Currents 021: John Robb on Jan 6th, 2021



In this Currents episode, Jim talks to John Robb about the Jan 6th events at the US Capitol. They cover the intelligence & operations failures, the event as an example of domestic opensource insurgency, heterogeneous motivations & intentions among the protesters, self-organizing network tribal dynamics of the right & left, the conspiracy attractor for the insurgents, the criticality of this cultural moment, current & past US election distrust, consensus vs dissent on social media, Trump’s role, the shifting political field & strategies, the Parler shutdown, big tech power & alternatives, and much more.

John is an author, inventor, entrepreneur, technology analyst, astro engineer, and military pilot. He’s started numerous successful technology companies, including one in the financial sector that sold for $295 million and one that pioneered the software we currently see in use at Facebook and Twitter. John’s insight on technology and governance has appeared on the BBC, Fox News, National Public Radio, CNBC, The EconomistThe New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek.

John served as a pilot in a tier-one counter-terrorism unit that worked alongside Delta and Seal Team 6. He wrote the book Brave New War on the future of national security, and has advised the Joint Chiefs of Staff, NSA, DoD, CIA, and the House Armed Services Committee.