I'm running up and down the ivory tower looking for academic evaluations of social movements which explain how strategies and tactical interventions work. Sometimes I find real pearls, like this talk by Biella Coleman.
She is an anthropologist and concentrates on the ethics of online collaborations with a focus on hackers. She wrote about Debian, Indymedia, and now about Anonymous, the multiple entity who DoSed several financial institutions in support of Wikileaks last year.
Anonymous have loads of clips on youtube about who they are (legion) and what they want (free flow of information). That's their public face. Biella Coleman analyses how their actions work through the lens of anthropology. Her case study in this talk is how Anonymous took on Scientology.
I laughed half of the talk, because Anonymous' cultivation of trolling as - well - yeah - a political practice is just hilarious, and very instructive, and Biella Coleman is just the person to bring across both the fun and the serious parts of it. Enjoy: