The Convergence - An Army Mad Scientist Podcast

The Convergence is an Army Mad Scientist podcast with a distinct focus on divergent viewpoints, a c ... more

Latest Episodes

41

September 02, 2021 00:20:00
41. The Secret Service Embraces the Future with Robin Champ

41. The Secret Service Embraces the Future with Robin Champ

Robin Champ is the Chief of the Enterprise Strategy Division at the United States Secret Service (USSS), where she leads both foresight and strategic planning for the organization. Prior to joining USSS, Ms. Champ was the Chief of the Global Futures Office at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).  Prior to joining DTRA, Ms. Champ worked at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Office of Strategic Planning and Enterprise Transformation (J-5), where she was the DLA Lead for the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review.  In addition to her official positions, Ms. Champ Co-Leads the Federal Foresight Community of Interest (see links below). She also is a guest lecturer on foresight at George Washington University’s “Mastering Strategy for the Public Sector” course. In today’s podcast, Ms. Champ discusses women leading in national security, empowering diversity to think about the future, and how emerging technologies and trends will affect Secret Service missions.  The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview: Planning for the future involves analyzing trends and considering multiple alternate trajectories. Clearly communicating findings to leaders is essential to create actionable change, and particularly important when government agencies are tasked with ‘no fail missions.’ Generating foresight and creating strategy plans require the Government to fully leverage the nation’s diversity and talent. Recruiting and maintaining this workforce should be a priority for government agencies. The Secret Service has a robust foresight program, providing newsletters, speaker series, and strategic plans to its members. This program enables the Secret Service to identify and mitigate its weaknesses that could be taken advantage of during critical decisive moments.  Readers and listeners can connect with the Federal Foresight Community of Interest at org ...

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Episode 23. Redux

August 19, 2021 00:46:20
Disinformation, Revisionism, and China with Doowan Lee

Disinformation, Revisionism, and China with Doowan Lee

Today’s episode of “The Convergence” podcast features our conversation with Mr. Doowan Lee, CEO, VAST-OSINT and Board Advisor, Zignal Labs, originally published last October. Mr. Lee is a National Security expert in influence intelligence, disinformation analysis, data analytics, network visualization, and great power competition. Before joining Zignal Labs, Mr. Lee served as a professor and principal investigator at the Naval Postgraduate School, where he executed federally funded projects on collaborative information systems, network analysis, and disinformation analysis. His article entitled The United States Isn’t Doomed to Lose the Information Wars explores Russian and Chinese disinformation campaigns and was featured in Foreign Policy last fall. The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview with Mr. Lee: Our adversaries see disinformation as just an effective tool that provides strategic and global reach. We see it as irregular warfare when it is anything but irregular. Disinformation, or the historical term propaganda, has been around forever. COVID-19 has accentuated this threat vector or surface. The Chinese government outlined their national information operations policy in "The Communiqué on the Current State of the Ideological Sphere” (also known as Document #9): - Nations talking about the spread of open societies are attempting to undermine the CCP. - The CCP will maintain positive control of all media. - The CCP will professionalize information operations. This policy resulted in the development of the “Great Firewall,” the “Golden Shield" project, and ...

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17 Redux

August 05, 2021 00:36:39
Bias, Behavior, and Baseball with Keith Law

Bias, Behavior, and Baseball with Keith Law

In this latest episode of “The Convergence,” we talk with Keith Law, Senior Baseball Writer at The Athletic, which he joined in January 2020 after spending thirteen and a half years at ESPN. Before joining ESPN.com in June 2006, Keith spent just over four years as the Special Assistant to the GM of the Toronto Blue Jays, and prior to that had written for Baseball Prospectus. Keith Law is the author of Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball, published in April 2017; and The Inside Game: Bad Calls, Strange Moves, and What Baseball Behavior Teaches Us About Ourselves, published in April of this year. In today’s podcast, Keith Law discusses the parallels between baseball and the Information Environment, how stats skew our thinking, and the implications of anchoring bias: The brain develops cognitive biases to manage extensive information. These biases lead information consumers to draw false conclusions and ignore conflicting data. Anchoring bias occurs when the brain latches onto the first piece of information, even if it is irrelevant to what you are working on. Creating radical change in a large, traditional organization, like the Army or a sports team, is best done through an individualized grassroots effort. Radical change, especially from people new to the organization, does ...

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40

July 22, 2021 00:44:07
40. Gamers Building the Future Force with Air Force Gaming

40. Gamers Building the Future Force with Air Force Gaming

Air Force Gaming (AFG) is the official gaming program and competition hub for the United States Air Force and Space Force.  Over 86% of Airmen and Guardians between the ages of 18-34 identify as gamers.  AFG was started to help Airmen of all ages, ranks, and backgrounds find common ground through video games, while also promoting mental acuity, fine motor coordination, and competitive excellence.  Its mission is to create an inclusive gaming community for Airmen of all ages, ranks, and backgrounds.   Capt Zach “ZB” Baumann co-founded AFG, and for the better part of 2020, led the explosion of AFG's digital reach to 575K impressions and 40K profile visits (doubling its digital footprint of followers on social media and verified members on its Discord server) across five platforms, and tirelessly built the connective tissue between the Department of the Air Force, DoD at large, and the gaming industry — ultimately leading to AFG’s “acquisition” by the USAF in November of 2020.  AFG is helping to bridge the gap between the DoD’s digital natives (tomorrow’s leaders) and digital immigrants (today’s leaders).Capt Oliver “OliPoppinIt” Parsons founded AFG and leads a diverse group of Airmen and Guardians all across the world. AFG strives to be the leading DoD eSports/gaming organization. In 2020, he led the AFG Space Force Call of Duty team to victory in the first ever transatlantic Armed Forces eSports bowl (CODE Bowl).MSgt Michael Sullivan co-founded AFG, launching the Department of the Air Force’s first gaming and eSports organization, with a primary focus in mental health and resiliency for service members.  MSgt Sullivan led day to day operations; advised ...

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39

July 08, 2021 00:40:33
39. Algorithms of Armageddon with CAPT (Ret.) George Galdorisi

39. Algorithms of Armageddon with CAPT (Ret.) George Galdorisi

CAPT George Galdorisi (USN-Ret.) is a career naval aviator whose thirty years of active duty service included four command tours and five years as a carrier strike group chief of staff. He is currently the Director of Strategic Assessments and Technical Futures at the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific in San Diego, California. He is also a contributing blogger for the Mad Scientist Laboratory, having written Creating a Convergence of Technologies to Defeat the Deadly Fast Inshore Attack Craft Threat Before 2050 and Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to Meet Warfighter Needs. CAPT Galdorisi also presented Designing Unmanned Systems For the Multi-Domain Battle (please access this video via a non-DoD network) as a Mad Scientist Speaker Series presentation on 10 January 2018. CAPT Galdorisi began his writing career in 1978 with an article in the U.S. Navy’s professional magazine, U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings. Since then, he has written fifteen books published by mainstream publishers, including the New York Times bestseller, Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor, the novelization of the Bandito Brothers/Relativity Media film, and The Kissing Sailor, which proved the identity of the two principals in Alfred Eisenstaedt’s iconic V-J Day in Times Square photograph. His latest projects include a new series of thrillers published by Braveship books, as well as a recent collaboration with St. Martin’s Press rebooting the Tom Clancy Op-Center series. His three Braveship thrillers are: The Coronado Conspiracy, For Duty and Honor, and Fire and Ice, just released in 2021. The first three books of the rebooted Tom Clancy Op-Center series, Out of the Ashes, Into the Fire, and Scorched Earth are New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s ...

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38

June 24, 2021 00:28:03
38. Worldbuilding with Dr. Malka Older

38. Worldbuilding with Dr. Malka Older

Dr. Malka Older is a writer, aid worker, and sociologist. Her science-fiction political thriller Infomocracy was named one of the best books of 2016 by Kirkus, Book Riot, and the Washington Post. This is the first novel of the Centenal Cycle trilogy, which also includes Null States (2017) and State Tectonics (2018).  The trilogy was a finalist for the Hugo Best Series Award of 2018.  She is also the creator of the serial Ninth Step Station and the author of the short story collection …and Other Disasters.  Named Senior Fellow for Technology and Risk at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs for 2015, Dr. Older has more than a decade of field experience in humanitarian aid and development. Her doctoral work on the sociology of organizations at The Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) explores the dynamics of post-disaster improvisation in governments.  Dr. Older is a part-time Faculty Associate at Arizona State University‘s School for the Future of Innovation in Society (SFIS) In today’s podcast, Dr. Older discusses worldbuilding and inspirations drawn from her humanitarian work.  The following bullet points highlight key insights from our discussion: In Infomocracy, Dr. Older explores an alternative to our current media environment. Instead of fragmented media environments and the concept of media neutrality, she presents an idealized information management officer – a well-intentioned single source for information. With this comes the realization that even a single actor with good intentions could hold massive influence in society. The inspiration for Infomocracy came from Dr. Older’s disaster relief work while responding to an earthquake for which the United Nations brought in a dedicated information management ...

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