Briefly: Fifth Generation Warfare and Super-Empowered Individuals

Let me state for the record, that while I think SEIs (Super-Empowered Individuals) are a type of actor that can undertake 5GW:

5GWers do not need to be SEIs.

SEIs can do more things then 5GW.

There is some overlap in the thinking and the people doing the thinking on 5GW and SEI.

They are not the same thing!

Note: This is my current working definition of 5GW

5GW is the secret deliberative manipulation of actors, networks, institutions, states or any 0GW/1GW/2GW/3GW/4GW forces to achieve a goal or set of goals across a combination of socio, economic, and political domains while attempting to avoid or minimize the retaliatory offensive or defensive actions/reactions of 0GW/1GW/2GW/3GW/4GW powered actors, networks, institutions, and/or states.

..and this is a good (as any) definition of an SEI (from ZenPundit)

A super empowered individual, in my view, is autonomously capable of creating a cascading event that grand strategist Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett has termed a ” system perturbation”; a disruption of system function and invalidation of existing rule sets to at least the national but more likely the global scale. The key requirements to become “superempowered” are comprehension of a complex system’s connectivty and operation; access to critical network hubs; possession of a force that can be leveraged against the structure of the system and a willingness to use it.

…which is distinct from a Strategic Citizen

Ordinary individuals and/or Super-Empowered Individuals who
successfully make use of any of the technological, socio, economic, or political domains to have a strategic impact on the world.

…and Strategic Citizens may or may not undertake Strategic Citizen 5GW as a possible range of activities. The Strategic Citizen 5GW style is defined as:

The purposeful action of 5GW by Strategic Citizen (SC) actors who are unconnected in any way except for the desired related end effects to be achieved through the sum of the individual actions.

As Arherring wrote at Dreaming 5GW, SEIs have a range of possible activities:

This is how super-empowered individuals relate to Fifth Generation Warfare theory. Super-empowered individuals may choose to follow any doctrine they desire: 4GW, Global Guerillaism, socialism, tribalism, terrorism, anarchism or capitalism. They may apply their leveraged knowledge in the manner that best suits their goals and aspirations. It makes sense that Super-Empowered Angry Men are most likely to choose the most violent and destructive doctrine within their means. I do not think the essential nature of Fifth Generation Warfare with its long-term planning horizon fits that description. For super-empowered individuals with a strategic mindset, 5GW may be an attractive doctrine and super-empowered individuals may prove to be 5GWs most effective practitioners

Questions? Comments? Additions? Correction? Disagree? Agree? What say you?

Dreaming 5GW LinkSpotting: Where are the “super-empowered hopeful individuals?”

A cross-posted article called “Super-Empowered Hopeful Individuals” [1][3] and “Empowering Hope” [2] references a post by fellow D5GW blogger Arherring. Here is an excerpt:

A leading fear for those of us looking at the longer-term implications of molecular manufacturing is the technology’s capacity to give small groups — or even individuals — enormous destructive capacity. This isn’t unique to advanced nanotechnology; similar worries swirl around all manner of catalytic technologies. In fact, some analysts consider this a problem we currently face, and give it the forbidding label of “super-empowered angry individuals.”

As a parallel, the core of the “super-empowered hopeful individual” (SEHI) argument is that these technologies may also enable individuals or small groups to carry out socially beneficial actions at a scale that would have required the resources of a large NGO or business in decades past. They would rebuild towns or villages after a natural disaster, or provide health care to refugees; they would clean up environmental toxins, or build renewable energy systems. The Millennium Development Goals would be their checklist. They would carry out the kinds of projects that humanitarian organizations do today, but be able to do so with smaller numbers, greater speed, and a far larger impact.

To an extent, these are tasks we might expect governments, NGOs or businesses would seek to accomplish, and they’d be welcome to do so. But catalytic technologies like molecular manufacturing could so enhance the capabilities of individuals that, just as we have to account for SEAIs in our nano-era policies and strategies, we should pay attention to the beneficial role SEHIs could play. They change the structure of the game.

I would call the 5GW practice of the happy/hopeful SEI’s as a possible instance of the Socio-Political Entrepreneurship Style of 5GW.

Keep in mind 5GW is not the only option open to SEIs. Also, 5GW actors don’t have to be SEIs.






P.S. Yeah, I am trying out TDAXP’s footnoting style

[Cross-Posted to Dreaming 5GW]

Cringley touches upon the emergence of Super Empowered Individuals

Cringley is a documenter/pundit of computer geeks and their world. He does calls them “nerds” though which shows he does not have a full understanding and is apart from them.

Anyways, in a recent article he wrote:

There is a technology war coming. Actually it is already here but most of us haven’t yet notice. It is a war not about technology but because of technology, a war over how we as a culture embrace technology. It is a war that threatens venerable institutions and, to a certain extent, threatens what many people think of as their very way of life. It is a war that will ultimately and inevitably change us all, no going back. The early battles are being fought in our schools. And I already know who the winners will be.
Here, buried in my sixth paragraph, is the most important nugget: we’ve reached the point in our (disparate) cultural adaptation to computing and communication technology that the younger technical generations are so empowered they are impatient and ready to jettison institutions most of the rest of us tend to think of as essential, central, even immortal. They are ready to dump our schools.

Note the part I bolded again:

…younger technical generations are so empowered they are impatient and ready to jettison institutions most of the rest of us tend to think of
as essential, central, even immortal.

Narrow it down more:

…impatient and ready to jettison institutions…

Therein lies future 4GW, 5GW, and civil Wars.

Happy Easter!

[cross-posted to Dreaming 5GW]