A military intelligence officer in the US Army Reserve makes an interesting case for blogging to be incorporated into the world of intelligence analysis. Essentially, the argument relies on the distributed nature of information, and using blogs as a way to reduce the barriers and costs of sharing information.

Seems like a decent idea to me, though one has to wonder what the institutional policies might be for contributing information to a wide audience. The compartmentalization of information is often a justification for the existence (and thus the bugets) of groups within agencies. I'd be hard pressed to think of an agency that's eager to have its specialty shared, unguarded and uncredited in any way useful to the agency.

This all brings up my disappointment at the demise of the "Terrorism Futures Market". After all, if the case for blogs at the CIA, DIA, or NSC is the benefit from reliance on distributed information, what better than to make that information easier to contribute, faster to interpret, and come with strong pecuniary incentives to contribute? Rather than sift through blog posts and comments, attempting to sort out the wheat from the chaff, time might just be better spent watching contract prices rise and fall. The distaste for the issue, I think, was largely the interpretation that people would be "betting" on death. Contracts for "attempts" at assassinations, attacks, coups, etc., might seem crass, but if one of them is right, and the act is averted, then the gain is mutual: those investing in the contract receive the payoff, counter-terrorism agencies get accurate infomation, and if all goes well, the action is averted (though it could still count as an "attempt".) Of course, those who decried the terrorism futures market never seemed to complain about life insurance. Betting on your own death is ok, I guess.


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This page contains a single entry by published on March 9, 2005 12:36 PM.

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