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Agnotology in Action

story © Michael Betancourt | published March 2, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  

Digital Capitalism

Here is an example of agnotism: this news story makes it clear the extent to which powerful organizations will use their money and connections to attack, undermine and discredit their critics.

Hacked by the group Anonymous, HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr's emails show a proposal that would attack the enemies of the chamber of commerce. This is a clear example of how creating a culture of ignorance works. From the news story:

The three companies called themselves Team Themis, and instead of providing simple "business intelligence," they had a few other ideas:

  • Create a false document, perhaps highlighting periodical financial information, and monitor to see if US Chamber Watch acquires it. Afterward, present explicit evidence proving that such transactions never occurred. Also, create a fake insider persona and generate communications with [union-backed Change to Win]. Afterward, release the actual documents at a specified time and explain the activity as a CtW contrived operation.
  • If needed, create two fake insider personas, using one as leverage to discredit the other while confirming the legitimacy of the second. Such work is complicated, but a well-thought out approach will give way to a variety of strategies that can sufficiently aid the formation of vetting questions US Chamber Watch will likely ask.
  • Create a humor piece about the leaders of CtW.
  • Interesting how all of these are based on the invention of non-factual information, followed by its revelation as such. Makes one wonder how much of what is "out there" falls into this category as well....


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