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Thread: Blinding with light

  1. #1 Blinding with light 
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    My sister got me a laser pointer a few years ago. It's a really high quality model that has a strong green beam you can see over a very long distance. At night, I can point it at things miles away and the green dot is still bright on whatever I pointed it at. Just looking at the reflected dot from a nearby object hurts my eyes. I can only imagine what it would do if I were ever dumb enough to look down the beam straight into it.


    So, lasers that actually kill people are probably not coming to us anytime soon. However, do you think it would be a viable strategy to shine lasers into the enemy's eyes at night, to permanently blind them? They're easy to aim, and lose no accuracy at all over their effective distance, traveling in a perfectly straight line. If an enemy doesn't even know you're there (like if you were using a UV beam to guide the visible beam, so you could flash them without any warning), I don't see why it would be hard to hit them in the eye. Imagine if you could get the beam to go down a sniper's scope when he's trying to snipe you. He wouldn't be a very good sniper anymore.

    Also, a remote, video controlled robot could do a lot of damage. Ammunition isn't a big concern, as long is the robot has a good battery. I've had my laser pointer for 2 years and I haven't changed the batteries yet, but I also don't use it that often.


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  3. #2  
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    Use of lasers primarily designed to blind are against international law:

    http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/ccw/text/protocol4.htm


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  4. #3  
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    I figured it had to be something like that. It's interesting what types of weapons both sides will agree not to use in a war. People must be more afraid of living and being blind than they are of death. It's weird that it would actually be considered less humane to maim one's enemy, probably sparing their life in the process, than it is to kill them.


    ... Which of course makes me wonder: why can't just settle wars with some kind of silly honor match, if that's all they are anyway?
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  5. #4 Re: Blinding with light 
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    So, lasers that actually kill people are probably not coming to us anytime soon.
    ?? ??


    Here are few examples from just one news show:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/...n3891865.shtml
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/...in578998.shtml
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501465_1...38-501465.html
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501465_1...41-501465.html
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  6. #5  
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    Thanks for rescuing the thread, iNow. Since we can't discuss blinding people with it in formal engagements, we might as well discuss the possibility of spending exponentially more money to make them lethal.

    Either, that or shift the thread in the direction of less official uses like handing laser blinders to the "little people" of oppressive third world countries, since they're not really bound by international law in terms of how they want to resist oppression. If Robert Mugabe's soldiers (in Zimbabwe) started getting laser blinded every time they marched up to some outspoken critic's house to rape their daughter, I think that might start moving things in a more civil direction.

    It's like Cross Bows in the middle ages getting banned by Pope Innocent II in 1139 because they could pierce a knight's armor (there is some debate over whether that was really the cause, but it's unlikely for it not to have played a role). Of course the knights/nobility didn't want them on the battle field. It reduced their status, because cross bows didn't cost a lot of money like suits of armor and war horses. Anything the levels the playing field between peasants and professional soldiers is good news for democracy, but only if it works. Maybe soldiers would just start wearing protective goggles?
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  7. #6  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Thanks for rescuing the thread, iNow. Since we can't discuss blinding people with it in formal engagements, we might as well discuss the possibility of spending exponentially more money to make them lethal.
    But, we already have lethal lasers. That was my point.
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  8. #7  
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    I think if lasers to blind the enemy became 'usable' then some bright spark would develope a simple laser guided missile to fly back down the beam, this could e as small as a 50 calibre round, remember it would give away your position.
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  9. #8  
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    Have you watched any European football ( soccer ) games lately ?
    When ever a penalty or free kick is being taken, there is always some a**hole with a sunlight reflecting mirror or a laser trying to 'blind' the shooter.

    Its war on the soccer field !
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Thanks for rescuing the thread, iNow. Since we can't discuss blinding people with it in formal engagements, we might as well discuss the possibility of spending exponentially more money to make them lethal.
    But, we already have lethal lasers. That was my point.
    It's true, but a blinding laser can be the size of fat writing utensil, and weight all of maybe 8 ounces.

    Also, there's a bigger tactical advantage to permanently blinding your enemies as opposed to killing them. When you kill an enemy combatant, the sum total of resources they require from their peers is a suitable burial. If you permanently blind them, then they're an invalid for the rest of their life, and the enemy will have to put some attention into caring for them.

    Create enough invalids, and the war simply has to end because they can't afford all of the extra food and other resources to care for any more fallen soldiers. They can't just decide not to care for them because it would create massive disloyalty in the ranks of their current recruits, who know they might end up in the same position as their discarded peers. Basically it's a combination of economic warfare, and a way to terrorize the enemy (in a way that only strikes fear into their soldiers, not their civilians so much.) It might actually create a lasting peace if it were used widely.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Sophomore biohazard87's Avatar
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    the US milittary already uses lasers. They have been since at least dessert storm. They have a man on the ground shine a laser on a target so it can be seen from the air. Then a plane procceds to bomb the hell out of the area the laser is in.
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  12. #11  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    there's a bigger tactical advantage to permanently blinding your enemies as opposed to killing them.
    Don't forget this carries with it a tactical advantage for them, too, primarily in the field of recruiting. If we go around blinding people, it will generate both sympathy for them and anger toward us, thus creating more enemies than we had when beginning. A similar concept is at play with the concept of torture and waterboarding, etc. Hearts and minds is about much more than just a clever turn of phrase. There are very real consequences for the choices we make during times of combat.
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  13. #12  
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    I'm really failing to understand why blinding people is worse than killing them. If they can't live with being blind, they're always free to commit suicide, thus placing themselves in the state of being dead instead of blind.

    I like the idea that people who join the warrior class in certain 3rd world countries, and go around oppressing the peasants of their region would have to face the possibility of becoming peasants themselves. Once they're permanently blind, their fighting days are over. I wonder if the kinds of brutality we see happening in regions like Sudan would start to cut back a bit.
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  14. #13  
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    You mus lose a lot of sleep thinking up this crap.
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  15. #14  
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    I figure blinding is removed from options as it counts as cruel and unusual. In otherwords a form of torture that is outlawed, i think by the genieva convention. But dont quote me on that.
    Noodles happen when you kiss a stranger in the alps.

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