Thursday, August 31, 2006

The complicated "Liberal thug-wimp" meme

Nothing delights the frothing portion of the Right more than an opportunity to paint liberals (and the one remaining American centrist) as wimps. They're wimps because they fail to "Support our Troops and President Bush."

Of course. They're wimps like this:

On the other hand, no outrage or indignity supposedly perpetrated by liberals must go un-reported, because it's all about hate, hate, hate, right?

So, in breaking news (and I apologize to the future that I know very few facts beyond the initial report as I write this) it appears that a National Guardsman has been attacked by persons unknown in Seattle, and Michelle Malkin and other feral pundits are in full cry that thuggish liberal wimps must be to blame.

Um... guys? A word to the wise. "Thug-wimp" is going to be very, very hard to maintain as a useful meme for misleading and enraging your electoral base. Because, you know, thugs are tough and scary. You might want to re-think this one, though your now-dwindling success with "Iraq, the central front in the war on terror" suggests that even this ludicrous extreme might get you at least a week's worth of gullibility from some folks.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Terrorism <> Iraq

The single biggest anti-terrorist success since 9/11 happened over the past few days, as the British, U.S., and Pakistani governments rolled up an apparently widespread conspiracy.

Latest Headline: "19 Suspects Are Identified in Britain"

How was this success achieved? Police work and international cooperation.

Iraq is the single biggest disaster since 9/11.

Latest Headline: "Blast Kills 35 Iraqis at Shiite Shrine in Najaf"

How was this failure achieved? Traditional military force and unilateralism.

The future is all about networks and fourth-generation warfare. When we recognize this, we win. When we don't we fail.

Why is Israel so determined to fail in Lebanon?

Latest Headline: "Israel Expands Offensive in Lebanon"

The Iraq model is a failure. The entire right-wing war machine that promoted it is now focused on justifying a lost cause.

Meanwhile, fighting terrorism works.
And there are many important, obvious, sensible, anti-terrorist policies to be pursued, revolving around police work, international cooperation, and creating networks of peace and stability.

Let's get to work.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Kevin Burton: The Numbers Don't Lie

Kevin has an awesome post on blogosphere growth up today. I encourage you to go read it -- it's a great example of how hype can be deflated by applying a little math to the numbers at hand. All credit to Dave Sifry for what he's built at Technorati, but I strongly suspect he got trapped in this "doubling every six months" thing about two years ago, and now he can't get out of it without the entire punditocracy falling on his head.

There were some other guys who got caught in that kind of hype cycle, too, but they were running a public company. The guys at WorldCom -- several of whom are now in jail for their lies -- were possibly more responsible than anyone else for the inflation of Bubble 1.0 with their made-up claim of "Internet traffic doubling every 100 days."

"It was an essential ingredient of dotcom business plans and conference slide-shows: Internet traffic, went the industry's favorite statistic, doubles every 100 days. The claim assumed unimpeachable status when it appeared in a report published by America's Department of Commerce in April 1998. Unfortunately for the telecoms firms that rushed to build networks to carry the reported surge in traffic, it wasn't true. So where did the claim come from?..."folks from WorldCom”, typically Bernie Ebbers, its recently departed chief executive, or John Sidgmore, his replacement."

Web 2.0 is all about disruption of the existing media and creation of the new. It doesn't require magical thinking or puffery. The revolution really is here.