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Things and stuff I want to make note of:


John Robb, writer on Open Source Warfare and Resilient Communities, is doing a Q&A at the Well right now.  You may recognise his name: I’ve quoted from his blog, Global Guerrillas, many times here.  I’d like to clip a couple of things, from his introduction and his definition of OSW:

I began in operations (Tier 1 spec ops) and and then became a technology analyst (I was Forrester’s first Internet analyst in ’95)… spent some time figuring out how warfare would evolve over the next decades. That resulted in my work on open source warfare (which has become popular with guerrillas around the world and ended up in a scientific study that was on the cover of Nature magazine), violent superempowerment, systems disruption. After I got a handle on that topic, I started to use the same approach to work on ways of configuring society/economics to weather future disruption/failures. Essentially, strategies of peace.

Open source warfare is a form of warfare seen in a world without compelling ideologies. A world where lots of small groups, each with their own motivations for fighting (from criminal to religious to nationalist to ethnic), can join together to take on a much larger enemy (usually, a nation-state). In many cases, the groups involved don’t even know what they are doing when they engage in it. They just do it naturally, out of weakness. Open source warfare is a form of warfare where any group that wants to fight can participate. Every group can innovate. They can try out new methods of attack. New targets. If the technique works, every other group copies it (as in, release early and often). Groups share info between each other freely since the other groups are co-developers of the war…

Elsewhere, I’ve not been able to keep up or completely parse Jacob Appelbaum’s rolling coverage on Twitter of the following event, but this site seems to have it in a nutshell (?):

After breaching the Dutch CA (Certification Authority) DigiNotar, Iranian hackers managed to sign forged certificates for the domains of spy agencies CIA, Mossad and MI6. Leading certification authorities like VeriSign and Thawte were also targeted, as were Iranian dissident sites.

“The era of disposable robots, sharing our lives, is so obviously just around the corner, with all the resultant goodness and badness.”

— Russell Davies


I’m not completely sold on the “sharing our lives” rhetoric, especially not in the same sentence as “disposable robots,” but that is a statement that makes you (me) lean back in one’s chair and go “Huh.  Yeah.”  Another little future that’s in the process of sneaking up on us from an unexpected angle.  But I have to circle round to “disposable robots,”  and slightly recontextualise that as “burner robots.”

Molly Crabapple began her Week In Hell.

Interesting little article on one of the last remaining maskhara, or royal jesters, of Afghanistan (and why this one may still be around):

Atta boasted proudly of Pashean’s many talents, telling me that in addition to his prowess as an entertainer, he was also a professional blackmailer, a master thief, and a prolific murderer, with an estimated fifty victims killed by his own hand…

And, in Lagos, Jan Chipchase stopped moving long enough to find this odd little piece of cultural disconnect:


In a country where a music video is shot in a day, and a movie can be shot in two – a collation of news clips on the Japan earthquake/tsunami makes for a decent disaster movie.

Japan Bitter Experience!

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