Neal, great article on MMOWGLI. Fascinating. As a partially disabled Army tactical intelligence officer (parachuting accident) who was a paratrooper and Special Forces qualified and served with both infantry and Special Forces units on active duty, I applaud FAST COMPANY for digging in deeply to report on such interesting topics. Thank you so much for writing such a
thought provoking piece. If FAST COMPANY has not done so, you might want to check out what the U.S. Army is doing with “Mirror Imaging”, you might find it equally interesting.
I can assure you that were no Rambos in my SF Group. We were cerebral, highly educated, highly motivated and well trained professionals who loved our nation and all of our fellow countrymen and, for that matter, all innocent people everywhere. I saw a lot of Third World heartache during my intelligence / SF tour in Latin America and got my greatest reward in life by laying my rifle and pistol aside and coordinating medical care and feeding for starving, sick children and their desperate families. Their own governments would have let the starve or shot them down in a heartbeat. Probably Option B. Whew.
I would ask your company to consider checking out www.woundedwarrior.org and deducing the worthiness of that charity. It’s a remarkable one. As an Army veteran with a dysfunctional right arm and right leg, I believe in WWP’s cause wholeheartedly.
Best wishes to you and to all of your colleagues at FC, a fantastic read online, I may just have to go for the print edition, too!
P.S. Chaos creates more customers who need help. Help them, and they’re yours for life. Turmoil is terrific, because terrified customers need to be reassured that help is just an email, phone call or text message away. Unterrify them, and they’re yours for life. Hard times bring out the best in decent and good people who find multiple ways to extend helping hands to those in need of advice and counsel. FAST COMPANY is always jam packed with
thought provoking material. It would be fantastic if your FC brain trust could think about multiple ways to advise your readers how to keep calm and focused and to thrive during times of economic, political and social chaos and turmoil instead of being afraid or paralyzed by such events. It’s really, really easy to look at the massive, unprecedented changes rocking the entire Middle East and wonder in anxiety, “What’s next?” or “What’s
going to happen to my ‘fast company’ next year?”
Chief Creative Officer
Gross Generation Group
The United States Navy has begun crowdsourcing ideas for fighting Somali pirates through a new video game project. The game platform, called MMOWGLI (Massive Multiplayer Online WarGame Leveraging the Internet—not a reference to Jungle Book), is the product of years of research, will include more than 1,000 military and civilian players, and is planned for launch on May 16. It marks the first major effort by the American military to integrate both crowdsourcing and gamification into traditional military wargames.
It was developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in order to test the feasibility of using massively multiplayer online games to help solve difficult strategic problems.
More on MMOWGL at the click.
A section of the new Energy Agenda Infographic from the White House blog. Click through to see the graphic in full and read the President’s remarks from Friday’s trip to a factory in Indiana highlighted as an example of economic recovery.
Bonus! Some sage advice offered from“check it out below, or download it, print it, send it to your family, or hang it on your wall to add a splash of color.” Economic recovery news AND decorating tips all in one spot! Who could ask for anything more?
Captain Wayne Porter of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Colonel Mark Mykleby, who wrote the paper for the Woodrow Wilson Center, argue that the United States has its policies all wrong. America’s greatest national security threats aren’t terrorism or foreign armies—they are a crumbling infrastructure at home, the depletion of natural resources, climate change, and an overdependence on what they call “defense and protectionism.” Counterintuitively, this paper from special assistants to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, argues that America’s best hopes for world leadership lies in classical left-wing tropes of conservation, soft power, and aggressive humanitarian work abroad.
Click through for their four biggest (and most controversial) suggestions on the best path to maintaining America’s global hegemony.
Californian legislators are slowly pushing ahead with a Do Not Track law introduced by Senator Alan Lowenthal, which would force Net companies to allow consumers to easily and effectively opt out of personal data being collected online—violators could face civil legal action. Lowenthal has noted that in his opinion legislation “is consistent with California’s long history of championing privacy issues.”
But now Facebook, Google, Yahoo and other companies have written to Lowenthal to state their specific objections. “The measure would negatively affect consumers who have come to expect rich content and free services through the Internet” is one of their counter-arguments, along with an allegation that a no-track law would make the public “more vulnerable to security threats.” Also, forcing the law through would “prove costly to the state” and also “cumbersome for the Attorney General to figure out how to regulate under the bill and to enforce the law.”
Really Google?? A Do Not Track button puts users at risk of security breaches? Yeah that sounds legit. Please, tell us more.
For decades, we have held in contempt those who actively celebrate death.
But in the years since 9/11, we have begun vaguely mimicking those we say we despise, sometimes celebrating bloodshed against those we see as Bad Guys just as vigorously as our enemies celebrate bloodshed against innocent Americans they (wrongly) deem as Bad Guys. Indeed, an America that once carefully refrained from flaunting gruesome pictures of our victims for fear of engaging in ugly death euphoria now ogles pictures of Uday and Qusay’s corpses, rejoices over images of Saddam Hussein’s hanging and throws a party at news that bin Laden was shot in the head.”
This is bin Laden’s lamentable victory: He has changed America’s psyche from one that saw violence as a regrettable-if-sometimes-necessary act into one that finds orgasmic euphoria in news of bloodshed. In other words, he’s helped drag us down into his sick nihilism by making us like too many other bellicose societies in history — the ones that aggressively cheer on killing, as long as it is the Bad Guy that is being killed.
Read more from David Sirota on why Bin Laden’s death is a great relief, but by cheering it we’re mimicking our worst enemies.
Just another day walkin’ to work…
As you may know, our headquarters is at 7 World Trade Center. Beginning last night, the streets around ground zero quickly flooded with people and TV crews forcing the police to close off the area. This picture was taken this morning by our Web Producer.
“The Killing Of Osama Bin Laden Shows How to Win A Modern PR War.”
Equally impressive as the military operation to kill Osama Bin Laden is the media strategy that accompanied it, which embraces a post-Twitter world where images can inspire millions to rage — and retaliation.
Amid the stunning news of the surgical American commando operation that killed Osama Bin Laden, one feature looms large in the background: The extraordinarily careful, strategic, and savvy media management of the strike and its aftermath.
Perhaps the most notable feature has been the complete lack of battlefield imagery; instead, all we’ve gotten so far is the powerful, somber announcement from President Obama at the lectern in the East Room, and old file images of Bin Laden. (We’ve also gotten a blurry image of the Bin Laden compound, perhaps taken after the fact, and some ridiculous faked imagery.) Images from the scene outside Islamabad may yet emerge, but for now, the lack of them reads as a savvy, precisely calibrated decision.
“Oh, hey guys remember that thing called the Internet? Yeah… well never mind about that. You just keep going about your day. It’s still out there of course, but you probably shouldn’t pay that much attention to it.” With Love, Your Gov.
The Iranian government, wary from the internet-driven 2009 demonstrations and the recent Arab revolutions, is planning to wall-off much of the country’s online access. A high-ranking Iranian official has their new solution: A “Halal Internet” that will run as a nationwide intranet and be subject to extensive censorship.
According to Iranian Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs Ali Agha Mohammadi, the ”Halal Internet” project is expected to be completed in 18 months (Persian language link). Mohammadi explicitly cited China’s extensive internet controls as an inspiration for the project, which will be completed with the help of what the Minister calls “foreign consultants.”
In related news, we noticed Mitt Romney’s new logo for his presidential campaign exploratory committee looks surprisingly minty-fresh.
The LA Times provides us with a refreshingly honest story hed and dek. #JournalismFTW
“YouTubes are infallible.”
Hahah, I’m just, no, yeah, this speaks for itself. YOUTUBES! I wonder how many he’s watched. All of the ‘Tubes, or just some of them? Tell us more!! There is a video of this guy getting seriously treated by Anderson Cooper—go to www dot Youtubes dot com and search for it, it’s a winner!
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