Is That a Nuke in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

New book, The Future of Violence, is terrified about 'technologies of mass empowerment'


There's a new book out called The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones—Confronting a New Age of Threat, by Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution and Gabriella Blum of Harvard Law School. It's a 307-page warning that the 21st century, with its "technologies of mass empowerment," "threatens…to be Hobbesian"—so much so that maybe it's time we stopped obsessing over "Big Brother" and started preparing better governmental responses to "Little Brothers" instead.

I've got a review of the book in today's Wall Street Journal, and it begins like this:

"As a thought experiment," write Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum, "imagine a world composed of billions of people walking around with nuclear weapons in their pockets." If such an exercise doesn't strike you as bonkers, then I've got an enthusiastic book recommendation for you. Sadly for the rest of us, the fear-mongering in "The Future of Violence" is no laughing matter but rather a depressingly accurate summation of how centrist Washington has come to view the democratization of technology: with a distrust bordering on panic.

Whole thing here.