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March 03, 2005

The Pain They Rain Falls Mainly On The Brain

By Jove, I think they've got it:

The US military is funding development of a weapon that delivers a bout of excruciating pain from up to 2 kilometres away. Intended for use against rioters, it is meant to leave victims unharmed. But pain researchers are furious that work aimed at controlling pain has been used to develop a weapon. And they fear that the technology will be used for torture.

[A whiny Brit doctor says:]"I am deeply concerned about the ethical aspects of this research..."

But of course you are, darling. If you weren't "concerned" about something the US is doing each and every morning, you fear you would suddenly cease to exist. Querito ergo sum.*

"Even if the use of temporary severe pain can be justified as a restraining measure, which I do not believe it can, the long-term physical and psychological effects are unknown."

Ever see the "long-term physical and psychological effects" of a .50 caliber machine-gun bullet?

Which sounds more humane to you, Andy?

Why even bother getting this perfectly-predictable quotes about new weapons-- any new weapons, even weapons designed to be non-lethal and spare human lives? We know what they're going to say.

"Ethical concerns... blah blah blah... unknown effects from long-term exposure... blah blah blah... arms are made for huggin'!"

Don't all of these complaints always boil down to, "I don't like this weapon; you could hurt somebody with it."

Well, no frickin' derrr. It's a weapon.

Look it up in the frigging dictionary, Niles. "Weapon [noun]: Something you could hurt somebody with."

This, you see, is sort of the point of a weapon. Unless, of course, it is a bludgeon of some type.

[Documents concern] so-called Pulsed Energy Projectiles (PEPs), which fire a laser pulse that generates a burst of expanding plasma when it hits something solid, like a person (New Scientist print edition, 12 October 2002). The weapon, destined for use in 2007, could literally knock rioters off their feet.

According to a 2003 review of non-lethal weapons by the US Naval Studies Board, which advises the navy and marine corps, PEPs produced "pain and temporary paralysis" in tests on animals. This appears to be the result of an electromagnetic pulse produced by the expanding plasma which triggers impulses in nerve cells.

Interestingly enough, one of the experts consulted, apparently on the topic of the efficient infliction of pain on a human subject, was, wait for it, a dentist:

Brian Cooper, an expert in dental pain at the University of Florida, distanced himself from the work, saying "I don't have anything interesting to convey. I was just providing some background for the group."

He wasn't paid in money. The Navy promised he could have a nice shiny souped-up Pain Gun for his office.

John Wood of University College London, UK, an expert in how the brain perceives pain, says the researchers involved in the project should face censure. "It could be used for torture," he says, "the [researchers] must be aware of this."

You know what else could be used for torture? Fists. Ropes. Razor blades. Baseball bats. Water. The special director's cut of Prince of Tides.

Jackasses. God, these nitwits just love hearing themselves pontificate.

And I oughta know about that.

* My feeble attempt at translating "I bitch and moan, therefore I am" into Latin. Let me know how badly I've goofed.


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posted by Ace at 01:09 AM

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