DARPA is soliciting innovative research proposals in the areas of (1) quantitative analysis of narratives, (2) understanding the effects narratives have on human psychology and its affiliated neurobiology, and (3) modeling, simulating, and sensing-especially in stand-off modalities-these narrative influences. Proposers to this effort will be expected to revolutionize the study of narratives and narrative influence by advancing narrative analysis and neuroscience so as to create new narrative influence sensors, doubling status quo capacity to forecast narrative influence.
"Stories exert a powerful influence on human thoughts and behavior. They consolidate memory, shape emotions, cue heuristics and biases in judgment, influence in-group/out-group distinctions, and may affect the fundamental contents of personal identity.
It comes as no surprise that these influences make stories highly relevant to vexing security challenges such as radicalization, violent social mobilization, insurgency and terrorism, and conflict prevention and resolution.
Therefore, understanding the role stories play in a security context is a matter of great import and some urgency," DARPA stated. "Ascertaining exactly what function stories enact, and by what mechanisms they do so, is a necessity if we are to effectively analyze the security phenomena shaped by stories. Doing this in a scientifically respectable manner requires a working theory of narratives, an understanding of what role narratives play in security contexts, and examination of how to best analyze stories-decomposing them and their psychological impact systematically."
According to DARPA, STORyNET has three goals:
1. To survey narrative theories. These empirically informed theories should tell us something about the nature of stories: what is a story? What are its moving parts? Is there a list of necessary and sufficient conditions it takes for a stimulus to be considered a story instead of something else? Does the structure and function of stories vary considerably across cultural contexts or is there a universal theory of story?
2. To better understand the role of narrative in security contexts. What role do stories play in influencing political violence and to what extent? What function do narratives serve in the process of political radicalization and how do they influence a person or group's choice of means (such as violence) to achieve political ends? How do stories influence bystanders' response to conflict? Is it possible to measure how attitudes salient to security issues are shaped by stories?
3. To survey the state of the art in narrative analysis and decomposition tools. How can we take stories and make them quantitatively analyzable in a rigorous, transparent and repeatable fashion? What analytic approaches or tools best establish a framework for the scientific study of the psychological and neurobiological impact of stories on people? Are particular approaches or tools better than others for understanding how stories propagate in a system so as to influence behavior?
This is no run-of-the-mill R&D+i call. Calling for revolution not once but twice…
The objective is “to create new narrative influence sensors, doubling status quo capacity to forecast narrative influence“. This is describing at least three different technologies –narrative influence, sensors and forecast capacity– integrated into a single system with capacity to intercept, process and predict the spread of memes amongst target populations from a safe distance (stand-off modality).
The key to the system is the quantitative narrative analysis, defined as “to ascertain who is telling stories to whom and for what purpose, and to discover latent indicators of the spread and influence of narrative tropes in structures such as social networks, traditional and social media, and in conversation.” Without these variables to plug into the machine, it doesn’t matter how much processing power is thrown at the issue, it will just be GIGO.
The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values (like liberty and democracy). Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.
- Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era, 1970
"In the technotronic society the trend would seem to be towards the aggregation of the individual support of millions of uncoordinated citizens, easily within the reach of magnetic and attractive personalities exploiting the latest communications techniques to manipulate emotions and control reason."
- Between Two Ages : America's Role in the Technetronic Era - 1970
"This regionalization is in keeping with the Tri-Lateral Plan which calls for a gradual convergence of East and West, ultimately leading toward the goal of one world government. National sovereignty is no longer a viable concept." --- Zbignew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter
Exclusive: Military’s ‘persona’ software cost millions, used for ‘classified social media activities’
But what does the US military use those same networks for? Well, we can’t tell you: That’s “classified,” a CENTCOM spokesman recently informed Raw Story.
One use that’s confirmed, however, is the manipulation of social media through the use of fake online “personas” managed by the military. Raw Story recently reported that the US Air Force had solicited private sector vendors for something called “persona management software.” Such a technology would allow single individuals to command virtual armies of fake, digital “people” across numerous social media portals.