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Super Bowl LI was great, and what shocked the public was Lady Gaga’s performance. What shocked me and what no doubt shocked the enemies of the United States was the light show put on over the stadium using drones. The great quality graphics made by a large number of copter-drones should scare everyone. Why, you might ask? Because, if the US technology can control large numbers of drones with the accuracy needed to do those graphics with multicolored moving American flags, they can control a battlefield with equal precision.

American flag in copter-drones over the Super Bowl LI

US stars and stripes created by copter drones over the Super Bowl LI

The modern battlefield might be anywhere in the world because those drones could be dropped from a stealth airplane in a cluster bomb that would deploy into a self-organized special purpose entity that could be designed to do almost anything. Even a year ago that display would have seemed like a fantasy science fiction demonstration but there it was for all the world to see. If it had flopped the world would have laughed, but it didn’t flop. It performed flawlessly. A hundred or so independent entities maintaining perfect formation while flying in three dimensions and performing fancy visual stunts. But imagine if those drones were armed and instructed with some malicious intent, and you were the target. That has to be unnerving and it requires those who might be targets to be careful to camouflage themselves.

A bug resembling a leaf

Phasmid Phyllium, from Jungle Bugs by Bruce Purser

Four years ago I wrote a series of posts on camouflage. This picture is an example of the extent that natural selection has carried the camouflage of a leaf-eating insect. As good as that camouflage is, it probably isn’t the leaf this individual is best hidden upon.

With modern information gathering technology becoming so powerful, hiding a malicious intent is going to become very difficult, and tracking a terrorist even in a seemingly complex environment like the Super Bowl games will be easy. Camouflage in all its forms — visual, auditory, odoriferous, mental and behavioral — will be essential, but even that may not be enough because the act of camouflaging oneself will trigger surveillance.

We are entering into the world of Plato’s brother Glaucon where everything about a person is known to everyone else and so everyone will behave perfectly.