3 quick thoughts on memetic warfare, persuasion and influence

Times Square persuasion advertising

James, our business development lead, is what Darryl Kerrigan from The Castle would call an ideas man. He's a big thinker. And a big reader. If you've connected with James on LinkedIn, you've probably seen several updates about his latest obsessions: content mindset, branding and persuasion. 

We've compiled James' best April LinkedIn posts relevant to our line of work, and listed them below. Want regular esoteric content mindset updates? Connect with James on LinkedIn.

Over to James...

Memetic warfare is the new frontier of information war, propaganda and cyberwar (which is not just about hacking computers / infrastructure). 

Conceptually, memes are perfectly engineered for non-hierarchical, decentralised independent operators, open-source insurgencies, and fourth generation warfare campaigns. 

Q: What is the non-warfare (business) equivalent of memetic warfare?
A: Branding

Anyway, for those interested, this two minute video is a great introduction. The accompanying white paper written by a NATO think tank is even better.

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NSW police force are using a popular meme construct to send a message. Very cool (and quite funny!). Interesting how this meme structure keeps evolving to create new messages. 

Memes are finally getting recognition as a powerful next generation communication and influence technique. Memes are probably the most post-modern form of content in existence today. 

People use memes to rapidly spread ideas and leverage the network effect to their advantage. It's no wonder NATO and the CIA have commissioned think-tank pieces to explore its application to ideological, cyber and fourth generation warfare. 

Advanced practitioners of memetic war can propagate their message quickly though a social media network, leverage organically trending hashtags, fight MSM narratives, hijack brands, and influence and persuade on a massive scale.

Should we add meme development to Mint Content's services catalogue?

Meme social media

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In probably the most ruthless slugfest since Ali v Frazier 3, I made almost 25K gambling on Donald Trump in 2016. First the GOP primaries, then the US election. Massive odds against = massive profit. It was a really fun year (for me). 

Blind luck? Reckless betting? 

Maybe.

But if you'd like to learn one element of my rationale behind my speculative bet cough investment in a Trump victory, I suggest you check out the work of Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) and his Master Persuader Filter. A series of ideas and mental models that I use to help me better understand the world.

In a nutshell: humans have NOT evolved to perceive or understand an objective reality (if one even exists - the jury's out: quantum mechanics, hard problem of consciousness, etc). We all fall victim to various perception fallacies, cognitive dissonance and other cognitive biases. 

Some people have a skill-set that purposefully uses this understanding of human nature and the UI of the human mind, to great advantage. They are master persuaders.

Adams's new book is out in October. Check it out!

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Want more great content like this? Connect with James on LinkedIn.

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