Obfuscation is a general term for making it harder to understand what is going on. The resources above show the extremely common nature of obfuscation and its role in much of our social and intellectual life. It is also important in advocacy.
As I discussed earlier, outright lying has many downsides:It destroys the possibility of using authentic honesty in the negotiation of a valued outcome
It increases conflict, creating barriers to creating valued outcomes
It tells your target that it is acceptable to use deceit in countering your advocacy. It also allows the target to justify an escalation of deceit from the standard level that the target normally uses.
Obfuscation is a better heuristic than deceit for muddling your target’s understanding of your tactics as you design, create, and implement them.
- Chaff: Using distractions to partially hide your real purpose. Chaff has been used to make it harder for missiles to find targets by flooding the space of the hunt with false positives.
- Noise: triggering additional messages in your target’s information space to confuse, like twitter bots.
- Using patterns of behavior that subtly communicate intent like a tell in poker.
- Using proxies to cloud decisions
- Big noise, no substance: Pretending to begin an initiative with fanfare, but no real intent.
There are many more patterns of Obfuscation in the linked resources.