Sunday, April 5, 2015

Open Source Insurgency

In Open Source Warfare, the source code of warfare is available for anyone who is interested in both modifying and extending it. This means the tactics, weapons, strategies, target selection, planning methods, and team dynamics are all open to community improvement. Global guerrillas can hack at the source code of warfare to their hearts’ delight. The only caveat is that any changes need to be perceived as valuable to the advancement of the plausible promise.

Here’s a shorthand to the philosophy of hacking warfare I’ve created by adapting Eric S. Raymond’s rules from “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” to warfare:

Release (software updates) early and often. Don’t wait for a perfect plan. In war, this means try new forms of attacks against different types of targets as soon and as often as possible.

Given a large enough group of codevelopers, any problem will be seen as obvious and solved by someone. Linus Torvald, the coordinator behind Linux—one of the most successful open-source software projects—coined a law: “Given enough eyeballs, all [software] bugs are shallow.” If enough insurgents attempt to attack a target using different tactics, eventually some participant will find a way to succeed.

Your codevelopers (beta testers) are your most valuable resource. The other guerrilla networks in the bazaar make for valuable allies. They will innovate on your original plans, swarm on identified weaknesses, and create protective system noise.

Recognize good ideas from your codevelopers. Simple attacks that have an immediate and far-reaching impact should be adopted.

Perfection is achieved when there is nothing left to take away (simplicity). The easier the attack is, the more easily it will be adopted. Complexity prevents swarming that both amplifies and protects.

Tools are often used in unexpected ways. An attack method can often be reused in unexpected ways.

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