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Posts tagged “elections

Where You Vote and How You Vote: Proto-5GW Thinking in a Study of the Context of Voting

Originally published 6/26/08 at Dreaming 5GW.

From NPR News: All Things Considered.

Study: Your Polling Place Affects How You Vote

“June 23, 2008 · A new study shows that where you vote affects how you vote. People who vote in schools, for example, are more likely to support a school funding initiative. The researchers suggest that the same sort of psychology might affect people who vote in churches.”

This story caught my attention not only because it has to do with elections (see #3), but because as proto-5GW thinking (not secrecy-shrouded full-on 5GW) it is an observable manipulation of context. Granted, in this particular study the difference in the voting pattern is small, yet with only this one variable of context being affected there is a measurable difference in the effect. I would envision a true 5GW actor affecting multiple variables in order to achieve a desired context and an ultimate effect that has become compounded in the process.


Contextual priming: Where people vote affects how they vote
by Jonah Berger, Marc Meredith , and S. Christian Wheeler 



Proto-5GW Manipulation May Not Necessarily be Done in Secret

Originally published 4/21/08 at Dreaming 5GW.

It may, in fact, be quite visible.

 For example:

 “We were fourtunate that we were able to seed it. And a few places kept picking it up and wondering if it was real, was it fake? And then I think we had a little ‘Ah-Ha’ moment and said, could we keep this going. Could we extend the life of a viral video and make the McCain Girls a story rather than a one-hit-wonder.”

Sarah Bernard

President of 23/6

While a Fifth Generation Warfare campaign may itself be shrouded in misdirection and secrecy, the lessons, theories, practices and elements that inform its development may be completely transparent and available for study by an actor who grasps the implications.

10 Reasons Why Elections are the Perfect Test Bed for 5GW

Originally published 2/7/08 at Dreaming 5GW.

1)  Defined timeframe allows for 5GW organizations to plan to specific points in time and the election cycle allows for a truly strategic planning horizon.


2)  Defined geographic areas involved allow for a 5GW organization to precisely define the scale of their operations.


3)   5GW organizational goals may be precisely and measurably defined due to the existing systems in place to progressively measure results in detail.


4)  The campaign and election process is already optimized for rapid information dissemination providing ample vectors for meme transference.


5)  Well connected political parties and multitude of long-standing issues offer powerful memplexes for a 5GW organization to piggyback or hijack.


6)  Previous election cycles have created a vast amount of pre-existing expertise in political manipulation for 5GW organizations to recruit as 5GW affecters or 5GW proxies.


7)  Discovery of 5GW manipulations may be conceivably and believably be attributed to the campaign process as ‘business-as-usual’.


8)  There is already ‘competition’ built into the campaign and election  system that may be able to simulate 4GW vs. 5GW or 5GW vs. 5GW opposition.


9)  Election and campaign system is designed to support and protect false-front and proxy organizations.


10)  Voters expect to be manipulated by political campaigns and will either allow themselves to be manipulated or resist overt manipulations.

Theoretical 5GW Operation: The Pre-Election Hostage Situation

Originally published on 12/1/07 at Dreaming 5GW.

While the candidate him or herself may not necessarily have anything to do with the operation, the better prepared the candidate is to handle the MSM attention and steer the fallout effects the more the candidate will benefit.

The operation may be designed to be as spectacular as possible in order to ensure the greatest possible amount of attention from the MSM. This may involve multiple hostage takers, multiple and possibly simultaneous hostage situations, even acts that will be immediately and repeatedly replayed by the media in order to maximize the visual aspects.

An organization that attempts such an operation is necessarily looking at each of the direct participants; hostage takers, hostages, MSM, emergency / law enforcement personnel and bystanders, as pawns on a chessboard. Even if great care is taken to minimize the risk of injury to any of these parties, there is still the very real possibility that people will be injured or killed in the process.

The hostage takers and any organizations that recruit or support them will need to be very well insulated from the 5GW organization in order to maintain secrecy and deniability. Attacks on candidates and their organizations are not taken lightly. Investigation will be exhaustive and agencies with powerful resources will be involved.

I will admit envisioning the most lurid details of this operation including the movie script situation of the candidate himself or herself personally contacting the hostage takers and brokering the release of the hostages to great media acclaim. I even speculated on how the hostage takers might extract themselves from the situation in order to maintain their anonymity and escape law enforcement or their theatrical demise before the combined attention of the media leaving nothing but questions and incomplete answers. The essential fact remains that any organization that believes the ends justify the means could find utility in this theoretical situation.