tv Book Discussion on The Pentagons Brain CSPAN November 26, 2015 4:30pm-5:31pm EST
most of us, or is it designed to help just a but at the top who have had the most influence over the rules? that is a rhetorical question. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. [inaudible conversations] >> there should be a couple seats around. grab 'em if you can. welcome to the international spy museum, i'm the historian and curator here at spy, i'd like to welcome you to another one of our author debriefing programs on a rare friday night, so we're really appreciative of you coming out tonight. i think it has a lot to do with
who we have here with us. we are pleased to have annie jacobsen at the spy museum, investigative journalist and best-selling author who writes books about war, weapons and government secrecy, not to mention intelligence. her 2011 nonfiction bestseller, area 51: an uncensored history of america's top military base, has been published in five languages as has her 2014 nonfiction bestseller, operation paper clip: the secret intelligence program that brought nazi scientists to america. "the boston globe" and apple itunes told operation paper clip as one of the best books of 2014. her newest book, "the pentagon's book: an uncensored history of darpa," was published on tuesday. and of after reading it, i'm fairly sure it won't take long before it joins your other two books as a bestseller. thank you, annie, for coming to the international spy museum. >> thank you for having me. >> do you have on your book
shelf at home copies of your books in all five languages? >> the volume okay? >> yeah. >> okay. >> do you have copies in all five languages on your book shelf at home? >> i actually do. >> i would too. >> they're really, really cool. that's not on my card, i just had to ask that. >> one thing we always want to do when we have authors here, especially considering our authors write about a field that's not necessarily the most conducive to getting information and documents, the secret world or intention or national security, it's really a two-part question. how'd you come across the idea of writing a book about darpa, and how in the world do you find the sources necessary to write a full-sized nonfiction book about a very top secret agency that does things that they don't necessarily want historians to know about? >> well, for starters, i want to thank some of those sources. paul, thank you for coming, neil, and for folks in the back, thank you. the way that i got the idea for writing "the pentagon's brain"
actually came as most of my books do, on the tail end of my last book. and when i was learning about what vonn brown was doing in '58, i was surprised to learn that he was going to be the first director of this new agency at the pentagon called arpa. and he wanted to be the director. however, he had one stipulation which was he wanted to bring 12 of his former nazi colleagues with him, and that did not fly another the pentagon. [laughter] so they looked elsewhere for a director and that director was herb york. but i thought what a spicy way to start out an agency, with controversy, with secrecy, with back story. and so i immediately looked into it. and when i learned how little has actually been written about darpa, i really thought this is going to be a great book. >> which is surprising to me because as a science geek, i mean, darpa is something i've done known about for a long time. the center for advanced research
and project agency, we'll just call it darpa just to keep it consistent. as we'll talk about tonight, there are some major innovations that we use in our everyday lives that is a result of darpa research. so when your book came out, the idea of it, i'm like there has to have been a book about darpa and, of course, there hasn't been a major work at this level. but that was a great segway, because i want to talk about the origins of darpa and why it comes about and a little bit about what it is as an organization. i think darpa's different than a lot of the military research organizations in that it's not really a military research organization in a sense, and it doesn't really do scientific research. talk a little bit about how darpa is formulated. >> well, darpa has approximately 120 program managers and has almost its entire existence working with a $3 billion budget, and yet these vims
themself -- these individuals themselves are scientists, engineers at the top of their game. so they go out into the field be it academic wrap stories or other -- laboratories or other military laboratories, and they put together teams that bring forth this incredible science and technology and, in essence, create entire industries. >> and we'll talk about a couple of the industries because they're incredibly important. you had allude today the emphasis behind why darpa was formed, and you said 1958. as a historian, dates matter, certainly, but there's a real significant reason that darpa was formed in 1958. following in the footsteps of some monumental events in world history. talk a little bit about what caused the united states government to think they needed an agency like this. >> well, i open the book with a scene of the castle bravo thermonuclear bomb in the marshall islands, this massive 15-megaon the -- megaton
explosion. i do that because i think it's important to know the reason why darpa was formed, and that was initially to defend be against this weapon, in essence, which which there is no defense against. and that brings us to the heart of the idea of the military industrial complex and this idea that we must always be supreme, we must have these incredible weapons to stay ahead of the enemy and yet at the same time there's a knowledge built in that the enemy will eventually have that same technology, and so we must be on to the next. and so that is that give and take that eisenhower talks about. but specifically when sputnik was launched and that idea that whatever lofted sputnik, that soviet long-range missile could carry a nuclear warhead in its nose cone to the united states, that gave birth to darpa. and the idea was we must never again be taken by technological surprise. and it is amazing that in all the years since darpa has always
kept america in the pole position, kept us the strongest. there has never been an overtaking of american science and technology in terms of weaponry. >> and we're both too young to remember this time period, but there may be some in the audience who are of a more wise age that remember the fear of nuclear war back during the 1950s and the fear that even trickled down into the scientific world. this is a period where robert oppenheimer who helped build the american atomic bomb because he speakes out against the hydrogen bomb -- [inaudible] and the idea that the soviets could overtake us just about any day, the bomber and missile gaps and everything else led in many ways to the idea that we have to stay ahead technologically. >> well, here's an interesting detail. one of the first things that herb york did as director of arpa was determined -- and i don't think this had been determined before i found it -- was that he had all the
scientists calculate the exact number of seconds it took for a soviet icbm to get from the soviet union to washington d.c. it's an astonishingly short time, it is 1,600 seconds, that is it. that has not changed. and so, in essence, that threat that was there then is still there now. >> so enter a person most people haven't heard of, neil mcilroy, who was a secretary of defense, a very important secretary of defense. but before that, and i think that you do a great job in kind of laying out his personality a little bit, a lot of secretary of defenses are statisticians or policy wonks. he wasn't in the defense world before he became secretary of defense. you even lay him out as a pr guru. talk a little bit about mcilroy. >> of all things, he invented the concept of the soap opera,
and he was a leading guy in the advertising department at p&g, and he was in charge of soaps. and he was -- they had four soaps that were competing with one another, and he thought how are we going to sell more soap? well, let's play during these soap operas. and then he became the secretary of defense, and a very powerful one at that. >> and that comes in handy because this idea of darpa is not something that's palatable to the military agencies, to the other organizations that it's competing with x he has to convince all of them that this is an idea that's worth doing. >> yes. serious pushback from the military agency. in some of these old arpa documents i found, you know, mcilroy would meet with the individual heads trying to convince them that arpa was a great idea. the army said, no, no, no, it should be our territory, military science and earning. specifically space. they said the moon is just higher ground. and then the admirals in the
navy were saying, no, no, no, space should be our territory. where the oceans end, space starts. and so everybody had a reason why they wanted to control space which was really why, how arpa came to be. >> what fascinates me about this time period and about science in general is even sometimes the sciences don't know what they've created. they don't necessarily understand the magnitude. he talked about castle bravo. that was a much larger explosion than expected. i focused on the manhattan project, and they had no idea whatsoever, they were taking bets. would it set the atmosphere on fire, would it not work at all? and the great story you talk about here, the ballistic missile early warning system and how that almost started world war iii. this is an anecdote that is wonderful. can you please lay that out for us? >> arpa set up a facility near
the top of the world, it was about 15 miles of -- [inaudible] air force base. and the idea was it was called j-site, and it was going to be the place where we could watch for -- it was a ballistic missile radar early warning site. and i interviewed a fellow as i do, i always try to tell my stories through individual people who were there. and there was a fellow named gene mcmanus who was an ec tronics technician -- electronics technician, and he said our job was 90% boredom and 10% sheer terror. and one of the first things that happened, the j-site had only been opened a few days. it was on the -- october of 1960, and the roadside was connected directly to norad. there was this idea of level one, level two, level three. level five was end game, but it always started, it would always be level one, and it would usually, you know, go away.
but the notice came in level three, and by the time the operator in cheyenne mountain was on the phone with, you know, the joint chiefs of staff, it had escalated to level five which meant with 99.9% certainty we were under attack by a thousand icbms. and, you know, someone picked up the phone, and what was determined -- and the reason why i think this story is important is it talks a lot about humans versus computers, because these were very early computers. one of the humans in the mix said, wait a minute, where's khrushchev? and someone said, you know, he's in new york city banging his shoe at the u.n. [laughter] and there was this moment when everyone said, there must be a mistake. [laughter] and, in fact, there was a mistake. and what had happened -- someone up at j-site said someone look outside and, of course, there was this giant moon coming up over norway. and so this radar system had actually worked better than
expected. it was supposed to detect missiles up to 3,000 feet, and it actually red the reflection of the moon a quarter of a million miles away and bounced back and forth so many times, those were the thousand icb ms that were not coming. so disaster was averted by a human. >> early technology is always a little tricky. here at the spy museum, we certainly focus on the technological aspects, and one of those is imagery intelligence. satellites, one of the fundamental jobs of darpa was the early satellite program. and corona is the first real american satellite, it was inherited by darpa from the air force, and they solved that program to fruition. and the idea of the signet satellite, the imagery sat height. and you see these start to leak into the civilian world a little bit. i'm not going to screw up the
acronym, television infrared observation satellite program. this is the first weather satellite. >> eisenhower loved that program. he was so amazed that nasa had inherited that program that darpa started. amazing images. they were very early satellites, and it took something like 23,000 photographs above the earth of the earth. and just, i mean, in this world where we always see so much with such big perspective, imagine back that idea that these were the first images of weather seen from space, and they were beautiful, and eisenhower spoke of that. and i write about it, you know? he saw, you know, what it looked like over egypt, he saw what it looked like over the st. lawrence river. he could see the whole world in these photographs, and he spoke
to the nation about it, you know, with kind of a great pride. they became, you know, a big national geographic spread. but it was a really interesting time. and not that long ago in the big picture of things when we could first see things from space. >> you'd mentioned in your very beginning of your conversation that the -- [inaudible] essentially uses the smartest scientists in the country. yo how round up the top people. i want to talk about one of these assembled scientists that had a very particular name, the just aens, because -- the jasons, because to me this is something that people just don't know about. the amount of influence the jasons had over american foreign policy, still have today over american foreign policy, is pretty extraordinary. and the first jasons were assembled in 1959, led by a man named charles townes who you may or may not know charles townes. he invented something very important. can you talk a little bit about
the jasons and what they do and kind of how their job has continued til today? >> the jasons began in 1960 as a group of -- well, they were referred to by their government handlers as the supermen of hard science. they were astrophysicists, they were nuclear fizz nists, they handled -- physicists, they handled, tackled all the hard problems. and immediately when darpa was found, the idea was we need exactly as you said, we need the best guys with the biggest minds. and for a while jasons' only customer was arpa/darpa. i had the great fortune of interviewing a fellow named marvin goldberger who was a presidential science adviser, also the founder, cofounder of the jasons. i write about him in the book. he just passed. but it was interesting hearing his perspective. we interviewed in 2013, and like his long lens of history working
on these projects going back to the '60s, the jasons are so misunderstood as being these kind of -- some people consider them to be right up there with the i human natty in terms of, you know, these guys cooking up these ideas. but i actually found from reading their unclassified reports and interviewing some of them that they were very cautious in their work, and they, they were also full-time academics and part-time defense scientists. they would only gather in the summers and discuss these big problems that the secretary of defense would put to them and say sort this out. >> right. and it wasn't easy problems, it was the very, very difficult ones that nobody else could figure out that they were handed. hey, we have no idea what to do with this, you fix it. and, amazingly, their track record is pretty spectacular. >> i'll say the unclassified documents that you can read that i read are one thing, but the classified documents, some of
names of the documents have been declassified, only the names, but when you read them, you realize -- i couldn't understand that even if it was declassified. [laughter] i mean, it is such literally hard science. >> darpa really comes of age during the vietnam war, trial by fire in many respects. you know, in a lot of the things that are, you know, looked at in vietnam as being potentially problematic about the war were things that darpa either tried to get rid of or were the cause of in some respects. they were the first ones really to appreciate the idea of trying to defeat a insurgency with technology. maybe not the first one to think of it, but that was really the primary focus during vietnam, was these high-tech counterinsurgency strategies. can you talk a little bit about this, the effect of using soft
science like anthropology and sociology? >> i mean, vietnam was a very interesting time for arpa. and many different programs came out of it. i mean, they were working on, as you say, soft science, anthropology be programs. they were also working on conventional weapons. the ar-15 was a darpa weapon, it's now the m-16. there were early gliders which led to stealth technology. but the one that i found the most impactful was the idea of sensor technology. the ho chi minh trail was sort of dreaded problem of the pentagon, and all of the fighters, the insurgents would come from the north to the south by way of this trail. and the secretary of defense tasked the jason scientists with figuring out a way to stop this. they really saw it almost like it was a human, and it needed, you know, to have its artery severed. and the jason scientists in a lot of their documents spoke
about it that way. it was really like that was the locus. and so they tried, they thought about nuclear weapons. that was not an option. it was discussed. and then this idea of an electronic fence which the reason that i write about this and found it so interesting to really explore was because all thissen sor technology -- sensor technology, seismic sensors which had come from the program that you referred to, audio sensors, magnetic sensors, these were incredibly early ideas during the vietnam war, and now they make up so much of our existence. >> right. >> i mean, i'm sure driving here somebody's windshield wipers just started to work, you know, at a drop of rain. well, that's, essentially, technology that goes back -- the way i see it -- to that vietnam war, to the sensors that the jasons were working on. >> massive technology that still today is used throughout the intelligence agency, but also in civilian practice. i'm sure one of us drove over one of the sensors on the ground
to determine how fast we were going or anything else like that. >> yes. >> vietnam was also a time where darpa began to invest in some more questionable technologies; agent orange, certainly, is one of these. also things that i find very interesting is weather modification technology. so, you know, more devious things, but also more outside-the-box thinking about potentially winning the war through causing monsoons or changing the ability of the vietnamese to grow food and move weapons from point a to point b. >> i mean, they were and continue to be always at the cutting edge of science, and car darpa is an agency that's looking at problem 20 years, 25 years. it's spoken of as pre-requirement research. and that takes us, p again, back to that idea of the military industrial complex. it was one of the darpa directors, stephen lieu kasich, who spoke to congress by saying you guys are making weapons we
don't need, and he called it the chicken and the egg problem. he said, listen, if a need for a weapon system comes along and we haven't already developed it, there's a real problem x. that's the chicken and the egg problem. >> i want to talk a little bit about civilian use of some of the technology developed by darpa, because this is where the audience if they haven't heard this agency before will go, oh, that's where that's from. so let's start with who is j.c.r. lickliter? >> often referred to as the johnny appleseed of the internet. he really is the man who is responsible for what we have today as the internet, that technology used by almost half the people on the planet. and that began as an arpa project. the internet was originally called the arpa-net, and lickliter came to the pentagon, to arpa when in 1962 when congress diseased there was a -- decided there was a really big
technology problem. and if you can imagine the idea of a red phone, that was the technology that president kennedy and khrushchev had to use, either one of them, to make that dreaded go/no go nuclear decision. and mindful that there are 1600 seconds til doomsday, imagine wasting 30 seconds trying to dial a rotary phone. [laughter] and so the pentagon said we need command and control. and they hire -- and lickliter came to arpaspecifically to work on this -- arpa specifically to work on this problem. one of his early memos talked about this idea of an intergalactic network where he was going to have all these computers that somehow spoke to each other, were tied together, and everyone said, yeah, yeah, yeah, work on the command and control problem. later, of course, that becomes the arpa-net which is the internet. >> well, scientists have gone back and looked at some of lickliter's writings s and he
essentially predicts cloud computing. this is, again, in the 960s -- 1960s, it's somewhat similar to alan turing talking about artificial intelligence back during that time. it's hard not to talk about lickliter not only for the internet, but also as kind of a computer modeling pioneer, about how a lot of the data systems today are are used to create models for either everything from war games to weather patterns and everything else. can you talk a little bit about that as well? >> yes. and many people do not know that about lickliter. he did have -- you know, i often wonder, and i write this in the book, i wonder what his intentions were because he was liberal in his thinking and transparent. obviously, he had this idea of sharing everything. but at the same time, he was involved in one of the more controversial programs of the vietnam war which had to do with behavior modeling with computers. so the new computer systems over in thailand were gathering information based on these
lickliter ideas of behavior modeling. so, for example, keep track of what certain villagers were doing in these various strategic hamlet programs, feed that information into these giant computers with the idea that down the road we could track these individuals, find them, follow them, see how they wound up. >> right. >> and this gets into very awkward territory, i think, for the pentagon today having to do with surveillance programs. >> right. >> because they do link to one another -- >> a lineage, clear lineage, absolutely. >> yes. >> who is jack thorpe? be i think he builds on a lot of -- >> well, not to embarrass, we have neil crosby here today who was working with jack thorpe. after the internet, you know, this idea came around that computers were incredibly helpful and that they could be used as a training tool. and so jack thorpe had this idea of creating, you know, a system -- instead of using an old sand table to have generals
make ideas, it could be computerized. and this was profound thinking. and also thorpe was not cleared on the arpa-net at that point, so it's really prescient of him. and it eventually became an arpa program. "wired" magazine refer ored to jack thorpe as the father of cyberspace, in essence, because that civilian technology that everyone knows today and that everyone's children in the audience probably works on the mmogs and plays these games, these giant systems find their origin in the program that jack thorpe and neil crosby ended up oning at arpa for the generals at the pentagon who wanted to play those games and throw a little stealth into the equation. >> and that filtered all the way down to the ground level. i mean, i was in the army as a tanker, and i was on sim net with thousands of other people around the country working together. >> wow, okay. >> so that jumped out, certainly, in the book as well.
there are other civilian testimonies like gps is a darpa brain child as are nonlethal technologies used for, like, s.w.a.t. teams, things like that. i think you could kind of close out this conversation about the civilian use with a couple of those technologies. >> gps is an amazing one. it also, you know, one thing that darpa does so well, and this has to do from the scientists and pg nears that i spoke -- and engineers that i spoke with, almost all of them are incredibly gung ho darpa, and they talk about how darpa finds the solutions to things and allows scientists to push science in a way that maybe their industry bosses wouldn't allow them to because it might not seem like such a good idea. darpa thinking of the future be, darpa likes to say darpa makes the future happen. and this is sort of in the spirit of how eisenhower created or saw this initial idea was that it would cut out interservice rivalry, gps being a great example of that,
originally an arpa program, they lost to these satellites. and then in the '70s the navy started having its own gps program and so did the air force. and then the orderses came from the pebt gone that said -- pentagon that said, wait a minute, this is not working the way it should as one system for all the agencies, and so darpa was put back on the program and then, ultimately, they created a system called nav-star which is the gps we have today. there was a fascinating detail that i did not know. gps was working away, we all just didn't know about it, didn't use it. yes, and it had a little feature because it was a targeting idea. that was what the military application was. but it had a feature built in called selective availability. so someone in europe, let's say, or asia could very easily hack into the system. the pentagon didn't want them to know for charting reasons how close it was, so they created about a hundred or 150-foot offset.
and then in the early '90s, moving toward the late '90s, europe started developing gps and saying, well, we're going to create an industry with this. and then president clinton made the system public, got rid of the sa feature. and because america could greatly benefit from having that technology, just ask google -- [laughter] and so now we all have gps. although it has been around for quite some time. >> i thought it was a fascinating deail in the book that i didn't know either, i was in the military before clinton took away that feature. and we always wondered why we couldn't use civilian gps, because they were much smaller even at that time. and the pluggers, which is what we called the big military gps, like, no, you've got to use that one. now i know why i couldn't -- >> targets by several hundred feet, yeah. >> let's move into the modern period, as we already are. and i think things that are we -- i said we, but that's because i'm ex-military -- see
everywhere on a modern battlefield owe their existence to darpa. things like stealth technology, night mission vision and laser-guided munitions, things like drones. drones are something we pay a lot of attention to. and talk a little bit more about how a lot of the current military technology is because of this agency. >> uh-huh. darpa is very much about brilliance and hubris. it's about these incredible, in my estimation, it's about these incredible programs, it's about pushing science x. so one must really ask questions about where we are now. ..
places where the techno -- the technology is catching at. >> in 25 years human on the battlefield may not be fully human with artificial intelligence budget these are things that 10 years ago replicated science-fiction now are becoming more true every day. >> i would use the word cyborg. [laughter] but by a hybrid is that idea we couple in an animal with a machine they can do that with their bats or electrodes in the brain so now from the pentagon documents it is moving humans in the military
environment to be comfortable with the idea to merge man and machine that makes a lot of people uncomfortable and a lot of other people excited it just depends review fall on the lines of the idea that's essentially we can now create our own evolution and engineer our own evolution. >> it may sound like science fiction but all actual science fiction writers ever brought in to work think about the future can you talk about that? >> yes. the pentagon science-fiction writers think along the lines of or the a.d. is of the future. you mentioned charles earlier who invented the laser and won the nobel prize in 1964. i was a getting any answers from laser weapon that the
pentagon as it was very highly classified obviously. but there are still giving interviews in his office at berkeley was incredible. the way he got the idiot to invent the laser was for military and civilian use but they got that idea in 1926 with a science fiction book that inspired him to create the laser no wonder the pentagon is interested in science fiction. >> talk about eisenhower and the military-industrial complex anybody who knows has to be concerned as some level of the influence of
the billions of dollars spent by the defense industry and you say in your book the people that are pulling are not made up of sciences mower in junior. is that something we should be concerned about? is that how darpa was in the beginning with nothing or is that a continued militarization? how does that dynamic work? >> is an important question. keep in mind it is hard when
you get to the antenna to have the conclusions that one of the conclusion is that i asked people to contemplate is what you talk about is the idea of the military industrial complex as eisenhower warned against it in his speech that as long as you have the other to and knowledgeable citizenry you can have the power of all industrial complex. the problem that i come across when went to interview a program manager from of darpa from 1990 and discussing what is emerging as an with machine makes
some uncomfortable and i said that they had counseled the pentagon that was of that idea we should not put brain chips into people's brains because that could be -- the to bring control that is their assessment not mine. and i was told they're not relevant any more. to bnd in house pentagon think tank. because what is also true those who were full-time academics as the list explains they sit on the
board which is the question that eisenhower raised raised, let's major the citizens maintains a knowledge they are aware of the military industrial complex is planning to do. >> in that same speech of that technological reason. now we will open to questions from you. frazier and. >> do you have examples where the darpa scientists see something in the civilian world than built upon that to create that
technology? >> yes. that is a great question where i observed that had to do with the situation in the war of terror in did iraq where darpa had combat zones at sea with the idea to use that technology is now the combat zone of eight goals or overhead centers on the ground to get an idea of these early warfare retirement. from what i understand it followed the google maps model to send contractors into the field to map the territory very similar to google maps now we know there are other partnerships as well.
>> i am looking forward to this one. i was consulting with the man who consulted with darpa also. my question is were there many scientists involved with darpa and how were they vetted? >> all of my a research i did not come across the paper a scientist does not mean they were not there because there were so many that were involved. but that is a great question. you have stumped me. >> there were those earlier from earlier works benign natural born americans so they didn't have discrimination against people board mother countries were those from the manhattan project i have not seen it either.
>> there is one names that have come across named hollins -- hans ziegler. >> if you go back to the brain implant programming what about the use of robots is the military making the investment but robots are already given markets in other parts of the world so what would they implement on the battlefield? how much with a human need to control that? >> there are so many darpa robots in place presently you can go to the darpa web site to see the amazing website a crawl and walk and
fall over and get back up up, they are this big. and is across every military service and the pentagon plans with unmanned warfare to indicate the movement would force that's from remote control to governments spare me the people of her that night but it can -- or the name darpa from the robotic challenge. >> a fascinating talk. what are some of the ways that darpa with its projects in to the greater public sector? with the technology your
distribution? >> we talked about the internet and gps. specifically? now it is out there? from what i've understand it is the decision like it clinton and al gore then somebody makes the announcement. it is a declassification issue in many cases. >> you have the bin said when other countries have established the technology by themselves it no longer your needs to stay classified gps was a good example in europeans and others were putting up satellites there is no need to keep the program classified anymore. >> what's the level of cooperation between darpa
and j stock and were bonterre? >> reminder standing talking to individuals, everybody wants what darpa has because it has the best stuff. and it goes both ways. there are couple of different programs in the book with bay darpa team that the darpa guys went into afghanistan with jsoc i'm not clear how that worked i assure it is still classified bed there was definitely cooperation from maya understanding from all military personnel. >> this may not be fair and if it is tell me to shut up.
[laughter] but with all these interesting ideas, what is your next book going to be? since it seems one leads to the next? what about all of your effort? >> guest: i will keep it under this leave until i write the next book but i can say i always love writing about the agency and military intelligence work together because there is an idea that they don't it is my sanders standing that they do so would involve a program that was is cia and dia spirit that is more than i would have told. >> there are so many programs. >> turnoff the c-span
cameras. [laughter] >> there is a lot of people from darpa that ran various positions in government before and after that psychological strategy can you talk about teaching as a terminator for senior managers or they're broader impact of policy? >> guest: that is a great question and that speaks to how important science and technology their current secretary of defense but the first coming of the first was harold brown who came directly from livermore at age 24 and was a protege that led to the pentagon he was the person that all darpa people were taken to
during the vietnam war that became secretary of defense. very important and in essence created a important darpa concept that i read about in the book that allows the u.s. military to dominate tiddle for one that is all science and technology driven and when the secretary of defense was able to get money into the arena that did not exist before by creating an entire industry around technology at the pentagon. >> you alluded to the linkages between the intelligence community and darpa. did you ever run across any
instance where darpa benefited from the espionage providing the seeds of research your suffering from as people want to get access? >> guest: a great question. i don't know if darpa was ever infiltrated. i don't know. another way there is an incredible interplay because the programs are so interwoven of sciences and technology that there was one interesting evening interview and i interviewed them and they worked together on a lot and to it was the early organization of this new idea at called
iarpa that they were very impressed and wanted their own models of a model themselves after darpa. >> and almost takes darpa back to the core where iarpa just puts out contracts and contracts to bid on the ability to do the computing that even five years ago no one was thinking that way. now iarpa has taken the next level to say we want people thinking 30 years down the road. >> tell us more about how darpa is organized or how one comes to join a nor how long you are there for the recruitment? >> there is generally 120
program managers usually people say by year's reduce some when the audience that has been there decades. that is the structure of budget the but i would also remind everyone that as with all of these agencies the information is only part of the story it is free of red tape and bureaucracy and they don't make things themselves they form it out that allows them of flexibility. but they do have a large building that not many reporters get into so who knows what is really going on in there. >> powless is darpa today
involved with the cyberwar? >> if you look at the budget you can see how many of the programs are trying to defend against cyberwarfare. it is interesting the only vulnerability i have never heard the pentagon speak of is cyberwarfare that it is very clear we have supremacies everywhere but cyberwarfare is an enormous threat. i don't think darpa could do either of in that area i would imagine that they are. >> now the number one potential threat to the united states. people are paying attention with a lot of money going to it certainly. any last questions?
>> with the conversation with the technology khmer previously went to the military do you think that darpa still has the edge so the foreign power can use the private companies? with that technological spirit of the u.s.? does darpa still have the edge? >> guest: i am sure it does. [laughter] they have incredible satellite programs including one of reusable technology. so i think the whole idea of what is happening is have
been a resurgence that is similar to what it was in 1958 no where is it more important and satellite technology. since darpa job is to keep the nation save then one can only imagine how much darpa is looking up. >> in zero ways works for private companies as the organizational structure so we don't know necessarily the for private companies getting technologically advantages through its own or getting money through some morals. my kids meno one day. any final questions? >> i always enjoy a reading the sections above of book where your but bids and did
darpa cooperate you had to identify sources? can you talk about the process? >> i always love talking to scientists and engineers to work on these programs. i do write about the scene in - - seemingly impenetrable subjects it is a question of sources and i carry with me the idea when i wrote about area 51 of a scientist who worked with the cia as the pioneer of space and told me two things. fortune favors the prepared mind if you're always on top of your permission and keep current, people will
gravitate toward you to share their stories. he also told need to look up that is a physicist concept because they're always looking up for the answers rather bats or birds soar the moon the answer lies above. he also said go higher up and someone as the source does not want to talk it is there too low and they are count - - and they can. so day find wonderful and inspiring and important these mines the scientists and engineers the charles of the world people who have knowledge and information are willing to share if you ask the question.
bb bad press office will not give me information and but surely with the scientists do it is a wonderful thing about when you get old to look back on your life as the older sources of mind to, you say what can i share with my country that i have spent so much time dedicating my wife? >> was this vetted at all? >> i am a journalist i have a civilian. >> we happen to have a lot of ex agency types that have to go through hurdles. >> it is the need your question. [laughter]
the latter part of the look is in particular the essex community that the robots are taking over and we lose control. having been through this now appear for years, do you share that? >> here is what i think. i begin the book with the idea that scientists created a of a weapon against which there is no defense. they both wrote to the president of the united states this what then should not be made an evil thing because they fear the ribby no defense against that we have lived all these decades with the i hope it doesn't happen and it hasn't but
we're at a parallel situation now in my mind and of many scientists i have interviewed who think about the question should we be afraid of artificial intelligence? the idea among the smartest is the overwhelming majority say that could be a weapon against which there is no defense and therefore limits must be in place. so mightier comes from a shared concern coming from very smart individuals. >> very, very smart. like bill gates and others talking absolutely. >> good evening. thanks for your time in regards to the military
industrial complex let our iron pots - - what are your thoughts of death states that they balance? cement do exactly what you we're doing and thanks for coming just by participating and reading so much is out there thinks to the internet and all the books that we have we can just read and to have that knowledgeable bases is absolutely imperative some choose to be advocates and others just remain aware of how they go toward paying for how they share their ideas with others by you're doing a great job coming here tonight.