Show cover of The Cognitive Crucible

The Cognitive Crucible

The Cognitive Crucible explores all aspects of our generational challenge: Cognitive Security. It is the only podcast dedicated to increasing interdisciplinary collaboration between information operations practitioners, scholars, and policy makers. Join the discussion forum each week with the Cognitive Crucible host, John Bicknell. Have a question or would like to suggest a topic go to: https://information-professionals.org/podcasts/cognitive-crucible.

Tracks

#114 Rubens Portugal on Brazilian Information Operations
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Brazilian Army Capt Rubens Portugal discusses governmental structure and various information operations policies including operational integration and talent management. Research Question: How dangerous to a country like Brazil or any country for that matter is it to build an information warfare and political warfare capability? For some countries, this is very dangerous. What kind of informational structure is most ideal for countries where the state (permanent, non-political) and government (temporary politics) are not separate in practice? Resources: Anatomia da Propaganda podcast Academia Militar das Agulhas Negras The War in Informational Era  Demons: A Novel in Three Parts by Fyodor Dostoevsky Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis Psychological Warfare By Paul Linebarger Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-114 Guest Bio:  After receiving a Bachelors of Military Science, in the Military Academy (Academia Militar das Agulhas Negras), Captain Rubens Portugal was commissioned an Aspirant Officer in November 2013. Upon completion of initial training, he reported to 6th Signal Battalion, 6th Army Division. His assignments included Radio Platoon Commander and Command Center Officer. As a signal officer, in 2014, he worked in the Brazilian World Cup Regional Security Operation, as a Command and Control officer In 2016, as a lieutenant, he graduated in the Brazilian Army Psychological Operations Course and reported to the Brazilian Battalion (MINUSTAH, UN Peacekeeping Mission) for training and deployment. In 2017, he was a PsyOp Officer in the PsyOp Detachment, Brazilian Battalion, in UN Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti - Mission des Nations Unies pour la Stabilization en Haïti (MINUSTAH). After MINUSTAH, in 2018, Captain Rubens Portugal worked in the PsyOp Company, 1st PsyOps Battalion, on missions all over the Brazilian territory, specially in border operations and Rio de Janeiro Federal Intervention. In 2019 he was selected to be instructor in the PsyOp course, and remained there for 3 years. In 2022, he current function is Operation Center Officer, in the 1st PsyOp Battalion, Special Operations Command. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
41:34 09/20/2022
#113 Jeff Engstrom on Chinese Systems Warfare
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Jeff Engstrom discusses in detail how the Chinese People's Liberation Army seeks to wage modern warfare. China favors a system of systems approach to warfare. They recognize that war is no longer a contest between particular units, arms, services, or even specific weapons platforms of competing adversaries, but rather a contest among numerous adversarial operational systems. Systems confrontation is waged not only in the traditional physical domains of land, sea, and air, but also in outer space, nonphysical cyberspace, electromagnetic, and even psychological domains. Research Question: Jeff believes that students should help assess the  lessons which the PLA is learning from Ukraine and elsewhere, and how these lessons are shaping China’s understanding of systems and systems warfare. Resources: Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #79 Mulvaney on China In Their Own Words Jeffrey Engstrom bio RAND Report: Systems Confrontation and System Destruction Warfare: How the Chinese People's Liberation Army Seeks to Wage Modern Warfare Col John A. Warden III Warden's Five Rings PRC Defense White Papers 2015: China’s Military Strategy 2019: China’s National Defense in the New Era China Aerospace Studies Institute Science of Strategy (2020 ed.) Science of Strategy (2013 ed.) Science of Campaigns (2006 ed.) IPA Seeks Authors and Cognitive Security Thought Leaders Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-113 Guest Bio:  Jeffrey Engstrom is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. His research focuses on Asia-Pacific security and foreign policy issues; China’s warfighting concepts and capabilities; coercion theory and use of coercive military force; and military intervention and security cooperation. Before joining RAND, Engstrom was a defense policy analyst at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in McLean, Virginia, where, in addition to researching East Asian military capabilities, he also developed expertise in war gaming. Prior to his work at SAIC, Engstrom served as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Engstrom received his B.A. in political science and international studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a M.P.P. from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in public policy from George Mason University. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
31:44 09/13/2022
#112 Jake Sotiriadis on the Value Proposition of Future Studies
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Jake Sotiriadis discusses how future studies can identify weak signals and emerging trends in order to develop anticipatory thinking which leads to better decisions. Research Question: Jake believes that we need to spend more time learning about and learning from the robust future studies literature and different methodological approaches like: back casting, causal layered analysis, traditional scenario development, the futures wheel, plus others. He encourages students to first master a narrow area of expertise and then question the status quo. Ask the question: Where are there opportunities? How do we capture emergent phenomena? How do we anticipate? Resources: Related or Mentioned Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes #85 Josh Kerbel on Complexity and Anticipatory Intelligence #14 BDJ on Threatcasting LtCol Jake Sotiriadis bio Social, Technological, Economical, Environmental and Political STEEP Future Framework Greece Futures Report The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World by Peter Schwartz Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision-Makers by Richard E. Neustadt IPA Seeks Authors and Cognitive Security Thought Leaders Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-112 Guest Bio:  Dr. Jake Sotiriadis is a global futurist and expert in geopolitical risk intelligence. He is Director of The Center for Futures Intelligence at National Intelligence University (NIU), where he also serves on the research faculty.  Dr. Sotiriadis previously served as the US Air Force's senior futurist at the Pentagon in Washington and founded the service’s Strategic Foresight and Futures Team.  At NIU, his research assists senior leaders in the intelligence and national security communities develop anticipatory thinking and strategic planning. He has served nearly two decades as an Air Force intelligence officer and holds a Ph.D. in political science and geopolitical futures from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  He also serves as an advisor to the State Department and teaches courses at the Foreign Service Institute.  His forthcoming book, “The Invisible Regime: How Ideology Will Shape 21st Century Geopolitical Competition” will be published in 2023 by The National Intelligence Press. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
44:43 09/06/2022
#111 Victoria Coleman on Science, Technology, and Innovation
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Dr. Victoria Coleman discusses her priorities, as the Chief Scientist for the the United States Air Force. Dr. Coleman cites that China is especially good at military-civilian fusion, and the United States needs improvement in that area. She also asserts that commercial market feedback mechanisms help explain why the government tends to lag commercial innovation. The Air Force’s  enterprise-wide Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concept was created recently to speed capability delivery. Dr. Coleman recently helped unveil a new competitive initiative which will create a University Affiliated Research Center at one of the United States Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Resources: Dr. Victoria Coleman Bio Agile Combat Employment (ACE) Red Queen Hypothesis Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong and C. H. Brewitt-Taylor Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky Research Question: In a democracy, there is tension between protecting individual freedoms while simultaneously ensuring that collective freedoms are not impacted. Digital human rights must be studied, understood, and co-evolved as containing both technology and policy components in order to protect group and individual outcomes. Promulgating digital human rights globally is a problem worthy of study. Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-111 Guest Bio:  Dr. Victoria Coleman is the Chief Scientist of the United States Air Force, Arlington, Virginia. She serves as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Secretary of the Air Force, Air Force Chief of Staff, and Chief of Space Operations. She provides assessments on a wide range of scientific and technical issues affecting the department’s mission. In this role, she identifies and analyzes technical issues, bringing them to the attention of department leaders. She interacts with other principals, operational commanders, combatant commands, acquisition, and science and technology communities to address cross-organizational issues and provide solutions. Dr. Coleman also interacts with other services and the Office of the Secretary of Defense on issues affecting the Department of the Air Force’s technical enterprise. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and is the Principal Science and Technology Representative of the Air Force to the civilian scientific and engineering community and to the public at large. Dr. Coleman is on leave from University of California, Berkeley. Since 2016, Dr. Coleman has held an academic research appointment at the Berkeley Center for Information Technology in the Interest of Society where she leads science and technology policy on microelectronics and efforts to develop tools for countering digital authoritarianism. Dr. Coleman has more than 35 years of experience in computer science and technology, including as both an academic leader and industry executive. Before DARPA, she served as the Chief Executive Officer of Atlas AI P.B.C, a Silicon Valley start-up that brings world-class artificial intelligence solutions to sustainable development. By combining satellite data with other data sets, Atlas AI’s proprietary deep-learning models create actionable insights for governments, non-governmental organizations and commercial companies. Dr. Coleman began her academic career in 1988 as a lecturer in computer science at Royal Holloway College, University of London, United Kingdom. She subsequently joined Queen Mary College, University of London, as a reader in computer science. There, she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in computer science, created a Master of Science program in Dependable Computer Systems and supervised Doctor of Philosophy students. In 1998, Dr. Coleman became the founding director of the System Design Laboratory at SRI International. The lab conducted research in trustworthy systems and cyber security. The programs she directed won support from DARPA. She also participated in the creation of the technologies leading to the spinout of Siri prior to its acquisition by Apple. She worked alongside the newly-formed Department of Homeland Security, creating the department’s cyber security agenda and becoming the founding Director of the DHS Cyber Security Research and Development Center. In 2004, Dr. Coleman became the Director of the Trust and Manageability Lab in the Corporate Technology Group of Intel and began serving as a member of Santa Clara University’s Computer Science and Engineering Department’s Advisory Board. In 2006, she became the Vice President of the Computer Science Laboratory at Samsung. In 2010, she took the position of Vice President of Software Engineering at Hewlett-Packard. In 2011, she became Nokia’s Vice President of Emerging Platforms. Dr. Coleman served as the Vice President of Engineering for Multi-Device UX Platforms for Yahoo in 2013, and then took the position of Senior Vice President of Research and Design at Harman International Industries Infotainment Business Unit. She then served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Connected Home Business for Technicolor. Beginning in 2016, Dr. Coleman served as the Chief Technology Officer of Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that supports Wikipedia, the world’s fifth most visited website. During this time, Dr. Coleman also served as a member of the Defense Science Board, where she provided independent advice to the Secretary of Defense, USD(R&E), and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She was a member of Lockheed Martin’s Technology Advisory Group, the Airbus Star Program and continued her work on the Santa Clara University Computer Science and Engineering Advisory Board. She served on the Board of Directors of the Public Library of Science. Prior to accepting the role of Chief Scientist, Dr. Coleman served as the 22nd Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency where she oversaw a large suite of disruptive and innovative programs. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
42:11 08/30/2022
#110 Sean McFate on The New Rules of War
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Dr. Sean McFate discusses his influential book, The New Rules of War. Sean describes how the Westphalian state system is changing, consequences for conventional war, the rise of mercenaries and international mega-corporations, and information operations. Plus, the Cognitive Crucible gets not only one–but two–Monty Python references. Research Question: Sean asks several questions worthy of examination. First, how can a democracy fight secretive wars without losing its democratic soul? Second, strategic culture can eclipse strategic IQ; so, how can a strong strategic culture be broken? Finally, what is strategic thinking, and how are good strategic thinkers created? Resources: Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #49 Matt Armstrong on the Smith-Mundt Act https://www.seanmcfate.com Unrestricted Warfare: China’s Master Plan to Destroy America by Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui The Art of War by Sun Tzu  (Author) and Thomas Cleary (Translator) The Knights Who Say "Ni!" - Monty Python and the Holy Grail The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-110 Guest Bio:  Dr. Sean McFate is a foreign policy expert, author and novelist. He is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington DC think tank, and a professor of strategy at the National Defense University and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Additionally, he serves as an Advisor to Oxford University’s Centre for Technology and Global Affairs.  McFate’s career began as a paratrooper and officer in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. He served under Stan McChrystal and David Petraeus, and graduated from elite training programs, such as Jungle Warfare School in Panama. He was also a Jump Master. McFate then became a private military contractor and paramilitary. Among his many experiences, he dealt with African warlords, raised armies for U.S. interest, rode with armed groups in the Sahara, conducted strategic reconnaissance for the extractive industry, transacted arms deals in Eastern Europe, and helped prevent an impending genocide in the Rwanda region. In the world of international business, McFate was a Vice President at TD International, a boutique political risk consulting firm with offices in Washington, Houston, Singapore and Zurich. Additionally, he was a program manager at DynCorp International, a consultant at BearingPoint (now Deloitte Consulting), and an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton. McFate writes novels based on his own military experiences. His latest thriller is High Treason, and #1 New York Timesbestselling author James Patterson said: “Sean McFate just might be the next Tom Clancy, only I think he’s even better...The action is non-stop.” James Rollins said: “It had me breathless—it’s not to be missed!” McFate also writes serious non-fiction. The New Rules of War: How America Can Win—Against Russia, China, and Other Threats (Morrow) has been called “The Freakonomics of modern warfare.” It was named a “Book of the Year” by The Economist, The Times [UK], and The Evening Standard, and is included on West Point’s “Commandant’s Reading List.” Admiral Jim Stavridis, the former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, said: “Stunning. Sean McFate is a new Sun Tzu.” Max Hastings wrote in The Sunday Times: “[This] iconoclastic book is being hailed by radicals as a wake-up call to governments and armed forces everywhere.” It has been translated into six languages and the British edition is titled Goliath: Why the West Isn't Winning. And What We Must Do About It (Penguin). McFate also authored The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order (Oxford Univ Press). The Economist called it a "fascinating and disturbing book." McFate is a consultant to the U.S. military, U.S. intelligence community, United Nations, and Hollywood. His has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, Politico, Daily Beast, Vice Magazine, War on the Rocks, Military Review and African Affairs. He has appeared on CNN’s Amanpour, Morning Joe, Fox and Friends, MSNBC, Fox, Sky News, NPR, BBC, WSJ, FT, Economist, Vice/HBO, The Discovery Channel, and American Heroes Channel. As a scholar, he has authored eight book chapters in edited academic volumes, and two monographs on modern war for the U.S. Department of Defense. McFate holds a BA from Brown University, MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He was also a Fellow at Oxford. McFate lives in Washington, DC. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
61:17 08/23/2022
#109 Howard Bloom on Truth and Soul
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Howard Bloom asserts that truth and soul are the best ways to influence. Howard should know. He played an important role in the careers of legendary musicians like Michael Jackson, Prince, John Cougar Mellencamp, plus many, many others. His method for promoting artists included finding the gods within, secular shamanism, soul spelunking, and exploring the caves of your emotions. More recently, Howard founded the Howard Bloom Institute where he and his colleagues pursue an agenda of “omnology” (the aspiration to omniscience; an academic base for the promiscuously curious, a discipline that concentrates on seeing the patterns that emerge when one views all the sciences and the arts at once) and collaborate to continue the Western agenda into space. Resources: Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #18 Tom Sear on Xenowar The Howard Bloom Institute Zheng He: Chinese fleet admiral Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-109 Guest Bio: Howard Bloom has been called the Einstein, Newton, and Freud of the 21st century by Britain's Channel 4 TV.  One of his seven books--Global Brain---was the subject of a symposium thrown by the Office of the Secretary of Defense including representatives from the State Department, the Energy Department, DARPA, IBM, and MIT.  His work has been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Psychology Today, and the Scientific American. He has been published on Information Science in World Scientific's The Future Information Society, edited by Wolfgang Hofkirchner and Mark Bergin.  He has spoken at Nellis Air Force Base and Colorado's Eisenhower Center for Space and Defense Studies.  He does news commentary at 1:06 am ET every Wednesday night on 545 radio stations on Coast to Coast AM.   About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
61:40 08/16/2022
#108 Jocelyn Brady on Brain Play
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Jocelyn Brady discusses the importance of brain play. She creates engaging, educational “tiny tip” videos which teach ways for people to live healthier and happier lives while simultaneously teaching cognitive subjects. Research Question: Jocelyn wants researchers to figure out how we get kids to understand better fundamental concepts about their own brains–especially neuroplasticity, which can be viewed as a general umbrella term that refers to the brain's ability to modify, change, and adapt both structure and function throughout life and in response to experience. Resources: Let’s Play with Your Brain Tiny Tips YouTube Channel WHAT ONLINE-OFFLINE (O-O) CONVERGENCE MEANS FOR THE FUTURE OF CONFLICT By Sean A. Guillory & John T. Carrola [VR Human Documentary] Mother meets her deceased daughter through VR technology Reading on a smartphone affects sigh generation, brain activity, and comprehension Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown, Christopher Vaugha 7 Rules of Power: Surprising--but True--Advice on How to Get Things Done and Advance Your Career by Jeffrey Pfeffer Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-108 Guest Bio:  Jocelyn Brady is a writer, edutainer and professional brain coach & behavior designer who thrives at the intersection of comedy, storytelling and unraveling the mysteries of the human brain. When she’s not being the Bill Nye of the brain (as the creator and host of Tiny Tips, the Internet’s favorite way to Brain), Jocelyn applies her certified NeuroLeadership and Tiny Habits coaching chops to help creative visionaries play to their brains’ greatest potential. In her past life—as an award-winning copywriter, Creative Director and agency CEO—Jocelyn led narrative strategy and international storytelling training for some of the world’s biggest brands. She also produced and co-hosted Party Time, a standup comedy and storytelling show featuring talent who went on to write or perform for Conan, Colbert and Comedy Central. All while managing to keep her two cats and houseplants alive. Jocelyn’s first book, tentatively titled Your Brain is a Magical Asshat, is slated for publication next year… Probably. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
39:19 08/08/2022
#107 Vanessa Otero on News Ecosystem Health
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Vanessa Otero discusses news ecosystem health and how she created The Media Bias Chart®. Our wide ranging conversation covers her methodology for grading media content, the Overton window, information nutritional labels, societal implications of unhealthy news consumption patterns. Research Topic: Vanessa suggests that researchers examine ways to get people out of conspiracy theory rabbit holes or extreme polarization rabbit holes. She also asserts that media trust is over studied and that researchers should focus less on that problem. Resources: AdFontes Media Overton Window or window of discourse Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts by Annie Duke Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-107 Guest Bio:  Vanessa Otero is the creator of the Media Bias Chart, and the Founder and CEO of Ad Fontes Media. A licensed patent attorney in the Denver, Colorado area, Vanessa holds a B.A. in English from UCLA and a J.D. from the University of Denver. Vanessa’s formal education and professional career has centered on analytical reading, writing and reasoning, creating an ideal background for her to create a content analysis Alarmed by the unhealthy state of the media ecosystem, Vanessa used her expertise in content analysis to create the original Media Bias Chart in 2016. Then in 2018, she founded Ad Fontes Media to fulfill the need revealed by the popularity of the chart–namely, to meet the demand for a map to help people navigate the complex media landscape, and for comprehensive content analysis of media sources themselves. Today, Ad Fontes Media uses a systematic approach to content analysis in which a team of politically-balanced professional analysts examine and categorize news content creating data that is useful to news consumers, educators, marketers, and even publishers themselves. Ad Fontes also offers training in its content analysis methodology through products and services for educational institutions and for individuals. Vanessa is on the Board of Directors of Community Radio for Northern Colorado and is on the Advisory Council of Media Literacy Now. Vanessa and Ad Fontes Media have also been published or featured in articles and blogs on news literacy, news bias and free speech, social media, and conspiracy theories. These sources have included the Poynter Institute, Cornell Policy Review MarketWatch, The Economist, Morning Brew, and more. She is a much sought-after speaker at national news literacy workshops and webinars.  Vanessa is committed to making the world a better place with her passion and belief in decreasing the polarization in our news and our society, as well as educating students, teachers, and the public on the true value of media literacy and the importance of a healthy news ecosystem. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
45:14 08/02/2022
#106 Mike Taylor on the Global Engagement Center
During this episode, COL Mike Taylor discusses the US State Department’s Global Engagement Center’s (GEC) hub & spoke model for directing, leading, synchronizing, integrating, and coordinating the efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining or influencing the policies, security, or stability of the United States, its allies, and partner nations. Our wide ranging conversation covers the major components of the GEC, its data-driven approaches, and the importance of coordination within the US government and with allies and partners. Links: Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #99 Roger Carstens on Hostage Negotiations & Diplomacy Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare by Thomas Rid The Fortunes of Africa: A 5000-Year History of Wealth, Greed, and Endeavor by Martin Meredith Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by Gen. Stanley McChrystal Al-Mawla Tactical Interrogation Reports: Report A Report B Report C Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-106 Guest Bio:  Colonel Mike Taylor, U.S. Army, is the Director for Counter-terrorism at the Global Engagement Center (GEC), U.S. Department of State, in Washington, D.C.  He serves as the principal advisor to the GEC’s Special Envoy and Coordinator on countering foreign Violent Extremist Organization’s (VEO) propaganda and disinformation (CPD) activities.  In this role he is responsible for overseeing GEC CT operations and planning to include interagency and international coordination such as with the Communications Working Group of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.  Prior to the assumption of this assignment, Mike served as the Director, CJ39 Information Operations (IO), Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Operation Resolute Support (RS) and US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A). In previous assignments, Taylor served as the U.S. Army’s Integrated Joint Special Technical Operations (IJSTO) Force Modernization Proponent Chief and as the U.S. Army Service IJSTO Chief, Operations and Technology Division, Operations, Readiness, and Mobilization Directorate, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, Washington, D.C.; Branch Chief, Deputy Director for Global Operations (DDGO), J-39, Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.; Information Operations Field Support Team Chief, 1st Battalion, 1st IO Command, Fort Belvoir, Virginia; and J39 IO Chief, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Arabian Peninsula (CJSOTF-AP), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Balad, Iraq.   Earlier in his career, Taylor served in multiple tactical command and staff assignments to include as military advisor to the G-3, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division, OIF, Tikrit, Iraq; Commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), 24th Infantry Division and the United States Army Garrison, Fort Riley, Kansas; Commander, HHC, 1st Battalion, 34th Armor, 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) “Devil Brigade,” 1st Infantry Division (ID), Fort Riley, Kansas and OIF, Khalidiyah, Iraq; Commander, Cobra Company, 1st Battalion, 34th Armor, 1st BCT, 1st ID, OIF, Iraq; Plans Chief, 1st BCT, 1st ID, Ft. Riley, Kansas; Commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop (HHT), 3d Squadron, 16th Cavalry (CAV) Regiment, Fort Knox, Kentucky; and Executive Officer and Tank Platoon Leader with 2d Battalion, 72d Armor, Camp Casey, Korea.  Taylor enlisted in the United States Army Reserve and served as Wheeled Heavy Equipment Operator, 892d Transportation Company, Belleville, Illinois and Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Saudi Arabia.  Taylor’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the Valorous Unit Award, the Meritorious Unit Citation, the Combat Action Badge, Basic Parachutist Badge, and was also awarded the U.S. Armor Association’s Bronze Medallion of the Order of St. George.    Colonel Taylor holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer and Operations Management from Eastern Illinois University, a Master’s in International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Washington D.C., and is a graduate of the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff Officer’s Course and the U.S. Army Information Operations Qualification Course.  Colonel Taylor was born in Biloxi, Mississippi and is the eldest of three children of a retired U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant.  Taylor resides in Lake Ridge, VA, married to the former Constance (Connie) Lorraine Bremer, has two daughters Madison (Maddie) and Elizabeth (Ella), and enjoys cheering on the Green Bay Packers. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
31:51 07/26/2022
#105 Tom Kent on Persuasion in the Developing World
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Tom Kent returns to discuss the developing world. After reviewing Russia’s influence efforts in the early portion of the Ukraine War, Tom provides a rather sober assessment of information operations being directed at the developing world. Additionally, Tom believes that developing countries view Western nations with skepticism due to hypocrisy. Resources: Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #10 Tom Kent on Striking Back #56 Bob Jones on Governance Russian Propagandists Regain Footing on Ukraine by Tom Kent Radio to Russia Can Old Technologies Make a Dent in Putin’s Information Blockade by Tom Kent Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-105 Guest Bio:  Tom Kent teaches about Russian affairs and disinformation at Columbia University. He was president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty until 2018. Previously, he was Moscow bureau chief, international editor and standards editor of The Associated Press. He consults on disinformation, journalism and ethics for government, non-governmental organizations, media, and corporate clients. He is also the author of:  Striking Back: Overt and Covert Options to Combat Russian Disinformation, which was published in September 2020. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
30:31 07/19/2022
#104 Glen Edwards on Integrating Information Warfare and Information Power
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Glen Edwards presents a robust framework and overarching theory for information warfare that is grounded in the Australian Defence Force’s core concepts of maneuver warfare and multi domain operations. Our wide ranging conversation covers the definition of information, Clauzewicz, breaking down stovepipes, Boyd and the OODA loop, and information theory and entropy. Resources: Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #24 John Davis on Modern Warfare, Teamwork, and Commercial Cognitive Security #61 MajGen Susan Coyle on the Australian Perspective #100 Rand Waltzman on the Metaverse and Immersive Virtual Reality Books & Articles: Just Information Warfare by Mariarosaria Taddeo The Routledge Handbook on the Philosophy of Information by Luciano Floridi Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-104 Guest Bio: Glen is an Australian national security consultant located in Canberra. He specializes in information warfare and information power and has a particular interest in integrating military information activities with national efforts. Glen has over 15 years experience in the sector, first as an Australian Defence Force officer, and then in a number of public service and consulting roles within Australia’s National Intelligence Community. Most recently, Glen has been working on information warfare theory and concepts with the support of Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group. Glen has a Masters of Special Operations and Irregular Warfare (University of New South Wales), a Masters of Strategic Studies (Australian National University), a Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity (Edith Cowan University), a Graduate Certificate in Terrorism, Safety, and Security (Charles Sturt University), and a Bachelor of Human Resources (University of New England). About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
43:55 07/12/2022
#103 Jon Roozenbeek on Ukraine and Disinformation
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Jon Roozenbeek discusses his upcoming book project, Information, Influence and War in Ukraine--including analyses related to media and identity in Wartime Donbas. He discusses inoculation theory as a method for countering misinformation and the Harmony Square Game project, as well. Resources: Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #56 Bob Jones on Governance Dissertation: Media and Identity in Wartime Donbas, 2014-2017 Research exposes long-term failure of Russian propaganda Harmony Square Game Breaking Harmony Square: A game that “inoculates” against political misinformation https://www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/staff/dr-jon-roozenbeek Polling Data: (scroll down to “what Donbas residents want for their future” for the polling data mentioned) Go Viral game Study: Towards psychological herd immunity: Cross-cultural evidence for two prebunking interventions against COVID-19 misinformation: 2 large and cross-cultural studies into the effectiveness of the game as a way to counter COVID-19 misinformation, including a longitudinal study Bad News game Study: Fake news game confers psychological resistance against online misinformation Study: Good News about Bad News: Gamified Inoculation Boosts Confidence and Cognitive Immunity Against Fake News Study: Long-term effectiveness of inoculation against misinformation: Three longitudinal experiments: longitudinal study; we followed up with participants to see how long the “inoculation” effect of the Bad News game lasts; the answer is 2+ months, provided people are given regular “booster shots” or reminders Study: Technique-based inoculation against real-world misinformation Harmony Square Game Study: Breaking Harmony Square: A game that “inoculates” against political misinformation: this study was published in a journal intended not only for academics but also policymakers and so on; so it’s written in a more accessible style than most academic publications Inoculation Theory and Misinformation: Recent review of how to use inoculation theory to counter misinformation Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-103 Guest Bio:  Jon Roozenbeek is the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab. His research focuses on misinformation, vaccine hesitancy, online extremism and inoculation theory. As part of his research, he co-developed the award-winning fake news games Bad News, Harmony Square and Go Viral. Jon is also interested in social media research, agent-based modeling and natural language processing. His doctoral dissertation (University of Cambridge, 2020) examined media discourse in conflict zones, primarily the "People's Republics" of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
42:44 07/05/2022
#102 Brian Schweers on the All Domain Effects Team Concept
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, LtCol Brian Schweers discusses the US Marine Corps’ All Domain Effects Team (ADET) concept, which is considered to still be in the prototype phase. After describing the historical mission of the Marine Corps’ Air-Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO), Brian unpacks the ADET rationale and composition. ADETs are task-organized forces that integrate information capabilities with lethal fires to achieve effects in the forward operating environment across the competition continuum in support of joint, allied, and coalition forces. These teams are intended to provide a scalable, mobile, and lethal force capable of operating across air, land, sea, space, and cyber domains simultaneously.  The first ADET employed in support of joint operations was in September of 2021, during Joint Warrior in Durness, Scotland. 2d ANGLICO and II MIG continue to refine the ADET concept in support of the Commandant’s Stand-in-Force Concept. Brian’s research opportunity or question to the IPA Community: How do we know that we’re achieving effects? How do we measure effects in the cognitive realm and tie it to decision making? Resources: Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #13 Brian Russell on Behind Enemy Lines #95 LtGen Matthew Glavy on MCDP 8 Information #93 Todd Huntley on Information Operations and the Law THE CHANGING CHARACTER OF COMBINED ARMS by BENJAMIN JENSEN AND MATTHEW STROHMEYER Ukraine conflict reveals parallels to new Marine Corps war-fighting vision 2d Air-Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO) LtCol Brian Schweers Bio War in a 140 Characters by David Patrikarakos 2014 Gaza War (Operation Protective Edge) Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-102 Guest Bio:  After receiving a Bachelors of Arts from Miami University, Lieutenant Colonel Brian Schweers was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in May 2002.  Upon completion of initial training, he reported to Battery L, 3rd Battalion, 10th Marines.  His assignments included Forward Observer, Fire Direction Officer (FDO), and Platoon Commander.  He completed two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  In 2006 Lieutenant Colonel Schweers reported to 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, 1st Marine Headquarters Group.  His billets were Firepower Control Team Leader and Supporting Arms Liaison Team Leader.  He completed two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and one tour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  Lieutenant Colonel Schweers attended the Field Artillery Captains Career Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in the summer of 2010.  Upon graduation, he reported to 1st Battalion, 11th Marines. His assignments included Battery C Commanding Officer, Battalion Operations Officer, and Battalion Assistant Fire Support Officer.  In 2014 Lieutenant Colonel Schweers reported to Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS) where he served as a Faculty Advisor and Curriculum Developer.  Following EWS, he reported to 1st Battalion, 12th Marines where he served as the Battalion Logistics Officer and Battalion Executive Officer.  In 2018 Lieutenant Colonel Schweers reported to Programs and Resources, Headquarters Marine Corps where he served as the Assistant Program Development Officer and Program Development Officer.  About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
49:12 06/28/2022
#101 Heather Gregg on Identity and Myths
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Dr. Heather Gregg of the US Army War College explores how collective identity building and myths--stories designed to tell a group of people who they are, where they came from and how they should behave--shape violent conflict. Heather contrasts the way identity is used by insurgencies and counterinsurgency efforts and sketches lessons learned from recent operations against Al Qaeda and ISIS in Iraq, as well as the role that identity is playing in the Ukrainian war. Our wide-ranging conversation also covers implications of horizontal and vertical cultural transmission of information, myths as a form of storytelling, and mixing up myth and history. Resources: Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #89 Ajit Mann and Paul Cobaugh on Narrative Dr. Heather Gregg’s Personal Website Identity wars: collective identity building in insurgency and counterinsurgency by Heather S. Gregg Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen Building the Nation: Missed Opportunities in Iraq and Afghanistan Hardcover by Heather Gregg The Path to Salvation: From the Crusades to Jihad by Heather Gregg The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers A Short History of Myth Paperback by Karen Armstrong Scott Atran, "Address to UN Security Council on Youth and Extremism." (2015) Vamik Volker, "The Need to Have Enemies and Allies," Political Psychology 6, no. 2 (1985): 219-247 Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-101 Guest Bio:  Dr. Gregg’s opinions are her own & do not represent the opinions of the US Army War College or the Department of Defense Heather S. Gregg is a professor at the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute (SSI). From 2006-2019, she was an associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Department of Defense Analysis, where she worked primarily with Special Operations Forces. Prior to joining NPS, she was an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation. In addition to her academic experience, she has spent time in several regions of conflict including Palestine/West Bank and the former Yugoslavia. Dr. Gregg earned her Ph.D. in Political Science in 2003 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her dissertation work was on historic and contemporary causes of religiously motivated violence. Dr. Gregg also holds a Master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School, where she studied Islam, and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr. Gregg is the author of The Path to Salvation: Religious Violence from the Crusades to Jihad (Potomac, 2014) and Building the Nation: Missed Opportunities in Iraq & Afghanistan (University of Nebraska Press, 2018). She also has published articles and book chapters on Al Qaeda, including “Fighting the Jihad of the Pen: Countering Al Qaeda’s Ideology” (Terrorism and Political Violence, 2010) and “Crafting a Better Grand Strategy to Fight the Global War on Terror: Lessons from the Early Years of the Cold War” (Foreign Policy Analysis, 2010), in addition to co-editing and contributing to The Three Circles of War: Understanding the Dynamics of Modern War in Iraq (Potomac, 2010). About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
40:27 06/21/2022
#100 Rand Waltzman on the Metaverse and Immersive Virtual Reality
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, IPA founding board member, Dr. Rand Waltzman, returns to the Cognitive Crucible to discuss the Metaverse and his popular Disinformation 101 series. Our wide ranging discussion covers cognitive challenges related to immersive virtual reality environments, sensor technology, emerging influence methods, cognitive behavioral therapy, affective computing, and kayfabe. Resources: Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #83 Joseph Lee on Jung and Archetypes #47 Yaneer Bar-Yam on Complex Systems and the War on Ideals #90 Dave Acosta on Informationally Disadvantaged #64 Greg Radabaugh on Informational Power #82 John DeRosa and Alex Del Castillo on Measuring Effectiveness of Operations in the Information Environment #81 Cassandra Brooker on the Effectiveness of Influence Activities #69 Matt Venhaus on ARLIS & the Cognitive Security Proving Ground #38 Lori Reynolds on Operations in the Information Environment #75 Todd Manyx on the MCIOC #1 Rand Waltzman on Cognitive Security Rand Waltzmans' Disinformation 101 Series GPT-3 New Age Bullshit Generator The Humbugs of the World: An Account of Humbugs, Delusions, Impositions, Quackeries, Deceits and Deceivers Generally, in All Ages by Phineas Taylor Barnum Kayfabe WHAT SCIENTIFIC CONCEPT WOULD IMPROVE EVERYBODY'S COGNITIVE TOOLKIT: Kayfabe by Eric R. Weinstein Affective Computing Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-100 Guest Bio:  Dr. Waltzman has 35 years of experience performing and managing research in Artificial Intelligence applied to domains including social media and cognitive security in the information environment.  He is formerly Deputy Chief Technology Officer and a Senior Information Scientist at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA. Prior to joining RAND, he was the acting Chief Technology Officer of the Software Engineering Institute (Washington, DC) of Carnegie Mellon University. Before that he did a five-year tour as a Program Manager in the Information Innovation Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he created and managed the Social Media in Strategic Communications (SMISC) program and the Anomaly Detection at Multiple Scales (ADAMS) insider threat detection program. Dr. Waltzman joined DARPA from Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories (LM-ATL), where he served as Chief Scientist for the Applied Sciences Laboratory that specializes in advanced software techniques and the computational physics of materials. Prior to LM-ATL he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, where he taught and performed research in applications of Artificial Intelligence technology to a variety of problem areas including digital entertainment, automated reasoning and decision support and cyber threat detection. He has also held research positions at the University of Maryland, Teknowledge Corporation (the first commercial Artificial Intelligence company in the world where he started in 1983), and the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington. Dr. Waltzman serves as Advisory Board Member of GLOBSEC HADES initiative. He is also a founding board member of the Information Professionals Association. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
49:25 06/14/2022
Bonus Episode: Gladiator School
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this bonus episode, Col. Brian Russell discusses Gladiator School, which is the official podcast of II MEF Information Group. Gladiator School places you and the experts into the arena. Whether you’re a Marine, member of the DoD or a civilian, Gladiator School has something for you. Resources: Here's where you can listen to or watch Gladiator School Apple/iTunes Spotify YouTube Also mentioned: MCPD-7 Learning   Guest Bio:  Colonel Brian Russell is the commanding officer of II Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group (II MIG) in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He commissioned as a Marine Corps Officer in December 1995 from North Carolina State University. Upon completion of basic officer training he went on to become a field artillery officer. His combat deployments include serving as the Military Transition Team Leader in Habbaniyah, Iraq, the executive officer of Brigade Headquarters Group in Helmand Province, Afghanistan and Plans Director in Bagram, Afghanistan. Some of his notable staff assignments include: Operations Directorate at Marine Corps Special Operations Command, Operations Directorate at United States Cyber Command, and U.S. Plans Directorate at Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
06:55 06/10/2022
#99 Roger Carstens on Hostage Negotiations & Diplomacy
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Amb. Roger Carstens discusses the United States hostage recovery enterprise and how his office helps bring U.S. citizens home. After explaining the legislative landscape, Roger explains the differences between kidnapping, wrongful detention, and hostage scenario, as well as engagement with state compared to non-state actors. Roger also discusses today’s media landscape, weaponization of the international rules-based system, geopolitical dynamics, maneuver warfare, and a tech research agenda. Resources: Amb. Roger Carstens, Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA) Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell National Security Council FACT SHEET: U.S. Government Hostage Policy Presidential Policy Directive 30 (PPD 30) Executive Order -- Hostage Recovery Activities Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act We Want to Negotiate: The Secret World of Kidnapping, Hostages and Ransom by Joel Simon Prisoner: My 544 Days in an Iranian Prison - Solitary Confinement, a Sham Trial, High-Stakes Diplomacy, and the Extraordinary Efforts It Took to Get Me Out by Jason Rezaian The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-99 Guest Bio:  Roger D. Carstens is the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA) at the U.S. Department of State. Mr. Carstens was the former Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the U.S. Department of State, where he oversaw the Bureau’s work in Near Eastern Affairs, Western Hemisphere Affairs, and the Office of Security and Human Rights. Previously, he served in Amman, Jordan, as the Country Director for a U.S.-based INGO that provided humanitarian assistance and stability support to Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons. Prior positions include Senior Civilian Advisor on the Commander’s Advisory and Assistance Team (CAAT) in Afghanistan; Project Director for an INGO based in Somalia; Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security; and Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Mr. Carstens is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel who served in Special Forces and the 1st Ranger Battalion. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and holds master’s degrees from the U.S. Naval War College and St. John’s College. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
41:03 06/07/2022
#98 Arun Seraphin on the SASC and Emerging Technology
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Dr Arun Seraphin discusses his 20+ years as a Professional Staff Member on the staff of the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services. He describes differences between the US Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the way Congress thinks about and evaluates national security emerging tech. Arun shares he communicates as a “connector” between emerging technology thought leaders in industry and academia and Congressional leaders. Finally, he describes NDIA’s Emerging Technologies Institute and how he continues connecting people and technology. Resources: NDIA Emerging Technologies Institute  Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-98 Guest Bio:  Dr. Arun Seraphin is the Deputy Director of Emerging Technologies Institute (ETI) at National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA). Before joining the ETI team, a Professional Staff Member on the staff of the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services. His areas of responsibility include acquisition policy, Pentagon management issues, Department of Defense’s science and technology programs, information technology systems, technology transition issues, defense laboratories, Small Business Innovation Research program, manufacturing programs, and test and evaluation programs. As such he assists Senators in their oversight of DOD policies and programs, including in the authorization of budgets, civilian nominations, legislative initiatives, and hearings. He rejoined the committee staff in 2014, after previously serving there between 2001 and 2010. In 2009, he was named one of ten Defense “Staffers to Know” by Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper. From 2010 to 2014, Dr. Seraphin served as the Principal Assistant Director for National Security and International Affairs at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). During this time, he both led (in an Acting capacity) and served as the deputy director of the OSTP National Security and International Affairs division. His areas of responsibility included developing and implementing White House initiatives and policies in areas including defense research and engineering; weapons of mass destruction; defense manufacturing and industrial base; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education; cybersecurity; and promoting innovation in government research and engineering organizations. He also led interagency groups on small business programs and on improving the quality of the Federal STEM workforce. He was on detail to OSTP from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he was the Special Assistant for Policy Initiatives to the Director of DARPA. Dr. Seraphin has also worked on the United States House of Representatives Committee on Science’s Subcommittee on Research as a professional staff member. He began his work in Congress in the Office of Senator Joseph Lieberman as the 1999-2000 Materials Research Society – Optical Society of America Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow. In these positions, he covered both civilian and defense research and development programs. Between 1996 and 2000, Dr. Seraphin worked in the Science and Technology Division of the Institute for Defense Analyses, where his research included work on defense technology transition, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), export controls, technology forecasting, and international research cooperation. His work included detailed technical analyses supporting the DARPA MEMS program, the Army Science and Technology Master Plan, and the Military Critical Technologies Program. In 1996, Dr. Seraphin earned a Ph.D. in Electronic Materials from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he performed research on silicon nanotechnology. His research focused on the development of novel silicon nanostructures and tailoring their optical properties. He also holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science with a concentration in American Government and Engineering Science with a concentration in Materials Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
47:05 05/31/2022
#97 Christina Nemr on Counter-Extremism
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Christina Nemr discusses counter-extremism, counter-disinformation, instability, and conflict. After reviewing why so many interventions for both extremism and disinformation tend to fall short, Christina mentions some tactics or approaches that show promise. Resources: Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #56 Bob Jones on Governance #84 Suzanne Spaulding on Disinformation, the Foreign Malign Influence Center, and Civics Attitudinal Inoculation Integrative Complexity Civic Engagement The need for cognitive closure by Arie Kruglanski and Shira Fishman Integrative Complexity Interventions to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism by Christina Nemr and Sara Savage South Africa Vaccine Hesitancy Campaign Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-97 Guest Bio: Christina Nemr is a consultant and entrepreneur addressing challenges in the information environment that yield instability and conflict. She has worked on counter-extremism policy and programming for the past decade in collaboration with governments, civil society, academia, and the private sector, with increasing focus on mitigating the psychological and social factors that facilitate susceptibility to extremism and disinformation. She started her career as an advisor with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism, where she was a founding member of the countering violent extremism program. She has degrees in International Relations and Forensic Psychology.  About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
33:41 05/24/2022
#96 Emma Briant on Computational Propaganda and Public Trust
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Dr. Emma Briant discusses computational propaganda and her ongoing efforts to illuminate the magnitude of the problem. She reviews the findings of her recent research and gives examples with current events. Resources: How Russia benefits from ill-informed social media policies  by Dr. Emma L. Briant The Grim Consequences of a Misleading Study on Disinformation by Dr. Emma L. Briant Government efforts to counter propaganda risk undermining public trust by Dr. Emma L. Briant 'Afternoon Tea & Truth Biscuits' Emma’s regular YouTube show discussing propaganda with the experts 'Propaganda & Counterterrorism: Strategies for Global Change' (by Emma Briant, Manchester University Press, 2015) 'Routledge Handbook on the Influence Industry' (co-Edited by Emma Briant & Vian Bakir, coming 2023) Book: 'Propaganda Machine: Inside Cambridge Analytica and the 'Bad Influence' Industry' (Forthcoming) Dr Emma Briant's Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/emmalbriant Website: www.emma-briant.co.uk Project page: www.propagandamachine.tech Twitter: @emmalbriant Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-96 Guest Bio: Dr. Emma L Briant is a scholar in political communication who researches contemporary propaganda and information warfare, its governance in an age of mass-surveillance and its implications for democracy, security, inequality and human rights. She is presently an Associate at the Centre for Financial Reporting & Accountability at University of Cambridge and a Fellow at Central European University Center for Media, Data and Society. Dr Briant has a particular research focus on the actors behind influence operations and analyzed the coordination and increasing impacts of the digitalization of defense propaganda for her recent book Propaganda and Counter-Terrorism: Strategies for Global Change (Manchester University Press, 2015). Dr Briant’s testimony was central in exposing Cambridge Analytica and its parent company SCL and continues to inform international inquiries and policymaking including the US Congress, UK Parliament, Canadian Parliament and European Parliament. She has advised politicians, NGO’s and Big Tech companies on threats posed by the opaque digital influence industry, disinformation and contemporary influence operations. Dr Briant’s first book was Bad News for Refugees, (Pluto Press, 2013, co-authored with Greg Philo and Pauline Donald), examined UK political and media discourse on migration prior to ‘Brexit’. She served as advisor for a film for ‘People You May Know’, a recent Emmy-nominated documentary on Amazon Prime and previously, as Senior Researcher for Oscar-shortlisted Netflix film ‘The Great Hack’. She is now finalizing her third book Propaganda Machine: Inside Cambridge Analytica and the Digital Influence Industry and working on a fourth the co-edited Routledge Handbook on the Influence Industry with Vian Bakir, Bangor University, UK. Dr Briant also contributes journalism and op-eds to major outlets and is owner of Maven of Persuasion LLC a consultancy that advises and trains on disinformation threats and ethics in influence. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
51:02 05/17/2022
#95 LtGen Matthew Glavy on MCDP 8 Information
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, the Deputy Commandant for Information, Lt. Gen. Matthew Glavy discussed the Marine Corps newest doctrinal pub: MCDP 8 Information. MCDP 8 is the Marine Corps’ capstone service doctrine that describes the purpose and mechanics of the Information warfighting function. The Marine Corps information warfighting function is a framework that Marines use to plan and execute operations for the purpose of creating and exploiting information advantages in pursuit of mission objectives, in any warfighting domain. Resources: Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #38 Lori Reynolds on Operations in the Information Environment #70 William Hess on the Information Environment and Adapting the Military #13 Brian Russell on Behind Enemy Lines Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Information ESTABLISHMENT OF THE INFORMATION MANEUVER 1700 OCCUPATIONAL FIELD 17XX Guide posted on the DC I Website for your reference Information as a Joint Function MARINE CORPS BULLETIN 5400 ESTABLISHMENT OF INFORMATION AS THE SEVENTH MARINE CORPS WARFIGHTING FUNCTION MCDP 8, Information: A new Marine Corps doctrine for the information warfighting function by Mr. Eric X. Schaner https://mca-marines.org/wp-content/uploads/MCDP-8-Information.pdf Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-95 Guest Bio: Lieutenant General Glavy was commissioned in May 1986 through the United States Naval Academy. Upon receiving his wings in September of 1988, he was selected to fly the CH-46 Sea Knight. Assignments in the Operating Forces include: Weapons and Tactics Instructor and Embark Officer, HMM-261 (REIN); Aircraft Maintenance Officer, and Executive Officer, HMM-265 (REIN); Current Operations Officer, G-3, 1st MAW; Commanding Officer, HMM-265 (REIN); Commanding General, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, and Commanding General, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command. Assignments in the Supporting Establishment include: Platoon Commander, Officer Candidate School; Operational Test Director, White House Liaison Officer, Presidential Command Pilot and Commanding Officer, HMX-1. Headquarters and Staff Assignments: Plans, Policy and Operation, HQMC; Information Operations, Joint Staff J3; HQMC Aviation, Expeditionary Enablers Branch; Assistant Deputy Commandant for Aviation, Marine Corps Staff; Deputy Director of Current Operations, United States Cyber Command. Military Education: The Amphibious Warfare School, Marine Corps Command and Staff College and Marine Corps War College. Master’s degrees in both Military Studies and Strategic Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering from the United States Naval Academy About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn.
36:41 05/10/2022
#94 Lisa DeFalco on Communications Analysis
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Lisa DeFalco discusses her 25-year journey in the business of communications analysis. Her firm’s newest AI based technology, Anna, is transforming TPG into an industry leading customer experience technology firm. Their platform evaluates communication effectiveness on a series of over 300 identified communication behaviors. We discuss implications and applications of this technology. Resources: TPG, Inc. Cognitive Crucible Episode #25 Alan Kelly on Mapping the Strategies of IO Actors Alan Kelly Obituary Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-94 Guest Bio:  Lisa DeFalco founded the Independent Quality Assurance market, starting both an industry and a movement with the phrase “this call may be monitored for quality assurance.” Opening TPG in 1996, Lisa has designed the methodology that the Fortune 500 uses to define a “good call.” That methodology is in place among the largest corporations on the globe in 9 countries and 13 languages, and applied across 180 million interactions and growing. Throughout Lisa’s 30 years in the contact center industry, she has served on the industry’s trade association (American TeleServices Association/PACE) as its Board of Director Chairwoman. During her 12-year tenure as the Chairwoman and Board officer, she has met with governmental regulators and members of Congress to advocate the value of contact centers in support of American business communication with consumers. During her tenure, she formed the industry’s Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) with the cooperation of industry and federal regulators to define compliant consumer protection standards for contact center communication, earning leadership recognition for federal and state regulatory compliance knowledge. As the CEO of TPG, Inc., Lisa is the visionary behind TPG’s products, delivery model, and the innovative path to incorporate its proprietary evaluation methods within AI technology, including their newest AI based technology Anna, transforming TPG into an industry leading CX technology firm. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
39:02 05/03/2022
#93 Todd Huntley on Information Operations & the Law
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Captain Todd Huntley USN (ret.) shares his perspective on legal considerations related to information operations. Todd draws upon decades of operational law experience as a judge advocate for USSOCCOM and a senior legal advisor for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Threat Reduction and Arms Control. Resources: Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #63 Mike Vickers on IO and the Cyclops #53 Clint Watts on Domestic Extremism #84 Suzanne Spaulding on Disinformation, the Foreign Malign Influence Center, and Civics #41 Toomas Ilves on the Estonian Perspective https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-41 Controlling the Use of Force in Cyberspace: the Application of the Law of Armed Conflict During a Time of Fundamental Change in the Nature of Warfare by Todd Huntley Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare by Thomas Rid Nothing Is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-93 Guest Bio: Todd Huntley is the Director of the National Security Law Program and a Lecturer in Law at Georgetown University Law Center. In addition to teaching, Todd develops curriculum as well as other educational and professional development programs for students focusing on National Security Law. Todd is a retired Navy Captain and served as an active duty Judge Advocate for more than 23 years. Prior to joining Georgetown he was a Professor of National Security Law at The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville. He previously served as the Directory of the Navy’s National Security Law Division. While at the Pentagon he served as a Special Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Threat Reduction and Arms Control as well as a member of the Senior Review Group for a Joint Staff study on hybrid threats. Todd has extensive operational law experience supporting the Special Operations community. He served as the Chief, Information Operations Law at US Special Operations Command and as the legal advisor to the Joint Military Information Support Command, as well as the SJA, Special Operations Command Central and Combined Forces Special Operations Command where he deployed to Qatar, Iraq, Yemen, and other locations in the Middle East. He also served as the legal advisor for US Special Operations Command, National Capital Region. Todd deployed to Afghanistan twice with a Joint Special Operations Task Force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and has supported a Joint Special Operations Task Force conducting world-wide counter-terrorism missions. CAPT Huntley has a B.A. in International Affairs and a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati, as well as an M.A. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn.
39:51 04/26/2022
#92 Patrick Williams on the Weather and IO
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, USAF Col Pat Williams discusses the weather, information operations, and how the 557th Wing predicts and influences behavior. After describing the mission and capabilities of the Air Force’s only weather wing, Pat also discusses the 557th Wing’s recent realignment as a subordinate unit of the 16th Air Force. He reviews several historical examples where weather played a critical role in military operations–including the very first tornado forecast. Then, he discusses how weather analyses are playing an increasing role in influence and decision-making at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. Resources: How weather is playing a role in information warfare USAF 557th Weather Wing Col Pat Williams Bio The First Operational Tornado Forecast Twenty Million to One "You are about to set a precedent." - Gen. Fred S. Borum The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850 by  Brian M. Fagan Agent of Influence: How to Use Spy Skills to Persuade Anyone, Sell Anything, and Build a Successful Business by Jason Hansen Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism by Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, Ronald Rychlak Gen. Ian Pacepa Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-90 Guest Bio:  Colonel Patrick C. Williams is the Commander, 557th Weather Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha Nebraska. He leads more than 1,450 active duty and civil service personnel at 19 locations around the world providing centralized weather insights, products and services, including climatological and electromagnetic spectrum degradation forecasts, to Air Force, Space Force, Army, Joint Force, and other Department of Defense activities. The 557th Weather Wing executes worldwide weather operations to enable air and space superiority, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, rapid mobility, global strike, and command and control in support of all geographic and functional combatant commands. Colonel Williams received his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in May 1998. He became well versed in aviation, cyber, space, intelligence, and Army operations and held a wide variety of positions to include 2d Weather Group Commander, 19th Expeditionary Weather Squadron Commander, command weather briefer, flight commander, staff officer for Air, Army, and Joint Staffs, program element monitor, executive officer and aide-de-camp. Colonel Williams served two combat tours in Iraq (as flight commander) and Afghanistan (as 19th Expeditionary Weather Squadron Commander) respectively. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
51:50 04/19/2022
#91 Denver Dill on the Arts and Music
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, US Army Sergeant Major Denver Dill discusses how music and the arts can be used as tools of influence. Our wide ranging conversation covers the role of music in military operations to the theme park experience to movies to sports. Resources: Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #19 Ash Holzmann on PsyOps #35 Jessica Dawson on Social Media Weaponization #34 Emma Chiu on Global Trends and Market Intelligence #14 BDJ on Threatcasting The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet by Jeff Kosseff Jeff Kosseff's website West Point SS493 Music & Influence Reading List The Social Psychology of Music, Edited by David J. Hargreaves & Adrian C. North Music and Conflict Transformation Harmonies and Dissonances in GEO Politics, Edited by Olivier Urbain Jazz Diplomacy, Promoting America In The Cold War Era, Lisa E. Davenport Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas Hofstadter Propaganda and Persuasion New and Classic Essays, Garth S. Jowett & Victoria O’Donnell Chronicles of a black musician, Charles Jones Game Theory and Strategy, Philip D. Straffin 33 Revolutions per minute: A History of Protest songs from Billie Holiday to Green Day, Dorian Lynskey Playing for Change: Music and Musicians in the service of social movements, Rob Rosenthal and Richard Flacks Talkin' 'bout a revolution: Music and social change in America, Dick Weissman Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails | How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War, Tom Wheeler Tracking the Audience – The Ratings Industry from Analog to Digital, Karen Buzzard Radicalism & Music, Jonathan Pieslak Slave Songs of the United States, unknown author – Forgotten Books American Ballads and Folk Songs, John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax The American Songbag Carl Sandburg Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-91 Guest Bio: Sergeant Major Denver Dill is a member of the West Point Band and an instructor of American Politics at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. He has developed the course SS493 Music & Influence which he teaches in the Department of Social Sciences.  He also serves as a co-founder and researcher in the West Point Music Research Center and as the Army Music Analytics Team Leader.  He has taught and assisted in several departments including the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Department of Systems Engineering, Department of English and Philosophy as well as with the Army Cyber Institute. As a trumpet player Sergeant Major Dill has been a prize winner in several national and international competitions. Additionally, Sergeant Major Dill has appeared as both a soloist and a principal trumpet player with the New York Philharmonic and has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Brass. Prior to coming to the United States Military Academy Sergeant Major Dill was a doctoral teaching assistant at the Eastman School of Music. He holds degrees from Juilliard and Eastern Kentucky University and holds certifications in: Lean Six Sigma, Security+, and Influence in Special Operations. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
42:02 04/12/2022
#90 Dave Acosta on Informationally Disadvantaged
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, COL Dave Acosta discusses a draft article which represents his thinking about the early phases of the Ukraine War entitled: Informationally Disadvantaged: The Realities of Information and War in Ukraine. Resources: Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #16 Boyd Brown on Deception Technology #9 Mike Jackson and Paul Lieber on Are We Our Own Worst Enemy? #2 Austin Branch, the US Army’s First Information Operations officer #20 Chris Paul on the Firehose of Falsehood #10 Tom Kent on Striking Back #45 Carm Cicalese on Risk Facebook allows war posts urging violence against Russian invaders Facebook parent Meta now says you actually can’t post ‘Death to Putin’ Like War by Peter Singer War in 140 Characters: How Social Media Is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century by David Patrikarakos Dave Acosta’s email for the Ghost Post: david.a.acosta.mil@army.mil Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-90 Guest Bio: COL David Acosta is currently a student at the US Army War College at Carlisle Barracks PA. He was commissioned as an Army Field Artillery officer in May 1998 from the United States Air Force Academy. He served at various levels throughout his career from the company/battery level to Division staff and at the Headquarters, Department of the Army G-3/5/7. He commanded the 303d Information Operations (IO) Battalion, 151st Theater IO Group at Camp Parks CA for 49 months, and recently served as the G3 Information Operations (IO) Chief for the US Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne). His operational tours include Company Fire Support Officer, B/2-2 Infantry, OPERATION JOINT GUARDIAN in Kosovo, HQ Stabilization Forces IO Planner, OPERATION JOINT FORGE in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and IO Planner and Deputy G7, OPERATIONs IRAQI FREEDOM and NEW DAWN in Iraq. COL Acosta holds a Bachelors of Science in History (Russian Area) from the US Air Force Academy and a Master of Science in Joint Information Operations from the Naval Postgraduate School. He is the author of The Makara of Hizballah: Deception in the 2006 Summer War. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
38:54 04/05/2022
#89 Ajit Maan and Paul Cobaugh on Narrative
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Dr. Ajit Maan and Mr. Paul Cobaugh of Narrative Strategies discuss the importance of narrative–especially when it comes to operationalizing influence. Resources: Narrative Strategies Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #83 Joseph Lee on Jung and Archetypes Introduction to Narrative Warfare: A Primer and Study Guide Narrative Warfare by Ajit Maan Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-89 Guest Bio: Dr. Ajit Maan is a security and defense policy analyst and a specialist in narrative strategies in radicalization processes. She is also the author of seven books & is the CEO|Founder of Narrative Strategies. Mr. Paul Cobaugh retired from the US Army as a Warrant Officer after a distinguished career in the US Special Operations Counter-Terrorism  community, primarily focused on mitigating adversarial influence and advancing US objectives by way of influence. She is also an adjunct professor at the Joint Special Operations University (JSOU) Ajit Maan, Ph.D. is a security and defense policy analyst and a specialist in narrative strategies in radicalization processes. She is Professor of Practice at the Center for the Future of War and Member of the Brain Trust of the Weaponized Narrative Initiative at Arizona State University, as well as Affiliate Faculty at George Mason University's Center for Narrative Conflict Resolution. She is the author of seven books including Internarrative Identity: Placing the Self,  Counter-Terrorism: Narrative Strategies, Narrative Warfare, Plato's Fear and Co-Editor of Soft Power on Hard Problems: Strategic Influence in Irregular Warfare. Her articles have appeared in Foreign Policy, The Strategy Bridge,  Small Wars Journal,  Real Clear Defense, Stars and Stripes, The Indian Defense Review, Indian Military Review, Defense, Intelligence Norway, and other policy and military strategy journals. Mr. Paul Cobaugh retired from the US Army as a Warrant Officer after a distinguished career in the US Special Operations CT community, primarily focused on mitigating adversarial influence and advancing US objectives by way of influence. Throughout his career he has focused on the centrality of influence in modern conflict whether it be from extremist organizations or state actors employing influence against the US and our Allies. Post military career he accepted the position of VP at Narrative Strategies, a US based Think-Do Tank which specializes in the non-kinetic aspects of conflict. He believes that Narrative Strategies' cutting-edge focus on leading with non-kinetic influence is the future of national security efforts. He is the author of Modern Day Minutemen and Women or how to save the 2020 Elections. He has also co-authored, Narrative Warfare, Primer and Study Guide and Soft Power on Hard Problems, Hamilton Publishing, 2017. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
53:00 03/29/2022
#88 Courtney Cano and Kaitlyn Tierney on Diverting Hate
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Courtney Cano and Kaitlyn Tierney, who are graduate students at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MMIS), discuss their award-winning project: Diverting Hate. Their team studied the ways in which radicalization proliferates online–especially misogyny and involuntary celibacy (incel) culture–and developed prevention methods to help individuals build resiliency. Resources: Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned #4 Tony Sgro on Education, Terrorism, and Information Operations   Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MMIS) Diverting Hate Website Diverting Hate Contest Winning Youtube Presentation 2014 Isla Vista killings Middlebury students take home top prize in national competition Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-88 Guest Bios:  Kaitlyn Tierney is a passionate leader aspiring to bridge the gaps of technology and policy through conflict resolution, innovative counterterrorism, and empathy. Inspired to take action to heal our ever-polarizing country, Kaitlyn decided to pursue her master’s in policy in 2021 to connect with experts in extremism to address radicalization on social media. Previously, she spent six years in brand marketing, assisting to develop the brand of a successful personal finance technology company, Credit Karma. Aside from my career aspirations, Kaitlyn is a big believer in living life to the fullest. She finds joy in being outdoors skiing and surfing, as well as traveling this beautiful country via her Subaru Forester.  As a first-generation college student, Courtney Cano is a proud product of the public sphere and was fortunate as a child to be immersed in well-funded public schools, libraries, and after school programs. By all accounts, Courtney has made the best of public institutions to advance her station in life. However, this is by no means equally, or even similarly feasible for everyone. Whether by race, ethnicity, ability, sex, gender, economic status, or the likes, Courtney believes that all have varying degrees of privilege. As such, she has always had an interest in access and equity in both the government and society. Courtney's studies in Political Science, Religion, and Philosophy at Middlebury College were generalist and explored both the philosophical and observed aspects of governance on a national scale. After college, however, she found myself drawn towards the kind of community-building and empathetic advocacy that is necessary to address radicalization after experiencing the polarization and radicalization of her own father. Catalyzed to take action, Courtney decided to pursue her master’s to explore the nexus between policy, society, and innovative counter extremism measures. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
25:23 03/22/2022
#87 Lori Reynolds and Austin Branch on the Phoenix Challenge
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Lori Reynolds and Austin Branch (along with over 40 additional IPA members) discuss the upcoming Phoenix Challenge conference, which will be held on April 26-28, 2022 at the Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS) on the University of Maryland campus. LtGen Reynolds also discusses the Marine Corps’ recent announcement regarding the Information Maneuver Occupational Field (OCcFld 1700). Resources: Phoenix Challenge Conference Marine Corps Establishment of the Information Maneuver 1700 Occupational Field Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS) Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-87 Guest Bios:  Mr. Austin Branch is an Information Operations pioneer, practitioner and leader. He holds the distinction of being the Army’s very first Information Operations officer when that career field was just forming, and while in uniform, he served at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. Since retirement from the Army, Mr. Branch served in several senior executive civilian roles within the Department of Defense which focused on information operations, cyber, and counter-terrorism. He is also a founding board member of the Information Professionals Association. Lori Reynolds retired as a Lieutenant General after a 35 year career in the United States Marine Corps. Her service culminated as the Deputy Commandant for Information, a newly established Deputy Commandant that recognized the growing importance of Information, cyberspace and digital technologies and the new warfighting domains of space and cyberspace. During her career, she commanded Marines at every rank, including command of formations in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a General Officer, she commanded the Marine Corps iconic recruit depot at Parris Island SC, where she was responsible for recruiting and training 20,000 new Marines per year. She subsequently commanded Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command, where she completed the build of the Marine Corps’ newest warfighting component and was responsible for the Marine Corps first ever cyber effects operations in support of the Joint Force. In her time as the Deputy Commandant for Information, Lori was responsible for all IT, intelligence, cyberspace, space and influence personnel and capability development for the Marine Corps. She led the team that created the Marine Corps newest warfighting function of Information, acknowledging the growing importance of the fight for secure information and data. She also led the development of the cyberspace occupational field for the Marine Corps and initiated the creation of a new Marine component for US Space Command. Lori served as the senior woman in the Marine Corps for 8 years and is an expert in team building, leading diverse teams, managing complexity, risk and talent management, and organizational change management. In her last 6 years in the Marine Corps, she was a member of the Marine Corps Corporate Board reponsible for collaboratively planning $50B annually to support USMC missions and capability development globally. Her executive responsibilities included Deputy Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer for the Marine Corps, Director of Cyber Security, and Director of Intelligence. Lori earned a BS in political science from the United States Naval Academy, a MS from the Navy War College and an MS from Army War College. She has voluntarily served as the Chairperson of the Board for the Sea Services Leadership Association and is a member of the Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association. She was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2020 and was the inaugural recipient of the Admiral Grace Hopper award at the National Defense University’s College of Information and Cyberspace. She is also a member of the Information Professionals Association. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
44:40 03/15/2022
#86 Nick Starck and David Bierbrauer on Vulnerabilities in the Military Use of AI
The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association. During this episode, Nick Starck and David Bierbrauer discuss their recent article: Understanding—and Mitigating—Vulnerabilities in the Military Use of AI. After recapping four categories of adversarial methods, they discuss implications and the need to keep humans in the loop. Resources: Understanding—and Mitigating—Vulnerabilities in the Military Use of AI by Nick Starck, David Bierbrauer and Paul Maxwell Google Maps Live Traffic Showed the Russian Invasion of Ukraine Google Turns Off Maps Features in Ukraine That Inadvertently Showed Russia’s Invasion IPA Members Only Event registration Join IPA Phoenix Challenge 2022 Link to full show notes and resources https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-86 Guest Bios: Captain Nick Starck is a US Army cyber officer currently assigned as a research scientist at the Army Cyber Institute. His research focuses on information warfare and data privacy. Captain David (Dave) Bierbrauer is a signal officer in the US Army. He earned a master of science in engineering degree for applied mathematics and statistics from the Johns Hopkins University in 2021. Captain Bierbrauer is currently a data engineer and data scientist at the Army Cyber Institute. About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain. For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org. Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, 1) IPA earns from qualifying purchases, 2) IPA gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
33:33 03/08/2022