Wednesday, September 05, 2007

let. to ed. re. "Logged In and Sharing Gossip, er, Intelligence" -- NY Times

To the Editor:

I was very impressed by the recent article in the week in review about
how the intelligence community could use collective knowledge in the
form of wikis and blogs to help combat potential threats. While I
think this idea is great, I was surprised that the article did not
mention the public episode a few years ago where it was suggested that
the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) establish a
Policy Analysis Market to help predict terrorist threats. In the
framework of the article, the DARPA proposal appears to be quite
prescient. Given the clear incentive of profit, efficient markets are
an even better idea for harnessing collective intelligence than wikis
and blogs. However, this proposal was strongly criticized in the
press, which led to the resignation of DARPA head John Poindexter.

Mark Gerstein

Above is an unpublished letter in response to:
September 2, 2007
Logged In and Sharing Gossip, er, Intelligence
Week in Review

AMERICA’S spies, like America’s teenagers, are secretive, talk in code and get
in trouble if they’re not watched closely. It’s hard to imagine spies logging on
and exchanging “whuddups” with strangers, though. They’re just not wired that
way. If networking is lifeblood to the teenager, it’s viewed with deep suspicion
by the spy.....