Gossiping as War

Todd Hoff's picture

An interesting paper on strategic gossipping as a form of information warfare in reputation based networks (http://cogprints.soton.ac.uk/documents/disk0/00/00/21/12/index.html). A lot of systems on the internet, like slashdot.org, are using reputation based ratings as a form of decentralized collective/community control. With a few glitches it's a strategy that basically seems to work. Interesting how an integrated war strategy might take advantage.
Reputation systems are fun because because they can be endlessly tinkered and debated, acting as a proxy for designing the ideal society. It's hard to create new governments in the meat world, but in the digital world we can set them up anytime and in endless variation. The internet is one vast experiment in self governance even to the extent of having old colonial powers trying to assert their control.

Interestingly girls have been using strategic gossiping tactics forever as stunningly shown in the great article Girls Just Want to be Mean (http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/24/magazine/24GIRLS.html). This article made me very glad as a guy i could count on just being hit or something equally obvious. Girls are much crueler.