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Big Ideas and MediaGlyphs

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — Mad Scientist asks, John Robb responds]

Today’s call and response comes to me via two blog posts that followed one another in my RSS feed — in the reverse order to the one I read them in. I’ve straightened that out so response now follows call for your convenience.

From Max Brooks (World War Z) lecturing for the Army’s 2016 “Mad Scientist” initiative:

One of the US government’s biggest challenges today, particularly in the context of military issues, is its inability to communicate big ideas to the American people .. This has caused a significant portion of the population to disengage from government, including and especially from the military .. It may take several decades to reverse the trend ..

There’s more there in the report at the Atlantic Council‘s Art of the Future blog, as Brooks discusses particular big ideas that need communicating — but it’s the communication issue itself that caught my eye.


So how does communication happen most powerfully in todays media environment?

Here are a few points from John Robb‘s thoughts on that very question, posted today at Global Guerrillas. First, a sample of what’s commonly known as an internet meme, but which John would prefer to call a MediaGlyph — his candidate for the punchiest mode of delivery:

And now his comments under the header All Hail The MediaGlyph, The New King of Political Communications:

Successful mediaglyphs blanket social networks, often going viral to reach tens of millions of viewers in days as they are rapidly with an ever expanding network of friends.

Collectively, mediaglyphs generate tens of millions of impressions an hour. Several orders of magnitude (100x) more than any other form of political communication.

Unlike TV, Print, and most forms of online communication, mediaglyphs are built for consumption on smartphones and visual modes of social networking. They are also built for speedy consumption, providing a quick emotional hit in comparison to a long winded article with an uncertain payoff.

Nothing other form of political communications compare.

Mediaglyphs are one of ways online conflict, in this case political conflict, is being fought. These online wars are occurring everywhere, all the time, at every level. They are deciding the future.

That’s why I’m writing a new book called as a natural follow on to my previous book: Brave New War:

The War Online: How Conflicts are Fought and Won on Social Networks

I look forward to reviewing John’s book, which will no doubt get into some detail not easily stated in a single MediaGlyph — my guess, however, is that John’s text will itself be a terrific mine for glyphs, given his obvious delight in short, quotable one-sentence paragraphs.

Jottings 5: How could I have overlooked the Zombie Apocalypse??

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

[ by Charles Cameron — there were just too many dots for me to connect, I guess — plus Harry Potter, extra!! ]

Okay, I’ve already explored the Mahdist end times video that Tamerlan Tsarnaev aka “muazseyfullahliked on Youtube [1, 2, 2a, and 3] — and when I visited that site on April 19 it also included a link to the Vinnie Paz video, End of Days, which I discussed separately [4] — but what I didn’t know was that there was a third end times scenario, of interest to Tamerlan’s younger brother Dzhokhar — the “Zombie Apocalypse” believe it or not — about which he dreamed, well, often, and tweeted at least twice:

With all due respect to Dan Drezner and his Night of the Living Wonks, I just haven’t been following zombies too closely — and am only just coming to understand the Centers for Disease Control and their Zombie Preparedness campaign, the US Navy and its zombie deployment guide and the Department of Homeland Security with its zombie apocalypse simulation at a HALO Counter-Terrorism Summit in San Diego were all just portents and prophecies of an upcoming zombie jihad!

So long, fellas!


The Vinnie Paz video has now been removed from Tamerlan’s YouTube page, although you can find it elsewhere — and so has the Harry Potter video that was there the first time I looked: someone has been tidying up.

Happily the Harry Potter video too is still available, although no longer linked at Tamerlan’s “muazseyfullah” YouTube site. It’s by Sheikh Feiz Mohammed — who clearly dislikes Magic and is proud to be a Muggle.

Here it is, for your further edification:


DoubleQuote Sources:

  • Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, December 2012
  • Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, July 2012

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