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Thread: Information Operating Environment & Popular culture

  1. #1
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default Information Operating Environment & Popular culture

    Marc - I think you may be a better lead for this then me

    Is the popular culture ahead of military culture when it comes to Information Operations? Why would that be? What would be the cause and effect?

    I point to several other current threads as examples, but let me throw a couple of other referneces?

    Is Online Dating an Information Operation? Who primarily uses it? Why would we find it likely that conservative personalities would have reservations about online services?

    How about the advent of Unity08.com? I saw it on C-Span and checked it out - It has the potential to evolve the political process through participation and the perception of participation.

    Consider the soft/indirect power that CoPs have? How many westerners understand soft/indirect influence?

    Look at pod casts, HD TV ( I love this one because you see warts and all which I posit sublinally influences how you receive the information), Sattelite & HD radio, Cell phones (not you Nextel Motorolas - but the Internet Camera phone types, online gaming, etc.

    Consider the use of Pseudonyms and symbol images - the name and photo/avatar of a blogger both influences how the audience receives the information , but also how the writer writes - a freedom comes with anonymity, while caution may accompany use of real names and photos.

    Consider how an email (or posted document) reviewed for conciseness and clarity vs. being error prone can improve or taint the message?

    It may be that the popular culture at large is in a better position to understand this then the more conservative aspects of our citizenry who are also charged with safeguarding our freedoms - it may be why we are more comfortable with the kinetic equations which demonstratably move things in a direction.
    Last edited by Rob Thornton; 05-03-2007 at 01:33 PM.

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Rob,

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    Marc - I think you may be a better lead for this then me
    I've been tracking this type of shift for about 20 years now and lecturing on it for about 12, mainly in terms of online reputation and manipulation of online "image/identity".

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    Is the popular culture ahead of military culture when it comes to Information Operations? Why would that be? What would be the cause and effect?
    In short, yes - way ahead. From my observations, I would place the military as something on the order of 10-12 years behind the popular culture in terms of IO technology and about 20 years behind in the cultural technologies that support it.

    Why? I suspect it is because the military is, essentially, and Industrial Age organization that has not yet come to grips with the fact that the civilian population, and many of our opponents, are living and acting in the Information Age. Sorry, that's all academic shorthand for the massive shifts in cultural "lived-reality" perceptions of how to survive in the world, but I can't get too detailed without moving into full lecture mode .

    Cause and effect are tricky since we are not, IMO, dealing with linear causality. What we are dealing with is a feedback loop of actions based on perceptions of where people wish things to go in the future and their cultural understandings of how to get there. When we are dealing with IO ops, the environment for these "cultural understandings" is based on
    1. the technology of communications;
    2. the familiarity or "ease" with using specific technologies;
    3. past experience with success and failure in using these technologies; and
    4. the overall institutional culture / environments' reaction to these technologies.
    As I said, "causality" is tricky here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    Is Online Dating an Information Operation? Who primarily uses it? Why would we find it likely that conservative personalities would have reservations about online services?
    Absolutely - any action, including inaction, that is taken by an individual or organization serves as a component in image / identity construction. This is really the core of all IO. For particular reservations, and where they might come from, lok at the list above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    How about the advent of Unity08.com? I saw it on C-Span and checked it out - It has the potential to evolve the political process through participation and the perception of participation.

    Consider the soft/indirect power that CoPs have? How many westerners understand soft/indirect influence?
    There are many examples of potentials to radically change society - SWC is actually a very good example . Other ones include the open source movement that could annihilate proprietary software companies, Unity08.com and Dean's use of the blogsphere in '04, Wikipedia which changes who controls the production / distribution of "authoritative knowledge", html which can radically shift how knowledge is presented, etc., etc.

    On who actually understands all of this, I would hazard that the best understanding is in the West. How many, in terms of numbers, would be tricky, but most Western cultures have the basics for understanding this built in quite deeply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    Consider the use of Pseudonyms and symbol images - the name and photo/avatar of a blogger both influences how the audience receives the information , but also how the writer writes - a freedom comes with anonymity, while caution may accompany use of real names and photos.
    There has been a lot of work on this . Then again, the use of pseudonyms has a long tradition in Western culture and, strangely enough, is tied intimately into both our religious and magical traditions. Surprise !!! Consider, by way of example, the use of pseudonyms in religious texts (e.g. the Book of Revelation, the Gnostic Gospels, some of "John's" letters, etc.). A more modern example is the assumption of "use names" by many milbloggers (and others) that allow them to be "anonymous" and, at he same time, signal a particular "stance".

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    It may be that the popular culture at large is in a better position to understand this then the more conservative aspects of our citizenry who are also charged with safeguarding our freedoms - it may be why we are more comfortable with the kinetic equations which demonstratably move things in a direction.
    Oh, I would definitely agree with that.

    If you're interested, I did a conference paper on this in 1999 focused, in that instance on job search strategies and HR systems.

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  3. #3
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Rob,Marc, we should do an experiment. Instead of SWC members picking their own avatars.......other members should pick them for them. Based upon how they perceive them from their posts here at SWC.

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default Great Idea

    Slapout - lets ask Dave to set this up on a seperate thread - no limit to who - just ID the user ID and attach an image and pseudonym

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default P2Ps, List Servers, etc.

    Anybody see that Obama has set up a "My Space" page? How about the use of P2Ps (e-mule and the like), list servers and other such communities? How about the ability to take multiple positions under different pseudonyms?

    Marc, thanks for the paper - have to take the wife to lunch and do some packing for the big move, but I'd like to sit down and read it tonight.

    The thing that gets me is how subtle some of these things seem until you look at them as part of a mosaic vs. individual dots. Evolutionary on maybe an annual scale...

    by Marc:
    Why? I suspect it is because the military is, essentially, and Industrial Age organization that has not yet come to grips with the fact that the civilian population, and many of our opponents, are living and acting in the Information Age. Sorry, that's all academic shorthand for the massive shifts in cultural "lived-reality" perceptions of how to survive in the world, but I can't get too detailed without moving into full lecture mode .
    but revolutionary when viewed in the context of Industrial Age proclivity. The need for understanding how a system or process and its parts work together vs. soley being able to manipulate/utilize said system or process seems very important.

    Regards, Rob

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Rob,works for me.

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Anybody see that Obama has set up a "My Space" page?
    Interesting pick, as he has had quite a bit of recent online drama regarding his campaign's takeover of the Obama Myspace page from a former volunteer.

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Avatar thread

    Slapout, Here is the link to the the new thread

  9. #9
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    Anybody see that Obama has set up a "My Space" page? How about the use of P2Ps (e-mule and the like), list servers and other such communities? How about the ability to take multiple positions under different pseudonyms?
    I remember some experiments were done about 15 years ago on list serves where the same person would create two different personas. Interesting results, especially when the personas got into fights ! I don't think they were ever written up, however.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    Marc, thanks for the paper - have to take the wife to lunch and do some packing for the big move, but I'd like to sit down and read it tonight.
    No worries . Honestly, it's a bit on the boring side, and definitely dated. I did a much better job in the Handbok of Organizational Culture and Climate (Sage 2000). I can send you a copy if you like.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    The thing that gets me is how subtle some of these things seem until you look at them as part of a mosaic vs. individual dots. Evolutionary on maybe an annual scale...
    The time scale is wonky - it is both a minute by minute, real time scale which compresses the time sense to an "immediate now" and, at the same time, an infinitely regressive time that holds the past "locked in amber" available for the present. For example, when I was doing career counselling with a lot of high tech people (2000-2003), I found that almost 1/3 of the hiring managers I talked to would google a person's name on both the web and on google groups. Try googling "bernard shifman" and you will get some very interesting results.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    but revolutionary when viewed in the context of Industrial Age proclivity. The need for understanding how a system or process and its parts work together vs. soley being able to manipulate/utilize said system or process seems very important.
    Very true, Rob. As, I would note, that networked "power" is exceedingly dangerous to most Industrial Age Institutions which tend to rely on a social monopoly. If absolutely nothing else, and there are ther reasons, the existence and spread of network "consciousness" (for want of a better term), completely undercuts national institutional legitimacy by giving global access to experts who are not members or supporters of said national institution.

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  10. #10
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default Universal consciousness

    Marc,
    the existence and spread of network "consciousness" (for want of a better term), completely undercuts national institutional legitimacy by giving global access to experts who are not members or supporters of said national institution.
    I was thinking along those lines the other day, but was having trouble forming it into something I could wrap my arms around. No longer the realm of Sci-Fi in many regards, an enabler to globalization, the WWW has become in many ways an alternate reality - or cyber terrain where campaigns are waged that may preclude, influence and win wars. As states cling to nationalistic symbols or the ethnic & religious groups to the culturally sacred, cyber sappers erode foundations and build replacement beliefs and institutions.

    While in the past we had Radio Free Europe, Voice of America, USIS, etc. I don't know that we have an organization dedicated to proliferation of the tenets and benefits of agreed upon ideals that counter the subversiveness of criminal and terrorist activities through what is the most important communications medium of our time. The utility of the Internet and WWW continues to grow, as well as in terms of access and speed - there seems to be no limits on the frontier - and worse no unified vision as to how best to take advantage of it for the good of all - instead our strategy is like kudzu, ever spreading into new areas, always reactive.

    I read a qoute from a former FCC chairman who was interviewed about long distance regulation - paraphrased "I knew it was over when I saw Skype demonstrated". Human communications has reached a level most could never have dreamed of two decades ago.

    We need to give serious strategic thought to the WWW as something else then just a place through which emails are sent, videos are posted and e-tickets are printed. I think it is first a matter of recognition as to its importance on current and future events, rather then regulation of users. Around a common and cogent definition of its current and future state, we need to build an information strategy that accounts for both the realiztion of our goals and the denial of the enemy's. I guarentee the enemy is, they seem to have recognized the importance.
    Last edited by Rob Thornton; 05-03-2007 at 10:22 PM.

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    The Internet is a vehicle, but the engine is human interaction.

    There are a few things when you talk about the social and dependent societal change that most see of the Internet. There is also a darker and more formidable side in the areas of dark net. Where the pedophiles, more agrressive hackers, and true criminals reside.

    From a law enforcement perspective consider a world where the criminals have no location, no pseudonym, may cross international boundaries every few minutes, and simply disapear when you get to close. This is dark net territory.

    From a military and societal view point the Internet is a television channel with nothing on... As the Internet expands the realities will be found in the development of applications and where those applications are targeted.
    Sam Liles
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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Sam,
    I need some help with this one -
    As the Internet expands the realities will be found in the development of applications and where those applications are targeted.
    - could you expound a bit

    I should have included you along with Marc when I started asking the question - you're a great resource

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    The Internet is a vehicle, but the engine is human interaction.
    Absolutely! And that is one f the reasons why anyone who wants to study the Internet as a social scientist had better know something about programming and vice versa.

    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    There are a few things when you talk about the social and dependent societal change that most see of the Internet. There is also a darker and more formidable side in the areas of dark net. Where the pedophiles, more agrressive hackers, and true criminals reside.

    From a law enforcement perspective consider a world where the criminals have no location, no pseudonym, may cross international boundaries every few minutes, and simply disapear when you get to close. This is dark net territory.
    I've had some experience with the dark net. As far as social action is concerned, it is all quite familiar, although "refined" in its ability to draw geographically disparate groups of like minded people together. The technology, however, has freed the social interaction from any of the geographic restrictions that used to be imposed.

    In many ways, the research I did on magical systems and magical thinking was of the ost benefit to me in understanding the socio-environmental effects of 'net technologies. In effect, the 'net is the Astral Plane - what a magician (programmer) wills to be, will be, at least in one part of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    From a military and societal view point the Internet is a television channel with nothing on... As the Internet expands the realities will be found in the development of applications and where those applications are targeted.
    Exactly! In effect, a sufficiently "powerful" programmer ("magician") can create a reality that "lives" in cyberspace, along with any entities they have the will or skill to populate it with. This "reality", and the creatures spawned within it, will inevitably impact some part of the "real world".

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    ISN Network, 18 May 07: YouTube, Another Revolution
    ...According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, YouTube has ushered in a new era of journalism through what it has named the "YouTube Effect." Similar to its precursor the "CNN Effect," in which people marveled at the existence of a 24-hour news source, video-hosting web sites open up the journalism field even further by enabling people to act as "citizen journalists," or amateur journalists who record and disseminate news of events to the public. While CNN created a constant outlet for news, YouTube and other sites like it act as a global dissemination hub for news by ordinary people.

    Despite the name, the YouTube effect is not limited to YouTube, though it is one of the most well-known sites. Many other citizen journalist sites exist, such as Newsvine and NewsCloud. Even CNN now maintains a small citizen journalist site known as "I-Reporter" (most notably applied during the recent shootings at Virginia Tech). However, one of the original and most influential citizen journalist sites is OhMyNews.

    Introduced in South Korea in 2000, OhMyNews is a site composed almost entirely of writing done by citizen journalists. The site has grown to international proportions and now receives contributions from all over the world....

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    Council Member milesce's Avatar
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    I just had forwarded to me this link, where a minaret is destroyed. You can hear the troops in the background laughing about it.

    http://bagnewsnotes.typepad.com/bagn.../liveleak.html

    Unfortunately, the take of most of the folks who responded assumed the worst about the troops, and no one even suggested the possibility that the tower was being used as a sniper position or something similar.
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    Prayer at Rumayla: A Novel of the Gulf War
    www.sheehanmiles.com

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