Pedophiles as The Enemy

Note: I am aware this post will be controversial. It is an honest attempt to answer a question posed by a visitor in a way that applies my previous writings. Comments, as always, are welcome. For the record, I agree with Senator Santorum’s view on pedophilia.

My criticism of harsher anti-pedophile laws has drawn an interesting response (formatting mine):


You left an email from my blog, with a link to here, but no email address to respond to you, so I’m posting here. You say that the increased penalties will lead to MORE murders of children. Ok, fine if that is your opinion, but what I’d like to ask is what you propose should be done?

I, as a parent, am outraged that pedophiles are so prevalent in our society. I have been extremely lucky in that my kids are nearly grown and, so far, have not been molested. Someday I may be fortunate enough to have grandchildren and I want them to be safe.

Obviously the laws we have now are not working. Instead of being a naysayer and telling us what we have in mind won’t work, why not put your logic to better use and propose something that will.

Thanks for listening.

I’m purposely not posting my email address or blog because I don’t usually like to get into political discussions.

The commentator said “…as a parent” and “… my kids…” so I will assume that the commentator is wondering how society can help parents protect their children from pedophiles. I’m assuming the commentator is a mother, so I will refer to the commentator as “she” or “her” (if the commentator is a father, I apologize). And we both agree that the laws are not working.

From her comment and my short description, we know the outline of the conflict

Protagonist: Parents
Proganonist’s preferred battlespace: The government and laws.
Antagonist: Pedophiles.

What are the strong points of the adversaries?

Parents: Super-motivated to keep their children away from pedophiles
Pedophiles: Super-motivated to sexually interact with children

The pedophile’s sexual motivation is his schwerpunkt, his “center of gravity.” Our laws are designed to subdue him at this strong point – to crush him in decisive battle.

It has not been working. His motivation exceeds the ability of the law to stop him. We cannot subdue him. The parent/pedophile war looks like an eternal struggle, with neither side able to concede. Both appear to be driven by biological urges deep enough to drown any compromise.

Several sayings can help us here

If what you are doing is not working, stop doing it.”
An unchangeable fact is not an enemy. It is weapon.”
Just act recklessly and it will be all right.”

The first reminds us that our goal is victory, not struggle. “Doing something” is not wise when that something is not working. It is more important to win that steadfastly keep to our old tactics.

The second reminds us that we should use every tool available — including the enemy himself. If possible we should use thing that makes the enemy “invincible” against him.

The third reminds us when time is not on your side, “slow-and-steady” approaches are guaranteed to fail. Because we are substantially failing in our current strategy, every day we do not change is a day of failure.

So we need a new approach that uses the enemy’s strength against him daringly.

To refresh, the strength of the pedophiles is their very strong motivation. Significantly increasing the cost does not significantly decrease consumption. (This also means that significantly decreasing the cost will not significantly decrease consumption.) As long as the pedophilia is able to pay, he will.

One approach would be to vaporize the planet in a hail of H-Bombs, except the cost of this is too high for the parents.

This option isn’t as crazy as it seems. The parents are trying to protect their children, so if we could have a solution we knew work that would cause the death of millions of parents, it is likely the parents would accept it. That is how much they love their children. They are prepared to pay a very high price to ensure that their children are not used by pedophiles.

In the words of one parent:

I, as a parent, am outraged that pedophiles are so prevalent in our society. I have been extremely lucky in that my kids are nearly grown and, so far, have not been molested. Someday I may be fortunate enough to have grandchildren and I want [my grandchildren] to be safe.

We know that “subduing” pedophiles will not work, because they are too motivated. The only other path to victory is “subversion” — to turn them so they help us. We need to rearrange the minds of pedophiles, so they desire to help parents.

Now how can we rearrange the minds of people who want to sexually used children in a way that is acceptable to people whose primary concern is protecting their children?

What could pedophiles possible want that would make them allies of the parents who are frightened of them?

What tool can we use to subvert pedophiles, to turn them?

Someone else’s kids.

If we look at the problem as a diagram, we certainly see the logic of it, whether most parents care (which they do):


or not


Recent evidence of an astonishly organized ring in France

The 45 victims, many the children and grandchildren of adults who stood trial for attacking them, ranged from a baby of six months to 14-year-olds. They suffered more than 100 separate sexual assaults.

suggests it it somewhere in between. The percentage could be vanishingly small. If say 2% of adult males are pedophiles (about the same percentage of adult males who are homosexualists) the remainder of all parents less those parents who are opposed to pedophiles would only have to be one in fifty. Throw in states that have more children than capital, and the threshold could be easily met.

This is a fact that cannot be changed. And a fact that cannot be changed is a weapon.

Parents, through the government and laws, could use this weapon to protect their children from pedophiles. The strength of pedophiles, their high level of motivation, can now be used with this weapon, other people’s kids, to help the parents protect their children.

We could daringly build an extensive system of monitoring and reporting if we subverted pedophiles in this way. Parents could know more about pedophiles — very high levels of disclosure could be required to participate in the managed market — and have their children much safer from them — their is an alternate, lawful supply — if they would simply take up the weapon.

We can find a parallel for this in the Bible. King Saul had an enemy.

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels ; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.

An enemy that looked invincible

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

and a method of fighting that could not work

Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

David found new weapons

“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

and won in a new way

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

Other people’s kids is the sling. The pedophile’s own motivation is the stone. And the children of concerned parents are children of Israel.

David recognized that an “honorable” way of fighting — with sword and shield — would lead to a dishonorable defeat and grave danger for sons of Abraham and the daughters of Sarah. So David found a new way.

Will parents? Or do they not care for their own children more than strangers?

Just Don’t Name Her Hillary!

An interesting chart on the popularity of “Hillary” as baby girl’s name


I was particularly surprised because Senator Clinton is a divisive politician, and so should inspire loyalty in her base. But if her name is declining over all, that mean many more couples are dropping “Hillary” as a potential baby name than considering the name because of her.

I wondered if the same thing happened with other notable figures, so using information from the Social Security Administration I charted “George,” “Laura,” “William,” and “Hillary” from 1988 to 2004

In the chart, the farther the bar drops down in a year, the less popular it is.


For those who want hard numbers, I apologize for the terrible formatting

Year 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
George 0078 0079 0079 0087 0095 0104 0110 0115 0118 0121 0126 0123 0130 0129 0131 0138 0148
Laura 0023 0025 0029 0035 0038 0043 0046 0056 0066 0066 0075 0081 0085 0086 0106 0125 0129
William 0016 0015 0016 0019 0020 0018 0019 0020 0018 0019 0014 0014 0011 0010 0011 0011 0008
Hillary 0245 0209 0192 0165 0131 0165 0131 0261 0566 0725 0868 0856 0878 0886 ???? ???? 0805

The first thing to see is that “George,” “Laura,” and “William” start out as very popular baby names, with Hillary in the top few hundred. By the time Bill Clinton wins the Presidency Hillary has ascended to place 131, closing in on George’s standing of 110.

Immediately the popularity of Hillary plummets. When Bill Clinton leaves office, “Hillary” on the far end of the 800s. And it keeps getting worse. In 2002 and 2003 “Hillary” drops out of the top thousand names. While Hillary “rallies” to position 805 by 2004, it’s nowhere near as good as it was before she became First Lady.

So why don’t parents want a baby Hillary? There are two possibilities that seem likely

  1. Whatever her political appeal, is personally unpopular and few parents wish their children to be like her.
  2. Hillary has a reputation as “masculine” warrior, which few parents consider appropriate for a baby warrior

If reason #1 is true, this bodes ill for her chance at the Presidency in 2008. Aaron’s warning of ‘s unelectability would be true. But if it’s because she is “warlike,” then Hillary would be a strong candidate to continue the Global War on Terrorism.

Time well tell.

George McGovern Blasts Neoliberal/Neoconservative Scheming

McGovern touts legacy of liberalism in America,” by Rob Chaney, The Missoulian, 30 July 2005, (from Democratic Underground).

isn’t the only famous Democrat from South Dakota…

I have a soft spot in my heart for George McGovern. We were both born in South Dakota. We both taught at a small college. We both lived in Italy for a time (his much longer and splendidly and mine). And neither us of defeated Richard Nixon or Jim Abdnor.

The Senator recently surfaced in Missoula of all places, speaking just like the McGovernator all South Dakotans know and refuse to vote for

I’m a Democrat and a liberal,” McGovern said, adding, “I’m sure I wasn’t just revealing a secret. And I’m the worst kind of liberal – a bleeding-heart liberal.”

Yes, Senator, you are, and the American and South Dakotan people told you exactly what they think of that

McGovern painted the country Red

Though perhaps he’s a bit more conspiracy minded than before:

The nation needs a strong conservative movement to balance the liberal force, he said. What [America] doesn’t need, [McGovern] said, is people claiming to be either neo-conservative or neo-liberal. Such people are masking their true intentions, particularly with regards to U.S. involvement in the Iraq war.

The Great Game, in Not-So-Great Writing

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest: 2005 Results, compiled by the Department of English and Comparative Literature, San Jose State University, downloaded 30 July 2005, (from Slashdot).

A post for the Hindoostan/British/Great Game loving folk over at Coming Anarchy

The Worst Writing of 2005

Ken Aclin (Shreveport, LA ):

India, which hangs like a wet washcloth from the towel rack of Asia, presented itself to Tex as he landed in Delhi (or was it Bombay?), as if it mattered because Tex finally had an idea to make his mark and fortune and that idea was a chain of steak houses to serve the millions and he wondered, as he deplaned down the steep, shiny, steel steps, why no one had thought of it before.

Eric Winter (Minneapolis, MN):

It was high noon in the jungles of South India when I began to recognize that if we didn’t find water for our emus soon, it wouldn’t be long before we would be traveling by foot; and with the guerilla warriors fast on our heals, I was starting to regret my decision to use poultry for transportation.

David Lindley (Sheffield, England)

Anyone with a less refined air of unabashed insouciance would not have been able to so easily slip through the security cordon, charm their way past the armed guards, breeze through the marbled reception area and blithely enter the inner sanctum of the UN Security Council and there successfully negotiate an end to all conflict in the Middle East, but that was the sort of man Nigel Simpkins was.

States Encouraging the Murder of Children

States opt for lifetime GPS tags on molesters,” by David Lieb, Associated Press, 30 July 2005,

It’s not just the State of Minnesota anymore…

Florida, Missouri, Ohio and Oklahoma passed laws this year requiring lifetime electronic monitoring for some sex offenders, even if their sentences would normally have expired. Similar bills have been proposed in Congress and other states, including Alabama and North Dakota.

A new Oklahoma law also requires habitual sex offenders to wear GPS monitoring devices for the rest of their lives. Ohio’s budget funds lifetime GPS monitoring only for people classified as sexually violent predators.

Ideas this crazy have to be caused by hysterical cable news outlets…

Spurred by headlines of released sex offenders accused of murder, some states are mandating use of the Global Positioning System for tracking. Many lawmakers see electronic monitoring as a natural evolution of statutes that already require sex offenders to register their addresses with authorities.

A basic thought for my legislator friends in Florida, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Alabama, and North Dakota:

The harsher you make a sentence, the more the criminal will try to avoid being caught

And what is the easiest, most obvious way for a pedophile to avoid being caught?

Kill the witness

In other words, if you want to minimize the number of victims like

After a registered sex offender was charged in March with killing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, Florida legislators mandated tougher prison sentences for people who commit sex offenses against children and required lifetime GPS monitoring after serving time.

encouraging murder isn’t the wisest option. And lifetime sentences really, really discourage criminals from getting caught.

Around the blogosphere: PC540 talks sense, and Outside Report examines the issue in depth. Forbush calls some form of pedocide moderate. A wife and mother is heartbreakingly misguided. A compulsive hooker of the yarn variety notes Lunsford-family branding. Chatguard reports just the facts. Pace Forbush, Keith notes that there is muderous monsters deserve death. Omahastar suggests eternal damnation for a lesser offensive.

Response to Chirol on "2nd Generation Empires" – Part 1

Fifth Generation Warfare?,” by William Lind, from Defense and the National Interest, 3 February 2004, (from Zen Pundit).

A History of Empires,” by Chirol, Coming Anarchy, 28 July 2005,

John Ikenberry’s Pissed,” by Daniel Nexon, The Duck of Minerva, 30 July 2005,

Chirol from Coming Anarchy has begun an interesting discussion on 2nd Generation Empire. His extremely well written post deserves attention, and I hope I am bringing enough in this reply.

Without further wait, my thoughts for Chirol…

The answer is what I will call a “Second Generation Empire” or 2GE for short (to be fully defined later).

I look forward to your definition. Remember Lind‘s definition of “generation,” as a “dialectically qualitative shift” or that “absent a vast disparity in size, an army [empire?] from a previous generation cannot beat a force from the new generation”

realism, namely that there is no world order and that nations exist in the world in a state of anarchy

Duck of Minervagave the definition of “realism” as

“Realism comes in a wide variety of flavors, but its adherents generally agree on a number of principles:

1. International politics are, at heart, characterized by a struggle for power.
2. Attempts to transcend power – through, for instance, international institutions – are at best misguided and, at worst counterproductive.
3. The primary actors in international politics are states and the leaders of states.
4. They ultimately pursue “state interests” (‘raison d’état’).”

As realism assumes that states are the primary actors, realism thus implies that the world order can be understood by examining states.

Osama bin Laden and others strongly refute this claim.

Might there be a pattern in the phrases: Pax Romana, Pax Mongolica, Pax Britannia and Pax Americana?

That three of them were largely connected through internal waterways, high-tech roads, and/or oceans, while a fourth is a revisionist defense of a temporary barbarian occupation built-to-fail?

You’ll not find many, if any, examples of the Russians or the British tossing people from towers, gouging out their eyes, keeping them in rat and flea infested underground pits, removing body parts and so forth as the result of policy. While extreme things often happen during battle and the darker side of men sometimes gets the better of them, countries or regions outside the control of empires have hardly had a better track record, if not often a worse one.

The more desperate the fight, the more desperate the measures. Neither the Czar nor the Queen was fighting for existence. The Khans were.

Empires have always begun in successful states

The European Union, which Niall Ferguson calls an “Impire” was formed by Italy, France, and Germany, three Axis dictatorship losers of the Second World War (of course this is unfair to Italy, which retained some capability for internal debate during the war).

Lastly, there is nothing more crucial to an empire than its strength. Sheer military might is the backbone of its credibility .

The Romans were unable to militarily pacify Germania. This did not stop the Romans from integrating the Germans into a world order which transcended Rome itself. Just as the Americans lost the Vietnam War but won the Vietnam Peace, the Roman trade system extended past the frontier of the Empire proper, bringing Roman civilization into places the military could not penetrate.

The military formidable but culturally bankrupt Mongolians, by conquest, absolutely failed at their attempt to rule by force.

Every game needs a Referee and we are it.

Just as every undertaking requires a plan?

The individual hand guides markets, so it is so unreasonable to expect an invisible hand to guide nations?

Other commentators also wrote provocatively:

Mark Safranski from ZenPundit opined:

Minimal rule-sets are very economical – fewer strictures to require enforcement ( which has costs) and fewer unintended consequences as the effects of Rule-sets interact. Maximal Rule-Sets sap strength and waste resources ( USSR).

True. However, minimal rule-sets may impose a very high psychological cost. Maximalist pedophilia rulesets may be easier for a state than minimalist pedophilia rulesets, even if they increase terrible crime, because of the human pressure to “do something.”

Jing Who Dares states:

If we see the past as a guide, empire may have brought prosperity but the seeds of their demise were also sown within that success. As the saying goes, prosperity brings complacency, and no matter how prolific the prophets of empire may have been their power and the order they established eventually collapsed under the weight of entropy and chaos only to be succeeded by a new order.

However, the Roman Peace did not bring complacency. It brought internal struggle — a fourth-generation religious movement. Struggle is natural for humanity, so, if anything, prosperity brings non-complacency.

French-Style Protectionism Comes to America (and soon the world?)

A New Threat to America Inc.,” by Jeffrey Garten, Business Week, 25 July 2005, pg 114,

France and the rest of “Old Europe” have rightly been criticized for trying to export burdens on the rising states of central Europe. From the old Iron Curtain to the borders of Russia herself, the central European states have lowered taxes, lightened regulations, and enjoyed strong growth. But this was not good news to the French and the Eurocrats, who saw a pro-growth economy as “unfair.” France’s solution has been to try to force New Europe to have higher taxes and more regulation. After all, if the French suffer because of bad French decisions, why shouldn’t everyone?

Former Clinton appointee and Yale Professor Jeff Garten believes America should act like the French

The rise of these new multinationals will force Corporate America to rethink strategies for Third World product development, marketing, and links with local companies. But growth of these new rivals should also compel Washington and other Western governments to revamp today’s inadequate hodgepodge of global commerce rules. The reason: Western companies could be disadvantaged by having to adhere to more stringent economic and social standards than the competition [sic — tdaxp], because of their tougher [he means “less competitive” — tdaxp] home-country laws and expectations.

There is a huge gap in the international framework for such standards. The World Trade Organization deals with governments but not with companies. The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development has established a code of conduct for multinationals, but compliance is voluntary and pertains only to its members — mostly from rich countries.

For example, all companies should be held to international accounting standards, including financial disclosure and transparency [so much for competition! — tdaxp]. There should be accepted corporate-governance rules, including protections for minority shareholders. The requirements for listing on major stock exchanges should be more rigorous and uniform. And all global companies — including those from the West — should disclose their labor conditions and the impact they have on the environment using a common, audited format. None of this has yet happened.

As long as American multinationals ruled the global roost, Washington resisted most formal rules for international business on the grounds they would constrain U.S. outfits such as IBM (IBM ) and Coca-Cola Co. (KO ) But the challenge from emerging-market companies signals that the dominance of big U.S. and European corporations is no longer assured . Uncle Sam should take the lead in efforts to build a new global commercial order — while the U.S. still has the clout.

In other words, Garten thinks America should export rules, not import freedom; government dictates, not peer-to-peer agreements.

The French would be proud.

Act Recklessly to Win

Seuss on Japan,” by Curzon, Coming Anarchy, 30 July 2005,

Dark Diary,” by Alan Dowd, The American Enterprise, September 2005,

In anticipation of the 4-year mark of 9/11, the AEI‘s magazine gives a chronology of what might have been

January 27-February 12, 2003
Explosions rocked the government district in Amman, and rescue workers succumbed to caustic fumes and blistering skin as Jordan reeled from the deadliest terror attacks worldwide since September 2001. Jordanian sources reported that a cloud of poison enveloped a wide swath of the capital after ten buses exploded throughout the city. At least 4,100 people were killed, with thousands more treated in hospitals and makeshift decontamination facilities outside Amman. Officials estimate between 100 and 200 Americans among the dead. According to the White House, the poison cloud was sulfuric acid.

A video recording by a man identifying himself as Musab al-Zarqawi warned that more attacks would follow if Jordan continued to cooperate with the United States. Washington confirmed that Zarqawi is a Jordanian with ties to both al-Qaeda and Iraqi intelligence.

On the same morning that a U.S. medical relief plane was downed over Amman, the New York Times published excerpts from a CIA memo warning about the possibility of Baghdad transferring material to Zarqawi for use against U.S. interests. But according to CIA director George Tenet, “the intelligence was too murky…we just couldn’t connect all the dots.”

King Abdullah was not harmed by Zarqawi’s attack, but his government was toppled. A committee of clerics sympathetic to bin Laden emerged to govern the once-moderate Arab nation. “This is a great step toward our new caliphate,” an aide to bin Laden announced.

May 1-5, 2004

Stung into action by the dirty-bomb attack in Chicago, the lame duck Bush administration vowed to begin “an all-out war on terror.” A flurry of activity at military bases all across the nation underscored the seriousness of U.S. intentions. But the buildup came to a sudden halt after two soldiers were killed and 15 injured when an attacker lobbed grenades into a barracks at the headquarters of the 101st Airborne in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. News outlets initially reported that the attack came from a breach of the base’s heavily guarded perimeter, but Army spokesmen later confirmed that the attacks came from inside the sprawling facility. Sergeant Hasan Akbar was detained after the attack, which left the nation paralyzed with fear.

Any hopes of the American people overcoming that paralysis were dashed when bin Laden issued a stunning double-edged threat: “Be warned,” he began, “our martyrs have infiltrated your military. If you attack our brethren, we will carry out more martyrdom missions against your army. If your stooges in Europe attack, we will strike them. And if the Zionists attack, we will rain missiles on their cities. America lacks the will to stand up to our martyrs.”

Checkmated by what he called “an axis of evil,” a humiliated Bush ordered U.S. forces to stand down.

I immediately though of Chirol‘s and Duck of Minerva‘s Dr. Seuss series, and in particular a Seuss strip posted by Curzon


It can so easily be flipped to


While sometimes wise, delay can be a bad problem much, much worse. When time is against you — when the correlation of forces is inexorably sliding from bad to worse — intervention is needed. In the new version of the comic, Japan let her relationship with the United States get so badly that by December 1941 the only way to not capitulate to American demans was war. By wishing the problem would go away, by hoping that the bath water would somehow cease warming, the Empire guaranteed the water would be scolding hot. Heated by a nuclear furnace.

When the “go slow” lobby cried for a Ramadan truce in the Afghan War, when the “go slow” lobby wanted “more time for diplomacy to work” before the Iraq War, when the “go slow” lobby wanted to delay the Iraqi Elections, these dove Leftists were making the same mistake as the hawk Rightists of pre-War Nihon. They did not realize that time was on the Enemy’s side. In this new war on terrorism, despotates are a swamp that terrorism thrives breeds in. Tyranny is like a flame heating a bath. The longer the flame is there, the worse the bath gets. Wait long enough, and the bath will kill you.

And when that “bath” is the war against terrorism, then the only solution will be to never get it — to capitulate to the terrorist’s demands, because you have waited too long.

To change the cartoon once more:


Then what is the solution? When you are cornered, what should you do? How should you approach the bath? What was the right path after 9/11?

First, tactically embrace defeat. If you find yourself in that situation, it is because you have already waited too long. Give into despair that you cannot wait any longer.

Then, rearrange your mind. Embrace the task before you. Want to do it.

Last, realize that caution is your enemy. If you had not waited so long, you could take a slow-and-steady approach. But you have already waited too long, and time is on your enemy’s side. And Mao said, “Just act recklessly and it will be all right.”

Sometimes, if you don’t act recklessly you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.

Or the rest of your civilization’s existence.

Time-Shifting the OODA Loop

The Pentagon’s New Map: Book Proposal,” by Thomas Barnett, letter to Jennifer Gates and Todd Shuster, 2002,

In the Pines,” by Smog, A River Ain’t Too Much To Love, 31 May 2005, (available from

Council of Trent,” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, 22 July 2005,

10 for 10,” by Steve Rubel, Micro Persuasion, 21 July 2005, (from New Persuasion, also at Between Lawyers, Site 9, Telagon Sichelputzer).

“Ten Trends Let Me Take Charge,” by Nellie Lide, New Persuasion, 27 July 2005,

“The longest train I ever saw
Went down that Georgia line
The engine went by at six o’clock
And the cab went by at nine”

– Smog, In the Pines

An interesting article on “technology-driven trends will revolutionize how companies communicate,” which are really just techniques for fighting wars.

Most of them fit nicely with theories of modern war, like the mass-movement-based 4th Generation War (or “NetWar“)

1. The Long Tail – small players can collectively make up a market that rivals the giants. As Seth says, small is the new big. This applies equally for journalism as well as for marketers.

This refers to the super-empowerment of “small players,” which allow even the little guys to change world history. 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta shows the power of the long tail.

5. Citizen Marketing – consumers will organize – either on their own or with the help of companies – to evangelize products they love and vilify those they don’t

The peaceful Christian NetStruggle is an example of this citizen marketing in action — converts become evangelizers for new converts.

10. Decentralized Communication – armies of individual employees will use technology to become the voice of every company; like it or not. The solo singer is dead. Long live the chorus.

Why has the Iraqi insurgency been so hard to fight? Because of its decentralized communication.

One “technology” really caught my eye though, because it seems so different from what we are told makes wise warriors

3. Timeshifting – consumers will increasingly want to devour media on their own time, on the mobile device of their choice and without commercials

To understand how revolutionary the concept of timeshifting is, take a look at Air Force Colonel John Boyd’s Observe-Orient-Decide-Act decision cycle, sometimes called the “OODA Loop”

A Model of Human Thought

In the OODA loop, we observe the world, and then we orient (“make sense of it”). Most of the time, we go right into action after orientation — we are on autopilot (do you decide what foot to move next when walking? no — your orientation implicitly guides and controls you). Sometimes, we take the time to decide what to do, and then act (and observe that we made a decision, starting a whole new OODA loop!). In any case, the action effects the world, and the OODA loop begins again.

Modern militaries — whether our super high-tech Army or al-Qaeda’s super-empowered terrorists — try to get inside the enemy’s OODA loop. This means they try to go from Observation to Action before the enemy can. If you can Act before your enemy has acted, they will be acting on observations that are now out-of-date. If you are really good at this, your enemy will become paralyzed with doubt, because he knows he will never have observations that are up-to-date.

In other words, modern war theory teaches the warrior to “time-now,” to do things faster. Yet here is this idea to “time-shift,” in a list of other ideas that do fit with known keys to victory.

What is going on here? Has there ever been an example of a successful time-shift in struggle, where a fighter won by going outside his enemy’s OODA loop?


The Council of Trent (Italian: Trento) was an ecumenical council of the Catholic Church held in discontinuous sessions between 1545 and 1563 [a generation! — tdaxp] in response to the Protestant Reformation. It clearly specified Catholic doctrines on salvation, the sacraments and the Biblical canon, in opposition to the Protestants, and standardized the Mass throughout the church, largely abolishing local variations; this became called the “Tridentine Mass”, after Trent.

Establishment Power: The Catholic Church
Insurgent Power: Protestantism
Establishment Strategy: Get Outside the Enemy’s OODA Loop (very long “orientation” period)
Rejected Strategy: quest for Schwerpunkt/ch’i (decisive battle)
Outcome: Success (within a century, more Catholics than before the Reformation)

Hmmm… anything more recent?

Most importantly, this book [The Pentagon’s New Map — tdaxp] will link our nation’s foreign policy vision to its domestic security strategy in a way no one has done before. It will argue that America’s number one foreign policy goal in the 21st Century will be to shrink the Gap—not just “mind the Gap” in some Cold War-like standoff. During the Cold War it was enough just to wait the Soviets out [for 40 years, two generations!! — tdaxp], hoping they would fail. But that approach doesn’t make any sense with the Gap, which is already defined by failures such as authoritarian rule, poor economic connectivity to the outside world, endemic conflicts and epidemics, and routine acts of terror and genocide. The clock is already running out on these two billion people, which is why rooting out the dangers that keep these states from attracting direly needed foreign investments and thus growing economically—dictators, radical fundamentalists, terror networks—is so crucial.

Establishment Power: The United States of America
Insurgent Power: Communism
Establishment Strategy: Get Outside the Enemy’s OODA Loop (very long “observation” period)
Rejected Strategy: quest for Schwerpunkt/ch’i (decisive battle)
Outcome: Success (nearly all Communists regimes changed or transformed)

Of course, sometimes time-shifting the OODA loop is a sign of weakness, but that is a post for another time…

SysAdmin Appreciation Day

System Administrator Appreciation Day,” by Zonk, Slashdot, 29 July 2005,

Barnett must be pleased…

Today is System Administrator Appreciation Day: ‘a special day, once a year, to acknowledge the worthiness and appreciation of the person occupying the role, especially as it is often this person who really keeps the wheels of your company turning.’ Congratulations to all who keep the electrons of our global networks flowing properly!”

Have your developing country thanked your SysAdmin?

, , and have!