Thursday, March 12, 2009

They're Following Me! Another Digression

Day before yesterday, I wrote a slightly off-topic post. The important point was the current administration's experiment in digital transparency in government.

I also announced that the USAF is following me. On Twitter. All five of the American armed forces have some sort of Twitter presence, and I've been following at least one Twitter account from each.

It's not that I'm particularly bold and brave: I just don't have the sort of excessive caution - paranoia might be more accurate - about the American military that I could have learned in college, or by talking to 'socially-conscious' people.

That's a good thing, or I'd be a nervous wreck right now. First the USAF started following me: now the Naval War College is, too.

Some military Twitter accounts:
    Official U.S. Air Force Twitter: news, images, video from about our Airmen around the world. (Following does not=endorsement.)
  • Amver
    Global search and rescue system sponsored by the USCG. We use commercial ships to rescue people in distress at sea.
  • CGBlog
    The official twitter account for all things Coast Guard (USCG)
  • NavalWarCollege
    We develop strategic and operational leaders, help the CNO define the future Navy, strengthen maritime security cooperation and support combat readiness.
  • USArmy
    Official U.S. Army Twitter: news, images, video from about our brave Soldiers around the world. (Following does not=endorsement.)
  • uscoastguard
    Official Twitter account for the United States Coast Guard.
    (Just a little overwhelming: the USCG Twitters what they're doing, almost in real time)
  • usmc
    (They don't say much: four posts since November 10, 2007)
    (Location: "Everywhere")

Related post: I'm on Twitter, too, as Aluwir:

(requires Flash 9)


Anonymous said...

ok I know this is off topic but I wrote a note on my blog today and I need to post it here.

Dear Blog readers,

after much consideration and prayer I am deciding to take a break from blogging right now. I might keep blogging in the future, but feel unable to maintain this blog right now as my life gets busy. I do want to stay politically involved with each of you. and please remember to keep checking the websites that I listed on my blog entitled links for your use! I will keep this account for comment posting on my blogs that I follow.
when will this decision take place? sometime within the next week, I have enjoyed the time with you guys and I want to make sure you are still involved with the news please keep on blogging and staying informed. if I should decide to maintain another blog down the road then I hope you will join me again, but for now it is Good-bye.
Politics and the Future

Brian H. Gill said...

Politics and the Future,


Right you are: the comment is (very) off-topic, but since you "need to post it here" - why not?

Anonymous said...

sorry for the off topic post,
I just could not get ahold of you any other way.

however to get back to the topic,
I think it is very interesting how
the government is using twitter and social networking sites. I could just sit here and claim that they are trying to control websites but of course I have no evidence for that yet. I do believe however that the government will want more control in the future. Maybe not this direct way but the point is still the same. I had a conversation in Barnes and Nobel today with a lady who was in favor of phone tapping. She was also seemingly in favor of a Government control. What am I getting at? well I am simply say8ng that the possibility of government control into social networking sites is very real but the chances are somewhat slim for the time.

Brian H. Gill said...

Politics and the Future,

Off topic post? No problem -

As for government agencies using Twitter and other networking sites:

The U.S. Coast Guard can no more control Twitter by having a Twitter account, than I can. They're simply using an existing service.

As for the matter of controlling websites: that's another issue, along the lines of freedom of expression and, in the case of social networking sites, the right to assemble in groups.

Over the years, there have been efforts to limit who says what online. I've dealt with that in previous posts.

I realize that my reference to "they're following me" may have been taken as a serious expression of concern. It's not.

I never developed the paranoia regarding the FBI, the CIA, or, for that matter, shape-shifting space-alien lizard people, that some Americans did.

I don't blindly trust American institutions, but I don't fear and loathe them, either.

Brian H. Gill said...

A thought on government regulation of online content: Several years ago, a strange coalition of very liberal and very conservative political action groups tried to push what I thought would have been unreasonable pre-publication censorship on this new medium.

They were 'saving the children' - a very emotional appeal.

Happily, they failed.

Maybe it says something about me, but I get a little spooked when medium-far left and right get together and start making emotional appeals for censorship.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.