Technology and Warfare


The two artifacts I have chosen are pictured above. The first is a picture, to the left, of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9th, 1945 and the second picture, to the right, is one that I took myself of a drone. Both the atomic bomb and drones are pivotal to the advancement of weapons in war.

The picture of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki was taken on August 9th, 1945 by an unknown passenger on an aircraft used in the attack. I found this picture in a New York Times article on the events that occurred that day. The picture shows the bomb right before it took full effect and caused mass destruction in Nagasaki. We see the mushroom cloud that nuclear and atomic bombs are known for forming, cutting through the natural clouds in the sky. This artifact interests me because it represents a huge technological step forward in advanced warfare yet a huge step back for human interaction. A common problem with technology is the wedge it drives between people and the ways it simplifies acts of aggression between humans. From things as simple as social media and cyber bullying to modern warfare and the increased ability to cause mass destruction without much effort. For these reasons, I am interested in the artifact and the things it represents. The two approaches I would take to the artifact are historical and its connection to the theme of just and unjust wars in the humanities. Looking at the artifact makes me question, why the bomb was dropped. Was it really necessary to drop the bomb knowing how much destruction it would cause? Was dropping another atomic bomb just days after Hiroshima the best decision? I would also like to know if the United States government was aware of the long term effects the bombs would have for generations to come.

The second image of the drone is a picture that I took on April 20th, 2016. The image shows the small drone in my hand just minutes after flying it. I know some may be thinking, “How could that little thing be useful in war?”, but drones come in many different sizes. From very small, the size of an insect, to very big, the size of a Boeing 757. I got the drone pictured above from one of my hall-mates who frequently flies it around the hall and uses it as a form of entertainment. It looks just like a children’s toy, from the colors to the packaging it came in, it is very kid friendly and does not resemble many other drones that are meant to do much more complicated things. This one is just meant for flying while others can be used to take pictures/videos, delivery messages and more. The drone interests me because drones like it, are being used to spy on people from American citizens and world leaders to terrorists. It is like a mini spy that many times goes undetected. Upon looking at the drone, I want to know what exactly is it being used for by the U.S. government and was it built to serve that purpose or did it evolve into what it is now. I also want to know what laws are in place to protect privacy and stop people from abusing them.


Works Cited

  1. “Aug. 9, 1945 | U.S. Drops Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.” The Learning Network Aug 9 1945 US Drops Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki Japan Comments. Web. 22 Apr. 2016.