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  • cato
    replied
    Thanks those are some great ideas to go and explore. Will have a look at those books

    My interests were more around influence rather than control but I guess its a matter of extent, thinking North Korea etc. I can definitely see what you mean about the tin hat brigade when it comes to notions of population control and conspiracy theory. Interesting sure but very difficult to confirm or measure.

    Think I'll read up a bit and definitely spend a bit more time in the SE village next year. In the meantime its great to see popular media portraying the hacker world more accurately through 'Mr Robot'. Hopefully there will be more good stuff like that to appear in popular culture in the future.

    Anyway thanks again

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  • TheCotMan
    replied
    Originally posted by cato View Post
    excuse me for coming out of the blue like this but Ive been coming to defcon for the past few years and ive noticed some really interesting things about how its been developing. One thing is how its expanded into new territory year after year
    and some of the principles of hacking have been applied to a new whole load of disciplines. Secondly the term hacking seems to have a dual meaning. the first being the offensive term used relating to breaking (into) differnet systems. the second more widely
    maybe more acceptable relating to discovering and breaking new ways of doing things for all of our own good. So maybe the first is more destructive (not necessarily in a bad way) and the second (not necesarilly in a good way!) creative.

    Biohacking was the eye opener for me this year. Seeing how we can can really help craft the future in a way everyone can recognise - its absolutely fasicanting.

    The former hacking techniques can be applied to so many different disciplines. Listening to a presentation about propaganda reaffimed that for me this year. Ive seen it done accross the board but the same applies with the latter

    What Im thinking about now is a form of social hacking or hacking society. In the old days hacker sites and bulletin boards had a number of areas of interst. looked something like HMKVA etc, so youd have hacking carding phreaking blah balh. I remember anarchy and drugs being on there. This year we had presenattions about drugs in the bio village which to me are fair game and valid
    Im considering anarchy now as a fair game topic but not under that name.
    Personally Ive had an anarchist mindset for most of my life more detail than Id be prepared to share. I dont have the technical skills of most people who attend the con but I still feel i fit in there and it feels like home

    Getting to the point many of us share a similar liberal/inquisitive outlook. We may belong to diffent subcultures but we are DEFINTELYnot the same as most of the guys and girls walking round Vegas.

    What can we do as the minority? This is a whole sphere - society is rigged and we're gifted not be to be controlled like that. Can we hack this? SE is from the prior category I mentioned - it looks at how we can hack the human, what Im getting at it is how we can mod society? were already doing it, but if we put our mind to it as a discipline fuck who knows what we can do?

    Going to the raves back in the 90s were the hacylon days for me and many others - it seemed like a new world - no one could tell me that counterculture has not had an effect on modern day life. fashion is more powerful than anything propaganda included.
    Id say the 60s also - HUGE changes
    sometimes its just the music and the attitude so can we hack that? well maybe we just need to flow with it. its not anarchy but its shaping the world in a more powerful way than any politicans speech

    Does this even qualify for defcon?

    If nothing else I can probably help setting up a massive old school rave next year That would blow the fucking roof off :)
    Ideas on altering the thinking of populations is not new. The old history of such topics was usually considered a bit of a crackpot, tinfoil-hat wearing, conspiracy theory, including references to "MK Ultra" , "Fluoride in drinking water" , "subliminal messages" , "hypnotism" , "remote brainwashing" and similar topics. Hacking seems to consider ideas that are outside usual education like these that are listed, but not just believe they are true. Instead, try to find if there is any basis in fact, or if they can be debunked or demonstrated as effective. These areas pretty much remain "tinfoil hat" territory, but different names, or ideas related to these often resurface for evaluation.

    Consider "Social Engineering." This is a name applied to a system of work that includes items that have been repeatedly *demonstrated* to work and many of the tools have been reused by others independently. Those ideas, tools and systems that work and are repeatable are added to toolboxes, while those ideas that do not, are not. System of Social Engineering are not new. In the darkest space, the name "con artists" , "Flim-Flam people" , and the lesser skilled "scammer" have been applied to people using techniques of persuasion to socially engineer people to participate in something they might not have otherwise done. These systems are well tested, and have been demonstrated as profitable. People have gone to jail for using them to break laws. We still have topics on Social Engineering at DEF CON because the tools have been demonstrated to work.

    Another topic of "Neuro-Linguistics" / "Neuro Linguistic Programming" / "N/L" / "NL" / "NLP" has come up before too. From what I can tell, those elements of NLP that are effective and repeatable are "borrowed" by Social Engineering, leaving behind the unproven ideas in NLP and things that can't reliably be reproduced.

    Back to the topic of programming populations...

    Programming a population is not something that we can easily test scientifically. We do not have an identical "control" group population to not test while testing or or more identical experimental groups. It is not a kind of topic that people can take to their basement and play with. The science of being able to test various ideas is beyond the funding of most individuals.

    Outside of this, we have evidence of claims on not "controlling" a population but being able to "influence" them. Consider books like "Thinking Fast and Slow" , "Nudge" and pretty much any book on modern advertising. Consider books of *faith* like Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" -- any work of fiction with an idea to "prove" (demonstrate) can be "shown" to work because fiction will end the way the writer wants it to end. (This is all about having control of a narrative.)

    Systems of advertising are effective, or they are not. If they are not effective, some very smart people have been wasting tons of money on advertising for hundreds if not thousands of years. If we assume advertising is effective at influencing consumer behaviour, can it be applied to populations outside of consumerism? It likely has and is being applied to populations by governments, and political parties. If it is possible to influence a population to buy goods and services, it is possible to influence a population to vote.

    Tools of influence that are most effective involve narratives that exploit changes to our thoughts when confronted with:
    * Death : our own mortality, limited life-span of us and people we care about -- tends to change our priorities
    * Sex : Effectively, the desire to procreate which is claimed to be tied to mortality -- reproducing fertile offspring is kind of like limited immortality for some of your genes.
    * Power : having power over your enemies, influence over your friend, productized "respect"
    * Hedonism/Enjoyment/Satisfaction/Pleasure : what makes us "feel good" -- short-term joy seems easier to sell than deferred gratification and the advantages that suggests (marshmallow experiment, etc.)
    * Fear : of loss, of death, of "devils" , "terrorists" "barbarians at the gates" etc.

    There are more than what I listed. Those listed have been fairly well tested and continue to be tested. They are not always effective. There has been evidence (demonstrations through examination of statistics in results) that using sex to sell products, services or ideas is not *always* effective. Advertisers learn from what works and what doesn't and then try to differentiate what works from what does not for future sales of ad campaigns.

    Political parties and governments likely use many of the above tools to sway and influence public opinion.

    There have been topics that cover things like the above at past of hacking conventions. We have seen these covered at past DEF CON. It is possible that such a paper could be accepted again, but it will have to out-compete many other papers that are on other topics of interest, and the bar is pretty high in this space of discussion, considering the may years of work provided by the people with talks and village-work on Social Engineering.

    Do your best, write the best paper you can, and then submit it to the CFP for next year and see if it is accepted.

    Good luck!

    Leave a comment:


  • cato
    started a topic just some drunk thoughts

    just some drunk thoughts

    excuse me for coming out of the blue like this but Ive been coming to defcon for the past few years and ive noticed some really interesting things about how its been developing. One thing is how its expanded into new territory year after year
    and some of the principles of hacking have been applied to a new whole load of disciplines. Secondly the term hacking seems to have a dual meaning. the first being the offensive term used relating to breaking (into) differnet systems. the second more widely
    maybe more acceptable relating to discovering and breaking new ways of doing things for all of our own good. So maybe the first is more destructive (not necessarily in a bad way) and the second (not necesarilly in a good way!) creative.

    Biohacking was the eye opener for me this year. Seeing how we can can really help craft the future in a way everyone can recognise - its absolutely fasicanting.

    The former hacking techniques can be applied to so many different disciplines. Listening to a presentation about propaganda reaffimed that for me this year. Ive seen it done accross the board but the same applies with the latter

    What Im thinking about now is a form of social hacking or hacking society. In the old days hacker sites and bulletin boards had a number of areas of interst. looked something like HMKVA etc, so youd have hacking carding phreaking blah balh. I remember anarchy and drugs being on there. This year we had presenattions about drugs in the bio village which to me are fair game and valid
    Im considering anarchy now as a fair game topic but not under that name.
    Personally Ive had an anarchist mindset for most of my life more detail than Id be prepared to share. I dont have the technical skills of most people who attend the con but I still feel i fit in there and it feels like home

    Getting to the point many of us share a similar liberal/inquisitive outlook. We may belong to diffent subcultures but we are DEFINTELYnot the same as most of the guys and girls walking round Vegas.

    What can we do as the minority? This is a whole sphere - society is rigged and we're gifted not be to be controlled like that. Can we hack this? SE is from the prior category I mentioned - it looks at how we can hack the human, what Im getting at it is how we can mod society? were already doing it, but if we put our mind to it as a discipline fuck who knows what we can do?

    Going to the raves back in the 90s were the hacylon days for me and many others - it seemed like a new world - no one could tell me that counterculture has not had an effect on modern day life. fashion is more powerful than anything propaganda included.
    Id say the 60s also - HUGE changes
    sometimes its just the music and the attitude so can we hack that? well maybe we just need to flow with it. its not anarchy but its shaping the world in a more powerful way than any politicans speech

    Does this even qualify for defcon?

    If nothing else I can probably help setting up a massive old school rave next year That would blow the fucking roof off :)
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