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[Nettime-bold] Lethal Cognition
Konrad Becker on Thu, 6 Mar 2003 23:47:01 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] Lethal Cognition


++ Lethal Cognition ++ 
Forthcoming:World-Information.Org  {AT}  Novi Sad and Belgrade ++
++ Now Out: World-Information.Org’s Book “Die Politik der Infosphaere“
++ Interviews with Brian Holmes and Ben Bagdikian ++
++ compiled by World-Information.Org ++



Entanglement nets form part of the
less-than-lethal-weapons armory that was heralded in
past years as a step to a new kind of war:
bloodless, and therefore “humane”. Four years after
Steve Wright denounced the “hypocrisy of non-lethal
weapons”, the US prepares to go to a new war that is
set to apply the non-lethal principle of
entanglement to the info-sphere. As a key tool of
propaganda and deception, it becomes the functional
basis of the war of networks. ”Dominating the
information landscape now is as important as
occupying the land or controlling the air has been
in the past”, as US General Ronald L. Fogleman
states in his infowar manual.

Non-lethal disinformation

On the information battlefield the less-than-lethal
characteristic of entanglement nets translates into
the "less-than-a-lie" principle of disinformation.
Shifting between varying narrative contexts, the
facts cited in official rhetoric draw their validity
from the secrecy of their origin, the “secret”

Yet the Iraqi National Council, frequently quoted by
the US government as a reliable source of
information, was recently exposed as a PR front
group created by the Rendon Group. Sure enough,
stories like these are unlikely to appear in
mainstream media, and less still in a new propaganda
radio station apparently set up by the CIA to
cognitively entangle the Iraqi population: Radio
Tikrit, named after Saddam Hussein’s birth town and
broadcasting from Kuwait and from airplanes, is
supposed to target the mind of the enemy commander,
the “real target of war”, as Basil Liddell Hart
writes in strategy classic “Thoughts on War”.

But the convenience of networks in war propaganda
could have serious consequences as they begin to
affect system architectures. One decisive step
towards entangling information and disinformation
and avoid non-patriotic crossfire, is the Pentagon’s
“Embed” program: journalists’ work is fully
“embedded” into the Forces’ mission, and bonds of
fraternization are generated in integrated training
programs. In addition, US army officers will be
equipped with satellite links in order to ensure
that the gun barrel perspective shapes public
opinion before the public can shape it themselves.

Non-lethal energy

Strengthening one’s own disinformation
infrastructure and destroying the enemy's go hand in
hand. Direct Energy weapons are supposed to
non-lethally disrupt electronic networks command and
control networks of the enemy in Iraq, as are
High-Power Microwave weapons. These weapons, for
which Iraq will be a test field, are taken to their
targets by cruise missiles and are expected to
disable al electronic equipment, radios, mobile
phones and heart pacemakers alike, within a few
hundred meters. Using frequencies between one and
ten Gigahertz, these weapons occupy the pinnacle of
the radiation spectrum, promising electromagnetic

Way beyond the range of these weapons, in the
Florida sunshine that spoils the US Forces’ Central
Command, doing all these non-lethal things seems to
be part of an information wellness experience.
Picturesque beaches, war games and the glamour of
hi-tech equipment leave no doubt that violence and
entertainment have finally been fused into a
military-entertainment complex.

Getting real

In the meantime, the future reconstruction of the
communication infrastructure destroyed this way is
already generating real business expectations. The
US is expected to reserve this market for its own
companies, ensuring that France, whose Altel
corporation built Iraq’s telephone system in the
1980s, and who now forms part of the “axis of
 weasel” (New York Post) will be left out.
By contrast, repairing the cognitive collateral
damage of the coming Iraq war does not sound like
something that will attract much investment.


++ LINKS ++

Steven Wright on non-lethal weapons
>>> http://mondediplo.com/1999/12/09wright

General Fogleman’s Infowar manual

PR Watch on Iraqi National Council

”Embedded in the Iraq Conflict” (Chicago Tribune)

New Scientist on Radio Tikrit

Microwave Weapons
>>> http://www.de.afrl.af.mil/Factsheets/HPM.html

US Forces Central Command
>>> http://www.centcom.mil/

Interview with Bruce Sterling about the
Military-Entertainment Complex (by Krystian

“Looking Beyond a War in Iraq” (New York Times)



After successful presentations in Brussels (2000),
Vienna (2000), Munich (2001), Helsinki (2001),
Berlin (2002), London (2002) and Amsterdam (2002)
World-Information.Org will once again stage its
extensive exhibition and conference program. This
time the venues are located in Serbia, where
World-Information.Org will be shown from 22 March to
5 April, 2003, in Novi Sad's Museum of Vojvodina and
from 19 April to 5 May, 2003, at the Museum of
Contemporary Art in Belgrade.

While the World-Information Exhibition will outline
the history of communication networks and explore
their future, exhibit historic and state-of-the-art
control and surveillance technology and display
digital artworks and installations, the
World-Information Forum entitled “Total
DisInformation Awareness: Conflict, Control and
Freedom of Information” and held on 20 April, 2003,
in Belgrade will bring together international and
renowned speakers from the fields of activism,
politics, journalism and culture to discuss
communication technologies and their role in the
psychological positioning of ideas. Rounding off
the exhibition and the conference will be the
World-Information Lounge; a temporary space, where
presentations and lectures from artists, activists,
professionals and scientist as well as discussions
will take place.

The opening event will take place on 22 March, 2003,
at 18.00 at Museum of Vojvodina, Novi Sad.

In cooperation with kuda.org and Museum of
Contemporary Art Belgrade.



"Die Politik der Infosphäre. World-Information.Org",
an introductory reader on the politics and culture
of information (in German language) is a
representation of the research on the social and
cultural implications of new information and
communication technologies, carried out in the
framework of the project World-Information.Org of
the Vienna-based Institute for New Culture
Technologies / t0.

In a stimulating and highly readable fashion, the
individual chapters provide insights into the
interrelations between social processes and
information and communication technologies.
Following introductions by renowned Sociology
Professor Saskia Sassen and Konrad Becker, Director
of World-Information.Org, the book is divided into
seven main sections including “Global Networks”,
“Global Info Rights” and “Global Security”.

"Die Politik der Infosphäre. World-Information.Org"
will be presented at the Leipzig book fair (20 - 23
March, 2003) and was produced in cooperation with
Center for Civic Education, Berlin. It will soon be
available for sale via the Center for Civic
Education and Leske + Budrich publishers.

>>> http://world-information.org/wio/publication

Center for Civic Education

Leske + Budrich
>>> http://www.geist.de/leske/verlag-D.html



Ben Bagdikian, Professor Emeritus of Journalism at
the University of Berkley (US), and one of the
foremost media critics in the US on media, elections
and democracy.


Writer, art critic and translator Brian Holmes about
his collaboration with the French artist group
Bureau 'Études in mapping capitalist structures.



The Institute for New Culture Technologies/t0
is the carrier of World-Information.Org
Zwischenquartier, Burggasse 21
A-1070 Vienna, Austria
phone: ++ 43.1.522 18 34
fax: ++ 43.1.522 50 58
email: info-office {AT} world-information.org

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