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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    Uncle's Help Comment
    Gregory Morris, 1/30/08 2:49:58 pm
    Uncle suggests somehow unifying to pro-gun element on the internet.

    There is a pretty good discussion going on in the comments right now, but let me continue my early thoughts here. First, my original comment:
    Iíll step outside the box here for a second and disagree with your implied hypothesis that a "unified coalition" of interwebified-gunnies would be a good thing. The power of the internet lies in the network of independent nodes rather than central power. Sometimes the nodes can be harnessed to work in parallel, but they canít and shouldnít be synchronized. This is because the internetís culture is define by more by trends than actual organized groups. Things come and go too quickly. Too many people have too many disparate beliefs. The power still exists, but it is distributed. In fact, I would argue that centralizing it would diminish what power currently exists within this disordered amalgamation.


    When I suggested that "nodes can be harnessed to work in parallel", I didn't necessarily mean by a central body/site. Certain issues will simply cause a temporary unification and "call to arms" due to the internet "mob" dynamic that already exists. Digg takes that concept and runs with it. The question is, can we create something gun-centric that operates on the same principal as digg? I'm not so sure. Ace uses the barbershop quartet example, but I'm not sure that's a particularly good example. Comparing 4 or 5 people to thousands is like apples and oranges when you are discussing information dynamics. However, comparing the numbers of fellow gun enthusiasts to the entire digg user base is also not accurate.

    Frankly, I think the information dissemination component works very well as-is. One blogger links to another who links to another. Readers follow the links. The information is disseminated to everyone who is interested. The reason bloggers are always 5 days ahead of the NRA is because the NRA has a bottleneck. Think about the disorganized graph topography of the blogosphere versus a top-down topography of a monolithic organization... In a network, any outage or anomaly can be routed around. No bottleneck. The blogosphere also reduces redundancy without eliminating it, which creates a system that runs at near-optimal efficiency.

    The other component we are considering is actually calling the recipients of information to action, and coordinating that action should the need arise. That happens in a small way with the existing, distributed network of blogs, but in a large way with gun organizations like the NRA, VCDL, et. al. When the NRA says "write your congressman", people do. When the VCDL has a rally, people attend.

    So what do we really need? I can't really answer that. It is amazingly good, as-is. All I can think of is a browse-able gun-centric archive of links where people can go to research specific topics. Perhaps something like the Second Amendment Carnival, only perhaps more organized/categorized. Billianter suggests an index where you can find everything in one place... I currently call that "Google".

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

    Re: Uncle\'s Help
    Ace, 1/30/08 3:52:56 pm
    The barbershop quartet was more metaphor than actual example. The idea of single voices coming together to form a cohesive sound for the purpose of singing a song.

    Discussion of information dynamics might be a bit over my head, I'm afraid, so I'll leave that to those more knowledgeable.

    Perhaps a better example would be the "Avengers Assemble!" call?

    Then again, I might be completely off....again.

    As for the gun-centric archive...something like a gun blogger/2A wikipedia?
    Re: Uncle\'s Help
    Gregory Morris, 1/31/08 6:40:12 am
    I love the concept of a wiki, but there are already so many fantastic sources for good information out there already. Cornered Cat, Gun Facts, ConcealedCarry.net, etc. Heck, Wikipedia has great info on guns for that matter.

    In the age of Google, is there really a need to centralize that? With the current "unorganized militia" of gun information websites, we can tolerate all kinds of damage/loss/laziness/giving up/etc. without the overall community being affected. I personally like that current sites are more focussed, and driven by people who are passionate about their pet topics. e.g. - A site solely devoted to concealed carry law will always have better concealed carry information than a general gun site.
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