I’m linking to a Raph Koster post, as I’m sure all self-respecting gaming blogger should. It’s entitled “A brief SF tale“. It’s a short historical fiction on the nature of human ingenuity, a recurring theme for me over the past months.
Once Upon A Time, there were many sites dedicated to sharing photos, and videos, and for listening to music. But there was a war on, so the military blocked access to those sites because the traffic was huge, and soldiers kept leaking info they weren’t supposed to, and so on.
But soldiers, being trained to be smart and clever about working around limitations, found that for every Photobucket, there was a Flickr, and for every Pandora there was a private podcast, and so on.
I’d recommend reading the post in its entirety (it’s a quick read). To me, the interestingly-worded theme is that when humans want something, like, actively want it, not just a passive “that would be nice”, generally, they figure out how to get it. And when that something they wantÂ seems to them to beÂ perfectly fine, there is very little that can get in their way. So, those people in charge who make decisions on what is to be restricted.
This is not meant to be any sort of critique on the war in Iraq. It’s not even meant to be a critique on war in general, though it’s included. Incidentally, I bet most conflicts could be boiled down to a handful of people on one side of the conflict being pissed at the handful of people on the other side who are pissed at them. When at least one of those two handfuls of people are top political “leaders” of their respective society, that’s when you get a war. But that’s another topic entirely.
When a person wants something that makes perfect sense and is not blatantly, intrinsically wrong (like stealing a car or mugging someone), then not only can I guarantee you there will be many others wanting that thing, but I can promise you one of those people will figure out a way to get it.Â The more obvious “things” today are music, movies, games, information-sharing, etc. If the roadblock to getting said desired things is from some dictate, then those handing down that dicate need to revisit the entire situation.
In the case of online media distribution I think it’s the case of traditional distribution models being rendered obsolete, and the assumption such an event would be more bad than good, that prevents the wholesale embrace of online distribution. Personal relationships figure in there to an unknown degree of course. But the fact remains that people want music, tv shows, and movies online and what they want is not being made available in some way. I think it’s likely a price issue, but that’s beyond the scope of this post.
In the case of soldiers inadvertently sharing sensitive intelligence, I’d argue the issue is a whole level of abstraction deeper. Here’s what I mean. If a person understands the situation in which they are in is of critical, immediate importance to their own well-being, then they will not share information that could compromise it. If there is a consistent problem of soldiers sharing sensitive information, then I think it’s obvious there is a general lack of conviction of the importance of the immediate situation in which those soldiers find themselves. I think it’s quite possible this is due to the motivations, goals, and leadership of the war, and I am talking about the top political “leaders” that triggered and encourage the war, not the so much the military members.Â And I think this points out what I think is a fact that most conflicts, whether wars or arguments between coworkers, are unnecessary. They usually boil down to one or both sides refusing to swallow their pride, apologize for their part, and make it easy for the other side to do the same. If caught early on, it’s relatively easy. If left to fester for a while, it gets pretty difficult. Didn’t we learn that in Kindergarten along with looking both ways before crossing the street?
this is not quite working…. .I’m getting distracted by all the aspects that seem directly relevant.