This was sent by ZN. He is a journalist and professor who focuses on identity, authenticity, and the power of routine relationships (ethnomethodology, if you want to get geeky as he puts it). His Guerilla Red Team Story is different, he and his students routinely play with the Red Team Mindset and interesting things happen. This is Part 1 of 3. An intro.
Act I: You Think You Know Me, I Probably Wear A Mask
Hi, before I get into my adventures, I thought I’d write a first piece as a bit of an introduction, a voice, or perspective of a Guerrilla RedTeamer, that is often overlooked (thankfully) in the often echo-chambered media world we live in. Publicly, I’m a professor. A dismissive identity by media standards, but what I really am is a filter creator, someone who focuses on human communication, relationships, identity, technology, popular culture, and most recently veteran affairs. Social engineering is one of the many tools I experiment with along with colleagues as we try to figure out how people construct their perceptions and expectations. I spend quite a bit of time exploring how people share their understandings and are part of a “community.” I’ve consulted with various city/state agencies and advocacy groups globally and will share some of the stories that I can.
As I write this, I’m sitting behind the relative safety of a desk, in an office, and many of my colleagues don’t know how to read the subtext of what I do beyond the classroom, nor do I try to explain (the words are often lost between simple constructs of right/wrong, moral/immoral, liberal/conservative, etc.), and even then it’s a story to manage communication with them and my identity. In my office sit four bags packed (based on things I’ve read on the RT site) to be faster/better and to roll at a moments notice if a client calls, the windows written on with dry-erase ideas to test in the field or a current project, and most importantly, artifacts to support the perception of a stable identity.
It is from a strange position that I write about both fascinating and awful phenomenon. I never thought of myself as a “redteamer,” as I don’t have formal military training, but do have formal education and access to fieldwork, research tools, and ability to conduct/construct human experiments (I'll share those soon). Like many of you readers, I’ve read many of the books listed on the bookshelf link by U., along with 15 years of experience experimenting with the ideas from my own discipline, and like the masks that are strategically placed around my office as mementos of my adventures (all with two stories), or the RT rules I sneak into my syllabi for my students enjoyment, which also serve as a constant reminder on how to stay vigilant, or the overt public persona that transverses digital media that is not in your face, but is there so that you will consume the mask I want you to “friend,” “like,” or “follow.” That’s what people think I do, “read, think, break, teach, write, and repeat;” however, to take a kind of ownership, what I am is a “redteamer.” The list is actually quite simpler, “break, fix, break, fix, repeat,” but with people and the breaking and fixing is nuanced. You, as a reader of this site, are drawn to our stories, ideas, gear, and whatnot, so that you too can learn and do. We live in a very complicated world that is often overly simplified through media use. Some redteamers, put their bodies on the line and that is their burden they have chosen to carry. Others, like myself, put our minds on the line, mental vaults holding secrets, attempting to understand the human condition, but not in some psychobabble sense, but how people communicate with one another. How to manipulate, shift, pivot, or change those processes toward a communicative end; human communication is an inherently selfish act and in my world, Rule 63 is our starting point...