Archive for January 29th, 2009

Time to End the Fearmongering

President Obama has promised to bring change to the country, and to the government. In the latter, at least, he and his administration have taken a few fairly high-profile steps in the right direction. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of these things are important, and really do need to be done; if you wander the internet, you’ll find thousands of suggestions for wht “the next step” should be. Some are serious; others aren’t. Some are practical, some less so. What almost all of them have in common is that they are big and bold, and visible – understandable – to “the average American”. Yes, there’s real, substantial work to be done, but there’s little harm in pandering to the electorate by making largely symbolic acts designed to appeal to a broad mass of people.

With that in mind, I have a small, humble suggestion that will cost the government nothing, and would – I think – be well-received by most Americans:
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Published in: General, Security | on January 29th, 2009 | Comments Off on Time to End the Fearmongering

Some Intellipedia Tidbits

I have a deep respect for Intellipedia, which seems to be one of the few overwhelmingly positive “new technology” success stories to come from the Intelligence Community in recent years. (At least, one of the few that are public knowledge…) It is, of course, Wikipedia, only for government and military intelligence professionals. Public information about the system is fairly scarce, and I’ve tried over time to share what I’ve come across. In keeping with that practice, some readers might be interested in this well-sourced article on Intellipedia from the current issue of the Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin. (Oh, the crazy and wacky things I read, just to find interesting bits of information for you, Dear Reader…) The really astute reader will note that the footnotes include a couple of hyperlinks to Intellipedia itself, which is – I think – a first for a (public) article about Wikipedia.

Published in: Geekiness, General | on January 29th, 2009 | Comments Off on Some Intellipedia Tidbits

Legends and Folktales

I’ve written before about the Defense Language Institute’s field support site, which is an excellent resource for learning about the culture – and of course language – of a huge number of countries around the world. They continue to expand and develop the site at a quite remarkable pace. One of the recent additions is, perhaps, unusual even by the fairly liberal standards of a cultural-anthropology project such as this one – a multimedia site describing legends and folktales from more than two dozen countries around the world.

It’s interesting, I admit, but I’m a little bit confused about what purpose, exactly, it serves.
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Published in: Geekiness, General, History | on January 29th, 2009 | 1 Comment »