It’s action, not information, that matters in IW

No, we're not "getting our asses kicked" in the information environment.

I’ve got so much more to say about this, but for now, this will have to do.

No, we don’t “suck” at information warfare.

Just because someone else out there – some adversary – can slap some memes together doesn’t mean that we’re “getting our asses kicked in the information environment.”

If you hang around the IW circus long enough, you come to realize that what actually matters are the actions and events that take place in the real world – not the flashy media that comes along with it – or behind it.

Oh, it can certainly move the needle – and it can serve as an accelerant.

Too much of a focus on pure information operations means you’re just spouting propaganda – in the worst sense of the term. That is, words and images without real meaning.

Like I said, I’ve got more to say about this and it’s on the list of things to do. I’ll get there.

In the interim, I’d urge you to push back when someone states categorically “we suck at IW.”

It’s very easy to say that we’re not good at something and be praised for it, and then go on about how we have to “do better.”

Do better how? Give me an example.

They usually don’t know what they’re talking about.

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Our political and cultural narrative is being shaped by memes

In conversations lately, I’ve noticed how much of what I’m hearing sounds eerily familiar to memes and nonsense that I see widely shared on social media. This is especially true when it comes to political and cultural issues. I’ll say one thing, and be retorted with something I saw recently online – often some soundbite that is impossible to disprove in an argument or some emotion-laden appeal.

To put it another way, what do you think is having a greater effect in this year’s Presidential election – political advertising or viral memes?

Then, a friend posted this article from the Chicago Tribune which confirms the suspicion:

Worse, the study finds that these sort of blind peer-to-peer shares are really important in determining what news gets circulated and what just fades off the public radar. So your thoughtless retweets, and those of your friends, are actually shaping our shared political and cultural agendas.

It’s a wild, brave new world. And we’re still figuring it out.

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