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New media has the power to crunch the windows of time and space, but in this crunch there is distortion. Grindr and Tinder, as well as Facebook and other social media, collapse space between peoples’ lives and bring them seemingly closer together. Similarly, technologies such as GoToMeeting and Skype are allowing for easier and quicker intrapersonal connection. The list goes on and on. But it seems to me that the more power new media has to bring us together, the more it removes some genuine feeling of living whatever interaction it is enabling. One may look at the most magnificent landscape on a computer screen, or talk to a loved one, or do any number of activities, but none of these events are experienced in full. Maybe this is due to a saturation of visual stimulation and depravation of the other senses. But whatever the reason, life through a screen is not living.

This has disturbing applications in drone warfare, as Derek Gregory points out. I think that the most worrisome is the equation he makes to a sort of “God hurling lightning bolts from above” image. With shortening kill chains, drone operators are given incredible power. Historically and factually, this exact type of power has led people to exact terrible punishment on those deemed weaker in whatever setting. We need look no further than Abu Ghraib prison to see how our very own soldiers can be driven to grossly abuse their power. Now, with the power of a screen-controlled death robot, drone operators are automatically removed from most of the major aspects of warfare. And yet they are closer than ever before.