View Single Post
Old 11-27-2013, 00:30   #5
Area Commander
Join Date: May 2011
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1,423
Originally Posted by Peregrino View Post
Interesting concept. Shortly after the Muslim Brotherhood Spring (OK, if you insist - the "Arab Spring") my then boss recommended I read Revolution 2.0. Thank god I bought it on Kindle for $2. I'm still plowing through it months later. Personally, I think our policy wonks are overstating the utility of social media WRT igniting political movements. Everything I've read addresses it in a vacuum without taking into account the duration and depth of the respective population's underlying grievances. Generations of oppression and repressed potential stacks enough kindling for an impressive conflagration. I think social media is more the spark, and just like starting any fire with a match, insufficient tinder and preparation results in burnt fingers and no bonfire. It takes time and lots of repressed discontent to create the conditions for revolution. To illustrate my point - does anyone believe social media could effect a revolution in any western democracy in the near future? How about in 25 years (probably less considering how quickly they're progressing) in one of the current socialist inspired economic disaster zones (Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, etc.)?

As for the US using it as an offensive tool - I'm not holding my breath. And that's all I consider social media to be - a tool, another component of a shaping campaign. I've yet to see a modern psyop campaign (outside of commercial marketing or democrat politics) that I considered effective. Not timely, not targeted, and certainly not exploitable for strategic or operational gain.
Great post.....

Besides Revolution 2.0 I've also read Egypt unsh@ckled.

I would agree that social media isn't so much a new universe that some claim, but more like an increasingly important facet for shaping.

Not trying to be pedantic, but I kinda think of social media as not so much the spark as an accelerant like digital petrol.

Wouldn't the spark be real world/offline events like Mohamed Bouazizi literally sparking himself up via self immolation?

On that note, I wonder if a rigorous comparison between events such as the self immolation of Thich Quang Duc in Vietnam and Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia would be worthwhile?

Fortunately or unfortunately, a Pulitzer Prize winning photo(as well as film) was taken of Thich Quang Duc which immortalized him globally. Had he not been photographed and filmed would his action have achieved much reach beyond the ultra-local other than a single AP column inch and forgotten?

Because I would posit that ubiquitous photo/video combined with instantaneous global distribution of it is the only thing that has changed.

30 years ago, Assad Sr could level Hama like something out of the Dark Ages, today Assad Jr is finding his actions under scrutiny from the general public across the planet, rather than from national intelligence services and their masters.

IF my line of thinking is accurate and the main differences between Thich Quang Duc and Mohamed Bouazizi are:

Low probability of Thich Quang Duc reaching "criticality" in the media relatively slowly.

High probability of Mohamed Bouazizi reaching "criticality" in the media instantaneously.

Would that not mean that social media as an accelerant to an offline/real world event is to the benefit of those playing offense due to the exceptionally fast 0 to 100 speed and momentum like a digital MISO blitzkrieg while those playing defense will see their OODA loop rebooting at a cyclic rate due to official response decision making cycle time?
Flagg is offline   Reply With Quote