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Seven Eras of Warfare

Updated on July 23, 2019
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Robert is an author, artist, graphic designer, and photographer. He has been experimenting with building electronics.

Sticks and Stones

From the very beginning, mankind has found ways to hurt each other. We either disagree about something or covet something someone else has and we will jump to violence before we have a chance to sit down and negotiate what might be best for both parties.

The first weapons were branches and rocks. We eventually figured out if we tie a rock to a tree branch, we could do more damage than if we threw a rock by itself.

We learned how to make a sling from a pouch and two lengths a rope. We found we could sharpen certain kinds of rocks to make a blade that could cut into flesh. They were simple weapons but they did the job.

Swords and Daggers

As humanity evolved, we learned how to make fire. From fire we learned how to melt and mold metal. We learned how to forge different kinds of alloys into daggers and swords and other bladed weapons.

These weapons are lethal. They are able to cut through human flesh and bone. We were able to kill someone with one blow rather than beat them to death with stones and sticks.

Sword making became a source of artistic expression. We created weapons that were not only functional but beautiful as well. They took weeks and even months to create, Each one built for a specific warrior.

Crossbows and Trebuchets

Eventually people realized they did not want to move within stabbing distance of their enemy. They had more of a chance of being killed. They invented ways of throwing blades and stones and fire at their enemies.

I think the easiest thing people made were bows and arrows. All you needed was a bent branch and a taut piece of rope and some arrows. As time went on the bow and arrows got more advanced. Someone discovered they could put a trigger on the bow and invented a crossbow. The arrows became more sophisticated as well, fletching being perfected to make the aero fly as straight as possible.

Other inventions were created. One of them was the catapult and the trebuchet. They could launch a stone or a boulder long distances with just a fling of this wooden mechanical marvel. There were swinging battering rams and huge impact force weapons used to bring down doors of castles and throwing molten metal and burning tar at enemies. It was a brutal time.

Rifles and Cannons

We discovered how to mold canons of cast-iron. We built large barrels where we compacted gunpowder and a projectile or two before lighting a fuse and firing metal fragments at our enemies. These cannons became more sophisticated as time went on. They became more accurate and the projectiles we fired became explosive and shredded human flesh upon impact.

We learned how to miniaturize these cannons into a weapon we could hold in our hands. We created a rifle we could point and an enemy. They started off with one shot per barrel. As technology grew we learned how to put more than one round into a weapon so we did not have to reload between each shot.

Today these weapons are extremely efficient. Snipers are able to shoot people from as far as 2000 feet away. It amazes me how far we will go to fight each other. We will take each other's lives without even looking into the face of our enemy.

Nuclear and WOMD

We started building bombs. They began as something we could roll into the vicinity of the enemy. Then we detonated the explosive killing anyone nearby. We learned how to put a bomb inside of a cannon and fire it over enemy lines causing an explosion and massive destruction to human flesh and property.

As we learned how to fly we took the bombs into the air. We learned how to blanket bomb entire cities just because we wanted to send them a message. Soon we created a bomb that was nuclear, It was feared because scientists thought it would explode and possibly continue to explode indefinitely, Destroying the entire planet and possibly the universe..

When we became afraid of launching nuclear weapons at each other, we started looking for other ways to destroy massive amounts of life and technology all at once. We learned how to create neurotoxins that would kill people in the worst possible way. We learned how to fire weapons from miles away and still hit a target the size of a refrigerator. We even learned how to turn the cities technology against itself, causing chaos and riots.

Drones and Terrorism

As technology grows and as people's response to innocent life being destroyed becomes more important, we learn how to fight wars without putting people in harm's way. We learn how to build airplanes that can find themselves or at least be flown by someone in our own country, remotely flying unmanned planes through global satellite systems, capable of dropping bombs and shooting down anyone considered an enemy.

This technology is becoming easier to build and easier to purchase. The technology is cheap and can be adapted to any country's military force. I foresee a time when we have drones fighting each other in our airspace and people on the ground running for cover to keep from getting hit by a falling debris.

Terrorism is something that has grown over the course of the last hundred years or so. Today we struggle with terrorism coming in the form of sneak attacks by people who dislike a certain government. The biggest example is 9/11/2001 when airplanes were hijacked and flown into key buildings in the United States.

Terrorism can be used in many ways and by many types of different people. You don't have to have a government behind you to commit an act of terrorism. This is been shown in many places all over the world by people considered to be extremists. What scares me is if a government decides to use acts of terrorism on a global massive scale. It would almost feel like Pearl Harbor all over again, sneak attack after sneak attack.

Cyber Warfare and Artificial Intelligence

More on computers over the Internet is a real threat to today's society. Countries have hired hackers of all kinds to infiltrate the most secure data bases in the world, looking for information they can use to battle each other through government supremacy or Financial superiority.

The same hackers have the ability to break into nationals records and global tracking and weapon command centers. On the other side our government hires its own set of hackers to build firewalls and failsafes to keep enemy hackers from forcing their way in gaining access to things they should not have access to.

This constant building of computer code could lead to a artificial intelligence that could either help us completely by reading us of all district of capabilities or destroying all are enemies all at once. This artificial intelligence could decide that humanity is destructive, that there is no reason for humanity to exist on this planet. That artificial intelligence to decide to wipe us out. That is one of the biggest threats facing many science fiction stories.

What I'm hoping is the artificial intelligence that might come out of our computer age is one of peace. I'm hoping this artificial intelligence will help us learn how to live better together. Because the computers can think and create a lot faster than our human minds can, they will be able to make peaceful gestures for us creating a world that could live in harmony.


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