Ontological warfare is a kind of information warfare that engages the enemy with a series of attacks against its 'Being' or ontology, including its language, culture, belief system, even its tests for success.
One such attack is a protocol attack known as 'embrace, extend and extinguish'.
Another example is namespace pollution, whereby a valuable word or phrase is consumed, its meaning replaced with something trivial. For consumerium, this means every consumer must be vigilant to protect the meaning of words such as "organic from being redefined.
To consumer analysis, an ontological shift in thinking can produce a shift in spending habits. Corporations attempt to identify with or invent generic names, eg: ketchup and yet control the market.
- The edit wars on a wiki, suggesting that an ontology is a point of view.
- The idea that corporations have the same rights as individuals, effectively giving them more rights due to greater financial resources - an example of violating the no confusion with group entity rule and creating a God's Eye View from which corporations and individuals have assumed attributes in common. This was established over a long period of time by successive court rulings.
- Music piracy and software piracy. Copying music privately was not always the major crime that current law makes it out to be (DMCA). The idea that "stealing cable" is a theft equivalent to stealing a tangible infrastructural capital item like a bicycle is deliberately unexamined for its appropriateness as a conceptual metaphor.
- War on drugs. Drug use and sales was not always the major crime that current law makes it out to be. But you can still go to the drug store and get your prescription filled - so it is a war on certain drugs and drug dealers but not others. This unexamined assumption obscures the similarities between corporate drug creators and basement drug creators, their propensity to create addiction and other dependency, and the cooption of authority in one set of drugs but not another.
- A hypothetical attack against the Consumerium buying signal might attempt to alter its tests for success. This would lead a culture down a slippery slope of unethical products until any ethical spending becomes something no human can do.
- political correctness. Post-traumatic stress disorder is the eventual term for what was originally known as shell shock, and it turns out to be much easier for companies to market pharmaceuticals to. If it is a "disorder" it is medical and should be paid by medical insurance. If it is "shock" resulting from "shells" then it is obviously a military thus public problem to deal with.
- Microsoft's referring to a so-called "degradation of the software ecosystem", hijacking ecological metaphors and redefining them to favor itself, seems to have prompted some free software activists to build a mythological response with such elements as "GNUmes", "vampires" and "the flora and fauna of the noosphere". Overall, this use of conceptual metaphor is quite offensive to these who see an ecosystem, up to and including the Earth itself, as a life-sustaining mechanism deserving of every protection physically possible, and worth risking death to protect. See en: Disinfopedia: software ecosystem and Avoid extending metaphor for more on this.
- w:adversarial process
- w:Memetics: Memetic Lexicon, which can be read as a taxonomy of strategies for ontological warfare