Eye in the Sky

eyeintheskyI was scanning the Wall Street Journal as I do most mornings and this movie announcement struck me as interesting and a strange parallel to where we are in the energy industry on a host of levels. At first, it would appear to be just another movie about our battle with terrorists … but, I see it is the much bigger set of questions it raises. Since it hasn’t been released, it is hard to know whether the trailer represents the fullness of what it portends. Take a look for yourself and decide: Click here to view the trailer.

newtThe line in the trailer I believe will prove profound is There is a lot more at stake than what you see in this image.” Even without seeing the movie, it reminds me of the child “Newt” in the movie Aliens who when interviewed by Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) wants to go back to her hiding place. Ripley assures her “These people are here to protect you. They are soldiers.” To which Newt responds, “It won’t make any difference.” This movie is all about underestimating your enemy. Eye in the Sky appears to be more about the moral and political questions raised by modern warfare using drones and surgical weapons.

I scanned some of the reviews of the film and believe I am on target with my recommendation for those in the energy industry to see it, and for the reasons mentioned. Forget about the acting abilities and even the plot details. Think about the basic moral and political questions it raises here.

For example, when do optics matter more than long-term strategy? Is there such a thing as acceptable collateral damage, especially when it is a small girl we are talking about? Does our modern wealth of electronics and video imaging capability raise a new set of questions we frankly have not thought through?

If I haven’t been provocative enough, think specifically about the new world of personal information we are witnessing. We can’t stop the ever-increasing levels of the Internet of Things, which is making so much about us evident, available, quantifiable, and potentially valuable for creative solutions. However, have we thought through this new world of potential moral hazards?

I don’t think so. Very scary. But, it is a new world where we need to make a difference for the good, while we thoughtfully consider how to minimize collateral damage.

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