Re: gender apartheid information warfare

Eugene Leitl (
Tue, 10 Nov 1998 03:04:40 +0100

Brian D Williams writes:
> Sound's like "The Young Ladies Illustrated Primer" from Neal
> Stephanson's "The Diamond Age." A truly advanced model would
> realize if the user was illiterate and teach them how to read.
> Unfortunately a bit to far into the future.

The basic problem would rather seem to be the limited budget, since for a few k$/unit methinks it is very possible to design a multimedia gadget to teach literacy interactively/adaptively.

In case of the Arab totalitarians, it would rather suffice to create video/audio units not requiring conspiquous sat dishes (which would seem to demand LEO technology) and small enough to hide thus enabling clandestine use. Surely, the physical and cultural specifics for the Arab countries can be accounted for. Free market should take care of the rest.

If this is real memetic warfare, aerial deployment (by robot drones, but who is going to pay for it all?) might be really an option.

> Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan once made an interesting
> suggestion. He suggested that instead of propaganda, Radio Free
> Europe play only Jazz. He suggested it's innate content would cause
> the USSR to come unglued.

Pretty unlikely. Radio Free Europe was heard primarily for its information content which was complementary to the remote-controlled state media. The key to RFE's success was availability of RF receivers.

> Radio free Afghanistan?

As a matter of fact, thin-film amorphous Si photocell radios with headphones are very cheap (a dollar or two, if mass-produced), inconspicuous since tiny, and certainly deployable from air. Unfortunately, in case of misogynist memetic set the enforcer is not far, being the husband. It would be really interesting to see what the reaction (and, of course, the success) of the Taliban (Caliban?) would be against open memetic warfare?