I saw that this link to Francis Fukuyama building his own drone was circulating earlier today and if you follow his links you can see the footage of his test flight–and a video of an RC Airbus A380, which might just be the best part. He talks a bit about his long-standing interest in using vehicles to be creepy and throws in some anti-government, anti-Taiwan, anti-China, pro-paranoia lines for good measure. The whole thing was just kind of a bummer and very much in keeping with the persona he’s recently put forward of the aging “ex” neocon just building furniture and wearing a cell phone holster. Then I saw that the drone footage was from the lawn outside of his office at Stanford, the lawn that was my daily lunch spot a year ago and I immediately thought that I should email the Association of Internet Researchers listserv to ask how we can stop Francis Fukuyama from making drones and putting videos on the Internet. Kickstarter maybe?
The aw-shucks profiles and the hobbyist blog posts smack of the “Rupert Murdoch joins Twitter, is boring” and “Henry Kissinger loves mini golf” and “Margaret Thatcher makes friends while selling friendship bracelets on Etsy” that are routine in news coverage of aging political figures. I don’t know how to describe phenomena that by showing how arch-conservatives are banal just like us end up being both titillating and disappointing. But there is something satisfying about the idea that Fukuyama is finished napalming intellectual thought and is much more interested in remote control toys and tooling around YouTube.