Early this year I was invited by to participate in an online Roundtable on: Science, Strategy and War: The Strategic Therory of John Boyd by Mark Safranski. The roundtable consisted of eight contributors who wrote essays and exchanged discussion comments as we reviewed the book Science, Strategy, and War: The Strategic Theory of John Boyd" by Dr. Frans Osinga.
After the discussion ended I wrote a postscript describing my feelings at being invited to be a part of this discussion.
It was a pleasure to participate in this discussion and read the comments of the other participants. This type of forum, held online holds promise for future discussions. No great decision was reached, and I doubt if anyone's mind was changed by any of the arguments. But everyone gained by reading the thoughts of others on the same subject.
This intersection of views gives purchase to a new tool with which to discuss the revelevant topics of the day. A sort of Junto society if you will, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junto where in 1727 Benjamin Franklin founded a society to discuss the issues of the day. The Junto's Friday evening meetings were organized around a series of questions that Franklin devised, covering a range of intellectual, personal, business, and community topics. These questions were used as a springboard for discussion and community action. In fact, through the Junto, Franklin promoted such concepts as volunteer fire-fighting clubs, improved security (night watchmen), and a public hospital.
Ever since I began to read blogs and now write my own, I am struck with the similarities of the original intent of Franklin's group and the online blog community today. Another point that todays blog community has with American history is the similar tone and function of the blogs, in relationship to the prevalence of pamplets, extolling the virtues and vices of life under the British. Much has been made by historians, that this grass roots element was insturmental in uplifting the American spirit towards revolution, by the reading of thousands of pamplets in taverns every night.
Today's blogs instead of talking of revolution, are formulating revolutionary thinking, where new ideas are given an intersection to meet, and reasonable men and women can offer thought and comment, in order to find new innovations for the challenges that confront us.
Shortly after we completed the roundtable, the editors Nimble Press of approached us for permission to compile our essays into book form. The result of that effort has been published this week.
I want to introduce the authors begining with our editor, Mark Safranski, followed by Thomas Barnett, who graciously wrote the forward.