In 4th generation warfare, a small, nimble adversary trips up a vastly larger opponent. A ‘super empowered individual’ takes that one step further and does it himself. I’d say Snowden meets the definition. What say you?
A super empowered individual, in my view, is autonomously capable of creating a cascading event that grand strategist Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett has termed a ” system perturbation”; a disruption of system function and invalidation of existing rule sets to at least the national but more likely the global scale. The key requirements to become “superempowered” are comprehension of a complex system’s connectivity and operation; access to critical network hubs; possession of a force that can be leveraged against the structure of the system and a willingness to use it.
On the other hand, the aspect that makes super empowered individuals potential “black swans” mitigates against any long run success. They are by their nature “one hit wonders.”
There seems to be undue speculation lately as to who Edward Snowden is. I don’t care what his motives are. He has done the planet a huge favor by exposing the criminality of NSA. Let’s concentrate on the message not the messenger.