I don't watch network news anymore, so my introduction to the Amazon Drone concept came via a humorous "delivery notice" picture posted on some photo-sharing site. This morning I went to watch the CBS piece from 60 minutes, and I was stunned by how bad it was.
I don't intend to get into the practicalities, moral implications, or really anything else about the actual drone program. What really ticks me off is a "investigative journalism" report where the producers and on-air talent have no idea what the subject of their own story is until the PR mastermind decides to tell them. Back In The Day, in addition to telling kids to get off my lawn, I remember the quip that said "If your day wasn't already bad enough, now Dan Rather is at your front door" because they were feared for uncovering misdeeds.
Fast-forward to today and we have a story that should never have been filmed, let alone aired, that serves as nothing but a "Gee wiz, Mr. Science!" fluff piece for Amazon. Unless it was in some portion of the story I missed, I want to know where the hard-hitting questions went to. For example:
- How does this affect the workers at all of the delivery companies?
- Will you still need workers at the distribution centers, or is it now 100% automated?
- How energy efficient is it to have a 20-pound flying bedstead deliver a 5-pound package compared to having an entire truck full of stuff making a single trip?
- What are the skies over our cities going to be like when these things hit critical mass?
- What happens when the NRA starts using them for skeet practice?
and my personal choice for the final question before cutting to a commercial for UPS:
- What made you think we could be used as free advertising for something that is nothing more than a skunkworks project???