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Old November 16 2013, 05:16 PM   #213
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Location: NJ, USA
Re: Technological Stagnation

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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I'd be happy with Phasers.

Flying Cars and Technology to make the blind see would both be kick ass second choices.
Do a google search, while hand lasers are out of the question in the next few decades, the tech is proliferating around the world. Germany, Russia, CHina, US all have battlefield lasers in heavy development.

Actually, battlefield lasers are very difficult and clumsy to use by most first-world militaries, primarily because the most efficient use of those lasers -- using optical energy to burn or injure enemy troops at a distance -- is illegal under the geneva conventions. Primarily this is because a laser that will cause injury to a human being is, by definition, powerful enough to permanently blind/disable that human. Because a reflection from the laser spot can have the exact same effect, this means a battlefield laser can cause severe vision damage to anyone who just happens to be looking in the wrong direction when it's fired. So firing lasers in an urban area are going to cause an assload of collateral damage to any civilians who aren't wearing military-grade eye protection.

Militaries therefore have certain inherent limitations to how and when those weapons can be used; they are only intended to attack vehicles or missiles far from civilian areas, and cannot be used in a strictly anti-personnel mode unless they are set to only cause TEMPORARY blindness and/or disorientation.

It would be trivially easy to manufacture a laser weapon that burns out your target's retinas; that kind of thing could fit on the bottom rail of a standard assault rifle. The problem is that even DEVELOPING such a weapon constitutes a minor war crime.
Well as the link demostrates, the Germans are using laser at a distance to destroy aerial vehicles. Other examples abound:
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