This is a story that I would put in the category of being both an example of dystopian AND liberty tech. It is also an example of how an entity that is not fundamentally in favor of a true free market, or authentic liberty, can be an unwitting contributor to the advancement of a free market, to the advancement of authentic liberty.
Walmart is developing a type of drone that is capable of pollinating plants, managing farms, planting seeds, distribute fertilizers. The Drone Farmers are being developed and patented by Walmart. The effort is a bid to create an exclusive access to technology that enables Walmart to create its own cheap produce that others would not be able to compete with, because they lack access to the technology Walmart is developing.
This part of the story is the dystopian part. The use of IP to claim exclusivity to technology is anti-progressive, anti-human, and fundamentally at odds with true free markets, with authentic liberty.
But the technology Walmart is developing is useful. It can also be pirated and coopted by liberty market entrepreneurs to help them develop their own networks of locally-focused, locally-scaled farms.
It is an exciting development in human history to be able to utilize machines to manage our farming more efficiently, with less cost, and less human labor. It is a danger to human history to have that technology in the hands of the few large-scale enterprises that see no reason to encourage the development of local self-sustainability and self-reliance.
But, despite their efforts to claim IP, with the backing of the guns of the coercive enterprise, the open source pirates will deliver, I believe, these technologies to those who reject a world that is dependent on large-scale systems controlled by the few.
|Walmart Wants To Revolutionize Farming With A New Generation Of Drones|
American retail giant Walmart is looking to increase their role in the food-growing business by investing in new drone technology to monitor and take care of crops.
Reuters reports that Walmart filed six patents with the US Patents and Trademark Office in 2017, all of which pertain to to fertilizing or crop-dusting drones.
Why should I care?
We get it, agriculture isn’t a topic that gets many people frothing with excitement.
Food security, however, is a vitally important issue and one that could affect your diet dramatically in future.
The world population is expected to increase to nearly 10 billion by 2050 and we will need new and novel ways of increasing our food production without damaging the environment.
The proposed drones will pollinate (think fake bees), distribute fertilizers precisely and monitor the health of the crops – finding pests and applying pesticides at targeted spots rather than spraying the entire crop.
The patent for pollinator drones might come as an alarm to fans of brilliant Netflix series Black Mirror.