Wednesday, August 09, 2006

On Grains of Salt and White Space

Just a quick post about a sensitive subject - the amount and reliability of the information you are reading on the web.

No, I am not talking about faked photographs. I am talking about the endless streams of military analysis being published in article form. I am talking about the detailed plans and timetables that the IDF talking heads are giving out.

In a word (or in this case, a phrase) take everything you read with a grain of salt. What is more important really is what they are NOT telling you - what I call the white space - between the lines. And the bottom line is that you won't know what they are not telling you until it is safe for everyone to know. And you should have patience and the maturity to wait for this information.

Why am I writing this? Because I have seen the very understandable curiosity and concern by blog readers tempt people to write things that they really shouldn't. Those of us who know people fighting in Lebanon get bits and pieces of information. Sometimes this information is accurate - but sometimes the broken telephone syndrome does its job and the information is distorted or just plain wrong. And sometimes passing this information along does a lot of damage.

I'll give you an example. The first time there was fighting in Bent Jebail, a friend of mine told me that he heard from his brother (supposedly a higher up with access to information) that 12 soldiers had been killed. Later that night, when the accurate information was published, it turns out that 8 had died. I had people from America call me to ask if I knew anything (I think Reuters had published a high number of dead). I told them what I always say - that when the IDF has finished notifying all of the family members, they will publicize the accurate information. Until then I will not pass along rumors. It just causes unnecessary anxiety.

Talking, or writing, about rumors you have heard about the numbers of troops, the timing of operations, and where people are fighting not only causes anxiety, but it also gives information to the enemy. Don't think for a minute that both the IDF (waving hi ) and Hizballah (you get just one finger) are not reading the blogs (yes, even my stupid little one) and that information you write is not being passed along. "Loose lips sink ships" may be vintage World War II, but it still stands today.

I have already started making notes about stupid and dangerous things people and professional reporters have published on the websites and blogs. I intend to write about them - but NOT NOW.

NOW is the time to use what we have between our ears.


Blogger Emanuel Ben-Zion said...

couldn't be better written, love the last phrase.

1:02 AM, August 10, 2006  
Blogger Andy said...

You are correct. this is a GREAT post - I feel as though even here in the US, I have been guilty of "questioning" Olmert and the politicians.

Your post is sobering.

And, true.

2:01 AM, August 10, 2006  
Blogger Shanah said...

Todah Rabbah for the post. Let's do whatever we can to prevent any Geraldos from appearing on the blogosphere.

(FYI for any non-Fox News watchers: Geraldo was infamous for going on Fox News and pointing out various locations of soldiers, etc. on a map of Iraq, as if the whole war were some sort of sports match. BLARGH.)

3:42 AM, August 10, 2006  
Blogger bec said...

you are so right.
a friend of mine worked in civilian capacity for the navy during the 9/11 attacks and when we'd ask if she knew anything, she'd tell us the same thing that you said:
"Talking, or writing, about rumors you have heard about the numbers of troops, the timing of operations, and where people are fighting not only causes anxiety, but it also gives information to the enemy."

4:27 AM, August 10, 2006  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

WBM: In the first week of the war in Lebanon in 1983 (or was it 1982?) there were hundreds of IDF soldiers killed and no one knew about it. It wasn't published information...and it kept the country's moral very high.

But that was 20 years ago...and things have chnaged in the age of the internet. Where do you draw the line between reporting the news, and not reporting anything?

Maybe we should not say anything about what's going on up north...? (All the attacks, and battles going on)

Just a thought...I'm not disagreeing with you (or 100% agreeing with you) just thinking out loud. However, more often than not, education reduces panic...

10:44 AM, August 10, 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

emanuel, andy, shana, bec - thank you.

Jameel - I think that what you have been writing on your blog is just right. You don't write rumors about soldier's dying - you wait until it is official. You report about rocket landings - but in a general way and not giving specific locations. I am sure you are hearing things from friends up north that you aren't writing. We should report the news - but not the rumors.

The tone is very important also. We have to be very adult in how we write - and not give in to panic and depression. When the army came on Shabbat last week to take some guys up north I really started to feel stressed - I broke out in a rash that took a long time to go away. On motzei Shabbat I was very tempted to write about my feelings, but I didn't. Since some people are still reading me for updates on what is happening, I felt that I have crossed over from being a personal blog where I can vent all of my feelings to one where I have to be a bit more responsible (except for my ranting against certain feminists where I let myself go...). I just wish that other bloggers, who are much more popular than me, would show the same type of responsibility. (I am obviously not talking about you here).

11:56 AM, August 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:56 PM, April 09, 2009  
Blogger ninest123 said...

ninest123 09.28
oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, ugg boots, louis vuitton, michael kors outlet, louboutin outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, louis vuitton outlet, prada outlet, tiffany and co, nike air max, cheap oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton, michael kors, burberry, louboutin shoes, ugg boots, prada handbags, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, longchamp, longchamp outlet, tory burch outlet, chanel handbags, ugg boots, replica watches, nike air max, gucci outlet, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, tiffany jewelry, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet, nike outlet, nike free, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton, polo ralph lauren outlet, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, replica watches, oakley sunglasses

9:12 AM, September 28, 2015  
Blogger ninest123 said...

nike roshe, vans pas cher, true religion jeans, longchamp pas cher, ray ban uk, lacoste pas cher, nike air max, michael kors, kate spade handbags, mulberry, air max, nike free, coach outlet, true religion outlet, north face, nike air max, lululemon, coach factory outlet, air jordan pas cher, nike air max, hollister, michael kors, true religion jeans, true religion jeans, hogan, north face, ray ban pas cher, sac longchamp, burberry, michael kors, oakley pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, nike blazer, air force, hermes, michael kors, abercrombie and fitch, coach outlet, timberland, louboutin pas cher, vanessa bruno, converse pas cher, hollister pas cher, nike roshe run, new balance pas cher, coach purses, tn pas cher, sac guess, nike free run uk, ralph lauren uk, kate spade outlet

9:16 AM, September 28, 2015  
Blogger ninest123 said...

nfl jerseys, bottega veneta, giuseppe zanotti, birkin bag, insanity workout, mont blanc, vans shoes, gucci, converse, oakley, hollister, louboutin, celine handbags, beats by dre, nike air max, hollister, jimmy choo shoes, instyler, wedding dresses, north face outlet, reebok shoes, soccer shoes, baseball bats, asics running shoes, chi flat iron, hollister, nike air max, nike roshe, mac cosmetics, longchamp, ferragamo shoes, abercrombie and fitch, herve leger, new balance, ghd, iphone 6 cases, converse outlet, nike huarache, lululemon, p90x workout, vans, soccer jerseys, mcm handbags, ralph lauren, babyliss, valentino shoes, nike trainers, timberland boots, ray ban, north face outlet, moncler

9:16 AM, September 28, 2015  
Blogger ninest123 said...

juicy couture outlet, links of london, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, sac louis vuitton pas cher, moncler, moncler outlet, pandora charms, canada goose outlet, karen millen, canada goose, lancel, canada goose, swarovski, ugg boots uk, ugg pas cher, hollister, montre pas cher, moncler, canada goose uk, doke gabbana outlet, michael kors handbags, coach outlet, louis vuitton, michael kors outlet, replica watches, doudoune canada goose, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, moncler, toms shoes, wedding dresses, barbour jackets, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, swarovski crystal, barbour, moncler, thomas sabo, marc jacobs, moncler, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, canada goose, moncler, pandora jewelry, pandora jewelry, pandora charms, supra shoes, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, bottes ugg, michael kors outlet online
ninest123 09.28

9:21 AM, September 28, 2015  
Blogger Unknown said...

As promised, Nike Roshe Run Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell donated his first game paycheck to the Dallas Nike Air Max 2015 Shoes Fallen Officer Foundation as penance for posting a wholesale nfl jerseys “disturbing nfl jerseys store and unacceptable” drawing on Instagram of Nike Free Run a hooded NFL Jerseys man slashing a handcuffed and cheap nfl jerseys kneeling police officer’s throat in Nike Air Max 90 July.

4:34 AM, October 08, 2016  
Blogger yanmaneee said...

lebron 17 shoes
kd 12
hermes handbags
yeezy shoes
coach outlet
lebron 15 shoes

9:22 AM, March 03, 2020  

Post a Comment

<< Home