The Spectacle Blog

Amazon’s Drones?

On what planet does this make sense?

By on 12.2.13 | 3:20PM

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s idea to deliver packages by drone may make sense on some planet, but not this one.

The idea is an invitation to every terrorist group to buy or manufacture imitations of the Amazon Prime Air “octocopters” and deliver bombs instead of sunglasses, shoes, and underwear. And that’s assuming that they couldn’t take over some or all of Amazon’s own drones and use them to spy on people and lob bombs into cars, playgrounds, and homes.

And that’s only the biggest part of the problem. Just think of the last quiet evening you and your wife spent on the back porch watching a sunset. Beautiful, wasn’t it? And so peaceful? Now the Amazon folks are going to improve your enjoyment by filling the skies with drones that will swoop down on your house bringing a bounty of noise along with those desperately-needed movie CDs and new dog food bowls.

Then again, how are they going to know it’s your house? Of course, they’ll have to have GPS nav systems and cameras on the drones to read street signs and house numbers and — only accidentally, I’m sure — peep into your windows to see and use their microphones to listen to what’s going on. If Google can track your every move online, why shouldn’t Amazon catch a glimpse of what magazine you’re reading, what you’re drinking, or even listen in on your phone calls to see what you’d like to buy next? How could anyone object to basic market research even if it’s more intrusive than anything NSA has ever done?

To top all this off, I’m sure Amazon would hire only the best experts to fly the drones. All those former Air Force and Navy pilots don’t have anything better to do, so they’ll surely sign up for those minimum-wage jobs. There won’t be any mid-air collisions, nobody’s house will be bashed into by a lost drone, and no one will ever have their car go out of control to avoid hitting a drone that’s low over the road.

We’ll have to wait to see how the Colorado town of Deer Trail handles it. They were thinking about issuing hunting licenses for drones flying over their towns. I think they should increase the bag limit on Amazon drones to at least five a day. I’ll put up with sporadic gunfire if it means I can get rid of the incessant buzzing of the drones. If the drone noise is bad enough, I may just move to Deer Trail.

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