Collecting on the Margin
In the fog of the information battle zone, the question still remains -- who is do what to whom and why? The only problem is that there now seem to be more players with more agendas.
The original purpose of a battle was to draw up sides. It always ended up as just them and us. It seems like those were the good old days. The two dimensional battlefield has been replaced with an infinite dimensional information space. The combinatorial possibilities abound. The threat of being blind-sided is compounded.
Instead of combatants there are simply loci of intelligence. Each locus attempts to impose its reality on the others. That is the only territorial imperative.
Finding the high ground becomes the first and then the only objective. This is the purpose of the battle. This is the only way to bring order out of the chaos. The battle is the recreation. It is the dragon fight of old. Each battle results in a new creation, which is a redefining and a recommanding of the high ground.
Our history is that battle, and one may believe that there is a resolution. The fog will dissipate and the emblem will be visible from afar.
Each battle has its hamburger hill with its slippery slopes. That is where the new intelligence meets the old. This is where we do our homage and get on with our business.
Keeping an Eye on the Future
You Gotta Know Your Territory
If the future were no surprise, life would be no fun, but we do like to keep things in proportion and we don't necessarily want the future to get out of hand. We keep a wary eye on things, particularly on things at the margin.
Ah, but where is the margin if it is not everywhere? Well, if the future is something more than blind chance then it partakes of fate and so it will have a will of its own. It will have a signature. There always are premonitions, particularly in retrospect.
When the future is preparing to throw us a curve, that it just when things will look the darkest because the way ahead will appear blocked. Our usual vision will begin to fail, and that can be scary. That is when we forgo our eyes and engage our antennae.
But this is not a game of solitaire. The stakes are high and there are many players. The players define the playing field. There will be two kinds of players -- the seers and the feelers. The feelers go by the seats of their pants. They work from within the phenomena from within the future. Their role is to be the fifth column for the future. The seers do their work from a greater remove. They are the heralds. The type of role that each of us plays may be arbitrary and subject to change and combination.
The ill-defined boundary between these two functionalities defines the critical margin. That is where the future becomes defined. That is where our new vision will be developed and deployed.
The future will come to us as an alien intelligence that we must accommodate and assimilate, lest we be its fodder. Our resistance serves to better define the shape of things to come. The alienation will be temporary.
The future as alien will have its hostages and to discover them is to discover it. Those hostages define the battle. We go looking for them, wary of the traps. If we don't find them, they will find us. We suspect that the state of being a hostage may also be ill defined. How will we know when we have met this enemy?
Such are the trials of postmodern intelligence.
Hostage to the Future
It is sometimes said that our children are our hostages to the future. But just for good measure, the future has a few hostages of its own. So we negotiate a settlement, an exchange of prisoners, that is our childhood's end.
Some hostages are well guarded. They already know too much to let them walk abroad. To know what they know is to become what they are. The process has its ambiguity and ambivalence. The art of being a good hostage.
The problem is not to find the door or even to open it. The problem is to walk through it. Evidently one can walk back out, but there may be a price. And then there is Janus, the two-faced god of the threshold who just stays put. We are all that to an extent.
Beyond Blue Book
Blue Book was an effort by the government to collect data on the UFO phenomenon. It was terminated in the mid-Sixties after a panel of scientists deemed that the collection was serving no scientific interest. How does that decision stand up after several decades?
It seems to have been a no win situation. To continue to collect data would have kept the government in the middle of a controversial issue. But by washing its hands of the issue, the government held itself open to being charged with a cover-up. But that same charge was and would be leveled against any continuing collection effort, since no effort could satisfy everyone.
Is there anything that should be done now? The default policy is by-and-large to ignore the phenomenon and the charges. This is seen to be the course with the least political risk. Unless there were a reasonable guarantee of success, there is very little incentive for a politician to initiate an investigation. An unsuccessful effort would quickly become a joke. This is where the matter now stands.
But there is other recourse. The UFO community represents a vocal opposition group. The government can attempt to defuse some of that opposition by making overtures. This also seems to be happening. A small but significant amount of information flows in the back channels directly between government officials and concerned citizens. At least the citizens know that someone in the chain of command is more or less accessible to them. Perhaps, however, this back channel can serve a more significant purpose. It could serve as a channel of informal inquiry, thereby alleviating the pressure for an official inquiry. This function may already exist.