Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Open Source Warfare

Wow. I just came across this article in WorldChanging, one of my favorite blogs that I feel I rarely have time to read...also be sure to check out the blog that's referenced, Global Guerrillas (where this excerpt is from):
The decentralized, and seemingly chaotic guerrilla war in Iraq demonstrates a pattern that will likely serve as a model for next generation terrorists. This pattern shows a level of learning, activity, and success similar to what we see in the open source software community. I call this pattern the bazaar. The bazaar solves the problem: how do small, potentially antagonistic networks combine to conduct war? Lessons from Eric Raymond's "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" provides a starting point for further analysis. Here are the factors that apply (from the perspective of the guerrillas):

Release early and often. Try new forms of attacks against different types of targets early and often. Don’t wait for a perfect plan.

Given a large enough pool of co-developers, any difficult problem will be seen as obvious by someone, and solved. Eventually some participant of the bazaar will find a way to disrupt a particularly difficult target. All you need to do is copy the process they used.

Your co-developers (beta-testers) are your most valuable resource. The other guerrilla networks in the bazaar are your most valuable allies. They will innovate on your plans, swarm on weaknesses you identify, and protect you by creating system noise.

Recognize good ideas from your co-developers. Simple attacks that have immediate and far-reaching impact should be adopted.

Perfection is achieved when there is nothing left to take away (simplicity). The easier the attack is, the more easily it will be adopted. Complexity prevents swarming that both amplifies and protects.

Tools are often used in unexpected ways. An attack method can often find reuse in unexpected ways.
Can we get this guy appointed to a Homeland Security post already?

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