Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Ahh Christmas

The Christmas season is well and truly upon me and today will largely be taken up with the work Christmas "do", which promises to be a relatively good time for all.

In the interim, here are a few links:

Thomas Rid has a great piece on Kings of War on the use of the media by the US military as a tool to help their force projection overseas:
The first lesson is for public affairs officers and info-ops folks alike, especially outside the United States: if you want to project power, use the BBC. The British media outlet didn’t just say the exercise was “designed to show the military strength of America and its allies,” it helped the U.S. Navy achieve that objective. In the past years, especially American commanders have become much more adept at using the media — “trained, objective observers,” as they said during the planning for embedding in the Iraq War — to get across a certain message. In the case of the BBC video, the real addressee is pretty obvious. And let’s be honest, the Navy did a superb job in getting the right pictures and quotes into the BBC report
Worth reading if you're in PR particularly.

I've been watching the debate about whether DDoS attacks are a form of civil disobedience. The best piece I've seen so far is Evgeny Morozov's piece (hopefully spelled right) on Slate, assessing Anonymous's attacks against the theories of John Rawls:
John Rawls, one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century, offered one of the best modern theories of civil disobedience in his 1971 masterpiece, A Theory of Justice. Rawls defended civil disobedience as long as the breach of law was public (i.e., authorities were notified of the disobedient act before or shortly after it occurred), nonviolent (i.e., the disobedient act did not impinge on the civil liberties of others and caused no injuries), and conscientious (i.e., the disobedient act was underpinned by serious moral convictions). Furthermore, Rawls argued that those who practice civil disobedience should be willing to accept the legal consequences of their actions, if only out of their fidelity to the rule of law.
James at The Campaign War Room has some thoughts on the effectiveness of "real people" in campaigns. This is an issue extremely close to James' heart and his argument is cogent and useful:
As I've blogged here before, using real people in political and corporate campaigns can transform the power of the message. It's one thing to hear Ed Miliband talking about how the cuts are affecting ordinary people, but another thing to hear from the people themselves who have lost their job or who are worried about doing so. Similarly, it's one thing to hear from a CEO saying that a change in Government legislation will push up the cost of doing business, but another to hear from a hard pressed customer or a less affluent employee. Corporate campaigns can particularly gain from this approach because it is so unusual and therefore has a much greater chance of being noticed.
I'm afraid thats all I have time for at the moment as I'll be dragged away momentarily, but more blogging will follow later in the week.

In closing, taking a look at XKCD's exceptionally funny comic on Wikileaks:


No comments:

Post a Comment