Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Zenpundit, a Blog Awakening

The second link on my blogroll is to Zen, meaning the attainment of awakening by meditation and careful thought. In a word this is the most apt description of this blog. It's author, Mark has dedicated his blog to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits. The thoughtful posts have served to enlighten this reader in an array of subjects, ranging from the latest in NCW vs COIN warfare, to meta cognition, , thinking about thinking.

One of the great things about blogging is the way it stimulates critical thinking and begins to weave the single thread of an idea into a usable fabric. An example can best be illustrated by a recent post by the Zen where he takes a post by Steve DeAngelis at Enterprise Resilience Blog, and expands on the original paradigm by suggesting a reconstruction finance corporation be formed to assist Iraqis to rebuild their economy.

The head of Roosevelt's New Deal FRC, was Jesse H. Jones, a financial wizard who had the "local knowledge" to make the program a success and eventually lead to the Sunbelt boom in the 60's.

Later in the comments section, it was noted that Jones was one of those "second tier" figures who really made things go, and were largely overlooked by history.

To carry this comment a bit further and show how it can be linked to other examples of "second tier" figures who carried the ball and were relegated to a footnote, I can refer back to an earlier post about Rick Atkinson's Day of Battle

A second tier leader, Major General Fred Walker commander of the 36th Infantry Division at Salerno almost lost his command in the attack across the Rapido River. Later at Anzio,when ordered to make a frontal attack against the Caesar Line, he used his knowledge of terrain, gained from his experience as the mining engineer earlier in life to overcome the impossible. This "local knowledge" allowed him to find a route up and over, the thought to be impregnable Mount Artemisio. Given the go ahead, Walker built a road around the mountain and got his entire division behind the German lines. The cost to the 36th Division was eleven KIA, as the Germans broke, and fled north.

Major General Fred Walker was a "second tier" leader whose skill led to the breakout at Anzio. Today, he is only a footnote, and doesn't even rate a listing in wikipedia.

My digression is to illustrate how stories posted on blogs allow ideas to spread across the world to touch the minds of millions in a millisecond. Each post, each comment, represent the free flow of ideas. The links on my blogroll, are not elected leaders or great captains of battle, but the influence they have on the future is vital to a healthy society. When a private citizen like Tom Barnett, is invited to travel 56,000+ miles in the past six weeks to spread his message about the responsibility of the Core nations to the Gap nations, he is a prime example of a "second tier" leader who is getting the job done.

The people I have linked on this blog are a good representation of those leaders who are leading by writing and thinking about the future. Zenpundit is an essential voice in leading the discussions on the important topics of our time. I would always recommend reading his blob regularly to gain a world of enlightenment.

In a final note, in the previous post I made reference to a young woman who has meta cognition on her My Space headline, she put it there after reading a post on It is rewarding to see the thoughts and ideas posted in this medium resonate with the next generation.

1 comment:

mark said...

Much thanks for the nod! And have a happy holiday as well !