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Apps Launched For Rockets Red Glare & Planet Rife With War

In the new TV show drama, “MANH(A)TTAN (a fictional accounting of the Manhattan Project’s lead-up to the Atom Bomb), Liza Winter, one of the scientist’s wives notes that in 1943, out of “75 sovereign states in existence in the world (at the time), 61 of them were at war.”

Escalation

Flash forward some 70 years, and mankind’s need for aggression has not lessened. If anything, the state of the world in strife looks much more bleak. Out of 162 countries listed in the Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP’s) latest study this August, only 11 were not involved in a conflict of one kind or another.

Today, even though national leaders express their desire for a nuclear-weapon free world, there are now nine countries armed with more than 16,000 nuclear weapons. And as a collective group, they have failed to develop any detailed plans to reduce their arsenals. In fact, quite the contrary — instead — more countries are at their respective drawing boards, looking for ways to develop their own weapons of mass destruction.

Thankfully (even though there’s still fingers-at-the-ready), nothing of the A-Bomb caliber has been detonated since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two bombings that remain the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare to date. Yet we have only to listen to the barrage of news fired at us 24/7 to know that the world continues to be in a state of apprehension.

With the crisis in Gaza and Israel bubbling over, the rise of Islamist extremists in Iraq & Syria wanting to form a Caliphate to dominate the entire Middle East and with the Ukraine running skirmishes with encroaching Russian troops, to say that war continues to exist in our collective backyards is an understatement.

I Am Alive

Now that we’ve entered the digital age, man is using technological tools to adjust to the 21st Century’s evolution of war. Today there are software applications designed specifically for the post-modern man who lives with the horrific reminders of the past, while living in an anxious state of awareness about the future.

These are apps not hatched in the peaceful laboratories of the Silicon Valley - they are developed in the trenches by those looking to mitigate imminent danger. As sad as it sounds, the “I AM Alive,” app was designed so that family members could learn first-hand about the safety of their loved ones in Lebanon.

Sandra Hassan, a graduate student from Beirut became concerned that the deteriorating situation in her native Lebanon was continuously putting her family and friends in harm’s way. With Hassan’s app, a touch of a button sends a tweet to the user’s followers stating, “I am still alive! #Lebanon #LebanonBombing.”

Since July, the I Am Alive app has been downloaded 5,000 times in Lebanon alone, and has since been reconfigured to allow users in other conflict zones to stay in contact within their own countries. In total, it has been downloaded more than 7,000 times throughout 25 countries at a steady rate of five to 10 downloads per day.

HarrassMap

There are several apps developed to update the reports of sexual violence, to create crowdsourced maps documenting incidents of abuse.

In Egypt, HarassMap has collected data on sexual harassment since 2010, with recent figures indicating that more than 1,000 reports have been filed. In India, Violence Against Women (VAW) Mumbai has documented 44 cases in the city alone.

PTSD

The U.S. military has also sought out app developers to solve medical issues caused by our involvement in the wars we have fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. Earlier this year, U.S. company AnthroTronix developed DANA (Defense Automated Neurocognitive Assessment), an app that helps detect post-traumatic stress disorder or brain damage in soldiers.

Running on Android, the application records answers, response time, and even the movement of the user via the phone’s built-in sensors, to help a medical professional diagnose a patient in the absence of brain scanning machines.

No One wants to be the Last Man Standing. . .

In place of the Star Spangled Banner’s refrain of “the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air,” hopefully these software application and others under development will be the only war-related technology to be launched in the years to come. The Manhattan Project is a sad reminder of how close we came to the precipice of world annihilation. Yes, history is known to repeat itself, but important to note, the extinction of mankind would be a ‘first’ that could only be played out one time.

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Ron Callari
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