X Marks the Spot of the First Cyber War

DARPA – the government organization that brought you the Internet – is back, this time with an audacious five-year, $110 million research initiative to militarize cyberspace. Called Plan X, DARPA's plan reflects a disturbing tendency these days – the willingness of governments – including your very own U.S. government - to weaponize and militarize the Internet.

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My recent essay in Advertising Age prompted quite a response, most of which was petulant and angry. I could have made my case more convincingly, but even with that said the comments revealed a shocking ignorance of recent history, and a willingness to replace reason with bluster.

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Rethinking Memorial Day. Let's Not Forget What It Means and the True Costs.

Today is a special day in America, particularly now and it is not another holiday. Over lunch I was watching TV, these military moms talked about their fallen loved ones. My heart aches so much when I hear each of them telling how old their sons were when they lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. These are 19 to 22 year old young men (and women) that never had the opportunity to experience life.

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10 Tips for Viral Marketers from a Military Propaganda Manual

Do you know that signature line from Henry Jenkins about how if it doesn't spread, it's dead?  Yes, well, this is the "if it doesn't spread, you are dead" kind of thing: a military rumor manual dated 1943, now declassified, and unearthed by a colleague of mine. Plenty of solid insight for the designers of spreadable media, some already familiar from the books like Made to Stick and Rumor Psychology, written more than half a century after this document. My top ten favorites follow, mostly verbatim. And I really like how they  use of "design" and "rumor" in the same sentence:

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Military Recruitment Ads from Around the World

by: Ilya Vedrashko

I put together a YouTube playlist with a compilation of 13 recruitment ads from different countries. Comparative military propaganda highlights of the weird:


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