Tim Bray opines
linking to Bruce and saying what some way out of the top of the long tail curve have been saying for five years: terrorism is mainly a law enforcement problem. I'm glad to see the top of the tail finally gets it, particularly some that were rooting for the US to go stomping into Iraq, guns blazing, while their citizens sat safely at home blogging.
It really doesn't surprise me that the so called top bloggers tend to be the slowest at actually 'getting it' on almost any topic. That is what a inbound-link based system does: it popularizes an idead the same way a media machine does it and it creates the same fisheye lens effect that distorts even as it appears to cover more information. The long tail is a negative power law when it comes to early detection of important emergent effects. The curve is inverted.
Emergent effect comes from the edges of the network, but that means in the beginning, it is a very weak signal and if the effect of the fisheye is to marginalize and distort, it prevents it from being noticed until it moves to the center, to wit, into a top blogger's blog.
So it keeps us from doing the smart thing early because the center is by effect and definition, slow and often mediocre thinking. After so many years of studying information systems and their en masse effect, I repeat what I've said before: the values of one's values are all that is really important because judgement and justice are individual contributions into a system that by its very nature has neither of these as native qualities.
Take a position, take a chance, pick up the prize or the consolation of knowing you are giving it your personal best, and not just following the herd over the cliff.