The Imitation Game: Information and Persuasion

This contemporary information and communications technology environment provides a rich and fertile testbed for observing, borrowing and repurposing concepts and methods of influence and persuasion-for-effect. This is evidence of a self-propagating evolutionary refinement and iterative selection test of political strategy in the information space: those methods and technical or organisational principles that are most successful in any context are also those most likely to be replicated through mimicry – providing further opportunity for prototyping, development and refinement.

A clever second-order abstraction or analysis might seek to seed overtly successful yet flawed methods into this self-replicating information maelstrom for future retrospective disassembly. A degree of pragmatic circumspection should invoke caution when borrowing methods in that even the base assumptions, techniques and organisational grammar used in any art of persuasion form structures and symmetries which may possess implicit, if unacknowledged, vulnerabilities. Defining the rules and methods of an abstract language game may preemptively provide ad hoc authorial advantage; interdiction must then assume a similar degree of complexity.

 

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