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Posted: 3/25/2016 8:40:51 AM EST
The full article was originally published in December after the Paris attacks but it was sent out today in the Foreign Affairs This Week email.  Not too bad of a read if you ignore the Obama fluffing that is done, which is typical for a Foreign Affairs piece.  

If you don't have a Foreign Affairs subscription you can create an account and read one free article a month

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2015-12-10/game-theory-terrorism

THE SCHELLING POINTS OF RADICALIZATION

Schelling later conducted a second experiment. He gave a group of people sheets of paper with 16 squares. He promised a prize if they all checked the same box. Statistically speaking, only six percent should have checked the same one. In reality, 60 percent checked the top left square. This means that people can reach the same conclusion when properly motivated without having even spoken to one another.

Although Schelling certainly could not have foreseen the application of this idea to defeating ISIS, it is eerily appropriate. If we apply the 16 squares scenario with radicalization, what we are trying to prevent is, in effect, this “psychic moment,” as Schelling calls it, when likeminded individuals all come to check the same box: engage in terrorism. Around 20,000 plus foreign fighters, many of whom grew up in prosperous, democratic countries, have already done so.

In Schelling’s theory, these individuals would have made their decision through “rational behavior…based on an explicit and internally consistent value system.” For jihadists, that value system is Salafism. Given the fact that most of the world’s Salafis are not violent, however, it cannot be the Salafi ideology alone that encourages violence. Moreover, given that ISIS disseminates a good deal of nonviolent messaging—it recently released its own set of textbooks on geography, history, and Arabic poetry for a course to “educate” future jihadists—it is not violence alone that attracts individuals to its worldview.

It is, rather, ISIS’ ability to sell and validate its worldview in light of distinct circumstances that Muslim communities either experience or observe. Specifically, for both those socially and economically disenfranchised by life in the developed world, as well as for those experiencing or witnessing the violent unrest in Syria, ISIS offers the promise of a tranquil and authentic Islamic state, full of opportunity for those who accept its authority. The brutality and sectarian nature of the Shiite–Alawite regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad further buttresses ISIS’ cause because it validates its claims that only its Sunni worldview is just and fair. Indeed, the group’s carefully curated magazine, Dabiq, consistently juxtaposes pictures and stories of ISIS providing for its people (i.e., medical care to children, repairing bridges and roads, etc.) with profiles of fighters who were killed, allegedly in defense of such projects.

Essentially, those who buy into ISIS’ worldview opt for terrorism not as an ends but rather, as a means for joining a cause in which they can find both physical and spiritual fulfillment. Schelling himself noted in 1980 that “terrorism is contagiously suggestive and furthermore looks easier the more there is of it.” In addition, as terrorism grows locally, Schelling asserts, “the easier it is to get away with it because counterterrorist forces are overextended and ‘saturated.’”
fnh
Link Posted: 3/25/2016 8:45:45 AM EST
[#1]

They are doing what Islam commands them to do.




It ain't that complicated.









Link Posted: 3/25/2016 8:47:58 AM EST
[#2]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
They are doing what Islam commands them to do.


It ain't that complicated.
View Quote


Yep.  Unlike Schelling these people are not randomly coming to the conclusion that blowing up airports is the right thing to do.

ETA - I'll take it a step further and say the person writing that paper is playing the PC game and looking for a way to NOT bash islam by finding an excuse for their behavior (random telepathic luck).  "They all picked the square marked jihad just like in Schelling's study."
Link Posted: 3/25/2016 8:50:11 AM EST
[#3]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Yep.  Unlike Schelling these people are not randomly coming to the conclusion that blowing up airports is the right thing to do.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
They are doing what Islam commands them to do.


It ain't that complicated.


Yep.  Unlike Schelling these people are not randomly coming to the conclusion that blowing up airports is the right thing to do.


Bingo.  Their actions are not random
Link Posted: 3/25/2016 8:57:44 AM EST
[#4]
Link Posted: 3/25/2016 9:02:32 AM EST
[#5]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Yep.  Unlike Schelling these people are not randomly coming to the conclusion that blowing up airports is the right thing to do.

ETA - I'll take it a step further and say the person writing that paper is playing the PC game and looking for a way to NOT bash islam by finding an excuse for their behavior (random telepathic luck).  "They all picked the square marked jihad just like in Schelling's study."
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
They are doing what Islam commands them to do.


It ain't that complicated.


Yep.  Unlike Schelling these people are not randomly coming to the conclusion that blowing up airports is the right thing to do.

ETA - I'll take it a step further and say the person writing that paper is playing the PC game and looking for a way to NOT bash islam by finding an excuse for their behavior (random telepathic luck).  "They all picked the square marked jihad just like in Schelling's study."


I don't think anybody's talking about randomness ot telepathy. The point is that in both cases, the people applied a well known cultural meme to a problem. For the squares problem, writing left to right/top to bottom provided a common frame of reference when faced with a problem. In the same way, terrorism is a common meme in radical Islam; even when faced with the same problem, not everybody will choose the same solution, but a lot will because they have cultural references that predispose them to solve the problem in that way.
Link Posted: 3/25/2016 9:06:37 AM EST
[#6]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


I don't think anybody's talking about randomness ot telepathy. The point is that in both cases, the people applied a well known cultural meme to a problem. For the squares problem, writing left to right/top to bottom provided a common frame of reference when faced with a problem. In the same way, terrorism is a common meme in radical Islam; even when faced with the same problem, not everybody will choose the same solution, but a lot will because they have cultural references that predispose them to solve the problem in that way.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
They are doing what Islam commands them to do.


It ain't that complicated.


Yep.  Unlike Schelling these people are not randomly coming to the conclusion that blowing up airports is the right thing to do.

ETA - I'll take it a step further and say the person writing that paper is playing the PC game and looking for a way to NOT bash islam by finding an excuse for their behavior (random telepathic luck).  "They all picked the square marked jihad just like in Schelling's study."


I don't think anybody's talking about randomness ot telepathy. The point is that in both cases, the people applied a well known cultural meme to a problem. For the squares problem, writing left to right/top to bottom provided a common frame of reference when faced with a problem. In the same way, terrorism is a common meme in radical Islam; even when faced with the same problem, not everybody will choose the same solution, but a lot will because they have cultural references that predispose them to solve the problem in that way.


Link Posted: 3/25/2016 9:07:42 AM EST
[#7]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


+1

They're motivated by joblessness and climate change.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
They are doing what Islam commands them to do.


It ain't that complicated.


Yep.  Unlike Schelling these people are not randomly coming to the conclusion that blowing up airports is the right thing to do.


Bingo.  Their actions are not random


+1

They're motivated by joblessness and climate change.

I read that in John F Kerry's voice.  
Link Posted: 3/25/2016 9:16:38 AM EST
[#8]
That was actually a pretty good article.
Link Posted: 3/25/2016 9:17:43 AM EST
[#9]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


+1

They're motivated by joblessness and climate change.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
They are doing what Islam commands them to do.


It ain't that complicated.


Yep.  Unlike Schelling these people are not randomly coming to the conclusion that blowing up airports is the right thing to do.


Bingo.  Their actions are not random


+1

They're motivated by joblessness and climate change.


Haha!
But how sad is the world when it takes me a second to recognize this as satire. PEOPLE ACTUALLY BELIEVE THAT SHIT!
Link Posted: 3/25/2016 9:20:42 AM EST
[#10]
Although Schelling certainly could not have foreseen the application of this idea to defeating ISIS, it is eerily appropriate. If we apply the 16 squares scenario with radicalization, what we are trying to prevent is, in effect, this “psychic moment,” as Schelling calls it, when likeminded individuals all come to check the same box: engage in terrorism. Around 20,000 plus foreign fighters, many of whom grew up in prosperous, democratic countries, have already done so.

Or what "Might" happen is the world all comes to the same conclusion of Islamic terrorists and decides to fix it once and for all.......

Link Posted: 3/25/2016 9:21:10 AM EST
[#11]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
They are doing what Islam commands them to do.


It ain't that complicated.






View Quote


Yeah, but look how hard they have to work to NOT say that.  

Link Posted: 3/25/2016 10:03:26 AM EST
[#12]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
They are doing what Islam commands them to do.


It ain't that complicated.


Yep.  Unlike Schelling these people are not randomly coming to the conclusion that blowing up airports is the right thing to do.

ETA - I'll take it a step further and say the person writing that paper is playing the PC game and looking for a way to NOT bash islam by finding an excuse for their behavior (random telepathic luck).  "They all picked the square marked jihad just like in Schelling's study."


I don't think anybody's talking about randomness ot telepathy. The point is that in both cases, the people applied a well known cultural meme to a problem. For the squares problem, writing left to right/top to bottom provided a common frame of reference when faced with a problem. In the same way, terrorism is a common meme in radical Islam; even when faced with the same problem, not everybody will choose the same solution, but a lot will because they have cultural references that predispose them to solve the problem in that way.

https://i.imgflip.com/11ez2w.jpg


Nicely done...
Link Posted: 3/25/2016 10:36:49 AM EST
[#13]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Yeah, but look how hard they have to work to NOT say that.  

View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
They are doing what Islam commands them to do.


It ain't that complicated.


Yeah, but look how hard they have to work to NOT say that.  


That's the truth.
Link Posted: 3/25/2016 12:36:44 PM EST
[#14]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Haha!
But how sad is the world when it takes me a second to recognize this as satire. PEOPLE ACTUALLY BELIEVE THAT SHIT!
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
They are doing what Islam commands them to do.


It ain't that complicated.


Yep.  Unlike Schelling these people are not randomly coming to the conclusion that blowing up airports is the right thing to do.


Bingo.  Their actions are not random


+1

They're motivated by joblessness and climate change.


Haha!
But how sad is the world when it takes me a second to recognize this as satire. PEOPLE ACTUALLY BELIEVE THAT SHIT!


There is a certain amount of truth to that. If you don't want people to check that square, you have several ways to try to do that. It's a recognition that the liberal idea that everybody wants peace is not true. "Inside every gook is an American trying to get out" is a liberal theme - or neoconservative, if you will - and believers have gotten a lot thinner on the ground after Iraq.

You could try killing everybody who could check that box. However, given that there's over a billion potential gamers, nuclear weapons or genocide are not even a logistically feasible option, never mind morality.

You can threaten anybody who checks that box. That's been our main strategy with cruise missile strikes and sanctions on state sponsors; drone strikes and spec-ops on small groups. Problem is, everybody's cost benefit is different. Plus, you have to make your threat credible over the long term. That is expensive, requires patience, and still doesn't stop everyone.

The other two ways are to change the cultural meme, or change how people see the problem. Changing culture from the outside is very difficult. Changing it from the inside is still complex and slow. Western influence and media can help, though that merely causes reactionary impulses from others. Finally, we can try to convince people they don't need to check any box - that there's no problem. The problem is identifying what the problem actually is. The reason we laugh at "jobs" is because it ignores root causes, and is also just as temporary and expensive as deterrence. "Climate change" is a blatant excuse to make changes in our own culture instead of solving the issue at hand.
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