SmartDust — Battlefields and Cornfields

Struck with a heavy irony last night as I was responding to an inquiry about Blogjects, Smart Dust, Smart Technology as might be realized in the year 2030 that Smart Dust has been variously pitched as a something for the battlefield (remotely track enemy troop movements, etc), on the one hand, and the cornfield (measure current environmental conditions, existence of little critters eating crops, etc), on the other. It’s not surprising I suppose, given the intricate web of the military industrial light and magic complex, and the deeply imbricated way in which the socio-technical apparatus has positively soaked through our lives so that you can effortlessly find meaning for things like “Smart Dust” in what you might imagine are entirely different sorts of “fields.”