Currently Happening Presently Now: WEAPONIZED CULTURE

Untitled 5549
Baard, M. (2007). Sentient world: war games on the grandest scale. The Register.

Perhaps your real life is so rich you don't have time for another.

Even so, the US Department of Defense (DOD) may already be creating a copy of you in an alternate reality to see how long you can go without food or water, or how you will respond to televised propaganda.

The DOD is developing a parallel to Planet Earth, with billions of individual "nodes" to reflect every man, woman, and child this side of the dividing line between reality and AR.

Called the Sentient World Simulation (SWS), it will be a "synthetic mirror of the real world with automated continuous calibration with respect to current real-world information", according to a concept paper for the project.

"SWS provides an environment for testing Psychological Operations (PSYOP)," the paper reads, so that military leaders can "develop and test multiple courses of action to anticipate and shape behaviors of adversaries, neutrals, and partners".

SWS also replicates financial institutions, utilities, media outlets, and street corner shops. By applying theories of economics and human psychology, its developers believe they can predict how individuals and mobs will respond to various stressors...

In fact, Homeland Security and the Defense Department are already using SEAS to simulate crises on the US mainland...

"(SWS) is a hungry beast," Blank said. "A lot of data will be required to make this thing even credible."

Alok Chaturvedi wants SWS to match every person on the planet, one-to-one.

Right now, the 62 simulated nations in SEAS depict humans as composites, at a 100-to-1 ratio.

One organisation has achieved a one-to-one level of granularity for its simulations, according to Chaturvedi: the US Army, which is using SEAS to identify potential recruits.

Chaturvedi insists his goal for SWS is to have a depersonalised likeness for each individual, rather than an immediately identifiable duplicate. If your town census records your birthdate, job title, and whether you own a dog, SWS will generate what Chaturvedi calls a "like someone" with the same stats, but not the same name.

Of course, government agencies and corporations can add to SWS whatever personally-identifiable information they choose from their own databases, and for their own purposes.

And with consumers already giving up their personal information regularly to websites such as MySpace and Twitter, it is not a stretch to imagine SWS doing the same thing.

"There may be hooks through which individuals may voluntarily contribute information to SWS," Chaturvedi said.

Cerri, T., & Chaturvedi, A. (2007). Sentient World Simulation (SWS): A Continuously Running Model of the Real World [DB].

SWS consists of components capable of capturing new events as they occur anywhere in the world, focus on any local area of the synthetic world offers sufficient detail. In other words, the set of models that make up the synthetic environment encompass the behavior of individuals, organizations, institutions, infrastructures and geographies while simultaneously capturing the trends emerging from the interaction among entities as well as between entities and the environment. The multi-granularity detail provides a means for inserting new models of any temporal and spatial scales, or for incorporating user-supplied data at any level of granularity. Therefore, SWS can be continuously enriched and refined as new information becomes available.

Strader, O. K. (2006). Culture: The new key terrain integrating cultural competence into JIPB. ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES.

This monograph suggests that it maybe possible to weaponize culture, specifically through the use of cultural intelligence. In order to weaponize culture, commanders and staffs must develop competence culturally to leverage the key relationships, dependencies and vulnerabilities. Competence is “the fusion of cultural understanding with cultural intelligence that allows focused insight into current operations.” Finally, the purpose of this monograph is to convince operational leaders that a systems approach to culture is the best method of deduction to achieve cultural competence. The framework this monograph employees includes international relations, history, theory and an analysis of current doctrine. After establishing why culture has become they new key terrain this monograph suggests modification to the Joint Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield process and ways to incorporate cultural competence into campaign design using a systems approach to culture.

USJFCOM teams with Purdue University to add the human factor to war game
, By Army Sgt. Jon Cupp, USJFCOM Public Affairs, Feb. 6, 2004.

A newly developed modeling software prototype may allow joint warfighters to add realism to real world scenarios by accurately replicating a population's reactions to the various non-combat aspects of global combat operations...

Throughout the game, output devices allowed role players to see how well they are doing in influencing the population. “They show the measures of output like little thermometers,” said Dehncke.
“For instance, you will be able to see if the public mood is good or bad, and if the people's satisfaction with the government is high or low. You can tell how the people are reacting, whether they're ready for a revolution or if they're going to vote for the government again.”

Weinberger, Sharon, "Pentagon’s Project Minerva Sparks New Anthro Concerns", 1 May 2008.

Facebook's Psychological Experiments Connected to Department of Defense Research on Civil Unrest, SCGNews, July 1, 2014.

It turns out that one of the researchers who ran Facebook's recent psychological experiments received funding from the U.S. Department of Defense to study the contagion of ideas...Over 600,000 users were used as guinea pigs without their consent, which raises a number of serious ethical and legal questions (particularly due to the fact that this study received federal funding), however there is an even more disturbing angle to this story. It turns out that this research was connected to a Department of Defense project called the Minerva Initiative, which funds universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world.

In the official credits for the study conducted by Facebook you'll find Jeffrey T. Hancock from Cornell University. If you go to the Minerva initiative website you'll find that Jeffery Hancock received funding from the Department of Defense for a study called "Cornell: Modeling Discourse and Social Dynamics in Authoritarian Regimes". If you go to the project site for that study you'll find a visualization program that models the spread of beliefs and disease.

The Department of Defense's investment in the mechanics of psychological contagion and Facebook's assistance, have some very serious implications, particularly when placed in context with other scandals which have broken in the past two years. First of all we know that Facebook willingly participated (and presumably is still participating) in the NSA's PRISM program by giving the agency unfettered access to user communications. We also know that the U.S. government has invested heavily in technology used to track and model the spread of opinions on social media..

The Military Is Already Using Facebook to Track Your Mood, By Patrick Tucker, Defense One, July 2, 2014.

Though Cornell University, home to at least one of the researchers, said the study received no external funding, but it turns out that the university is currently receiving Defense Department money for some extremely similar-sounding research — the analysis of social network posts for “sentiment,” i.e. how people are feeling, in the hopes of identifying social “tipping points.”

The tipping points in question include “the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the 2011 Russian Duma elections, the 2012 Nigerian fuel subsidy crisis and the 2013 Gazi park protests in Turkey,” according to the website of the Minerva Initiative, a Defense Department social science project.


Be the first to post a comment.

Previously published:

All 73 blog entries

Principiis Obsta (et respice finem)