Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Doom Patrol



At a panel at Wiscon last weekend, "Making War on 'War'," we had a hearty discussion of my goofy notion that the GWOT would be much more successful if it were being prosecuted as a netwar by a bunch of cyberpunk hacker types, rather than as a war among states run by grizzled cold warriors commanding WWII-style armies and fleets. Now USA Today reports the following of interest. Niven and Pournelle et al. part of a science fictional Homeland Security advisory board, code-name Sigma. Not sure these are the writers I had in mind...

"Sci-fi writers join war on terror

By Mimi Hall, USA TODAY

Looking to prevent the next terrorist attack, the Homeland Security Department is tapping into the wild imaginations of a group of self-described "deviant" thinkers: science-fiction writers.

"We spend our entire careers living in the future," says author Arlan Andrews, one of a handful of writers the government brought to Washington this month to attend a Homeland Security conference on science and technology.

Those responsible for keeping the nation safe from devastating attacks realize that in addition to border agents, police and airport screeners, they "need people to think of crazy ideas," Andrews says.

The writers make up a group called Sigma, which Andrews put together 15 years ago to advise government officials. The last time the group gathered was in the late 1990s, when members met with government scientists to discuss what a post-nuclear age might look like, says group member Greg Bear. He has written 30 sci-fi books, including the best seller Darwin's Radio.

Now, the Homeland Security Department is calling on the group to help with the government's latest top mission of combating terrorism."

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1 comment:

Emperor said...

Interestingly, I've been musing about the idea of using mimetic engineering against one's enemies. All you'd really need is a group of sci-fi authors prepared to develop and help deploy, a Weapon of Mimetic Distraction and...

Hmmmmmm.