December 21, 2004

SimTerror 2005

The folks at Silent Running are going to be conducting an interesting experiment.


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.

They have a dedicated Yahoo group set up and the list of players includes many prominent bloggers. Set your bookmarks, because no matter what happens, it's going to be fascinating. I'll be watching this one closely.

Posted by Ted at December 21, 2004 06:10 AM
Category: Links


Damn, I missed it.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at December 21, 2004 09:52 AM

Ya know, I didn't even catch that when I copied it from SR, and I just double checked. Huh?

Posted by: Ted at December 21, 2004 10:17 AM

So it's a "Big Brother" event?

Posted by: GEBIV at December 21, 2004 07:00 PM

Oops, that would have been "1984" (stupid public school education)

However, even though the Orwell reference falls through, this does sound eerily like Orson Well's "War of the Worlds" radio play.

Posted by: GEBIV at December 21, 2004 07:03 PM
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