Bob Yirka - October 20, 2011
Sometimes you just don’t know whether to laugh, cry or be alarmed when hearing about what the boys in secretive back rooms are doing in the name of antiterrorism, or homeland security, or whatever else they wish to call it. This time it seems, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the semi-secret agency charged with coming up with new and cool ways to protect the citizens of the United States from foreign bad guys, wants to hire someone to figure out how vulnerable some people are to “narratives” (oral stories, speeches, propaganda, books, etc. that cause people to think) and then, supplant such messages with “better” messages to head off the path that for such people might lead them to becoming a terrorist.
Called the “Narrative Networks” project, DARPA has released a solicitation for research proposals by those that have both the know-how and the technology to implement such a program, which is divided into two parts. The first part would involve analyzing what happens to people when they hear or see a message. It’s thought that certain messages or images actually cause a change in the brain to accommodate the new ideas.