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Ten Things You Need to Know About the Infowar

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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 04:29 PM
Original message
Ten Things You Need to Know About the Infowar
I'm working on an essay to put flesh on these bones, but wanted to get this out there without further delay. Comments welcome!

TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE INFOWAR:

1. A balance of power requires a balance of knowledge. Prior to Wikileaks, the trend has been toward governments and corporations knowing everything about us, while we've known less and less of importance about them. The power of knowledge has been concentrated in the hands of the oligarchs.

2. What's new about Wikileaks is that it may be the first instance of an institutional system that confers the power that comes from the revelation of secrets on the people rather than their rulers. The potential to help restore the balance of knowledge and thus the balance of power between the oligarchs and the rest of us constitutes what I've regarded as the most important effect of Wikileaks' revelations.

3. The strategy of exposing the secrets of corrupt regimes (which for now I'm calling the "Exposure Strategy"), as described by Julian Assange, is three-pronged:

(a) It gives us the opportunity to correct previously hidden injustices;
(b) It tends to deter injustices in the first place by heightening the likelihood and thus the fear of exposure;
(c) It tends to weaken corrupt organizations by prompting them to tighten security, thus lowering their own computational I.Q.

4. The counter to the Exposure Strategy is "public relations," which uses our most primitive emotions and drives to induce us to disregard revealed truth and act against our own best interests, at least up to an as-yet-not-fully understood point.

5. To the extent p.r. is effective, it neutralizes all three prongs of the Exposure Strategy; i.e.,

(a) The injustices exposed need not be investigated, prosecuted, or corrected;
(b) Future injustices are therefore not particularly deterred;
(c) It is no longer necessary for corrupt organizations to tighten their security, and thus they can avoid having to lower their own computational I.Q.

6. An infowar is not just a war using information as ammo; it is a struggle between old and new power structures over who will control access to information. As a corollary, information technologies (hard and soft) are the new guns.

7. The infowar is in essence a class war over knowledge as a form of wealth. Information is accordingly a commodity for which there are markets that are (absent regulation) manipulable.


8. Greater transparency maximizes efficiency and profits for a group as a whole, but individuals within the group profit most when they're not transparent while others in the group are.

9. So long as a system as a whole remains mostly transparent, it's not a zero-sum game, but where transparency has sufficiently deteriorated, the competition among "players" devolves into a less-than-zero sum game.

10. Humanity is (again) on the verge of a potential transition from a system in which governing elites exploit the governed in a less-than-zero sum game, to a more transparent, collaborative, more-than-zero-sum game system. If the system as a whole remains mostly transparent, mankind's collective intelligence and well-being may be about to explode. However, this beneficial effect could be retarded, perhaps partially prevented, if we fail to protect the internet and facilities like Wikileaks from those who seek to control them.
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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. PS
Edited on Wed Mar-09-11 04:38 PM by snot
I'm open to publishing the essay (when done, which I hope will be soon) somewhere where it might get more attn. The essay will have lots of links to sources, plus illustrations. If you have any connections or suggestions, pls feel free to let me know -- thanks!
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Tace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. snot: You're Welcome To Publish On World News Trust
There are a number of websites you could publish this on, and you might as well publish on more than one.

In addition to World News Trust, you might try Op-Ed News, Atlantic Free Press, and others.

Good luck.
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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Thanks!
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 04:53 PM
Response to Original message
2. K&R nt
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. kr
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swilton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. Keep up your research!
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Mybrokenchains Donating Member (96 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
7. Viva la InfoRevolucion!
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
8. Recommended.
Thank you for this.

Information is power. Tonight, I attended a town board meeting. The topic at hand was "hydro-fracking." Energy corporations are waving dollars under desperate people's noses, and pressuring local governments, to "drill, baby, drill" on local properties.

I brought the recent edition of the NY Times, complete with copies of previously "unreleased" EPA documents, detailing the environmental threats this poses. Without that information, people can be misled, lied to, and fooled.
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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Thank YOU for all you do!
Information is half of it.

The other half is p.r. I am seriously concerned that those of us who are good at focussing on the substance of the issues are not necessarily the best at "selling" what we've learned.

You probably are! But I know I'm not.

And a lot of the vehicles for p.r. are now controlled by authoritarians, or whatever you want to call them.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
10. K&R nt
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
11. I believe you have the outline of an excellent essay working here.
Thanks for the thread, snot. :thumbsup:
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TygrBright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
12. You're onto something. Please continue! n/t
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katty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
13. K&R
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 12:32 AM
Response to Original message
14. Kick
Look forward to the final product. Great start!
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