Friday, November 19, 2010

For What Its Worth.

There's something happenin' here...what it is ain't exactly clear.
(Buffalo Springfield, "For What Its Worth" )



On a distant hill in the Mexican state of Chiapas in 1994 a new brand of warfare began.  It was not heralded in the major news papers...it was not flashed on television screens, it was not heard on the radio.  Instead, with the click of a button news of an uprising of indigenous Mexicans was reported to the world by a small and unlikely source. 

File:SubMarcosHorse.jpg
Subcomandante Marcos
Subcomandante Marcos is the spokesman for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.  This small group of Marxists were able to report their philosophy, victories, and request support from people around the world.  Although they were not victorious in the sense of typical battles, they were successful in the media campaign. As a postmodern warrior Marcos understood the role that the Internet could play.

Today, Military forces around the world have dedicated billions of dollars, and thousands of personnel to wage the Information Wars. Every day tens of thousands of individuals fire off their thoughts in blogs, and websites.  The first victim of this war has been journalism.

Journalists, those people who attended school to be a journalist, find themselves competing with housewives, carpenters, and ditch diggers.  It is a battle they are quickly losing. News papers are finding it increasingly difficult to do battle with the multitude of opinions and part time analysts. By the time you get your paper in the morning it is old news. It has already been analyzed by thousands and sent on its way via twitter, Facebook, and blogs. 

In the old days reporters would scramble to phone in their reports...they wanted to be the first to report on important events.  There is the problem that both the reporter, and the blogger have.  They report what they are told...they may stop for a moment to consider the truth of the information, but they are on a very tight schedule to be the first.

Politics is not a game of tic-tac-toe.  If it were we would all be very good at it. Most bloggers, and many reporters are checker players.  They are good at jumping each other, thinking a move or two ahead, but not up to the task of the game of politics.  

Politics is a game of chess played on multiple boards, all at the same time, while blind folded.  The days of analyzing the information you have are over.  You must also determine why you have that information.  Where the information came from.  How important that information is, and the motives behind it.  How can your opponent use that information, and did they anticipate your reaction to the information?

I know for a fact that there a very powerful people using their money and power in an attempt to affect the course of this nation.  That has been the point of politics since the first cavemen selected a chief. Money does not elect a single person to office.  If that were the case Meg Whitman would be on her way to Congress.  

Information rules!  Do not be tricked into wasting information space by attacking the paper dragon.  The issues that face this nation is where the battleground is, Not who the fighters might be. I hesitate to give out too much information...no need to help the other side out.  But it is important that in this fight, as in war, hold close to your enemy.  Do Not let them create diversions.  

Stop Children, what's that sound?  Everybody look what's goin' down.