Prying Newton’s Grip on Military Thinking by using Pac Man: A Crowd-Sourcing Exercise (Part 3 of 5)

Ben Zweibelson, PhD
18 min readOct 20, 2022

These public facing Medium posts are a crowd-sourcing exercise to further develop some initial concepts on how security organizations might use systemic design theory to re-conceptualize how military forces frame, construct and execute strategic and operational campaign designs. In contemporary security applications, we hear often about ‘multi-domain’, ‘integrated deference’, ‘disciplined initiative through Mission Command’ as well as ‘whole-of-government’ all tangled up like sheets in the dryer with ‘gray zone’ and ‘asymmetric warfare’ (or any other variation therein). In this series, I invite other military strategists, theorists, academia and practitioners to reflect, contribute, comment and re-post their own experimentations on how designers around the world might transform, critically challenge, and ultimately re-conceptualize some of the previously unassailable “truths” of war, warfare praxis, doctrine, and the ‘tested and proven’ constructs, methods and models that dominate virtually every modern industrialized nation-state’s military instrument of power. There are formal articles, lectures and book chapters being developed based on some of this work, but what follows below and in this series is the raw concepts with little or no footnotes/references. Follow me at Medium, LinkedIn, and Twitter for new updates, posts, discussion threads and more. These views are my own and do not represent any official position or work outside of my own academic inquiry into my community of practice. All errors and omissions are entirely my own. Thanks for reading!

Author’s graphic 2022

Part 2of this series is here:

This portion of this 5-part series introduces some unusual concepts such as topology, complexity theory, systems thinking, as well as postmodern theory to disrupt the dominant military frame for thinking and acting in warfare. Before we get into how Pac-Man (or Mrs. Pac-Man, my personal favorite from the 1980s) can help gobble up some of the limitations in how we conceptualize, articulate and…

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Ben Zweibelson, PhD

Philosopher of Conflict; works at U.S. Space Command; All opinions my own!