WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1011917

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Confortini's students approach their most disquieting drone exercise after viewing the film, "Eye in the Sky," a fictional account of a secret U.S. and U.K. military operation to conduct a drone strike on a terrorist's house in a densely populated town. At the last moment, with the strike imminent, horrified politicians watch through the drone's camera eye as a nine-year-old girl wanders into the kill zone. Subsequently, the Wellesley class is charged with directing its own drone to a precise location, while weighing the moral versus political considerations. "We designed our exercise to use the same language that the film used," says Confortini. "The decisions that the students had to make mimicked the decisions that were made in the movie, as they instructed Jordan how to direct the drone. [As a result], they under- stood how difficult it is when the military tells us that they can pinpoint exactly where bombs are going to fall, when, in actuality, it is next to impossible." Tynes, in acting as pilot for Wellesley's vari- ous pedagogical projects, has been in a prime position to observe the increasing influence of drone technology, with its growing applica- tions in agricultural analysis, humanitarian relief, emergency medical delivery, search and rescue assistance, high risk fire-fighting and building-repair work, spatial engineering, and (more controversially) surveillance and war- fare. But there are moments when he is able to detach himself from the complexities of his role and simply delight in the raw joy a small child might feel while flying his first remote- control toy: "I never expect this large, imposing ma- chine to actually get airborne," Tynes says with boyish wonder. "Yet, without fail, it will effort- lessly take off and glide high above the terrain, seeming to defy the laws of gravity. Flying it will always be a thrilling experience!" DIANE SPEARE TRIANT is a nonfiction writer in Wellesley Hills. [For 3D views of the Eastern Boeotia excavations in Greece, access "Digital Eleon" at https://ebapexcavations.org/digital/] B A C K G R O U N D P H O T O B Y J A M E S T R I A N T 58 Drones Over Wellesley W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 8

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