Brave New War

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Laura Jackson proposes a similarly preemptive approach for the Three Warfares, encouraging the permanent stationing of cameras on military vessels in the South China Sea and the satellite streaming of Chinese island construction to better stop “unilateral, yet subtle, revisions of reality.” Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University, advocates a “non-kinetic NATO” equipped to counter challenges such as corruption. Russian doctrine argues that corrupting another country’s elites is part of “new-generation” war. Isn’t it therefore time for the West to consider corruption a security issue?

OSE Perspective

The open source economy is a critical reframe of the thinking around global security. The open source economy must be recognized as an aspect of global security - and indeed - it must be recognized as a precondition to prosperity and peace.

This point needs to be communicated. Open source - hardware specifically - is much more than the currently useful playful though economically inert maker movement - which is how 'open source' is commonly framed. Open Source Product Development can be about infrastructure towards world peace - and a tactical approach for getting there.

In a true open source economy, any individual can rise to any level of responsibility that they choose, without the lack of access to knowhow or resources. An open source economy is equivalent to access to power. That power can manifest in swarms of agile individuals or agents.

Furthermore, it emerges that each individual in a swarm can have significant effect - depending on one's initiative. For example, an entrepreneurial individual who knows how to build things can create and crowdfund a swarm to produce an army of drone copters that can have a significant effect in war. Thus, the responsibility for peacekeeping can exist not only in powerful monopolies of violence (armies), but also in swarm-powered individuals. There are advantages and disadvantages to each route.

Swarm-based activity carries a risk of responsible stewardship - as a swarm must also have checks and balances on its decision-making capacity (so that its decisions are sound). This is a question of governance. It is a challenging question - because without due attention to governance or decision-making - the swarm can cause trouble if it is unguided or misguided. Such as if it is misinformed, unethical, or if it carries inaccurate mental models of reality. Same is true for centralized models - but centralized models typically have some form of established protocols. Thus, any beneficial swarm must carry informed responsibility. This may be a weak point of swarms. Thus, we must ask how a swarm learns, how fast it learns, and how well it adapts to new information. Attention must be given to swarm governance, or it can lead to Lord of the Flies-style anarchy where lack of responsible guidance leads to death.