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Reposted from Future of Work, October 27, 2006 – with slightly improved grammar and word choice…
Information and the End of War
This will be the first of what will likely be many ruminations of why conventional war is no longer an option in the information age. The primary premise of this exploration will hinge on two things.
First, information is readily available, even information you don’t want to be available. Foreign countries with satellites have access to realtime data about troop movements of other countries, and the latest sensors and surveillance technology increases the fidelity of that information in an exponential manner.
Second, information will be a more important tool to combat ideologies. We need to play the information game rather than the war game. Rather than lapses in judgment in military prisons that sensationalize an occasional slip from an overblown moral high ground, we need to take the moral high ground, in a very real sense, with full knowledge that the world is looking at how we perform against our ethics. Respect in the future, and trust, is built by acting on beliefs. Acts and beliefs need to align or information will be available that people will use to call you on the slip up.
Our future battle will consist of ideas backed by information, not ideas backed by weapons. Sure, there will be local skirmishes and we will continue to need a military for self-protection, but the best self-protection will come from co-dependency based on information. As we saw in the Cold War, a peace of convenience is better than no peace. This will force more dialog, more synergy, but we have to be the players on the world stage that we claim to be. Iraq will be the last war that we call war, and the war on terror will be the prototype for the future. If we didn’t have rapid information systems suicide bombers would be vague rumors about deaths in far off places. Terror is a strategy built on information. We certainly need better information, but we also need to use information better.
This is not just a message adherents for the left, right and center.
The Dems may well take back the House and Senate. Checks and balances of the two party system will be slowly restored. And if the Dems want to celebrate their victory, they had better do so in a way that reinforces their beliefs by action. The world is watching, and if we don’t get it right, the world will let them know, and our reputation on the world stage will erode more. A reputation at the end of the day is moral metadata, and we need to do a lot better job of keeping track of how we are tagged so we know how we are perceived so we can deliver in a manner that meets the expectations we set. – [how does the preceding read in 2010? Did they get the message? – I don’t think so]
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