361. Army Mad Scientist Fall / Winter Writing Contest

Crowdsourcing is an effective tool for harvesting ideas, thoughts, and concepts from a wide variety of interested individuals, helping to diversify thought and challenge conventional assumptions.  Army Mad Scientist seeks to crowdsource the intellect of the Nation (i.e., you — our community of action!) with our Fall / Winter Writing Contest.  Entries should address one of the topics’ writing prompts listed below:

Back to the Future:

We often hear the phrase, “History Repeats Itself.” While this idea is questionable, our perceived history definitely shapes our mental models about future possibilities. How can history inform us about the future of competition and conflict?

Points to Consider:
“Once More unto The Breach Dear Friends”: From English Longbows to Azerbaijani Drones, Army Modernization STILL Means More than Materiel
Lessons from the Cold War: “The Ugly American” and Multi-Domain Operations
Why the Next “Cuban Missile Crisis” Might Not End Well: Cyberwar and Nuclear Crisis Management
Jomini’s Revenge: Mass Strikes Back!
Damnatio Memoriae through AI
Making the Future More Personal: The Oft-Forgotten Human Driver in Future’s Analysis

The convergence of horses, stirrups, and armor provided warriors with mobility and shock, enabling heavy cavalry to dominate the battlefield in the 4th to 14th Centuries AD. Similarly, the technological convergence of the internal combustion engine, hardened steel, caterpillar tracks, breech loading cannon, and radio communications revitalized the concept of heavy cavalry, enabling mechanized force mobility and firepower to dominate land warfare for the past century. How could the convergence of new, emergent technologies similarly revitalize past warfighting concepts to change the character of warfare?

Points to Consider:
Speed, Scope, and Convergence Trends
Strategic Latency Unleashed!
Table of Future Technologies: A 360 Degree View Based on Anticipated Availability
Estimation of Technological Convergence by 2035
The Convergence: The Next Ten Years of Tech with Eli Dourado and associated podcast
Ground Warfare in 2050: How It Might Look
Potential Game Changers handout

Our perceived history shapes our mental models and can be the source of blind spots and biases. The Mad Sci community often asks ourselves where a divergence from our past experiences might create a disadvantage or surprise. How could our future be different than our past experiences and what are the potential surprises or disadvantages?  

Points to Consider:
In Medias Res
Bias, Behavior, and Baseball with Keith Law and associated podcast
The Case for Restructuring the Department of Defense to Fight in the 21st Century
Weighing Effort in the Future Strategic Environment 2028-2035
The Classified Mind – The Cyber Pearl Harbor of 2034
An Appropriate Level of Trust…


CALLING ALL RED TEAMERS!  There are no facts about the future. Tell us what the Joint Force and the Army are getting wrong about our future and the character and role of competition and conflict?  Where are the Joint Force and the Army wrong about our vision of the future of competition and conflict? What are we missing?

Points to Consider:
The Operational Environment (2021-2030): Great Power Competition, Crisis, and Conflict
The Future Operational Environment: The Four Worlds of 2035-2050
“Tenth Man” – Challenging our Assumptions about the Operational Environment and Warfare (Part 1)
“Tenth Man” – Challenging our Assumptions about the Operational Environment and Warfare (Part 2)
“Tenth Man” – Challenging our Assumptions about the Future Force
On Hype and Hyperwar

Now get busy crafting your submissions — entries will be accepted in two formats:

      • A written essay (no more than 1500 words, please!)
      • A tweet @ArmyMadSci using either #MadSciBacktotheFuture or #MadSciDivergence

We will pick a winner from each of these two formats! Contest Winners will be proclaimed official Mad Scientists and be featured here in the Mad Scientist Laboratory.  Semi-finalists of merit will also be published!

This contest is open to any and every one — multiple submissions are encouraged!

DEADLINE:  All entries are due NLT 11:59 pm Eastern on January 10, 2022!

Looking for additional ideas?  Explore the Mad Scientist Laboratory at: https://madsciblog.tradoc.army.mil

Questions?  Send us an eMail at:  madscitradoc@gmail.com

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