Ok, I’ve noticed.
While reading the news the other day, I noticed a word that I seem, now, to see all the time in the news although it’s not quite made it to the office place or general conversation.
What’s a drone?
Here are the Dictionary.com definitions:
- The male of the honeybee and other bees, stingless and making no honey.
- An unmanned aircraft or ship that can navigate autonomously, without human control or beyond line of sight: the GPS of a U.S. spy drone.
- (Loosely) any unmanned aircraft or ship that is guided remotely: a radio-controlled drone.
- A person who lives on the labor of others; parasitic loafer.
- A drudge.
Call me a dreamer, but I prefer my new words to be more interesting, stimulating and pleasurable. Drone is not the word I’m seeking to brighten my days and inspire wistful poetry.
The drone I’ve been reading about involves unmanned (and unwomanned) aerial vehicles (UAV) of the type that spy for the government, drop missiles on people for the government and soon might deliver an Amazon.com copy of The Snowden Files into your backyard.
Drones may one day be like fairies flitting around us, like Tinker Bell. Oh wait, that’s already happening.
In my marketing imagination, I see a table full of experienced marketing and PR men and women with diverse CVs, from military PR to breakfast cereal advertising, discussing how to bring Drone Awareness to the average citizen.
My imagination concocts conversations like this:
“We need to get people comfortable with spacecraft flying around their neighborhood all day.”
“People won’t notice. We now spend 90% of our time looking at our palms.”
“Pretty soon eyesight will deteriorate from computer use and people won’t see them anyway.”
“We need to give drones a new identity, a new image.”
“Let’s associate them with bees and have every drone delivery donate a portion of sales to saving the bees.”
What’s the astrology of drones?
It’s difficult to find the birthday of unmanned aircraft because, as I’ve learned, drone technology has had many forms and has led to different types of military technology. This Understanding Empire site lays out the development nicely.
As the site says, drones evolved “from targets, to sensors to weapons.” Early drone concepts created missile technology. The next evolution had drones collecting information. We now have drones as remote-controlled weapons.
According to Understanding Empire, the first drone use was by the Austrians on August 22, 1849 when they “launched some 200 pilotless balloons mounted with bombs against the city of Venice.”
That day saw Uranus and Pluto conjunct in the very late degrees of Aries (Pluto at 28 degrees) trine a regal 29 degree Leo sun. The moon was opposite in balanced, peace-seeking Libra.
Pluto, as the planet of transformation and evolution, is my focus. Pluto has a 240+ year cycle and spends 20+ years in a sign.
Aries is what I’d expect to find with the tools of warfare as Aries is ruled by Mars, god of war. Weapons of war are constantly evolving but in the 20th century they evolved to a breaking point.
The drone cycle began with Pluto in Aries and is now in Capricorn. Pluto will not return to 28 degrees of Aries until 2095. We have a long drone cycle ahead of us.
Drones and Communication
It’s interesting to me that the origins of the modern drone correspond to what I think of as the Great Communication Revolution (I’ve been droning on about it for a while now).
According to Understanding Empire, the “grandfather drone was the rail-launched Kettering Aerial Torpedo ‘Bug’ developed in 1917 by the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company.”
By 1917, Pluto had just moved into Cancer. Prior to that, Pluto had been in Gemini from 1882-1914. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication.
I don’t know who said that all generations think they discover sex. I’d like to extend that saying to include that all generations think they discover sex, technology and progress.
The changes in communication that occurred during 1882-1914 include radio, telephone, mass newspapers, compulsory education and moving film. The leap in consciousness that occurred with these inventions I believe were greater than the leap we are taking today. Today’s technology is like a huge tremor after a massive earthquake.
From a psychological perspective, I think communication represents shared interpretation of reality which manifests through language arising from the senses but is mostly visual and auditory. The other three senses (taste, touch and smell) seem to have less impact on defining reality except for the young (infants putting things in their mouths) and those without sight or hearing.
Beginning in the late 19th century, we greatly expanded visual and auditory perception. I wonder if our brains know the difference between crying over a TV show and crying at a funeral.
I suspect the innovations in visual and auditory input are extremely powerful to some reptilian portion of our brains, even when we think we’re just entertaining ourselves and not taking seriously what we see and hear. The expanded visual and auditory input seems to create a larger shared reality and the ability to affect behavior on a larger scale because of that shared reality.
After the communication revolution came two “world” wars. To have “world” participation in your war, the world must know about it.
The late 20th century leap in communication involves the rise of hand-held technology. Hands, by the way, are ruled by Gemini.
What’s revolutionary about that?
The revolution is that we can connect with so many so easily on a personal level. The communication is now two-way rather than one-way. Yet, ironically, the device has inserted itself between us and our experience of reality.
Drone development is following the pattern of communication. Drones, radio signals, telephone signals and the old television signals all traveled through the air.
The drone, like hand held devices, is the Mercury between our perception and the object of our perception. The drone provides the ability to sense and act without being physically present. Our sight and hearing are affected, but not the other three senses. The acts we commit remotely may produce different moral responses than if we were physically present.
Does our brain respond differently to an image we believe is fake with an image we believe is real? If so, would we cry at the movies?
Are we are living in our Mercury minds?
As you’d expect, there is a Star Trek episode that speaks to this. In A Taste of Armageddon two planets have been at war for over 500 years but instead of launching actual weapons, they simulate attacks on computer, accept the results of the simulations and annihilate those that would have been naturally annihilated.
Our young, but wise, captain Kirk tells the people that without experiencing the true carnage of war, their war will never end.