Bismarck, ND — While many people go about their business on the Northern Plains supplying food to the world, extracting natural resources underneath the rich soil to fuel America’s energy needs, and providing military support for this nation and abroad, there is another growing industry that supports all three. While some have heard of this popular machine functioning sometimes as a toy or a weapon, people in this region are unaware and even surprised that such a large industry with its endless applications even exists here—until now. The latest issue of 360 Review reintroduces the reader to this revolutionary technology.

DronePoster4“North Dakota has become the Silicon Valley for drone research, development and deployment, and pilot training,” said Patrick McCloskey, editor-in-chief of University of Mary’s 360 Review magazine. “Drones will be used to monitor and collect data regarding pipelines, fracking wells, electrical transmissions lines, to give a few examples in the energy industry. In agriculture, drones are being developed now that will help farmers with close to real time data and images, which will make precision agriculture a reality at an affordable cost. Drones have many other obvious uses for government, industry, retail businesses and personal use.”

The story, written by Mark Mills, author and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Faculty Fellow in the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University and CEO of the Digital Power Group, talks about the past, present and future with drones. According to McCloskey, this is just the beginning.

“Large companies, such as General Atomics and Northrop Grumman, are establishing drone operations here. Hundreds of associated business will be attracted, not only to Grand Forks—where Big Sky and the Grand Forks Air Force base are located—but to Fargo, Bismarck and other areas statewide.”

If the inaugural edition of the 360 Review caught your attention—and in most cases, caught you by surprise—then this latest version, in all its artistic and literary splendor, will have you wanting more and stir even more debate and conversation, according to McCloskey.

360-Review-122-222210“In this issue, we write about the drone research and fast-growing drone industry in North Dakota; a conversation between recently retired generals from the North Dakota National Guard; a provocative commentary on moral issues in robotic weapons development and the fast approaching tsunami of job automation; German-Russian immigration and cultural divide post-WWII; Winnebago as a model of economic diversity in small-town America; a profound account of why there’s no peace in the Middle East; a review of a terrific book about football and civil rights, and other interesting articles. This issue of 360 Review also includes exquisite photos of a brilliant painter and sculptor, who portrays Upper Great Plains scenes with an ancient technique.”

Jerry Anderson, art director and photographer for 360 Review, not only photographed but also co-wrote the story, “The Waxing and Waning of Light,” featuring Mike Paul of Sioux Falls. And of course, Anderson played a major role with McCloskey in the provocative concept and creation of the cover.

“The Waxing and Waning of Light,” article featuring artist Mike Paul

“The Waxing and Waning of Light,” article featuring artist Mike Paul

“Art is more my specialty, so I felt comfortable writing and photographing the Mike Paul story,” said Anderson. “Patrick came up with the original concept for the cover, then I modified and refined it in the studio during the shoot.”

“The front cover shows a robotic hand and human face, posing the question of the relationship between humans and machines, robots, computerization and automation,” stated McCloskey. ”Who or what is in control? How beneficial is this relationship for people? How does the increasing integration of people with the digital world affect our humanity?”

Those are just a few of the several difficult questions that need to be asked as America faces the possibility of empowering robotic weapons systems with the decision to kill humans on the battlefield, not to mention taking over some of our daily jobs.

McCloskey and Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Robert Latiff both serve on the advisory board of the Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values at the University of Notre Dame. They come to grips with the ethical dilemma as part of their coauthored “Closer to the Robo-Rubicon.”

“The technology for full robotic autonomy already exists,” said McCloskey. “At the same time, the U.S. military insists that human soldiers will remain ‘in the loop’ regarding kill decisions. The problem is that technological development and geopolitics are making that precept increasingly difficult to maintain. It is urgent that we soon engage in public discussions, involving members of the military, politicians, academics, clergy and interested citizens.”

The mission of 360 Review is the same as that of the University of Mary: to serve the people of this region and beyond. Because of the industrially diverse nature of the Northern Plains and those who proudly call it home, stories inside the second edition of 360 Review touch on the pulse of its readers well ‘beyond’ its borders and imaginary boundaries. As Brian C. Anderson, editor of the City Journal in New York City, put it, “360 Review provides coastal readers (and anyone else interested) with important information about the Northern Plains, where American virtues and aspirations continue to thrive.”