From July onwards sky taxis will be flying around Dubai. The Chinese designed and built eHang 184 has flown successful test flights according to Matt al-Tayer, head of Dubai’s Road and Transportation Agency. The drone can carry one passenger weighing no more than 100kg and either a 30 minute flight time.
A command centre monitors the drones as they autonomously deliver their human cargo. Top speeds of 100 miles per hour and a range of 31 miles raises questions of safety. Dubai’s international marketing campaign is obviously adequately insured to cover headline grabbing stunts like this one. Other passenger drones are in development, Israeli firm Urban Aeronautics’ Cormorant drone, adapted from military use, is slated to arrive by 2020. $11 million of drone gets more strength and speed than the eHang. A Cormorant can carry 500kg and travel at 115mph.
The World Government Summit is a futurist organisation based in Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, they added World in 2015. It is one in a wave of co-optative policies coming from a region under threat of losing their income stream. A list of speakers on Wikipedia hoists Barack Obama, former President of the United States, into third behind Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and Klaus Scwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
The smell of technologically-enhanced washing detergent seems too strong for Barack and pre-recorded message was sent instead, overwhelmingly different to a physical presence. Temporary Autonomous Zones are an anarchist concept of creating areas without laws. Temporary as they exist in a paradoxical state, there is an expiry date on autonomy it would seem. Yet they’re autonomous in the sense that they’re ungoverned. Actual attempts to say yes, here, we are a TAZ are unsurprisingly unlikely to be a TAZ truly out of the nest. Burning Man is considered an attempt at a TAZ, but is bound by its scale to abide by state and federal laws. Real TAZ are not common knowledge, they’re the fluid territories controlled by illicit trades and behaviours. These gaps in the map are not visible at a nation-state level, which is always superimposed on top, but they become apparent when you are closer to the individual level. Selfish autonomous zones tend not to abide by the harm principle, as they are ordered with the self at the centre. Others ultimately are made to pay before they are, and this is spectrum based of course.
In today’s world after a period of hibernation the pursuit of free map space is back. Geopolitics is being brought back onto the table, with private citizens and groups seeking to gain territory. Democracy is losing value. Post-modernist materiality is on-demand life. Choice underpins post-modernity as the Big Truths of modernity became unpalatable one way or another. Governments are boring and need disrupting, tech companies are cool and can create algorithms which will help automate stuff, this logic will kill us all and leave idiots to become superhumans. Drones whisking an elite playboy circus around a playground city. Civic engagement is undoubtedly important and praise must be given when its due. The difficulties of confronting someone about their individual conduct is a cause of fragmentation. What a bind.