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Register Lecture: Right to strike when your boss sells AI to the military?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

When did the first pacifist think they could refuse to work on those products but still keep their frikkin' job? 2018 AD maybe?

When you think about all the non-dedicated military stuff that goes into (say) the fully supply and logistics chain for drones, half the population are already involved. Making some broad guesses in a UK context: If you do payroll at Capita you could be paying drone operators, if you do fuel buying at Serco you're maintaining the fuel supply for drones, if you work at a precision metal rolling company you're making the metal that becomes the shims in the drone, and the aircraft that get it out to the warzone; If you work for a tyre maker you could be making tyres for military vehicles of all types, likewise hydraulic hose making, electrical cables, actuators, etc etc etc.

The mistake Google have made is to promote a sanctimonious corporate image (all that "do no evil" bilge"), and then to actively recruit young, shiney eyed idealists who think that offices contain ping pong tables, bean bags, free fruit and coffee, and actually believed all that claptrap. Now they're taking offence, because they do want to be part of a strong global nation that is able and willing to project lethal force, but the poor lambs at Google had believed that somebody else (probably paid a lot less, and wearing a grubby blue collar) would have to get their hands dirty.

Welcome to the real world, Googleywoogleys.

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