Warrior Geeks: How 21st Century Technology is Changing the Way We Fight and Think About War

Warrior Geeks: How 21st Century Technology is Changing the Way We Fight and Think About War

by Christopher Coker
     
 

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Warrior Geeks surveys the cybernetic technologies aiming to incorporate soldiers into a cybernetic system through which the military can read their thoughts and mold them accordingly. It considers the anticipated cooperation of men and robots on the battlefields of tomorrow, and it measures the extent to which armies may one day be able to reengineer

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Overview

Warrior Geeks surveys the cybernetic technologies aiming to incorporate soldiers into a cybernetic system through which the military can read their thoughts and mold them accordingly. It considers the anticipated cooperation of men and robots on the battlefields of tomorrow, and it measures the extent to which armies may one day be able to reengineer warriors through pharmacological manipulation.

Harking back to the Greeks and Aristotle's original conception of virtue ethics and the proper contours of war, Christopher Coker believes modern humans are on the verge of losing touch with their humanity. War can only be rendered more humane if we recall the wisdom of our ancestors, he claims, yet unfortunately modern society is about to subcontract its ethical self to machines. In revaluing technology, we devalue our humanity, or the posthuman condition. By changing our functional and performative relationship to technology, we irrevocably alter our subjectivity and the existential dimensions of war.

Post Human warfare is a continuation of the symbiotic relationship between humanity and war. This study is a first and raises questions about the future of the relationship outlined above

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Editorial Reviews

Everett Dolman

The age of martial robotics is upon us and no one has captured the impending revolution in warfare with its accompanying moral dilemmas more incisively or eloquently than Christopher Coker. Warrior Geeks, his latest work on the subject of posthuman warfare, brilliantly exposes the divide between traditional Western military ethos and the inevitable rise of machine-based combat. An exceptional book.

Peter Singer

There are few writers who can do what Christopher Coker has accomplished in Warrior Geeks, which takes the reader on a journey connecting everything from Socrates to Oliver Stone movies to the latest in warfare and digital technologies. His work is always substantive, and sometimes even lyrical.

From the Publisher
"Do not let the almost flippant title of Christopher Coker's Warrior Geeks fool you. The title reflects the catchy philological antithesis between science (the geeks) and philosophy (the Greeks). The resulting tension is explored in a masterly account from a very well-read humanist about the fearful advance of post-human technologies in war. ... Warrior Geeks is a brilliantly learned reflection on the ultimate amorality of a dystopian war that would have no courage, no cowardice, no patriotism, no principled pacifism, not much of anything other than casual death, a boring sort of continually rewound reality show, but on an unimaginably bloody scale." — Victor Davis Hanson, Times Literary Supplement

"There are few writers who can do what Christopher Coker has accomplished in Warrior Geeks, which takes the reader on a journey that connects everything from Socrates to Oliver Stone movies to the latest in warfare and digital technologies. His work is always substantive, and sometimes even lyrical."—Peter Singer, Senior Fellow and Director, 21st Century Defense Initiative, The Brookings Institution, and author of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century


"The Age of Martial Robotics is upon us and no one has captured the impending revolution in warfare with its accompanying moral dilemmas more incisively or eloquently than Christopher Coker. Warrior Geeks, his latest work on the subject of posthuman warfare, brilliantly exposes the divide between traditional Western military ethos and the inevitable rise of machine-based combat. An exceptional book." — Everett Dolman, Professor of Military Strategy, USAF School of Advanced Air and Space Studies


"The chief concern outlined by Coker is that the ingenuity driving military science is spiralling out of control. The 'geeks' are creating technologies - designer drugs, robotics and neural devices - that, ultimately, he feels, will dehumanize us." — Nature


"Warrior Geeks is an interesting, wideranging and erudite book that asks a lot of challenging questions and uses an eclectic set of cultural references to frame the problems that technological advances may present." — Literary Review

"To describe a Coker book as an intellectual tour de force is perhaps the most anodyne observation a reviewer can make; of course it would be, and of course this one is, too. This latest offering is a rich synthesis of ideas and intellectual trajectories drawn from the annals of literature, philosophy, history, and science, and transmitted in a language that speaks as much to pop culture sensibilities as it does to the more esoteric and often impenetrable nooks and crannies of academe."—Michael Innes, Current Intelligence


"In Warrior Geeks, Christopher Coker demonstrates again that he is the master of ... defining major trends of the past and present and projecting them onto the years to come. Coker's book is not the first to discuss new trends in current and future warfare: the cyber dimension, unmanned aircraft and vehicles, robotics and so on all of these have been at the centre of an academic-political-military debate. Warrior Geeks, however, approaches it from a much deeper, interdisciplinary perspective." — The RUSI Journal

'This is a brilliant book about a rather nightmarish topic, i.e., how technology now enables us to become post-humans ... It is not only a very important book but also a deeply disconcerting one.' — The US Army War College Quarterly

"This book offers a good exercise for readers who wish to be challenged on their thinking about the nature of warfare yesterday, today and tomorrow."—ARMY

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231704083
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
03/05/2013
Series:
Columbia/Hurst Series
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Michael Innes

"To describe a Christopher Coker book as an intellectual tour de force is perhaps the most anodyne observation a reviewer can make. Of course it would be, and of course this one is, too. His latest offering is a rich synthesis of ideas and intellectual trajectories drawn from the annals of literature, philosophy, history, and science, and transmitted in a language that speaks as much to pop cultural sensibilities as it does to the more esoteric and often impenetrable nooks and crannies of academia."

Michael Innes, editor in chief, Current Intelligence

Meet the Author

Christopher Coker is professor of international relations at the London School of Economics. His most recent publication is Barbarous Philosophers: Reflections on the Nature of War from Heraclitus to Heisenberg.

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