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Radically Inept
Monday, August 23, 2004
  "The 20/20 Manifesto"

I started this post several hours ago, and put a few hours into developing it, but reality intruded. I've re-thought the tact I was taking, and have decided to put the bottom line up front.

The revolution is under way. The cabal that is in charge, knows it and fears it. They know they cannot control it, and they know they cannot prevent it.

The best parallel I have found is the rise of capitalism and the industrial revolution. Prior to these movements, the church and the monarchy, and their ridged hierarchical structures controlled every facet of the average persons life. But, during the rise of capitalism and the industrial revolution, they found themselves forced to cede power to the new breed of merchants. They resisted at every turn, but the creation of wealth in that spectrum, forced them to cede things like 'free man' and sovereignty to towns and markets. This is what is currently happening, and the cabal knows it. They fear it. It will result in the loss of their power, but they can't resist it.

They cannot control the flow of information. Just like the church and the monarchies could not control the flow of capital, the current powers can't control the flow of information. Every new development and technology, which they greedily grasp, and even fund, undermines their power. The recent and current events are a last ditch effort on their part to maintain a status quo that is doomed in the face of progress. They will try to use fossil fuel energy flows to slow their losses, but even this is a doomed effort.

Collectivism and anarchy will replace ridged hierarchies; it is inevitable, short of putting us back into the stone age, which they may try out of desperation.

A couple of quick truths:

In the information age, one must recognize that the truth or falsity of information has no impact on its value. The Value of information is determined by the amount of energy that is expended as a result. If a lie leads to war, and the truth is ignored, than the lie had a greater value, and vice versa. Think about it.

Information has no inherent integrity, and all of our institutions are facing a crisis of integrity. University research, government institutions, the press, the church, the military and the market place, are all in crisis, due to a lack of integrity. Distrust of all major institutions is at it highest since the surveying of this type of information began.

Speeding up the transformation is possible. The cabal is dependent on information and capital. Both of these can be disrupted by a concerted, though not necessarily organized effort from the bottom. Technology has empowered, and continues to empower more and more individuals. These individuals can flood the information market place with information. Since there is no inherent value to truth, the most effective information will be what works. If it is lies, so be it. Power can no longer be held by a consolidated by a few.

Potential examples:

The use of chain letters and spam to pass information to the masses concerning the illegal acts and sexual proclivities and immoral actions of the elite members of the cabal. If we have learned nothing else in recent years, we have learned that a lie told often enough, will be believed. The secret is to create the lies that will ultimately empower the people.

If millions of Americans can be taken by bogus scams from Nigeria or wherever, then they can be convinced to act on other bogus information. A 100 million spam letters saying in effect that Baby Bush has had an incestuous relationship with both his daughters, which is why both have acted out, will be believed if repeated often enough by diverse sources. Saying that Maurice Greenberg, the head of AIG, takes little boys out to the AIG private hunting lodge for sexual trysts - again if repeated often enough will be believed.

The other beauty of such a tactic is, that at some point mainstream media will be forced to deal with the bogus allegations, or become even more irrelevant. At some point the evil rumors will be news worthy (I know, bull shit term), they will have to 'give time' to the story. Consider it a mass campaign of 'urban legend' creation. And these will work.

The same can be done to financial institutions. Rumors cannot be controlled. How many companies have been hurt by false stories? There is no reason not to use these tactics to bring about change.

The caveat:

What will eventually arise. Assuming that the goal is in some sort of better society,at some point, a system of information integrity will have to rise. Some manner of providing information that people can believe in, will have to be established. It will probably occur through the complete loss of privacy. Privacy is a fairly new invention anyway, and only protects those that have something to hide. I believe the loss of all privacy is inevitable. The difficulty for Western society, primarily, will be coming to grips with that fact. But again, technology will make privacy impossible, even for those in power. Further, I believe this meme is already developing a huge currency.

Those that currently have a disproportionate share of power will unwillingly be forced to cede it. The difference is, that the cabal has the desire, and some power to slow the transition, and the people, at least those that are aware, have the desire, and in fact the power, to hasten the transition.

This is how my story starts. A call to 'arms'. Below is an incomplete explanation of what I am working toward, but I think the passage above, makes for more interesting reading, and a potential first few paragraphs for the story.

I have been working on this story for a couple of years, and I have some characters developed but it is a creation in progress. For those that would like to delve a little bit deeper into the research and thinking I've done, I would recommend browsing Rogue Analyst, and I will try to post bibliography there in the next few days, to provide the interested reader with a little greater insight.


Well, as many of you know, I have been trying to write some science fiction. One thing about writing SciFi is trying to stay ahead of the technology, but it is also trying to work through from the present to some point in the future. To do this, you have look around, and ask yourself what is the current situaltion, and what would logically take to achieve the end point of your vision. I think that's the only way to write GOOD SciFi. For me just to say, "well the revolution happened in '06, and now in 2020 this is the situation", without having a logical framework results in a poor story. The science may be good, but if you haven't thought throughout the mechanism of change, and what impact it would have on society, cultures, politics and the economy, your story will ring hollow with the reader.

So, my story requires a revolution to occur in the next few years, so that my characters can operate in a very different one from the one we experience today. It requires that I look at the tools available, the current conflicts, and try to see how one could 'realistically' succeed. To do so, it helps to use a proven successful format from which to start. For me, I go with the old stand-by, the OPERATIONS ORDER FORMAT.

It is a beautiful format indeed. I have used it for everything. I've used it for its intended purpose, to plans fro small unit actions, but I've also used it for writing business plans, structuring memos and decision/white papers, analyzing commercial operations, hell, it works for just about anything. The copy in front of me is dated 1980, but I think I have a even older copy stashed away somewhere else.

Anyway, it is divided into five main paragraphs, with the first paragraph being a detailed description of the current situation, starting with the enemy's and then proceeding to the friendly forces' situation. There are a fair amount of sub-paras for each of the main five main paragraphs, and it is sometimes difficult to fight the desire to blow off some of the sub-paras as not being relevant to what your trying to accomplish. But if you spend some time with these sub-paras, you can be amazed at what occurs to you.

For instance, I was going to blow past the first sub-paragraph, a) weather. I mean, I'm looking at a revolution, not a single engagement here. But had I done that, I wouldn't have spent the time considering how shifting global weather patterns might affect the enemy. But after thinking about it, I realized that it could have a very significant effect with regards to how many resources would have to allocated to dealing with increasing natural disasters, as just one example.

Well, the format is not a great way to present a blog piece however, but I did want you to know that my thinking on this is in a great measure trying to follow a proven, logical structural outline. On the otherhand, I am writing SciFi, and most always keep in mind the story I am writing, so for here, I will address the issues in a more literary method.

So, let's start with the enemy. In my story, the enemy is not the government; the government is just a tool used by the enemy when it deems it convenient. So the people don't revolt against the national governments, the revolt against an unseen, corporatist cabal, made up of a wealthy class of elites, who operate large out of sight. [Hey, secret conspiracies happening outside of the public eye, are traditional fare in good SciFi.]

So this cabal is made up of huge global corporations and banks. They operate for the sole purpose of accumulating money, and more importantly power, and they try to avoid the public eye as much as possible. In fact, they often introduce distractions into the public discourse as part of their method to avoid disclosure. Also, many of the lower agents involved, do not even realize that they are working for the cabal. Orders come down filtered, and appear as attempts to achieve something other than their true intended purpose. Sure, it's complicated, and I'm really too lazy to come up on my own with all of the relevant details, so just to make the story easier to progress, I'm going to use something like Rigorous Intuition: "The Coincidence Theorist's Guide to 9/11", amongst others, as the basis for the conspiracy that my protagonists are fighting.

Okay, so there is a decent enemy all described and laid out. All I have to do now, is figure out how the revolution gets started, who fights it, and how I can make it so they win.

Easy you say? Well, I'm not trying to rely that much on standard contrivances. I want something new, hopefully original, though as you see above, I'm not beyond plagiarism. But, I did kind want to have a fresh look for my revolution. I thought it about it for a while, and I came up with all sorts of ideas, but most of them seemed to lack the currency of the modern world's technology, or they short cutted too much of the conflict. So, like I said, I go back to my trusty OPERATIONS ORDER FORMAT, and think, okay. I've 'borrowed' the enemy situation, what is this enemy's weakness? Every enemy has a weakness. Well, sometimes it's good to look at the enemy's strengths, and see if you can turn them to your advantage.

Well, the enemy in this case, is a amorphous, vague, collection of evil, that subverts uses tools for 'good' to their own purpose. And they rely fairly heavily on secrecy, misinformation, disinformation, and even overt acts of subversion to pursue their agenda. But because of this, I'm thinking that one of their problems is of their own making. They have a hard time knowing exactly which sources of information they can rely on themselves. In this situation, it is not duplicity on the part of trusted agents so much, it's trusting the agents to have their own good sources of information. So, information - judging it's value and import is one of their weaknesses. Combined with the sheer volume of information. Here the problem is that the volume is information gathered, makes the sifting of the data a highly difficult task. So, I consider them vulnerable to their own method of dumping huge amounts of misinformation and disinformation into the system.

Another, largely self-imposed weakness, is their desire to remain secret, which results in trust problems. Many people just do not trust the 'tools' they rely on. In fact, the system they have put in place has led to a massive distrust of information.

The other area that I think is exploitable, is their reliance on the financial markets. [I know, none of this so far is new, I'm hoping that the combination and targeting method I have envisioned will be fresh]. They do currently have pretty much defacto control, especially on the large scale, but I think this too can be disrupted to the revolutionists advantage. They are capable of moving vast sums of money around, and directly affecting currency and capital markets. But, they also rely on those markets.

So, that sort of brief enemy situation. The friendly situation is perhaps not so complicated. It consists of a couple a hundred million idealistic individuals scattered across the globe. The rest of the population can be considered non-players in any active sense. They are blissfully unaware that a revolution is forming at the start of my story. In fact, many would be down right hostile to the idea, but most are just oblivious to both the ruling cabal, and the early beginnings of the coming revolution. They are however, the single most valuable commodity that both sides will be fighting over, for they more than money are the source of power. They just don't know it.

Regardless, the way I see the story playing out, is that the early revolutionists begin by increasing the amount of misinformation and disinformation. They do not organize to do this. In fact, no true organization ever truly develops. Certainly no hierarchy, or cohesive center forms, which would provide the enemy with a target for attack. Rather, it borrows what little structure it has form existing revolutionaries and guerrilla organizations, but doesn't develop a true leader or a firm cause, other than, let's say liberty. Instead, it will form as a very loose collection of individuals, and pre-existing organizations, many with diverse interests and goal, but united against the cabal. Sort of a collectivist revolution. It most be as amorphous as the cabal. It must begin as secretive as the cabal. It must limit its vulnerabilities throughout the revolution.

However, their will be conflict and casualties. Every good story must have conflict, and any good SciFi story that involves global conflict will have casualties on both sides. And, there will have to be sacrifices made, both voluntary and involuntary. You cannot fight a war without sacrifice regardless of what some might say.

So, the mission is to force the cabal out into the open, and to force the cabal, at a minimum, to share power. It may prove possible to destroy the cabal and it's members, but that might prove self-destructive. It may be better, just to force the members of the cabal into the light of transparency, and to, as I said, submit to a very large extent to the will of the people. That will be the goal in my story. Though eventually, the cabal will cease to be relevant, it won't happen right away.

The method, as I stated earlier, will be loose collective action. To start with, the revolutionaries will begin with an information war. They will start by generating massive amounts of misinformation using methodologies similar to what current spammers use. The distinction will be, that rather than trying to sell a product, the goal will be to force the cabal to invest resources everywhere, trying to discover whether any of the information is true or not. Billions and billions of emails sent daily, all possibly presenting real plans, but only a fraction contain any truth. The idea here is to simply level the information 'battlefield'. No side will have a monopoly on 'true' vs 'false' information.

The second phase, will be financial. The collectivists will begin to randomly boycott major corporations. It will be unpredictable. On quarter, no revolutionaries will by Coca-Cola, and perhaps the next quarter none will buy Pepsi. It doesn't matter that the revolutionists are relatively small in number, 200 million people avoiding a product will have a financial impact. Simultaneously the revolutionists could boycott, say all Boeing built aircraft. This would drive airlines crazy, as they would than have planes over flowing in capacity, and other operating at below capacity. And for instance, for two months, all revolutionists will avoid driving petroleum based vehicles, and otherwise reduce their demand for fuel, causing system to be forced to store fuel, and disrupting the market, only to turn around and waste fuel for a month to deplete the supply and cause scarcity.

It won't necessarily start on that scale. It could start by staying lower priced products, but the idea would be for these boycotts to appear as randomly as possible. And communicating which, what and when to boycott will be challenging, but I am envisioning it happening via collective communication through forums and blogs. Once a critical capacity of agreement is reached, the boycott starts, and stops the same way. Someone makes a suggestion, depending how many people pick up on that suggestion and spread to their friends and other forums, until it just occurs. Ideally, some of the revolutionists will be able to take advantage of the mass market manipulation by anticipating which companies will be affected, and sell some short and invest in their competitors as appropriate. Yes, eventually the cabal would catch on, but I not sure how they could prevent it. If they tried to use misinformation to get the revolutionaries to boycott a different product or company, the result would still be market disruption. If they were to try to sell the targeted companies short them selves, it would just worsen the damage to those companies. The end result, in my story, is that financial markets begin to lose capital value, and normal citizens begin to scream to their political representatives/leaders for change. And, if enough citizens begin screaming, the cabal could well lose their control over the government.

the game is afoot.

Anyway, "The 20/20 Manifesto" is a working chapter title. I'm also considring "The Memetic War", but I kind of like the sound of "The 20/20 Manifesto".

I know, this post is full of contrivances within contrivances, but I think you understand.

Lastly, I know this posting is in desperate need of editing, and as soon as the Wife has time, I'm sure you'll see a huge improvement in the quality of the post.

Thought I'd something more to say.


 
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