Introducing Guest Blogger Aaron

As I mentioned, during my vacation tdaxp will post my thesis. Additionally, I am happy to announce a guest blogger: Aaron. While a liberal Democrat, Aaron is very intelligent and we agree on the systematic nature of most issues. Aaron is an intelligent, creative, vertical, and horizontal thinker. He also runs, a social blog that tdaxp spun off from. To use the cool hip lingo, Aaron would be my blogfather.

Please give him a kind welcome.

No Doesn’t Mean No in Europe

EU call to re-run treaty referendums,” by John Thornhill, George Parker in Brussels, and Betrand Benoit, Financial Times, 25 May 2005,

The EU’s lack of respect for democracy isn’t new news, but it’s good to keep tabs on it. Hat-tip to Catholicgauze

France and the Netherlands should re-run their referendums to obtain the “right answer” if their voters reject Europe’s constitutional treaty in imminent national ballots, Jean-Claude Juncker, the holder of the EU presidency, said on Wednesday.

The Luxembourg prime minister said all 25 EU member countries should continue their attempts to ratify the treaty whatever the outcome of the French and Dutch votes.

But it’s get better

The countries which have said No will have to ask themselves the question again. And if we don’t manage to find the right answer, the treaty will not enter into force,” he said in an interview with the Belgian Le Soir newspaper.

To borrow the most annoying of the anti-Iraq-Liberation slogans,

Love without consent is Rape

Mutant Frog on Slate (Kind Of)

Slate mentions me but forgets to link,” by Adamu, Mutant Frog, 25 May 2005,

Congrats to Adamu’s Mutant Frog for being mentioned in Slate, just like Coming Anarchy and tdaxp before him

Mutant Frog Travelogue‘s Adam Richards, who posted a video of a North Korean public execution on his Web site earlier this year warns, “Watching idly and wondering if everyone’s OK is unacceptable because we know exactly what’s being done to the North Koreans. Think before you watch.

Well, kind of

One problem, however: SHE FORGOT TO LINK TO MY SITE! What gives? Every other site got a link but mine. Funnily enough, I’m still experiencing a surge in hits from those with the patience to copy-paste “Mutant Frog Travelogue” into their favorite search engine.

Bidisha Banerjee, I beseech you: link to me! If not this time than the next, please! As someone who covers blogs, you should realize how precious links are to bloggers.

Well, Slate got what I said wrong. Slate’s more MSM than blog, so we shouldn’t expect a correction.

Short Review of "2009: Lost Memories"

2009: Lost Memories is Racist Anti-Japanese Terrorist Propaganda.

2009: Lost Memories

While stylish, it’s also sickening. The protagonist, the hero, becomes a murderer whose objective is starting a war between Japan and the United States. It plays like Arab nationalism — angry, backward-looking, unconcerned about the lives of others, petty.

Josh from One Free Korea has the deteriorating relationship between South Korea and the United States in his Death of an Alliance series. 2009 brings the same message, but as a jump through the gut.

It is a rare movie that makes you want to root for the Empire of Japan. The sickening nationalism of 2009 makes Lost Memories just such a movie.

Quality 1, Beauty

Note: This is a selection from Quality, a tdaxp series.

Photo Courtesy

Dramatically overestimating me, Bill from Dawn’s Early Light asked me to take a look at an interesting Economist article on biased judging in Europe’s version of American Idol.

What makes a good song? Lyrics, melody and rhythm have their place, of course, but for entrants of the Eurovision Song Contest on May 21st, geopolitics may be the decisive factor. Neil Johnson and his colleagues at Oxford University have gathered voting data from 12 years worth of Eurovision Song Contests in order to analyse the links between different countries, and their “compatibility” with each other. These data confirm what many already suspected: that the contest is not always about the quality of the songs. The research, published in arXiv, an online archive more usually devoted to papers about physics, has shown the contest also has a deeper meaning, and reveals how “European” each country is. Despite its Eurosceptic image, for instance, the data suggest that Britain is very much in tune with the rest of Europe. Supposedly Europhile France, by contrast, is actually out of kilter with many of its European cousins.

Hmmm…….. “What makes a good song?” the article asks. “The contest is not always about the quality of the songs,” it continues. Interesting. But anyway…

Dr Johnson and his colleagues picked the Eurovision contest for their analysis because it is largely free of economic and governmental bias, and does not depend on income, on education or (much) on language. This, they argue, makes it a good measure of compatibility between countries, capturing something of the underlying character and mood of a given country at a given time. If all were fair and equal, and judges had similar musical tastes, any given song should receive a similar score from all countries, with terrible songs garnering few points and good songs many. In reality, though, some dreadful dirges get a few ridiculously high scores, while better ditties receive a smattering of surprisingly low ones.

When the article says it “is not always about the quality of the songs,” it begs the question: what is quality? In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig has his protagonist ponder this

It wasn’t until three o’clock in the morning that he wearily confessed to himself that he didn’t have a clue as to what Quality was, picked up his briefcase and headed home.

Later, in more depth

Quality — you know what it is, yet you don’t know what it is. But that’s self-contradictory. But some things are better than others, that is, they have more quality. But when you try to say what the quality is, apart from the things that have it, it all goes poof! There’s nothing to talk about. But if you can’t say what Quality is, how do you know what it is, or how do you know that it even exists? If no one knows what it is, then for all practical purposes it doesn’t exist at all. But for all practical purposes it really does exist. What else are the grades based on? Why else would people pay fortunes for some things and throw others in the trash pile? Obviously some things are better than others — but what’s the “betterness”? — So round and round you go, spinning mental wheels and nowhere finding anyplace to get traction. What the hell is Quality? What is it?

The Economist‘s article on pop idols spirals into philosophical madness!

Bet you weren’t expecting that!

Zen‘s hero is a lecturer of rhetoric in a state university, and he tries something the the British economics newspaper also realized

To reinforce the idea that they already knew what Quality was he developed a routine in which he read four student papers in class and had everyone rank them in estimated order of Quality on a slip of paper. He did the same himself. He collected the slips, tallied them on the blackboard and averaged the rankings for an overall class opinion. Then he would reveal his own rankings, and this would almost always be close to, if not identical with the class average. Where there were differences it was usually because two papers were close in quality.

Compare to the article text:

If all were fair and equal, and judges had similar musical tastes, any given song should receive a similar score from all countries, with terrible songs garnering few points and good songs many

If averaging favorites works for college freshmen in Montana, it should be good enough for the European pop-literati!

One time trying to define quality, Zen‘s hero seems to endorse an American-Idol-like process for deciding what “quality” is

He didn’t know, but he did know that by subtracting Quality from a picture of the world as we know it, he’d revealed a magnitude of importance of this term he hadn’t known was there. The world can function without it, but life would be so dull as to be hardly worth living. In fact it wouldn’t be worth living. The term worth is a Quality term. Life would just be living without any values or purpose at all.

“That’s the look. That sums it. Squareness. When you subtract quality you get squareness. Absence of Quality is the essence of squareness.

But there are crueler judges than hipsters. Other teachers ask him if Quality exists objectively, in items themselves, or subjectively, in the mind of man

“This was brought about in response to Phædrus’ wild meanderings about Quality when the English faculty at Bozeman, informed of their squareness, presented him with a reasonable question: “Does this undefined `quality’ of yours exist in the things we observe?” they asked. “Or is it subjective, existing only in the observer?” It was a simple, normal enough question, and there was no hurry for an answer.

Neither option is valid – the hero is on the horns of a dilemma

Because if Quality exists in the object, then you must explain just why scientific instruments are unable to detect it. You must suggest instruments that will detect it, or live with the explanation that instruments don’t detect it because your whole Quality concept, to put it politely, is a large pile of nonsense.

On the other hand, if Quality is subjective, existing only in the observer, then this Quality that you make so much of is just a fancy name for whatever you like.”

The author demolishes both options in turn

But it turned out to be false. The Quality that he and the students had been seeing in the classroom was completely different from the qualities of color or heat or hardness observed in the laboratory. Those physical properties were all measurable with instruments. His Quality…”excellence,” “worth,” “goodness”…was not a physical property and was not measurable. He had been thrown off by an ambiguity in the term quality. He wondered why that ambiguity should exist, made a mental note to do some digging into the historic roots of the word quality, then put it aside. The horn of the dilemma was still there.

What the classical formalists meant by the objection “Quality is just what you like” was that this subjective, undefined “quality” he was teaching was just romantic surface appeal. Classroom popularity contests could determine whether a composition had immediate appeal, all right, but was this Quality? Was Quality something that you “just see” or might it be something more subtle than that, so that you wouldn’t see it at all immediately, but only after a long period of time?

A dilemma is like a charging bull, and either horn can kill you. If a bull is aggressive, you can turn (and be gored), throw sand in his eyes (try to trick it using a logical fallacy), sing it to sleep (answer that you, unlike the questioner, are not smart enough to know), or go through the horns. The first stage is noting that quality is a larger than an individual

He noted that although normally you associate Quality with objects, feelings of Quality sometimes occur without any object at all. This is what led him at first to think that maybe Quality is all subjective. But subjective pleasure wasn’t what he meant by Quality either. Quality decreases subjectivity. Quality takes you out of yourself, makes you aware of the world around you. Quality is opposed to subjectivity.

Finally, the breakthrough. What is Quality? Answer:

I don’t know how much thought passed before he arrived at this, but eventually he saw that Quality couldn’t be independently related with either the subject or the object but could be found only in the relationship of the two with each other. It is the point at which subject and object meet.

As a Computer Scientist, I loved reading Zen and its sequel, is that they complement network theory so well.

Entity-Relationship networks are an old database concept

Two Entities And Their Relationship

To see how this works, let’s backtrack earlier in the book where Pirsig writes

He remembered [philosopher John Locke]’s statement that no object, scientific or otherwise, is knowable except in terms of its qualities. This irrefutable truth seemed to suggest that the reason scientists cannot detect Quality in objects is because Quality is all they detect. The “object” is an intellectual construct deduced from the qualities. This answer, if valid, certainly smashed the first horn of the dilemma, and for a while excited him greatly.

In Computer Science terms, you would say that an unconnected object is meaningless. To put it slightly differently, an object without a semantic network has no knowable purpose.

An object, existing meaninglessly
Its potential is unknown because its qualities are unknown

Now let’s build a diagram that shows meaning — a semantic network. First, we will show a semantic network showing an entity and a list of things it likes. Remember that according to Locke, it is through these qualities that it is knowable.

An object, existing meaningfully
Its semantic network lets us know the entity

Now, a second semantic networking showing a second entity and a list of things it has

Another object, existing meaningfully
A different semantic network shows us different information

If we tie these together, we get something special. It can be called a semantic internet, or a world of discourse or even a database.

Two connected semantic networks
Now we have a world

To tie this all back together…

Helena Paparizou won the Eurovision 2005 song contest. Judging from the song recording and her official photo

The Bashful Helena, on the floor

we can “instantiate” (fill in) our semantic network with

  • Entity 1 as Eurovision Judge
  • Entity 2 as a Miss Paparizou’s winning song, “My Number One”
  • Attribute 1 as “energetic singing”
  • Attribute 2 as “slutty singer”

We get

Quality is the overlap between two semantic networks

The more relations between two entities, the more quality the relationship has. A song cannot have “quality” by itself, just as a listener cannot have “quality.” The song and the listener make the quality together.

Technically, our semantic network is just a more complex version of our original E-R diagram

Quality is the Relation between two Entities

but by breaking down the relation into semantic relationships, we see so much more.

Also note that your semantic network determines the quality you will experience. This is another way of saying that your relations define you. As Pirsig wrote

In a sense, he said, it’s the student’s choice of Quality that defines him. People differ about Quality, not because Quality is different, but because people are different in terms of experience. He speculated that if two people had identical a priori analogues they would see Quality identically every time. There was no way to test this, however, so it had to remain just speculation.

Quality makes life worth living. Quality makes life. What a dry meaningless horror the world would be if we were alone!

The Jesuit-educated Ortega y Gasset said the same thing

I am myself and my circumstance

as did the early 17th century English Catholic philosopher John Donne

No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine own were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

So why do some nations seem to vote in groups in Eurovision? Because they have quality (very meaningful — thick semantic network) relationships. Quality between nations, quality between nations and songs, quality everywhere!

But does this mirror my earlier modeling of Europe? That’s a post for a different time…

Update: Slashdot picks up the story.


Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” by Robert Pirsig, 1 April 1984,

Musical chairs,” Economist, 19 May 2005, (from By Dawn’s Early Light).

Quality, a tdaxp series, has five parts:
The First Part, Beauty
The Second Part, Friction
The Third Part, Seas
The Fourth Part, Inlets, Lakes, and Streams
The Fifth Part, The Magic Cloud

John R. Boyd’s "Patterns of Conflict" Brief

While discussing my attempt to understand PISRR in 4GW, Chet Richards of Defense and the National Interest suggested that I focus on some slides on late United States Air Force Colonel John Boyd’s epic brief, “Patterns of Conflict.” I took about four to read it and left astounded. What Thomas P.M. Barnett’s brief is to globalization, Boyd’s is to war.

I used the reconstructed Powerpoint


though a facsimile of the slides is also available


Over the next few weeks I will try to post on topics in Patterns of Conflict, to help me better understand this work.

I also took the the following unsolvable cryptogram of notes. Cryptic, neh?

warning: waterfall of victories creates failure, slide 40
warning: top-down attacks, pg 49
pro-waterfall: pg 65
agitprop/we-can-do-it 68
daily-kos-extremism pg 69
fake orders in politics 71
need for delegation 73
long political training during peace — then what about insurgencies?: 75
Schwerpunkt — Future Worth Creating? or Heart of the Beast?
fractals: 80s
quickly, Blitz 4GW not possible? 88
alien atmosphere, hence syphilis?: 91
need for popular early causes, agitprop, also SC ’00 decision?: 92
Reharmonize population BEFORE victory? Too much “capital” needed?: 96
Was SA guerrilla unsuccessful? How does that effect analysis: 98
similarity between 4GW/NCW: 102
saving delay: 106
need to help Sunnis: 108
my Dean experience: 109
Clinton/DNC as moral counter-guerrilla?/ different from GWs? 111
Kerry v Kos: 116
Overload/strategic despair 118
Human rights / moral conflict 119
similarities / differences to global guerrillas: 121
Parts of moral isolation / Aaron’s nightmare /evolutionary: 123
Kerry v Kos (again) 124
horizontal rule sets 125
FAA = FUD? what about MUM? 126
of DA, in ooda, GPASC 128
SDDOS == PISRR in different order?, Centralize/Decentralize 129
… but what about adversary’s successful? super-enemies? 130
“paths of least resistance” — in Senate, Reid is resisting or attempt to create new channel? 133
how does “moral fiber” relate in corrupt world of politics? 134
“Categories of Ruin” 136
“mop up or absorption” – marginalization or absorption in politics? 137
“penetrate [Pisrr] his being” / Full Spectrum 138
“end conflict” make sense in politics? non-ideological times? 140
PNM Grand Strategy 141
“internal harmony” – Larry’s electron comments 142
is “generous terms” in politics possible? 143
“some unifying vision” A Future Worth Creating / higher level than Schwepunkt 144
conspiracy/”theocracy” theories 149
strengthen channel and filibuster 150
“baited retreats” in politics 152
“senior commanders” is plural — lack of one authority possible/advisable? who are political anti-tankmen? 153
projected mental image/”theocracy” — both form AND temp 156
equilv of Barbarossa mistakes in politics? 171
encourage conspiracy theories 176
implies many technoguerillas? 177
“unsolvable cryptogram” – warns of popularizing strategy (Bush vagueness in GWOT?) 179

Download either the new powerpoint or original pdf, and learn a lot!

The Most Important Commandments

Cutting and Christ, by Tod Bolsinger, It Takes A Church…, 19 May 2005, (from By Dawn’s Early Light)

While talking youths physically injuring themselves to ease mental plain, Paster Bolsinger writes

In my book, It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian, I quote extensively from Emil Brunner’s book, The Misunderstanding of the Church. This book written over half-century ago remains the most profound theological work on what the church is and how we have relegated to nothing more than a “means of grace”. What is in fact, the very presence of God on earth has become for many of us a “helpful” yet optional part of the Christian life.

Brunner writes, The “togetherness of Christians is…not secondary or contingent: it is integral to their life just as is their abiding in Christ.” Did you get that? “JUST AS IS their abiding in Christ.” “The fellowship of Christians is just as much an end in itself as is their fellowship with Christ. “ Did you get that? “JUST AS MUCH an end in itself…”

Brunner is pointing to the biblical notion that if we are IN FACT, the body of Christ with Jesus as our head, then BEING the church and loving, caring and forgiving each other is just as important as the way that a healthy person takes care of his body.

I wrote earlier about religions and loneliness. As I wrote then, the two themes of the New Testament are Follow Christ and Love Your Neighbor The early Church was combining the two most powerful messages in the world: We can do it. You can help and I love you.

An ideological network that effectively combines both messages is almost impossible. That is a major reason for the success of Christianity.

The Path to Victory: Neural Networks of 4G Movements

“Overview of Methods for Building a Simulation: Neural Networks,” by Dan, A Computer Model of National Behavior, December 2004, ppg 29-30

Your assassins have hit their targets. Your rabble rousers have told stories — true and false — of the nightmarish jails of the government. Your agitators have made the population mad against their rulers.

Is your movement now strong enough to move to the next stage — controlling the countryside at night? Or setting up your own social services programs? Or planned ambushes of governmental troops?

These are the questions that every Fourth Generation Commander faces when his movement is successful in the 1st Stage of 4th Generation War (4GWS1) and ponders whether to advance to the 2nd Stage (4GWS2).

It is merely a question of continuing what you are doing or moving to the next step. At one level, a diagram of this would be:


Input-Decision-Output. Nothing could be simpler.

A neuron is a type of input-decision-output machine. It works by collecting energy input from cells called “dendrites.” If the energy is above a “threshhold,” it is sent out through cells called “axons.”

To steal a graphic from my thesis


or perhaps more clearly, in the context of 4th Generation Struggle


The 4G Movement begins Stage 1 activities, such as assassinations/node-takedowns, reporting horror stories, and agitating for change among the people. The 4G networks is a thinking machine, and when the Stage 1 energy grows great enough the neural nucleus’ threshhold is reached and Stage 2 begins.

A neural approach is very appropriate to 4th Generation Struggle. To quote from my work,

Neural networks have been shown to explain the behavior of insects, animals, and in some areas humans, so perhaps they might explain the behavior of national populations of humans. Because there are many neurons involved, the calculations will be necessarily parallel, opening the door to optimizations. Additionally, the proven ability for biological neural networks to learn concepts and plot strategies have obvious benefits for nations.

Not just for nations. 4G Networks also learn concepts and plot strategies.

A single-neuron view of a 4G net would be too simplistic, but a neural-net model may not be.

Just another way to think about the power of 4GNets.

Anti-Academia Agitprop

Bright College Years,” by Jack Risko, Dinocrat, 18 May 2005,

Early 4GPS1 Agitation-Propaganda, courtesy of a private email. It is also an Isolation attack [PISRR], trying to morally separate academics from society at large. This complements the 4GP attack on the Judiciary. The universities and the courts are liberal strongholds, but unprotected and vulnerable ones.

The Dartmouth ratio is a nice touch.


Model Law for Anti-Insurgency in Iraq (Ethics of PMW/4GW Fusion Takedown)

This (DoS) sounds like Richard Thieme’s suggestion…,” by Stuart Berman, tdaxp, 18 May 2005,

To my post on the hybrid nature of family (“pre modern”) ideological (“4GW”) networks in Iraq, and my suggestion that the most influential single males in a family network be indefinitely held or humiliated to break the insurgency, Stuart Berman writes

So what are the ethical considerations with DoS [Isolation attacks on individual family members]. How do you target the ‘right’ people if you are in essence destroying their reputations?

I’m not sure about ethics, but Stuart’s comment made me think of the importance of doing this legally. Failing to have a legal structure leads to moral isolation of Coalition and Iraqi forces, which would be a significant insurgent victory. But how would a law that enables the destruction of reputations of potentially innocent single males, just because someone in their family is a known insurgent.

It might look something like this

A Person is Guilty of Conspiracy to Insurgency If

  • The person does not have dependent children, and
  • the person is a male at least 16 years old, and
  • the person is of the same House as an active insurgent, and
  • the person should have known of the active insurgent’s activities

Every clause is important. In order,

  • The first clause enables the targeted denial of service attack, distinguishing this from a broader anti-family attack. Anti-family attacks work well in traditional insurgency (Pre-Modern War), but backfire in either 4GW or PMW/4GW hybrids. The law is silent on whether biological children not dependent on the accused should count — that is open to interpretation.
  • The second clause further narrows the scope. Especially in traditional societies, women and children do not possess independent agency. A crime of a woman or a child is presumed to be caused by her male guardian.
  • The third clause is a flexible way of applying the law to kin relations, either of the same house, tribe, or clan, as appropriate. “House” should correspond to how the accused sees themselves in a kinship network. Additionally, by making “House” a criteria of the law it allows flexible interpretation, as appropriate.
  • The fourth clause likewise is open to interpretation. During a very active insurgency, there may be an absolute presumption that the accused should have known — similar to how some American states have an absolute presumption that a child born to a married woman is the rightful child of her husband, regardless of biological evidence. For a very low level Ulster-style situation, “should have known” can be interested much more strictly.

The persons targeted for denial-of-service attack do not have to be found guilty of anything more than this, though that is a post for another time…