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Brown Lloyd James Navigates the World to the Brink of World War 3

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It's amazing to me that "the Great Game" of geopolitical strategy has come down to A Rose in the Desert and the Vogue puff piece commissioned by the PR firm BLJ Worldwide. Once this glowing exposé on Syria's ruling family went public (i.e. on the internet) in March of 2011 the people of that beleaguered nation quite understandably went berserk and everything that's followed springs from the sloppy code Asma Assad installed on Syria's hard drive.

BSOD
The author of the article in question, Joan Juliet Buck, who must have worked closely with BLJ to craft "the message" did her best to walk it all back once the peasants started getting killed but the applications had already seized up (not responding) - you can't undo what's already been done without "force quitting" and a relaunch. She did have one interesting story to share which gives some insight into what's causing the Syrian civil war.
'Asma Assad called the ancient culture of the country its hardware,' she admitted. 'She speaks like a banker with a degree in computer science. She said what interested her were the people. They were the software.
You see, Asma is a computer scientist and well educated in the UK (her birth home) so she sees the world through the lens of the machine. Culture = Hardware and People = Software so upgrade the software, right? It makes sense at a neophytes level of understanding like, say, the people who read Vague, but when you dig a little deeper the errors in this worldview become obvious.

The Syrian Software Stack
Software is not as simple as Asma makes it sound. There's hardware and on top of that hardware sits stack upon stack of software components that make the hardware "come to life" as it were. Applications, which is what most humans use to interface with a computer, run on top of that stack of software known as the Operating System (OS) and Syria has a seriously corrupted OS. The best programmer in the world would have trouble making their applications run on this platform and remember, Syria has OEMed a bunch of third party components that don't work with the home grown stuff so you've got a real problem just getting the most rudimentary apps to beta release.

In a networked world it's increasingly important to have your system communicate effectively with the other hardware/OS/app stacks that make up the international community and that's when you bring in professional integrators like BLJ Worldwide who try and sell your platform - in this case selling Syria to the Western World - using the tricks of the trade. Glossy photos and bullshit copy in a fashion magazine is a tried and true method of molding elite public opinion. The wife/mistress reads the propaganda and pillow talks her Senator/EU leader/NGO chairman into looking at Syria in a different light. But the game has changed because now any jackass with WiFi in a dilapidated hovel outside Damascus can read the same claptrap that madame is reading at the hairdresser on Rue de la Paix. And when that flea bitten, starving, repressed sand-Nword reads that the interloper wife of a two bit tyrant (who's so inept that without nepotism and foreign "advisors" he'd be lucky to be giving eye exams in a Phoenix, AZ strip mall) thinks that the middle east is a "tough neighborhood" there is nothing left to do but burn the whole place down and kill EVERYONE.

Of course, none of that would be so bad if not for the fact that the current US Administration reads Vogue and swallows it's stories hook, line and sinker. Commence catastrophic software failure. Now Vlad Putin is doing another hard reboot after Obama's hacking around triggers a blue screen of death and crashes the system. When will they learn that cultures are not hardware and people are not software? Maybe after World War 3.

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