DARPA Gandalf Project And Philip K. Dick

Gandalf is the codename for a new defense department project to locate enemies precisely, and target them, by phone. Read the (deliberately!) obscure program announcement.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVE: The Gandalf program is an advanced technology and development and demonstration program that is seeking solutions to the functions of radio frequency (RF) geolocation and emitter identification using specific emitter identification (SEI) for specific signals of interest. The ultimate goal of the Gandalf program is to enable a set of handheld devices to be utilized to perform RF geolocation and SEI on RF signals of interest to the Gandalf program. The specific goals and performance objectives associated with RF geolocation and SEI for the Gandalf system are classified.

The basic idea is that a group of agents or troops could carry a hand-held gadget that could pick out the phone of a specific person, and then target that person.

Philip K. Dick had a unique understanding of the military mind, and he called this one in his wonderful 1965 novel The Zap Gun. He called this process of targeting a single individual needle-eyeification:

"The final solution," Febbs said, "in my opinion, in n-e weapons." N-e: that signified the esoteric term, used in Wes-bloc's weapons circles such as the Board which he now (God in his wisdom be praised!) belonged to, needle-eye. And needle-eyeification was the fundamental direction which weapons had been taking for a near half-century. It meant, simply, weapons with the most precise effect conceivable. In theory it was possible to imagine a weapon - as yet untranced of by Mr. Lars himself, still - that would slay one given individual at a given instant at a given intersection at one particular given city in Peep-East. Or in Wes-bloc, for that matter...

God, how clearly he could conceive it in his own mind.
(Read more about needle-eyeification)

From DARPA Launches Secret 'Gandalf' Project. See also a list of more than one hundred Philip K. Dick ideas and inventions and a list of sfnal DARPA projects.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/11/2008)

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