State-Sponsored Hacktivism and “Soft War”

By George R. Lucas, Civil American, Volume 2, Article 2 (May 25, 2017), https://goo.gl/R55J4V.

A Moral and Legal Challenge in the Cyber Domain

Skeptics (e.g., Thomas Rid, 2013) have cast doubt on the notion of authentic cyber warfare.  Cyber conflict consists, the skeptics argue, solely of activities which fall well short of full scale warfare:  e.g., crime, vandalism, “hacktivism” (political activism by individuals and organizations carried out in the cyber domain), industrial espionage, and military espionage. Talk of cyber “warfare,” they complain, is largely conceptual confusion, coupled with misplaced metaphorical exaggeration.

U.S. Air Force Cadets learning basic cyber operations.

(U.S. Air Force Photo/Raymond McCoy)

Against such criticisms, I have argued by contrast that there is a distinctive category of cyber conflict that qualifies as warfare – or, more correctly, which rises to the level of the “use, or threat of use, of force by states; or, the equivalent of an armed attack” in international law (Lucas 2017).  This new kind of warfare has thus far manifest itself in two distinctive forms:

  1. effects-based weapons (such as Stuxnet) which can be deployed to damage or destroy military targets; and
  2. weapons and attacks in the cyber domain intended to produce political effects similar to those usually sought as the goal or objective of a conventional use of force by states against one another.

Cover of Carl Von Clausewitz's book, On War.I have labeled this second class of cyber hostilities “state-sponsored hacktivism” (SSH).  SSH is one of the principle tactics of a wider phenomenon, recently dubbed “soft war,” or unarmed conflict (Gross & Meisels, 2017) [Note]. It qualifies as warfare because it is deployed to compel an adversary to yield to the political aims of the state utilizing it.  SSH is perfectly capable of achieving the equivalent of occupying an enemy’s cities, destroying his army, and breaking his will to fight.  It is fully capable of moving a political center of gravity from a given posture prior to the attack, to one more in keeping with the attacker’s own political aspirations vis á vis the victim’s in the aftermath.  In short, this form of cyber conflict satisfies the classical definition of Clausewitz (1830) regarding war as politics carried out by alternative means.

SSH is not identical to, nor can it be merely reduced to acts of vandalism, crime, or espionage, although it utilizes such components within the framework of an SSH attack.  One might say that SSH is either none of the above, or else it involves all of the above “on steroids.”  Considerations of scale and magnitude, as well as of ease of access, are important in understanding this category of warfare, much as such considerations have been, in the past, for differentiating between “private” and domestic uses of conventional lethal force (e.g., as criminal acts by individuals or organizations), and those of “public” warfare that are state-sponsored. (more…)

SOPHIA Trustee Dr Jackie Kegley Featured in CSU Profile

California State University has recently released a great profile of SOPHIA Trustee Dr. Jackie Kegley in its “Impact of the CSU” online newsletter. Jackie has been an influential leader at CSU Bakersfield for 48 years, on top of her immeasurable influence on SOPHIA.

Dr. Jackie Kegley.

Check out this great profile of Jackie and the impact she has had on a generation of students and her institution. She serves as an inspiration for many first-generation college students, furthermore, at an institution that teaches a high percentage of such students. She was the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree, and she kindly came on SOPHIA’s radio show and podcast, Philosophy Bakes Bread, to talk about teaching philosophy to first-gen students in episode 15.

020: Ep16 – On Disability & American Philosophy

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

This sixteenth episode of Philosophy Bakes Bread aired on WRFL Lexington, 88.1 FM, on Monday, April 17th of 2017, and was a special episode on the subject of disability and American philosophy. It was another special episode recorded on location at a conference, except for Eric Weber, who skyped in from a closet in Ohio. This episode features four guests who were all on a panel at the annual gathering of the 2017 Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy in Birmingham, AL.

Person in a wheelchair beside an inaccessible curb, that drops off down to the road.

Our guests included:

Dr. Justin BellDr. Justin Bell, a.k.a. “Papa J.B.,” of the University of Houston Victoria;

 

Dr. Daniel Brunson.Friend of the show and returning guest, Dr. Daniel Brunson of Morgan State University, who was featured also in Episode 6, on philosophy for first-generation college students;

Dr. Nate JacksonDr. Nate Jackson. of Capital University;

 

Dr. Sarah WoolwineDr. Sarah Woolwine. of the University of Central Oklahoma;

 

Listen for our “You Tell Me!” questions and for some jokes in one of our concluding segments, called “Philosophunnies.” Reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.

 

 

(56 mins)

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Notes

  1. Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning (New York: Beacon Press, 2006).
  2. Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (New York: Modern Library, 1999).
  3. Soren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling (New York: Penguin Classics, 1986).
  4. Soren Kierkegaard, Sickness Unto Death (New York: Penguin Classics, 1989).

 

You Tell Me!

For our future “You Tell Me!” segments, our guests proposed an excellent question for you, the listener. We’d love to know what you think about it! Here’s the question: “How are you disabled? What does that mean about your vision of the good life?”

What do you think?

Let us know!  Twitter, Facebook, Email, or by commenting here below!

 

Transcript Available

(more…)

019: Ep15 – Pt2of2 on Teaching Philosophy to First-Gen College Students

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

Dr. Bertha Manninen of Arizona State University.Dr. Jackie KegleyThis fifteenth episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast features an interview with Dr. Jackie Kegley of California State University Bakersfield and Dr. Bertha Alvarez Manninen of Arizona State University, on the topic of the value of and challenges for Teaching philosophy to first generation college students.

Student standing up at a graduation ceremony.

Listen for our “You Tell Me!” questions and for some jokes in one of our concluding segments, called “Philosophunnies.” Reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.

 

 

(58 mins)

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Notes

  1. Aldus Huxley, A Brave New World (New York: Harper Perennial, 2006).
  2. Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park (New York: Ballantine Books, 2012); especially famous from the movie: Jurassic Park [movie].
  3. Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 1988).
  4. William Golding, Lord of the Flies (New York: Penguin Books, 2003).
  5. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (New York: Penguin Classics, 1982).
  6. DataData, the android character on Star Trek: The Next Generation., the android character on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  7. N. H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society (New York: Kingswell, 2006); especially famous from the movie: Dead Poets Society [movie].

 

You Tell Me!

For our future “You Tell Me!” segments, Dr. Kegley and Dr. Manninen each proposed excellent questions on the show. We’d love to know what you think about them! They are as follows:

  1. “What legacy do you want to hand on to your children?”
  2. “The very last time you close your eyes in this world, are you going to be happy with the human being you were?”

What do you think?

Let us know!  Twitter, Facebook, Email, or by commenting here below!

018: Ep14 – BC1 – How to Begin Philosophy with Children

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

This fourteenth episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast is a special new edition of the show. It’s the first of what we are calling a “Breadcrumb.” A Breadcrumb is a short, 8-15 minute episode that was cut off from a longer show, or that’s a collage of little clips. We may occasionally also record short Breadcrumb episode to have a little more time for a proper “You Tell Me” segment, in which we get to reply substantively to listener feedback. This first Breadcrumb centers on questions that Dr. Anthony Cashio really wanted to add after our interview with Dr. Jana Mohr Lone, especially about how one can get started teaching philosophy to children.

Breadcrumbs on a wooden table, beside a French baguette (French bread).

Dr. Jana Mohr LoneRecall that Dr. Lone is the Director and founder of the University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children. The Center brings philosophers and students trained in philosophy into K-12 public school classrooms to facilitate philosophy classes. She is also the author of The Philosophical Child, which explores ways that parents and other adults can stimulate philosophical conversations about children’s questions, co-author of Philosophy in Education: Questioning and Dialogue in Schools, and co-editor of Philosophy and Education: Introducing Philosophy to Young People, which examines various issues involved in teaching philosophy to young people.

As always, you can reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.

 

 

(10 mins)

Click here for a list of all the episodes of Philosophy Bakes Bread.

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Notes

  1. In this episode, Dr. Lone mentions the story of Gyges’s Ring. It is a story that asks what you would do if you could get away with anything. She mentions a resources available to help introduce the story to children. That resource is available on the Web site of the Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (P.L.A.T.O.) here: http://www.plato-philosophy.org/teachertoolkit/justice-and-utopia/.
  2. The homepage of the Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (P.L.A.T.O.) is here: http://www.plato-philosophy.org/.


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017: Ep13 – Philosophy for Children

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

Dr. Jana Mohr LoneIn this thirteenth episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast, co-hosts Dr. Anthony Cashio and Dr. Eric Thomas Weber interview Dr. Jana Mohr Lone of the University of Washington on the topic of philosophy for children.

Kids in the midst of a philosophical discussion at school.

Dr. Lone is the Director and founder of the University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children. The Center brings philosophers and students trained in philosophy into K-12 public school classrooms to facilitate philosophy classes. She is also the author of The Philosophical Child, which explores ways that parents and other adults can stimulate philosophical conversations about children’s questions, co-author of Philosophy in Education: Questioning and Dialogue in Schools, and co-editor of Philosophy and Education: Introducing Philosophy to Young People, which examines various issues involved in teaching philosophy to young people.

Listen for our “You Tell Me!” questions and for some jokes in one of our concluding segments, called “Philosophunnies.” Reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.

 

 

(1 hr 2 mins)

Click here for a list of all the episodes of Philosophy Bakes Bread.

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We’re on iTunes and Google Play, and we’ve got a regular RSS feed too!

Notes

  1. Center for Philosophy for Children at the University of Washington: http://depts.washington.edu/nwcenter/.
  2. Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (P.L.A.T.O.): http://www.plato-philosophy.org/.
  3. Teaching Children Philosophy: https://www.teachingchildrenphilosophy.org/.

 

You Tell Me!

For our future “You Tell Me!” segments, Dr. Lone proposed the following question in this episode, for which we invite your feedback: “Why are we surprised when children express profound ideas?” What do you think?

Let us know!  Twitter, Facebook, Email, or by commenting here below!

 

016: Ep12 – That’s a Wicked Problem You’ve Got There

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

Dr. Danielle Lake.In this twelth episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast, co-hosts Dr. Anthony Cashio and Dr. Eric Thomas Weber interview Dr. Danielle Lake of Grand Valley State University on the topic of what are called “wicked problems.”

Line drawings contrasting traditional problems with wicked problems, where the former is just two crossed lines and the latter is many chaotically scribbled, crossed lines.

Dr. Lake is assistant professor in the department of Liberal Studies at Grand Valley State University, with her Ph.D. in Philosophy. In 2016, she was honored with the John Lachs Award for Public Philosophy from the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. She is the author of Institutions and Process: Problems of Today, Misguided Answers from Yesterday (2008), in addition to many journal articles. 

Listen for our “You Tell Me!” questions and for some jokes in one of our concluding segments, called “Philosophunnies.” Reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.

(1 hr 9 mins)

Click here for a list of all the episodes of Philosophy Bakes Bread.

 

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We’re on iTunes and Google Play, and we’ve got a regular RSS feed too!

Notes

  1. Jostein Gaarder, Sophie’s World (2007).
  2. Jean Paul Sartre, “Existentialism Is a Humanism,” Online for free, or on Amazon.
  3. Epictetus, Handbook (aka Enchiridion), Online for free, or on Amazon.
  4. The Internet Classics Archive.

You Tell Me!

For our future “You Tell Me!” segments, Dr. Lake proposed the following question in this episode, for which we invite your feedback: “How can you today step across the divides that we have and engage and advocate for progress with regard to the shared problems that we face?” What do you think?

Let us know!  Twitter, Facebook, Email, or by commenting here below!

 

015: Ep11 – Mass Incarceration

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

Dr. Chris Surprenant.In this eleventh episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast, co-hosts Dr. Anthony Cashio and Dr. Eric Thomas Weber interview Dr. Chris Surprenant of the University of New Orleans on the topic of mass incarceration.

Dr. Surprenant is the director of the Alexis de Tocqueville Project at the University of New Orleans. He is the author of Kant and the Cultivation of Virtue and the editor of Rethinking Punishment in the Era of Mass Incarceration (forthcoming), among many other works.

A crowded prison.

Listen for our “You Tell Me!” questions and for some jokes in one of our concluding segments, called “Philosophunnies.” Reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.

 

 

(1 hr 3 mins)

Click here for a list of all the episodes of Philosophy Bakes Bread.

 

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We’re on iTunes and Google Play, and we’ve got a regular RSS feed too!

Notes

  1. The Alexis de Tocqueville Project at the University of New Orleans.
  2. Peter Wagner and Bernadette Rabuy, “Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2016,” [Press Release] The Prison Policy Initiative, March 14, 2016, https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie2016.html.

 

You Tell Me!

For our future “You Tell Me!” segments, Dr. Surprenant proposed the following question in this episode, for which we invite your feedback: “What do we do with individuals who have committed crimes? If we don’t incarcerate them and if we think mass incarceration is a problem, what do we do instead?” What do you think?

Let us know!  Twitter, Facebook, Email, or by commenting here below!

014: Ep10 – Media Ethics

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

Dr. Scott Stroud.This tenth episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast features an interview with Dr. Scott Stroud, on media ethics. We discuss the nature and challenges of the media, as well as the ethical considerations that they raise. We attend especially to recent conflicts in which the President referred to certain media outlets as media that are an “enemy of the people.”

Image of a radio microphone in front of the radio studio mixing board.

Dr. Stroud is the leading director of the Media Ethics Initiative at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of John Dewey and the Artful Life (2011) and Kant and the Promise of Rhetoric (2014), among many other works. Listen for our “You Tell Me!” questions and for some jokes in one of our concluding segments, called “Philosophunnies.” Reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.

 


(1 hr 4 mins)

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Notes

  1. Andrew Higgins, “Trump Embraces ‘Enemy of the People,’ a Phrase with a Fraught History,” The New York Times, February 26, 2017.
  2. Amy B. Wang, “Fox News Anchor Chris Wallace Warns Viewers: Trump Crossed the Line in Latest Attack on Media,” The Boston Globe, February 19, 2017.

 

You Tell Me!

For our future “You Tell Me!” segments, Dr. Stroud proposed the following question in this episode, for which we invite your feedback: “How do we truly strike the balance between being open to someone else’s view of the world and holding and pushing forward our own view of the world to those folks? How can you be truly be open to the other side?” What do you think?

Let us know!  Twitter, Facebook, Email, or by commenting here below!

013: Ep9 – Studying Black Men

Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast

Dr. Tommy J. Curry of Texas A&M University.This ninth episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast features an interview with Dr. Tommy Curry of Texas A&M University, on the need for black male studies.

Image of the cover of The Man-Not, by Dr. Tommy Curry. Dr. Curry is the author of The Man-Not: Race, Class, Genre, and the Dilemmas of BlackManhood, which will come out in July of 2017 with Temple University Press. Listen for our “You Tell Me!” questions and for some jokes in one of our concluding segments, called “Philosophunnies.” Reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at philosophybakesbread@gmail.com; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.

 

 

(1 hr 15 mins)

Click here for a list of all the episodes of Philosophy Bakes Bread.

 

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Notes

  1. Dr. Tommy Curry’s new book, The Man-Not: Race, Class, Genre, and the Dilemmas of BlackManhood (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, forthcoming July 2017).
  2. The Society of Young Black Philosophers Facebook group.

 

You Tell Me!

For our future “You Tell Me!” segments, Dr. Tommy Curry proposed the following question in this episode, for which we invite your feedback: “Given the recent election of Trump, how do listeners reconcile the myth of American democratic progress with the regression in American race relations, where deportations, racial profiling, accusations of terrorism, and international bans now become synonymous with American freedom?” What do you think?

Let us know!  Twitter, Facebook, Email, or by commenting here below!