Critical Mass: The Military Thinks We’re Smart

Strange World Department: Critical Mass Studied As Military Tactic

The Washington Post recently reported that the US Defense Department has been studying Critical Mass bike ride’s swarming of bikes as a military tactic: “The U.S. military has been one of the earliest institutions to both fear and see the possibilities in swarming. John Arquilla co-authored ‘Swarming and the Future of Conflict’ two years ago for the think tank Rand Corp. and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He sees swarming – ‘a deliberately structured, coordinated, strategic way to strike from all directions’ – as spearheading a revolution in military affairs. ‘The military has much to learn from Critical Mass,’ he writes in an e-mail, ‘I used to go up to San Francisco regularly to see this leaderless swarm of bicyclists bring traffic to a complete halt for two hours. Once I asked a police sergeant, as he stood observing the Ferry Building, what he was going to do about this. He shrugged his shoulders and asked me back, “What would you have me do?’”

Little did we know that the US government was snooping while we were whooping.