Friday, August 25, 2006

Yesterday's Proxy-Today's Rules-Tomorrow's Tech

My last blog on the details of war. This lacks my focus on cognitive brain science and technological culture. So forgive me.

First Kudos to the Cheney administration, they flipped a netwar of non-state actors, requiring diplomacy and subvert actions into a full blown cold war with the same proxy players China and Russia. And by doing so set a far more difficult War on Terror into a highly connected psycho-cultural battle which turns British subjects into dangerous subversives.


In an August 9th article "Fighting by Proxy" by Michael Hirsh is missing the real proxy. It is not Iran and Syria's influence that will loom over a larger conflict between the Lebanon's Hizbullah and Israel. The real players are China and Russia.

China and Russia are big traders with Iran. To Michael Hirsh's credit he does mention the sale of missiles. But let's not forget the building of a nuclear reactor in the city of Bushehr worth nearly a billion dollars.

Just off the wire, Russia is not going to back sanctions against Iran for nuclear violations. Hmmm... I wonder why? Hirsch misses this and the much larger aspect. If the Bush administration had any international clout left it could have stopped the billion dollar sale of arms to Venezuela's Chavez from Russia.

The question really becomes why do we have so few chips on the international table to negotiate with? Again oil enters the picture. High oil prices help Russia. They are no where as efficiently as Saudi Arabia. So Iraq offline helps Russia as well as Venezuela and of course Saudi Arabia.

How do we get more chips on the table? Well pundits are focused on Iran and Syria, we really need to focus on Russia and China, whom until we can pressure them, they will veto any sanctions on Iran.China needs the oil, Russia needs the technology trade partner.  

This is where technology plays a key role.

Reagan used Star Wars as a threat. However critical to getting the Russians back to the table is negotiate. But it was an imaginary force that was hotly debated as a chip on the table.

We have two chips that might bring China and Russia back to the table, in regards to Iran. One Robotic Manufacturing, if we were to begin say a US-Japan initiative to replace all outsourced manufacturing to China by Robotics by say 2024, that might get China to wake up. It's a long shot, but hey, where is our Star Wars defense missile shield?

Next Russia, If we set in motion The Energy Project, where we declare the building of the largest sea wave generators from Maine to Miami and from Anchorage to Los Angeles, along with major announcements to Hydrogen, wind and solar, the announcement alone could drive the oil markets down even only briefly.

Again a lot of this is smoke and mirrors, but hey look at the downside? More domestic energy resources? And look of the upside, if we can convince the Chinese to share this technology we could spare them a catastrophic depression in 2015, and Russia booming oil bonanza could go bust if we did actually build to reduce our need for oil releasing pressure on already strained oil supply that China needs.

But how likely is this to occur? Bush is the last president to suggest such things, although I do remember a guy named Albert who suggested the same things in 2000.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Forking the NeuroMarketing of the War on Terror

As we in the United States approach midterm elections. We Americans are given the sad choice of either Democratic or Republican representation.

As Chris Matthews plainly attempted to decipher the difference between Democratic Iraq policy and the current administration's policy. Watch Howard Dean wiggle around.

As this blog is about the nexus between neuro-biology and technological culture, the Democrats need to fork the development of the War on Terror. In open source development, or any software development forking is when another party makes significant changes to how a platform functions. Primarily but not exclusively changing the definitions of specific functions.

 The forking must be the War on Terror is a psychological warfare, one were actions like Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, or spying on ourselves, or X-Raying our our naked bodies in public, or dumping white phosphorus on the citizens of iraqi towns, or secret prisons, or simply occupying a Middle East Muslim nation, changes the thought process of the intended neuromarket of minds.

These acts, all done for "our safety" causes more harm, not just idealogical harm, but in the global neuromarket of minds. As you increase mortality salience, (I am mortal I fear death) the complex comprimises of the cerbral cortex, begins to give way to the base instincts of the amygdala.

And why not? Evolutionary speaking, if you are being chased by a tiger, do you want the reptilian brain to make microsecond decisions or the paleo-mammaliant o think how the orange stripes on the tiger remind you of a persian carpet at home.

But let's get back to the fork in the road.

Democrats need to articulate that the War on Terror is about connections, culture, and actions. Blowing up arab villages, with even the most "surgical" weaponary is a creating blowback from the War on Terror.

To decrease Terror, simply decrease Terror...

Because the global neuromarket of minds will polarize, not along heady cerebral ideas of democracy or cabinet posts, but along ethnic and religous lines. We know this based on 100's of studies in Terror Management Theory.

We protect our own. We defend the invincible center, when mortality salience increases. We do so as to extend our line of selfish genes. Our minds have simple built in neural networks that quickly delineate US versus THEM. Or as social psychologists say "in and out groups".

So the only fix in Iraq is to decrease the mortality salience, decrease the glucocorticoids, and get the lights, water, and oil running as fast as possible.

Iraq solution is right in their backyard. It's called Sunni Saudi Arabia, and other moderate middle east nations who do not want the Iran-Iraq alliance to become too strong.

Sadly Iraq the formerly 2nd largest producer of oil, being offline, helps both Russian crude with smaller margins as well as Saudi Arabia with huge margins. So a complex set of incentives and manuevers may be out side the skill set of Dr. Rice. But not outside the rhetoric of Democratic leaders.  

Thus the deadline or timetable is not for the Iraqi people it is for the entire middle east. There is of course alot of work to get a summit of arab nations to help Iraq. But with Turkey dealing with its border problems with Kurdistan rebels and the rise of Shia Iran next to Saudi Arabi, the very least Dean could have delineated is assemblage of a plan.

Forking the War on Terror from Iraq, into a globally connected, psychological based campaign of emotional shocks to the hearts and minds of poor disenfranchised muslims is just the beginning.

The Democrats need to explain, that Gitmo, the torture, the occupation is fueling the hearts and minds of British subjects who instead of seeing themselves as subjects of the British Empire, instead as fMRI's and social psych tests reveal, the reptilian brain we all have will strike out against THEM...

Monday, August 14, 2006

2 Wars 1 Mind

Two Wars one biologically evolved mind...


One fails to realize that "The War on Terror" is an information War. Seperate from the fighting in Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Not seperate in technology, not seperate in overlapping idealogical philosphies, not seperate in the minds of certain politcal leaders and thinkers, yet seperate still the same.

How, then are the seperate?

The Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq wars from a strategic military standard are completed. Afghanistan and Iraq have had elections and some assemblage of governance. Lebanon has a government, and all indications look as if a UN force will hopefully keep Hezbollah forces from raiding Israel's border towns.

The problem is that blowing up towns, villages, destroying infrastructure like water and power, has an effect on the other war, that war on terror.

Leaders such as the United States Republican adminstration, wish to continually blurr the two wars. The blur is constant and the opposition has not assembled a language to counter it.

Yet the recent foiled British attack using liquid fuel, by British subjects indicates that this is not a war that strategic military minds can solve.

The US via NSA is trying it, by literally attacked our civil rights, and so far as we know not one public announcement has been made to suggest it is working. Regardless, democracy in Iraq, Lebanon and even governments in Iran and now Somalia have radical islamics in power.

These turn of events suggest that the other war, the information war we as freedom loving americans can see is lost. Because, unlike WWII where channels of information were tightly controlled, we are now all connected.

To operate in this theater of war, information works on two platforms one on silicon and copper and the other on wet circuits of neurons and chemcial transmitters.

When you blow up a house next to yours, you now need to understand what chemicals will be released and change the platform's function.

This blog is about the interface between the changes of those two platforms, the technology man uses and how it effects the mind of man.