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John Robb on Global Guerillas

If politicans talk about terrorism, who would expect something worthwhile to come out? Better ask someone with the right backgrounds - like John Robb. As a former Delta/Seal forces command pilot, social networking software builder and strategic researcher, his view on Global Guerrillas is that on small and mid-size, distributed dynamic networks. Once you know what you kind of network is given, you can look at how to destabilize them and at what examples in history to look at.

Side Note: I deeply believe if you have background, practices and experiences in one field or discipline and apply that to another (possibly unconnected) field or discipline, both can benefit from it. It is about translating context instead of translating words. It is what John does when he applies his backgrounds to the field of emerging new forms of guerrillas. In my experience, translating context when talking about wars, unrests and terror attacks can get you quickly accused of being cynical and lacking empathy with the victims, and obviously, I don't subscribe to that point of view. Analyzing such things as calm and dry as other situations and abstracing them into dynamic and complex models helps solving problems: running practices and experiences from different (again possibly unconnected) fields and disciplines against such a model results in a deeper understanding of the situation and possibly leads to that important clue that wouldn't have emerged if you just had applied practices and experiences from just one field to it. That's especially likely if you not just model the attacker's network, but also the social, technical and economic networks of the attacked - that is, our infrastructure. And that's why I am looking forward to reading John's announced new book which will focus on "a) the impact of cascading failures across multiple infrastructures, b) the impact of mulitiple attacks across different infrastructures and c) sustained attacks over an extended time period".

Entry first published 2009-05-18 00:59, last edited 2009-05-18 00:59
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