Details on the suspected mass shooter in Las Vegas are now emerging in the press. They are only the outermost of what is sure to prove a concentric series of personalities. The suspect is described as a real friendly gambler who moved around a lot. The kind of guy who let neighbors borrow stuff. But had another rarely glimpsed side. He was sometimes rude and had a big mystery safe in his garage. He may have also killed 50 people and wounded hundreds.
The particulars are still coming in but clearly the suspect was intelligent and there is nothing more dangerous than an intelligent mind bent on killing. Rented truck, box cutter, fertilizer, gun have all been turned into weapons. The means are endless even though the motives may never be known. As time passes it will potentially get worse. These smart quiet guys will have ever more to work with. Lanza, Brevik, Mcveigh, Asahara and now Paddock may have been the start, but they will not be the end.
An ordinary 21st century man has more energy at his disposal than ancient kings. Much modern consumer technology is already dual purpose. It will become more so as distributed design and manufacturing spreads.
The maker culture is a contemporary culture or subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture that intersects with hacker culture (which is less concerned with physical objects as it focuses on software) and revels in the creation of new devices as well as tinkering with existing ones. The maker culture in general supports open-source hardware. Typical interests enjoyed by the maker culture include engineering-oriented pursuits such as electronics, robotics, 3-D printing, and the use of Computer Numeric Control tools.
All this lies at the disposal of a mind. Some craziness is obvious. Extremist religion, apocalyptic ideology are particularly maddening threats because we can see them coming but don't get out of the way. But sometimes the danger isn't obvious. Wait till we get a nice guy biotechnologist with a "big safe" in the garage.
There have always been crazy intelligent people. What's different is never before have there been so many tools around they can pick up. Tragic though recent events have been it's sobering to realize we've been lucky so far. Despite being one the largest manhunts in history the FBI still haven't officially solved the 2001 anthrax attacks, which could have been far worse. Inquiries ground into the anthrax case ground to a halt when the principal suspect killed himself with panadol. Panadol.
The Las Vegas attack is the most recent example of mass murder from the blue but it won't be the last.
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