Defense Department Wants To Be A Better Storyteller

800px-DARPA_LogoAaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

The folks at DARPA, the Defense Department Advanced Research Project, put a call out for those interested to attend a workshop held at the end of February to understand what role “theories of narrative play in security domains.”

In other words, the Pentagon wants to learn more about storytelling, because a better understanding of “the role stories play in a security context is a matter of great import and some urgency.” To summarize, the Stories, Neuroscience and Experimental Technologies (STORyNET) workshop was held on the 28th with three goals:

To survey narrative theories – understanding the nature of a story and what makes one up.

To better understand the role of narrative in security contexts – asking what role stories play in political radicalization and how they influence participants in politics.

To survey the state of the art in narrative analysis and decomposition tools – “How can we take stories and make them quantitatively analyzable in a rigorous, transparent and repeatable fashion? Are particular approaches or tools better than others for understanding how stories propagate in a system so as to influence behavior.” (emphasis mine)

The Defense Department has always had an interest in collecting information – from the mass data mining project that was the Total Information Awareness Office (defunded in 2003, with some pieces shifted to other agencies) to “capturing knowledge” for analysis and use with artificial intelligence. The Pentagon has also maintained a very cozy relationship with the mainstream media, embedding reporters in military units and providing plenty of its analysts to propagate its agenda. One would think the DoD already has a handle on storytelling.

Read the full post at Diatribe Media

, , , ,

  • DeepCough

    So the government holds workshops on how to lie ever better–who knew?

  • DeepCough

    So the government holds workshops on how to lie ever better–who knew?

  • DeepCough

    So the government holds workshops on how to lie ever better–who knew?

  • DeepCough

    So the government holds workshops on how to lie ever better–who knew?

  • Guest

    This is largely for purposes of building simulators. There is a huge push for ‘cultural simulations’ and their current fantasy is a culture-based MMO. Send people into virtual training before getting out on the front lines. How to deal with foreigners and get the information you want. You can’t do that very well if you don’t understand the cultures you are simulating and how to piece together a mission narrative. In other words, you can think of this as one piece of “how do we design a game to emulate the social warzone?” Of course, you can’t just slap together something fun and exciting that teaches you a skillset like in a typical game; this is serious business! The more scientific you can make it sound the more legitimate you will seem to your superiors.

  • Guest

    This is largely for purposes of building simulators. There is a huge push for ‘cultural simulations’ and their current fantasy is a culture-based MMO. Send people into virtual training before getting out on the front lines. How to deal with foreigners and get the information you want. You can’t do that very well if you don’t understand the cultures you are simulating and how to piece together a mission narrative. In other words, you can think of this as one piece of “how do we design a game to emulate the social warzone?” Of course, you can’t just slap together something fun and exciting that teaches you a skillset like in a typical game; this is serious business! The more scientific you can make it sound the more legitimate you will seem to your superiors.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Changed the title to “Darpa wants to know how to better entice the public into watching their mind-controlling propaganda by writing better stories”

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Changed the title to “Darpa wants to know how to better entice the public into watching their mind-controlling propaganda by writing better stories”