Archive for the 'jimStories' Category

New US commander in Iraq: US troops facing “classical guerillla-type campaign”


The Boston Globe this morning, front page headline, “US facing guerrilla war, general says.” General John Abizaid described in a press conference yesterday at the Pentagon US troops facing organized opposition, including surface-to-air missiles and targeted assassinations.

At a previously reported cost to US taxpayers of $3.9 billion per month of occupation, and a death toll yesterday of 146 and rising, this situation is becoming more, not less difficult.

This is not surprising, tragically.  The best networks win.  We had the best warmaking network–much better than Iraq’s third-world, authoritarian military (and of course, without WMD).  Now, however, the network struggle switches to peacemaking and economy-making.  We don’t have much of a peacemaking or economy-making network in Iraq–and no good plans, it seems, for how to do so.  Neither does the opposition, but for them to keep us tied up, all they need to do is destabilize our construction of a peacekeeping network and economy–which is pretty easy to do. For example, yesterday’s killing of a pro-US Iraqi mayor seems likely to discourage other high profile support for the US among Iraqi politicians.

Making war is relatively easy–it just requires destroying or destabilizing an ecosystem.  Making peace and economic progress is very difficult, and requires establishing and nurturing an ecosystem.

Instant posse


Instant Posse


More musing on posses.  There are “posse dates” that are set up in advance.  There is “instant posse” formed within the same day, or even the same hour.  And I suppose there are “post hoc” posses where people meet in a bar or a meetup group and decide to form a posse for the future…


Hey, Dave Winer, perhaps we could implement this smart posse/instant posse idea on a blogging service platform.  Consider the following:  Each subscriber would get a blog, and the blog could be used for their evolving thoughts about whatever—which would be much more informative than even the richest responses to the questions.  We could start the blogging off by suggesting questions or creative writing exercises that folks might do to kick start their blogging.


We may need to modify the blogging software/services.  Actually, perhaps what we need is not an add-on to one blogging platform, but some systems of feeds and links that can be attached to anyone’s blog..


In any instance, people need to be able to easily deal readily with four aspects of the posse experience:




Zip code and neighborhood (for places like New York or Boston). Neighborhood should include neighborhood where I live, but also neighborhood where I am going to at a given time.  So I could signal, “I will be in Palo Alto on August 3 and would be available for a posse in the evening.”


(2) Time: 


Variables could include “I like weekend posses” or “I will be available tonight for posses between the hours of midnight and five AM.”  I could also allow for preferences as to how spontaneous or planned I like to be, such as “I am willing to consider instant posses with people I have already decided I’d like to be with—just send me a text message on my cell phone with our posse nickname, a posse time, and a meeting place, and any other information (e.g. dress to get wet).”  Or “I like to schedule my posse times—let me know a week or so in advance and I will be there.”


(3) Affinity: 


Theme descriptions and idea exchanges—which perhaps is accomplished by blogging plus some search capabilities.  Matching tools, including profile searches (“I’m looking for females and males who are up for street theater followed by dinner”), collaborative filtering (“people forming posses like yours also chose…”), and self selection (“I’m forming a posse around the following wild idea.  If you are interested, let me know.”).


(4) Posse management:


Permissions, time preferences, subject preferences.  Notification tools, for example, posses could be pre-formed—and then cell phone texting addresses exchanged, or simply cell phone numbers exchanged, so that at the appointed time a call could be made to assemble the posse.  Also, reminders could be semi-automatically generated a certain interval before the posse is to form.  Posses should probably be able to be merged, so that super-posses can be brought together.

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