Daniel Soar on the militarisation of metaphor
: Spies aren’t known for their cultural sensitivity. So it was a surprise when news broke last month that IARPA, a US government agency that funds ‘high-risk/high-payoff research’ into areas of interest to the ‘intelligence community’, had put out a call for contributions to its Metaphor Program, a five-year project to discover what a foreign culture’s metaphors can reveal about its beliefs.
posted by jack_mo
on Jun 27, 2011 -
"During the competition, each of four judges will type a conversation with one of us for five minutes, then the other, and then will have 10 minutes to reflect and decide which one is the human. Judges will also rank all the contestants—this is used in part as a tiebreaking measure. The computer program receiving the most votes and highest ranking from the judges (regardless of whether it passes the Turing Test by fooling 30 percent of them) is awarded the title of the Most Human Computer. It is this title that the research teams are all gunning for, the one with the cash prize (usually $3,000), the one with which most everyone involved in the contest is principally concerned. But there is also, intriguingly, another title, one given to the confederate who is most convincing: the Most Human Human award." [more inside]
posted by jng
on Feb 15, 2011 -
In an age of information wealth, how do we decide what's true & what's not? Allow me to introduce the world of discussion mapping. First up we have zest
), a simple tool for threading mailing lists for easier navigation. It lacks the advanced features of the others but it's an easy starting point for structuring your discussions. [more inside]
posted by scalefree
on Jan 10, 2011 -
The French government today said it was the victim of an "economic war" after Renault, the partially state-owned car maker, suspended three top executives over suspected leaks of secret electric car technology.
The French industry minister, Eric Besson, told French radio: "The expression 'economic war', while often outrageous, is for once appropriate here." He said the case illustrated "the risks our companies face in terms of industrial espionage, and economic intelligence".
posted by infini
on Jan 6, 2011 -
Earlier this year, the Washington Post exposed the increasing size of the US intelligence community: 1,931 private companies, 10,000 offices, and hundreds of thousands of employees (previously
). Today we have a better picture on how much it's costing taxpayers: 80 billion every year. [more inside]
posted by notion
on Oct 28, 2010 -
From a 2008 document titled "Wikileaks.org—An Online Reference to Foreign Intelligence Services, Insurgents, or Terrorist Groups?
" (PDF) produced by the Cyber Counterintelligence Assessments Branch of the Army Counterintelligence Center:
(S//NF) Wikileaks.org uses trust as a center of gravity by assuring insiders, leakers, and whistleblowers who pass information to Wikileaks.org personnel or who post information to the Web site that they will remain anonymous. The identification, exposure, or termination of employment of or legal actions against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others from using Wikileaks.org to make such information public.
posted by scalefree
on Mar 15, 2010 -
1995 Contractor Study Finds that U.S. Analysts Exaggerated Soviet Aggressiveness and Understated Moscow's Fears of a U.S. First Strike.
During a 1972 command post exercise, leaders of the Kremlin listened to a briefing on the results of a hypothetical war with the United States. A U.S. attack would kill 80 million Soviet citizens and destroy 85 percent of the country's industrial capacity. According to the recollections of a Soviet general who was present, General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev "trembled" when he was asked to push a button, asking Soviet defense minister Grechko "this is definitely an exercise?" This story appears in a recently released two-volume study on Soviet Intentions, 1965-1985, prepared in 1995 by the Pentagon contractor BDM Corporation, and published today for the first time by the National Security Archive. [more inside]
posted by DreamerFi
on Sep 14, 2009 -
Impressed and alarmed by advances in artificial intelligence, a group of computer scientists is debating whether there should be limits on research that might lead to loss of human control over computer-based systems that carry a growing share of society’s workload, from waging war to chatting with customers on the phone. From the NYT: Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Man
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Jul 26, 2009 -
NSA E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress.
"Since April, when it was disclosed that the intercepts of some private communications of Americans went beyond legal limits in late 2008 and early 2009, several Congressional committees have been investigating. Those inquiries have led to concerns in Congress about the agency’s ability to collect and read domestic e-mail messages of Americans on a widespread basis, officials said. Supporting that conclusion is the account of a former N.S.A. analyst who, in a series of interviews, described being trained in 2005 for a program in which the agency routinely examined large volumes of Americans’ e-mail messages without court warrants. Two intelligence officials confirmed that the program was still in operation." [Via]
posted by homunculus
on Jun 17, 2009 -
"George W. Bush defended harsh interrogations by pointing to intelligence breakthroughs, but a surprising number of counterterrorist officials say that, apart from being wrong, torture just doesn’t work. Delving into two high-profile cases, the author exposes the tactical costs of prisoner abuse."
posted by homunculus
on Dec 18, 2008 -
I asked Nathan Myhrvold, C.E.O. of Intellectual Ventures and widely considered to be one of the smartest people in technology, if he is brilliant. "If you put yourself in that camp, you might be correct," he teased. "But then, you're also an asshole." The Brilliant Issue
profiles Porfolio's picks for best game-changers, upstarts, rebels, connectors and other influencers. [more inside]
posted by Non Prosequitur
on May 2, 2008 -
Recently released documents from the British National Archives have unearthed the role of an astrologist called Louis de Wohl
. His claim was that, since Hitler consulted an astrologer to determine what to do, he could look at the same star signs and predict what Hitler's actions would be. The Intelligence services apparently did not believe this - but British Security Coordination
, a secret propaganda organisation designed to influence Americans to join the war, did see a possibility in this and sent him on a US tour where he foretold Hitler's imminent downfall. He may also have been asked to leak some information which had previously been decrypted from Enigma messages. A BBC Radio 4 interview
with historian Christopher Andrew
and writer William Boyd
(starting 18min 50 sec in) provides more details.
posted by rongorongo
on Mar 4, 2008 -