see the test and to know that you have definitely created an extremely lethal environment inside that building."


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  • All that fancy language (although I've never heard "deactivate") is just like the jargon in any group. People give fancy names to really simple things to make themselves sound better. Along with that, the stupidest words become popular because some senior sergeant or officer likes it. It starts showing up everywhere. Memes aren't just for the internet. :)

    Not only that, soldiers are much more media savvy nowadays, so the stuff they say to reporters is a lot different than what they say to each other. The ind