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Archive for September, 2006

Sunday, September 24th, 2006


Yields a highly stimulating debate.

Friday, September 22nd, 2006


Can’t focus today…but other people did. LOL !

Purpleslog on King Arthur

The ” Strategic Compression” Thread at The Small Wars Journal

Colonel Lang on the aesthetics of Neoclassic beauties

MCQ on the Hugo Chavez Effect.

Nick Carr pummels Clay Shirky about the face and head.

Lord Curzon on the humor of Terra Cotta

That’s it !

Thursday, September 21st, 2006


Critt Jarvis today had a profound post on the latest iteration of his start-up company, Conversationbase, LLC. that has, I strongly suspect, a general psychological validity:

“D’oh! It’s the network, stupid!

September 20th, 2006 by Critt Jarvis
Hmmm… Conversation Base… what am I trying to do here… content or social…

Wikipedia: Compare and contrast content network with social network.

Okay, the first clue is that the term “content network” doesn’t merit its own page on Wikipedia. But I read the entry for Content Delivery Network.

Content Delivery Network: a system of computers networked together across the Internet that cooperate transparently to deliver content (especially large media content) to end users.

Social network: A social network is a social structure made of nodes which are generally individuals or organizations.

What’s this mean to me ? A content delivery network wants the bits delivered, end to end; while a social network wants information delivered, end to end. Thus Conversation Base is in the business of enabling social networks, which organize around content.

Now I have to think about replacing “Content” with “Social” in my outline titles.”

This is a very powerful combination in terms of brain physiology to link conceptual intellectual stimulation with adaptive social behaviors ( throw in audiovisual stimulus and you have a cognitive trifecta. Turbocharged “infocrack”…Myspace for MENSA…you get the idea). As a business model, you have a network that could possibly encourage emergent communities within or across disciplines.

Given the power of synthesis to be a dialectical engine of creativity as per John Boyd, my vote is to opt for the latter.

Thursday, September 21st, 2006


Dave at Thoughts Illustrated has a high-impact graphic you need to see.

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006


John Robb had a great post at Global Guerillas entitled “CATASTROPHIC BLACK SWANS“. An excerpt:

“If we follow this trend line, the path in development is clear. First, over the next decade, the size of the group necessary for global warfare will continue to decrease and decentralize (through a near term shift to systems disruption and open source organizational forms). Second, we will eventually reach a point when the weaponry available to these groups will enable them to initiate a catastrophic black swan (an event that is impossible to predict). “

I would argue that the devolution is really toward the emergence of superempowered individuals, Ted Kaczynskis on steroids, who realize that their total anonymity and lack of prior activity or membership in known networks, renders them the best possible secret first-strike weapon.

On the other hand, there are factors that mitigate such risks. The number of individuals with the requisite intelligence, knowledge base of systems, resources and sufficient degree of alienation and task persistence to carry off a singlehanded 9/11 are relatively few. Moreover, the only way these potential superempowered individuals can be ” activated” by al Qaida and retain their capacity for stealth, is by inspiration. This elevates the premium on IO, cyberpropaganda, symbolic terror operations and efforts by al Qaida to reach beyond their narrow popular base to non-Salafi or even non-Muslim demographic groups that might share al Qaida’s anti-American strategic goals for their own reasons.

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