Worth a Look: Clay Shirky on Cognitive Surplus & Crisis Mapping

Augmented Reality, Collaboration Zones, Collective Intelligence, Communities of Practice, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, info-graphics/data-visualization, InfoOps (IO), International Aid, IO Sense-Making, Journalism/Free-Press/Censorship, Maps, Methods & Process, Policies, Tools, Worth A Look

About this talk

Clay Shirky looks at “cognitive surplus” — the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we're busy editing Wikipedia, posting to Ushahidi (and yes, making LOLcats), we're building a better, more cooperative world.  TED Video of Talk.

About Clay Sharpey

Clay Shirky believes that new technologies enabling loose ­collaboration — and taking advantage of “spare” brainpower — will change the way society works.  Learn more.

Core Point: Over a trillion hours a year in cognitive surplus–Internet and media tools are shifting all of us from consumption to production.  We like to create; we like to share.  Now we can.

More From TED on The Rise of Collaboration

Recommended by Dr. Kent Myers.  His additional commentary:

This talk gets at something that could go into the proposal for Virtual Systemic Inquiry (VSI).  I need to emphasize that the VSI products have civic value.  That motivates participation, but we also need to make it a little more obvious and easy how to participate, in order that generosity can flow more readily from more people.  That's what I was trying to get at by making projects more standardized and quick.  Software can let that flow, as Shirky says.  The process and products should probably be pretty in some way too, like IDEO (also LOL cats).

Event: 7-30 Sept 2010, San Diego CA, World Resources Simulation Center Demo

04 Education, 05 Energy, 12 Water, Augmented Reality, Earth Intelligence, Geospatial, info-graphics/data-visualization, Technologies, Videos/Movies/Documentaries
Simulation demo event link

The philosophical foundation for The WRSC is in its founding premise stated as a question posed in R. Buckminster Fuller's World Game™ simulation:

“How do we make the world
work for 100% of humanity
in the shortest possible time
through spontaneous
cooperation without
ecological damage or
disadvantage to anyone?”

The World Resources Simulation Center (WRSC) will be a non-profit visualization facility where you can literally “see” the critical trends of global and regional issues, the relationships between issues, and the consequences of different strategies. For detailed information, begin by downloading the proposal documents to learn more about the specifics of the project. Next, explore several quick demonstrations of new technologies and how data and mapping information can be utilized in powerful new ways.  (videos follow, continue with post) Continue reading “Event: 7-30 Sept 2010, San Diego CA, World Resources Simulation Center Demo”

Event: 8-10 Oct 2010, Brooklyn NY, 7th Annual Conflux Festival (Psychogeography)

Augmented Reality, Geospatial, info-graphics/data-visualization
Event link (accepting submissions phase)

Conflux is the annual New York festival for contemporary psychogeography, the investigation of everyday urban life through emerging artistic, technological and social practice. At Conflux, visual and sound artists, writers, urban adventurers and the public gather for four days to explore their urban environment.

Participants in Conflux share an interest in psychogeography. Projects range from interpretations of the classical approach developed by the Situationists to emerging artistic, conceptual, and technology-based practices. At Conflux, participants, along with attendees and the public, put these investigations into action on the city streets. The city becomes a playground, a laboratory and a space for civic action in the development of new networks and communities. Here are examples of events we feature:

  • exploratory drifts/dérives on foot or by bike, subway, bus or other transport
  • walks with experimental mapping or navigation techniques
  • social/environmental/urban research and fieldwork
  • workshops and classes
  • temporary outdoor installations/interventions
  • interactive performance projects
  • street games
  • mobile-tech/locative media projects
  • micro-blogging, micro-radio, podcasting, video-blogging and other broadcast proposals
  • alternative use/re-use of public space
  • projects proposing alternative/experimental/DIY cultures, economies, communities, and artistic initiatives
  • lectures, multimedia presentations and panel discussions
  • short film/video works
  • live audio/video projects
Conflux weblog

Reference: Lee Felsenstein & Dave Warner Converse

08 Wild Cards, Augmented Reality, Correspondence, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, Cultural Intelligence, info-graphics/data-visualization, InfoOps (IO), Methods & Process, microfinancing, Mobile, Peace Intelligence, Real Time, Tools

Conversation Starting Point:

Afghan Self-stabilization from Below – and Above

Who’s Who in Peace Intelligence: Lee Felsenstein

Who’s Who in Peace Intelligence: Dave Warner

Monday 12 July 2010 (Read from Bottom Up)

Continue reading “Reference: Lee Felsenstein & Dave Warner Converse”

Afghan Self-stabilization from Below – and Above

About the Idea, Augmented Reality, Collaboration Zones, Communities of Practice, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, Ethics, Geospatial, info-graphics/data-visualization, InfoOps (IO), International Aid, Journalism/Free-Press/Censorship, Key Players, Methods & Process, microfinancing, Mobile, Policies, Real Time, Reform, Strategy, Technologies, Threats, Tools, True Cost
Lee Felsenstein

As the end game begins for NATO and the US in Afghanistan, and as the potential mineral wealth of that unhappy land is revealed, one confronts despair when contemplating the fate of the Afghans. With the Taliban poised to move once more into the coming power vacuum and exploit a resurgent drug trade as well as establish a protection racket parasitic to the future mining industry, one looks for some glimmer of hope for the Afghan people.

After all, Afghanistan has never been conquered except by the Mongols. The much decentralized, tribal society that makes them vulnerable to decentralized gang rule has confounded each centralized invader who attempted to bring about their own version of order. Is there hope that the Afghan people will be able to expel the Taliban as they expelled the others? After all, the first government of the Taliban was not overthrown by the Afghans themselves, but by military invasion with the passive consent of the Afghan people.

Now, with the outside military forces beginning their final period in-country, and with little if any evidence of a viable government staffed by officials who will not bolt the country with their pockets stuffed, what can give the ordinary Afghans the means to resist as they have resisted other occupations?

The answer, I believe, lies in the essence of government. Government operates by communication. People in government gather, refine, transmit information, both from the populace to the seat of power and in reverse after policies and laws are defined based upon the information gathered. People have political power to the extent that they are included in this process of information flow to the exclusion of others.

Continue reading “Afghan Self-stabilization from Below – and Above”

Journal: PSYOP Dies, Renamed, Still Dead

Augmented Reality, Cultural Intelligence, info-graphics/data-visualization, InfoOps (IO), Military, Officers Call, Peace Intelligence

Marcus Aurelius Recommends

PSYOP has long had problems being PSYOP.  Overseas they often work as “Military Information Support Teams” (MISTs).  If you want to get them significantly spun up, try to discuss with them “perception management” or “deception.”  Try that and they tend to go to ground very quickly.  As for nefarious, spooky, and master manipulators, US PSYOP has always been dwarfed by the British; e.g., “Soldatensender Calais,” documented in Sefton Delmer's “Black Boomerang.”  Personally, I just don't think the current Executive Branch of the USG has the will to play a full-up, full-spectrum game in the national security/foreign policy arena.  Now, soon, or later, we will pay for that in needless loss of life.  Remember always John Stewart Mill:  “War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things. …”

“Psychological Operations” Are Now “Military Information Support Operations”

3 July 2010

By Kevin Maurer
Associated Press
July 2, 2010

The Army has dropped the Vietnam-era name “psychological operations” for its branch in charge of trying to change minds behind enemy lines, acknowledging the term can sound ominous.

The Defense Department picked a more neutral moniker: “Military Information Support Operations,” or MISO.

U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Ken McGraw said Thursday the new name, adopted last month, more accurately reflects the unit’s job of producing leaflets, radio broadcasts and loudspeaker messages to influence enemy soldiers and civilians.

One of the catalysts for the transition is foreign and domestic sensitivities to the term ‘psychological operations’ that often lead to a misunderstanding of the mission,” McGraw said.

Fort Bragg is home to the 4th Psychological Operations Group, the Army’s only active duty psychological operations unit. Psychological operations soldiers are trained at the post.

The name change is expected to extend to all military services, a senior defense official said in Washington. The official, who has direct knowledge of the change, spoke on condition of anonymity because not all services have announced how they will revamp or rename their psychological operations offices.

The change was driven from the top, by Pentagon policymakers working for Defense Secretary Robert Gates. It reflects unease with the Cold War echoes of the old terminology, and the implication that the work involved subterfuge.

The change, however, left some current practitioners of psychological operations cold. Gone is the cool factor, posters to online military blogs said. With a name like MISO, one wrote, you might as well join the supply command.

Alfred H. Paddock, Jr., a retired colonel who was Director for Psychological Operations in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1986 to 1988, said the term has always had some baggage and been difficult to explain.

“Somehow it gives a nefarious connotation, but I think that this baggage can be overcome,” said Paddock, who also served three combat tours with Special Forces in Laos and Vietnam.

He said the military was giving in to political correctness by changing the name.

Psychological operations have been cast as spooky in movies and books over the years portraying the soldiers as master manipulators. The 2009 movie “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” staring George Clooney, was about an army unit that trains psychic spies, based on Jon Ronson’s nonfiction account of the U.S. military’s hush-hush research into psychic warfare and espionage.

But the real mission is far more mundane. During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, psychological operations units dropped leaflets urging Iraqis to surrender.

In Vietnam, a psychological operations effort called the Open Arms Program bombarded Viet Cong units with surrender appeals written by former members. The program got approximately 200,000 Viet Cong fighters to defect.

McGraw said the name change was approved by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Eric Olson, the Special Operations commander, in mid-June.

Many in the psychological operations community, including Paddock, dislike the new name.

“Military Information Support Operations, or MISO, is not something that rolls off the tip of your tongue,” Paddock said. “It makes it even more difficult for psychological operations personnel to explain what they do. That they still have the capability to employ programs and themes designed to influence the behavior of foreign target audiences.”

Original Source

Phi Beta Iota: PSYOP is 80% fraud, waste, and abuse, and that percentage is kind.  They are still teaching enlisted people at Fort Bragg how to load aircraft propaganda cannisters to deliver leaflets to people who by and large cannot read.  80% of PSYOP billets, dollars, and facilities should be immediately transferred to the Civil Affairs Corps, and used to transition to the regional brigades that include a single multinational Civil Affairs Brigade for each region, along with direct support multinational battalions for military police, combat engineers, medical, and organic land, sea, and air units, all built around a US C4I hub with both regional and donor country (e.g. Nordics) participation.