Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Different Soldier

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements.

In honor of Veteran's Day, I thought I'd throw out a question on war. Sort of. (I've been playing with this idea for a while, and maybe one day it'll actually grow up and become a story of its own.)

What if we sent older people to fight our wars rather than using the youth as soldiers? (For example, taking more experienced individuals and having them virtually fight via robots or such. But the question doesn't need to be limited specifically in this way.)


  1. i think virtual battling is a great idea (like Ender's Game) And as long as older more experienced soldiers lead the younger ones (more experienced in gaming) I think that would be a win win!

    1. But what if we took the younger ones out of it entirely?

  2. For some reason I am picturing men in their wheelchairs and walkers going around in circles not remembering where they were:) Actually that is like the politics of war anyway.

  3. If we adopted virtual battles, then what happens when 'people' die? Is it for real like on that star trek episode or does whoever win the game win the battle?

  4. I agree with Tara, seeing virtual battles such as those in Ender's Game would be an interesting concept.


  5. I wonder if 'recruiting' older, more experienced, more vested-in-their-lives adults to fight wars might reduce war. When you are young and think you are invincible and the government is promising to pay a huge chunk of your college or provide you with a long-term career in the military - it's easier to see why people enlist. But if you had to give up your life, your established career, your family, leave your home and community...maybe we'd be more determined to figure it out diplomatically. That's probably wishful thinking...

  6. Interesting question. I'm not sure it would go over very well for the older population :)


  7. Yes! What Tara at the top said. The young ones have faster reflexes but the oldies have the wisdom!

  8. I think there'd be a great deal more talking as opposed to fighting if we did that. I mean, seriously. Those older people have so much wisdom and not so much energy.

    Unleashing the Dreamworld

  9. I think robots are a good idea in general. Young or old, anyone could operate them remotely! Let's invent that.


I appreciate your comments.

I respond to comments via email, unless your profile email is not enabled. Then, I'll reply in the comment thread. Eventually. Probably.