Friday, April 19, 2013

More Info Is Not Always More Insight

Beware of folks considering themselves experts on Chechnya, Dagestan, and on these bozos.  We don't know much.  I was up throughout the night (thanks to icky cold) and got to watch as the scanners said the bombers were two other guys (with names, webstuff and all the rest).  The key real facts are these: one of the two suspected bombers is dead (no crying here), the other is on the run, the police/FBI have much better info now about who these guys are and ....   that is about it. 

My twitter feed of national security experts is not looking forward to heaps of folks posing as experts.  There are a few, but not too many.  So, it is easy to get sucked into the coverage (as I did), but more info in this case is not always better info.  The good news is there is damn little we can do about it with or without good info, except to worry about our friends in the area that have to stay inside today while the hunt continues. 

If you want to follow the sharpest, skeptical folks on twitter, check out @intelwire for good info judiciously distrbuted, @Joshuafoust for caution, @realjeffreyross for needed humor, @dandrezner for the stranded Boston academic take, @caidid for another Bostonian national security perspective.

Update: I ended up writing a longer version of this for the Globe and Mail.


VAD said...

I'd like to hear what you have to say about the role of Reddit ( regarding this matter.

Steve Saideman said...

I don't really have much to say about Reddit. I don't use/engage in it. I know that folks were trying to crowdsource before the FBI pics were presented, and they guessed mostly wrong. Different from twitter in that the community is not self-selected or filtered as far as I can tell. Which is one reason why I prefer twitter. But again, I don't really know.