One of my favorite news items ever wasn’t even about something that actually happened. It was merely a suggestion that some English wag made in the wake of the outbreak of mad cow disease in the nineties. At the time, if you remember, the issue of unexploded land mines and other ordinance in Southeast Asia was also quite prominent, thanks in no small measure to the advocacy work of Princess Diana. So this guy came up with what I thought was a simply brilliant idea: rather than just slaughtering the suspect herds of British beef, we could kill two birds with one stone–as it were– by shipping the cattle over to Cambodia where they would be set free to graze on the old battlefields. You’d be using lives that were already designated as expendable to detect and detonate those buried explosive devices. Boom! There goes another one!
Ever since I have been looking for other “two-fers;” i.e. ways to take out two problems with one stroke. And I think I have one for you.
Nobody likes a sandbagger, unless of course they’re your partner in a four ball match and then you just hope that the gap between index and performance isn’t too blatant. Drones are also controversial. By definition they’re pretty great at taking out bad guys in a robotic way that doesn’t put our soldiers’ lives at risk. But there’s also a creepy, extra-legal way in which they float up there zapping people. But if we relied on them less in combating terrorism, what would we do with all of them?
Yes, what would we do with them?
Well, I’ve got an idea. If these suckers are so good that they can pick up Abdullah Abdullah’s SUV from miles away, I’ve got to think that they are quite capable of tracking exactly how many strokes your buddy Bernie–the one with the immutable handicap–takes to get around the course. Rather than retiring these aircraft to some air field in Nevada, just let them hover over the course, tracking the EXACT number of times the little ball advances. No more problems with a failure to play and post: that’s done automatically.
And look, this doesn’t have to be all about a form of creepy, Big Brother supervision. The drone can be your buddy as well. Remember, it’s up there watching everything, down to the distance of the putts that are, or are not, conceded: