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Coming at you, under the radar! Jack into the matrix and start a cyberevolution!
July 18, 2006 10:04 AM   Subscribe

A Practical Guide to Defeating The Radical Right, Cyberwar & Netwar, and non-facetious uses of the word matrix, courtesy of the Well's mythical gopherspace. (Firefox users check out what search used to look like; IE users try http).
posted by hoverboards don't work on water (22 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
The Well's gopher is/was great. All kinds of tasty old Bruce Sterling essays in there.

Whereas cyberwar refers to knowledge-related conflict at the military level, netwar applies to societal struggles most often associated with low intensity conflict by non-state actors, such as terrorists, drug cartels, or black market proliferators of weapons of mass destruction. Both concepts imply that future conflicts will be fought more by "networks" than by "hierarchies," and that whoever masters the network form will gain major advantages.

"Knowledge must become capability."
-- Carl von Clausewitz, On War


good call.
posted by craniac at 10:15 AM on July 18, 2006


Does this mean that there'll also be a "Practical Guide to Defeating the Loony Left?"

Just asking...
posted by skitchen at 10:35 AM on July 18, 2006


There will be if you post one.

What a lot of the stuff there misses is the rise of corporations a a threat to privacy and freedom with the impotent state receding to the background.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:38 AM on July 18, 2006


Skitchen, I think that is more or less

1. Provide rope
2. Wait.

At least based on the last 6-8 years of the Democratic Party's organization and strategy (insert your own joke for that one).
posted by phearlez at 10:47 AM on July 18, 2006


No, that'd be a Practical Guide to Defeating the Tax-raising, Latte-drinking, Sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, Body-piercing, Hollywood-loving Left Wing Freak Show.

With apoplogies to Geoff Nunberg, of course.
posted by matematichica at 10:55 AM on July 18, 2006


Does this mean that there'll also be a "Practical Guide to Defeating the Loony Left?"

The Right's already found its network forms & is actively exploiting them. Talk radio & Fox News, densely connected think tank/pundit social networks & churches are all network systems the Right has been using to great effect for more than a decade. It's been my belief for a while now that in order to counter all that, what's really needed is more basic research into the network form of self-organized social systems & development of a new class of social network analysis tools to hasten the creation of a system of network-based decision making & governance systems. Which is what I'm planning on devoting my time to, in between trying to make a living & all that.
posted by scalefree at 11:32 AM on July 18, 2006 [3 favorites]


Malarkey? Or Effective Way?

Nice touch.
posted by homunculus at 11:32 AM on July 18, 2006


(insert your own joke for that one).

"I don't belong to any organized political party. I'm a Democrat." -- Will Rogers
posted by lodurr at 11:39 AM on July 18, 2006


scalefree: The Right's already found its network forms & is actively exploiting them. Talk radio & Fox News, densely connected think tank/pundit social networks & churches are all network systems the Right has been using to great effect for more than a decade. ...

Of relevance to your view...
posted by lodurr at 11:43 AM on July 18, 2006


BITNET (Because It's Time NETwork), FidoNet, the various FreeNets, it was an age of exploration, invention & discovery. The wonders of UUCP - has anybody else here ever sent an email over UUCP, host!host!user style? Fun times.
posted by scalefree at 11:45 AM on July 18, 2006


Ooh, I missed that, lodurr. Thanks for the catch!
posted by scalefree at 11:46 AM on July 18, 2006


scalefree: I used to use gateways to send FIDO and Compuserve messages to Internet and vice-versa, back in the mid-90s. Good times, indeed. (Except I make a lot more money now.)
posted by lodurr at 11:50 AM on July 18, 2006


It's relativly easy to defeat the logic and arguments of the redical right... it's another thing entirely to make them listen to you.

Moonbats!
posted by triolus at 11:57 AM on July 18, 2006


How do you beat a network? With a network, of course. We're only just starting the process, but in the end I'm confident of the result. The policy-making part of their system is really an extremely vertical hierarchy, with all decisions made at the top, far away from the inbound information-gathering nodes & outbound implementation nodes; the networks are predominantly one-way broadcast networks which works fine for giving orders but sucks for intelligence gathering & collaboration & creates the potential for a real disconnect between the populace & the leadership, as we've seen. The kind of networks I'm talking about, on the other hand, will take all of that in to account & have those functions designed in & optimized for a balance between efficiency of information flow, resilience & effective decision making. There's a lot of hand-waving there, I know. But the building blocks for all of it are already out there, it's just up to someone to put them together the right way. I'm hoping I get to play a part in it.
posted by scalefree at 12:24 PM on July 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


How do you beat a network? with a network of autonomous collectives? It's what has worked lately, at least in latin america and in seattle '99.

I'm skeptical of network organization, but for the very reasons that scalefree seems to address, so maybe it's the type of network i'm thinking about. But what i've read on network analysis seems to lionize "rich get richer" behaviors of systems as "natural" and I wonder about that.

If networks can map our where re-distributions of resources, training, and decision-making need to happen to promote democracy, then yay. If not, let's not let the tool become the master, like we did with markets.
posted by eustatic at 12:55 PM on July 18, 2006


BITNET (Because It's Time NETwork), FidoNet, the various FreeNets, it was an age of exploration, invention & discovery. The wonders of UUCP - has anybody else here ever sent an email over UUCP, host!host!user style? Fun times.
posted by scalefree


Oh, yeah! The good ole days of the Wild West cyberworld -- remember Electropolis -- the description of early IRC life?!

The Well ... sigh ... a place to chat with John Perry Barlow, deadheads, futurists and VR geeks.

I am depending on the old geeks to remember how to do UUCP, btw -- I expect at some time guerilla revolutionaries will need all kinds of 'cyber sewers' to work around the Global Corporate Networks.

/gibson
posted by Surfurrus at 1:22 PM on July 18, 2006


scalefree: Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
posted by LooseFilter at 1:56 PM on July 18, 2006


^ me too. [applauds scalefree, wishes I had some geekery to share]
posted by yoga at 2:55 PM on July 18, 2006


The Well is, you know, still alive and, um, sort of well.
posted by words1 at 4:56 PM on July 18, 2006


"Radical": fairly neutral word denoting extemity
"Loony": derogatory word connoting insanity

Voila!
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:01 AM on July 19, 2006


Pastabagel

The state isn't receding, it is partnering with corporations. Look at what's happening with phone records, for example, or the unholy bond between Halliburton and the feds. (Hold off on the Godwin.)
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:03 AM on July 19, 2006


Indeed. There's much talk - either by globalisers or anti-globalisers - about the state fading away, but multinationals and trade orgs couldn't do most of what they do without clearly defined geographical and legislative boundaries which allow uniform enactment of policies, meaningful signatories on trade deals, and the ability to leverage infrastructure - or "security" forces - with little direct cost.
posted by poweredbybeard at 2:21 PM on July 19, 2006


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