Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Why so secret?

Consider Episode 3.

First words: "I need everyone in this room to promise to keep a very big secret."

dot dot dot.

I wondered at first if the 'threat' of Citizen X's kitsch network justified secrecy.

Debate that if you want to. For me, windmills for household use are a great idea. Tabloids are also interesting. "Rogue Squadron of Do-Gooders Invades Favela" -- whatEver! "Alchemy Nude!" -- Yeah, every time he takes a shower. Big Story, there! Surely there is something fiendish about the Citizen X network that justifies secrecy. We'll let that story unfold as it will.

Then I thought, maybe secrecy protects the investment of Alchemy and his financiers. The Evoke Network is keeping its good ideas and, well, its network of social innovation small and tight. This keeps revenue internal. As the Boss says, "See that your profits are re-invested in the network." Perhaps this justifies secrecy, if it keeps fiscally irresponsible social innovation out.

And then there's the sense in which secrecy feels most comfortable communicating with secrecy. By this I mean Alchemy's confidential relationship with municipal governments. Our Japanese official I think rather enjoyed the secret status of Alchemy's network. The Japanese government is happy that Alchemy doesn't want to take all the credit.

And yet, his Agents are spray-painting their names....and of course the rooftop garden spelled EVOKE....so secrecy has another function: it creates a space for revelation.

So we've got manufactured secrecy, as a method of preventing kitsch emotionalized tabloid manipulation and irresponsible finance; and we've got deliberately provocative revelation. Evoke is secret to protect its image, on the one hand; and Evoke is branding, on the other. The secrecy and the revelation are hand in hand.

This at least I surmise. But one of our discussion questions for Mission 3 asks about failure on the favela. Was Babilonia the wrong place? Was Joao the wrong boy to trust? Was the futbol match just too darn interesting?

No. I don't think so. I think secrecy as a strategy is no longer suitable to the Evoke Network. Secrecy now equals failure.

My mission here is not to argue this point. I'm just saying it. Our secrecy decreased our success in Rio.

Take it for what it's worth. You decide.

Future missions will hinge upon the degree of secrecy the Network maintains. They will hinge upon our ability to conquer kitsch emotionalism. And they will hinge upon our communication of responsible finance.

peace! // cameron

Views: 69

Comment by David Dewane on March 21, 2010 at 1:56pm
I agree that it is an ingredient added to the story to arouse interest and is getting old. In general, I find the notion of secrecy in the plot line a bit distasteful, but have a feeling that it will be worked out over time. I did enjoy that scene where the do-gooder is called out by the local for trying to take the moral high ground.
Comment by Wintermute on March 21, 2010 at 2:20pm
Comment by Kevin DiVico on March 16, 2010 at 8:41pm

"Hello everyone,

This is a timely and much needed topic to be explored. There is a reason in our game reality that Alchemy and the agents are shrouded in secrecy. We all want to make the world a better place, thats good but first you need to accept the reality that the world, it can be a dark and dangerous place.

About me- eight years US Army intelligence(90-98) - 3 years private security after that. I am sure there are others with similar and even more experience on the network as well and I encourage them to post to this discussion as well.

I first will respond to some of the comments -
@Stefano - People who you can help and increase there lot in life understand you, bad guys who your cutting into there bottom line (black market food, Human trafficking, child trafficking, drugs, etc) want you gone bought off first( cause you can use a humanitarian organization to cover lots of illegal activity) , and if you don't buy easily then they want you gone (left the country -threats, rape as a weapon, assault) and if your still making waves then they want you dead.

it is that easy.

Now thats people who have criminal enterprises going. Regular people are smart, mobs are not and if you get caught in the middle of mass of people who become a mob what you did for them yesterday doesn't mean a wh*** lot. Look at the US army presence in Somalia back in the Nineties, They where first welcomed as humanitarian saviors, by the time operation Gothic Serpent occurred (Battle for Mogadishu in the press) they where an enemy occupier. public perception can change quickly and leave you out in the cold."
Comment by Shakwei Mbindyo on March 21, 2010 at 6:22pm
+1 Courage. In my experience, on of the fastest way to get information out there is to use the magic words "don't tell anyone" :)
Comment by Michele Baron on March 22, 2010 at 11:10pm
Secrecy is isolating, not transparent, difficult to overcome. For example, working to establish a humanitarian outreach project--holistic, community-based approach to sustainability/infrustructure support/development, requires (at least for me) long months/years of study, networking, building of trust, coalescing of innovative-solutions/concepts, legal details/requirements. (For my hoped-for Hajj for Humanity evokation, please read through end of EVOKE sessions...). Secrecy doesn't seem to help much... and secrecy of operations won't be valued, as a transparent organization is (I hope) much less susceptible to corruption, criminal enterprises, etc.. No one person can accomplish everything, and transparent organizations are more efficiently sustained, I think.
The competitive race to develop sustainable, low-integrated-tech renewable energy solutions (a sine-qua-non of infrastructure security/sustainability in a developed, interdependent world) is, however, very often shrouded in secrecy. Sometimes ideas are born of necessity, un-supported by university or corporate structures.
When ideas become viable, interesting, there is a lot of competition to gain developmental funding--multinational corporations hope for profits, political interests hope for power, providers hope for control (and power, and profit)--who watches to ensure the best ideas survive? Especially if they cut into established profit margins?
On the one hand, who can watch if there is too much secrecy--and yet, who can survive in a competitive developmental environment despite best intentions without secrecy-- when secrecy is a norm?
If an idea is "worth a lot of money"--how best to develop it?
How to ensure low-tech and high-tech and bio-sustainable solutions are available for all strata of our interconnected society? How best to present ideas knowing the "world is a dark and dangerous place" and that ideas are, in themselves, fragile entities.
What is intellectual property--if an idea can sustain the world, how to protect, and nurture the idea to see it to fruition?
Not seeking notariety is not the same as desiring secrecy-- sharing information is not the same as eschewing secrecy. Secrecy is a two-edged sword. Especially if it is not in the background of some of the player(s).
Comment by cameron michael keys on March 23, 2010 at 12:26am
ha! dude, i got a degree in philosophy from arizona state university. i moved to kauai. i'm a bartender. no branch, braddah. just eyes open imagination. researcher. i worked for the conscious media network out of college as a transcriptionist -- taking videos and copying their sounds to paper for money. i'm an acquaintance of david icke's, he wrote his last book at my friend's mom's house in sedona. um. my father played major league baseball briefly after he got out of the marine corps. i did get a two thousand dollar scholarship my first two years in college -- i started at ohio university -- because my father was a marine.

and you?
Comment by cameron michael keys on March 23, 2010 at 10:20am
no i haven't heard of the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters. At all. They are good words though, and I would be interested in knowing something about them. i'll google it and get a sense what you might mean. if the terms are more specialized than google can show, you'll have to enlighten me. peace //
Comment by Duncan Zuill on March 23, 2010 at 10:48am
Sooner or later organisations are going to want money to do, well, anything at all.
That's where I worry about secrecy.
I believe in the credos of transparency.
I think openness and transparency are non-negotiable - any secretive organisation
will not get my support because I will suspect them of stealing the money.
I'd rather be robbed than defrauded.


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