Wednesday 22 December 2004

SimTerror '05

Sim Terror 05 Exercise

From Silent Running :


An interactive blog-based hypothetical scenario in which a terrorist attempt to stage an attack on Australian soil will be simulated in real time, over two weeks in January 1985.


Bloggers have opinions. It's what we do. But how many of us have actually wondered what we might do, and how we might respond, in the event of a major terrorist attempt at replicating a 9/11 scale attack? It's all very well for us to opine to our hearts content about what the West ought to do in the face of a generalised threat from radical Islam, but how would the blogosphere respond in an actual emergency? Can we put ourselves emotionally in that position? It isn't easy, is it?

Would we fall to pieces? Would we be simply struck dumb? Would we urge massive lashing out in retaliation? Or would blogs become a useful resource of opinions, options, information, argument and debate? Would it become the closest thing this planet has to a gigantic neural network of linked minds, all concentrated on a single issue?

SIMTERROR '05 is an experiment designed to help us think about the ways blogs might be able to respond to a sudden crisis using a simulation of real world events, but getting blogs to respond as if the events were real. In a sense, SIMTERROR 0'5 will be the first test of the Emergency Blogger System.

The Simulation

Beginning on Sunday, January 1st, at 12 noon, Australian Eastern Time, the blog "Silent Running" will go live as the central information hub of the exercise. It will run news items in real time, based on the decisions taken by the various bloggers playing the roles of significant leaders in this exercise. Those decisions and actions will go through "Silent Running" blogger "Tom Paine", who will act as umpire.

The players will be presented from time to time with updates on the situation as it unfolds, and their responses will help shape the simulation. Once it starts, no-one, not even the umpire, will know how things will turn out.

The simulation will end on Saturday, January 15th, at 12 noon, Australian Eastern Time.

The Bloggers

This is where you come in. SIMTERROR '05 ecourages participants to react to events as if they were actually taking place, and blogs who wish to take part should try to bear that in mind. Faced with a simulated crisis, it will be interesting to see how blogs might respond.

Blogs who wish to participate should join the Yahoo group specially set up for this simulation: SimTerror '05

This group can be used for communication and discussion about issues raised by the simulation. The central thrust of SIMTERROR '05 is not the simulation itself, but rather the response of bloggers to the events that take place. So the more bloggers take part, the more successful it will be.

Bloggers who would like to take part in SIMTERROR '05 are encouraged to sign up to the Yahoo group, and/or to contact the Umpire directly at this e-mail address.

No commitment is required beyond reading the events as they unfold at "Silent Running", and on the blogs of the player-bloggers, and ocassionally responding on your own blog. Carrying a sign-up buttom for the SIMTERROR '05 Yahoo group might also be a nice gesture. Remember, it would be preferable if people respond as realistically as possible, and as if the events were real. But always include the warning label, just to be on the safe side.

And from a later post :

Here is the updated list of players:

Prime Minister of Australia: Tim Blair

Australian Opposition Leader: Alan E. Brain

President of the United States - Negotiating with a prospective POTUS at the moment. .

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom: Andrew Ian Dodge

Prime Minister of New Zealand: David Farrer

President of the Republic of Indonesia: Simon of Simon World (East Meets Westerner), who has been described as "Asia's Instapundit"

President of the European Union: Dave, from Red Speck on a Blue Sun.

Al Qaeda/Jemaah Islamiya SE Asia-Pacific regional leader: A special Secret Blogger has been appointed, and is already setting up nefarious schemes, using his own network. Even I, the Umpire, have no idea what he's planning. This blogger's identity will probably not be revealed until after the exercise.

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Note that participation in this Exercise/Simulation is emphatically not restricted to the "players". All we do is help generate the scenario as events unfold. The rest of you react as you would if the Exercise events were real - that's the point. But please, please include the warning logo above, remember Orson Welles.

Sim Terror 05 Exercise

1 comment:

Antoine Vekris said...

Now, this is an interesting idea. Hope that this will be both funny and useful.
One thing to keep in mind: avoid to propose a too realistic scenario, no need to create a collection of possible actions.
A few months ago I stopped a discussion about bioterrorism, when the scenario became "easy to set up", "impossible to prevent".
If you do have such a solution you better keep it for your nightmares and/or people fighting terrorism.

For 2005 bioterrorism and world-wide applications I could participate ;-)