It’s common knowledge that gadgets and gizmos of science fiction are often the concept behind a lot of modern equipment. What’s the newest technological crossover? Iron Man, according to President Obama.
At the “Manufacturing Innovation Event” on Tuesday (February 25th), Obama announced the creation of a Pentagon-led center in Canton, Michigan called the American Lightweight Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The purpose? To create jobs (no big surprise there), serve as a high-tech research center and to produce new materials for high-tech manufacturing. “Basically, I’m here to announce we’re building Iron Man,” admitted the President.
(a second institute will be opening in Chicago, Illinois to focus on high-tech digital manufacturing and design)
A Real World Iron Man?
It’s one of the things that makes Tony Stark a more relatable superhero than, say, Superman. There’s nothing extraordinary about him aside from his massive intellect, ginormous ego and a bank account reminiscent of Scrooge McDuck’s from “Duck Tales.”
But all of that aside? Stark is a normal (if not average) guy who builds a phenomenal machine. And now, we’re approaching the technology: we could have it too. But should we? While the idea of a real world “Iron Man” is remarkable, this writer can’t help but wonder is it practical? Sure, I bet there are plenty of Hot Shots at the Pentagon who could list for me all the reasons we want an “Iron Man” defending America: instability in the Middle East, an irreverent dictator running North Korea, weapons of mass destruction in the hands of our enemies, etc. But Marvel has always been very honest about the dangers posed once technology like “Iron Man” is created: it’s only a matter of time until someone else has it too. And I can say one thing with certainty: I do not want a guy like Kim Jong Un running around in a suit like that.