5GWish Links

The Cold War (the 5GW against Communism, which kept going long after public and elite support collapsed) was the topic of Purpleslog’s interview on Covert Radio (his reflections on the interiew are up at Dreaming 5GW).

skilluminati was kind enough to comment on this blog with his observations of the Cold War 5GW. And over at his own blog, he chats about resilient communities.

The only dark lining to these silver crowds is that Skilluminati believes (as to some other novices in the field) that John Robb has written about 5GW somewhere. Robb hasn’t. He’s used the term, but uses it inconsistently to the rest of the world, and (if I remember correctly) never bothered to define it anyway. (This is a pattern).

John clearly has a good marketing mind (agitprop against the status quo is always a seller), though I feel sorry for those who are introduced to serious topics through his writing. (Ditto for Michelle Malkin, or Duncan Black). His recent post on Singapore is an example of the confusion you can run into when you replace understanding with Abandon hope simplicity.

7 thoughts on “5GWish Links”

  1. I am hesitant to label anything Robb has recently written on the subject — because quite honestly I haven’t read any of it since before November of last year. There have always been some few points and/or observations made by John which might tie into the theory of 5GW [1], and as I’ve previously mentioned, his 2nd book may actually veer on-course for a type of 5GW theory involving the building of resilient communities, etc., to off-set and counteract the 4GW forces operating in the world.

    What I find odd is the fact that this debate continues much the same as it began. The arguments made against Robb are the same: those on this side of the debate remain focused on Robb while using the same arguments whereas Robb more or less utterly ignores the opposing p.o.v. (Admittedly, the last is a guess since I’ve not read anything by him in about 7 months. I’m basing the guess on the fact that I’ve read nothing from this side which references a solid critique made by Robb.)

    [1] http://www.dreaming5gw.com/2006/10/global_guerrillas_as_5gw_warri.php

  2. Addendum:

    In the link I gave above, I mentioned the fact that Robb’s marketing might itself be a 5GW maneuver.

    Just look at how quickly his styling of 5GW has spread to others, and how eager they are to be co-opted into his marketing. Pause for wonder.

  3. He is in the process of writing this book…”his next project” as I put it in that article. And saying my “only dark lining” was Robb…well, okay, I thought that was pretty funny. But obviously, there’s actual external trends that give me hope: decentralization of power, widespread information about sustainable/renewable technology, and a huge public sentiment that Something Must Change being just a few.

    …Curtis Gale Weeks: it’s called MARKETING and it’s been around for many decades now in it’s current form. This is Walter Lippman, Edward Bernays, Ivy Lee, David Ogilvy, and recently Jay Conrad Levinson. Also check out Ben Mack’s book “Think Two Products Ahead,” which is a great wookbook on personal branding — how to sell yourself effectively and without being sleazy.

    I recently posed the question to Purpleslog that, based on his definition, a viral marketing campaign would be a 5GW campaign. It has clearly defined goals that are enacted on multiple cultural/strategic levels, and secrecy is of the utmost importance. To be caught virally “seeding” a word-of-mouth campaign is bad form, to the tune of millions of dollars.

    Marketing overlapping with 5GW is not something you have to speculate about. There are publications like Ad Age that will lay out in concise terms the exact mechanics of how these campaigns are conducted and provide interviews with the strategists involved.

    …random afterthought: are you fellows familiar with Presidio-area Col. Michael Aquino? VERY INTERESTING CHARACTER for us 5GW nerds.

  4. Justin,

    I’m aware that marketing has been around for a very long time. The 5GW speculations vis-a-vis marketing have more to do with down-stream consequences unrelated to the actual product; i.e., this particular product’s sales figures, or success on the market, would not be the ultimate goal.

    Now, the slur on John Robb via reference to his “marketing” implies that those sales figures and personal gain flowing from them are his only purpose. A 5GW rendering would be something different.

  5. I would argue that “Brand Awareness” is a very sophisticated goal, on par with anything a 5GW strategist would need…although I’m not sold on this, perhaps you can think of counter-examples.

    Have you guys investigated Alternative Reality Gaming?

    I suggested the Ben Mack book because the Dreaming5GW could use more concise, direct promo. Undeniably, John Robb has crafted a more stream-lined and contagious version of the 5GW meme that you guys feel some proprietary or custodial attachment to. He has taken it and run with it — if you want it back, for better or worse, right or wrong, you have to catch up with him and fight on his terms. Get articles published in popular magazines and make a name for yourselves.

    Go big! This is war, after all.

  6. Justin:

    “I recently posed the question to Purpleslog that, based on his definition, a viral marketing campaign would be a 5GW campaign. It has clearly defined goals that are enacted on multiple cultural/strategic levels, and secrecy is of the utmost importance. To be caught virally “seeding” a word-of-mouth campaign is bad form, to the tune of millions of dollars.”

    I think Memetic Engineering 5GW could look much like a Secret Viral marketing campaign.


    Regarding Gaming…CGW wrote on that somewhere. He’ll have to supply the link.

    Re: John Robb and GG-as-5GW…some background we in this little corner of the blogosphere have an interesting relationship with John Robb.

    – We have commented on his blog and written post on our own
    – Some of the commentary has gotten a bit hostile
    – I have found Robb not really interested in debating his ideas. I get the feeling that interacting too much with me is beneath him. I may be wrong, but that is the impression I have (FYI I have not exchanged nastiness with him and I RSS subscribe to his blogs). See: http://purpleslog.wordpress.com/2006/05/30/am-i-understanding-the-gist-of-the-global-guerilla-concept/
    – his GG concept is separate from what we talking about as 5GW.
    – Several months before his book BNW came out, he starting referring to GG as 5GW…which we didn’t like…as he seemed to be co-opting the term (but not the concept) we were using. The book itself does not refer to GG as 5GW. See: http://purpleslog.wordpress.com/2006/10/14/robbs-global-guerrillas-concept-as-5gw-no/

    So, we are open to other people running with and blogging the 5GW concept…but we don’t like it when the it is GG-as-5GW. I don’t see a problem with Robb’s RC stuff. I am looking forward to learning more. I was unable to get Shloky into a talk on it.

    We (the D5GWers) definitely need to market “5GW” better.

    Justin, I do look forward to reading more of your 5GW writings.

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