Try, try again.

In recent news, a polar bear at a zoo fell into the moat surrounding his enclosure.  He was not injured, due to some netting rigged to protect from just such a fall.  Zoo workers cut him out of the netting so he wouldn’t hurt himself, but left him in the moat.  Eventually they think he’ll wander out of his own volition when he gets hungry enough.  And really, who wants to think of a polar bear starving himself to death?

But the facts of the case leave me puzzling (according to the town of Ravensburg, it’s a verb).  Evidently this same polar bear has fallen into the moat before.  Perhaps that’s why the netting was put in place.  Perhaps this particular polar bear has balance issues.  But the question still remains as to why the moat is there in the first place.  Is it cheaper than two sets of fences separating the bears from zoo goers by the necessary distance?  Is it there to provide shade?  Is it there for drainage purposes, or some technical aspect not readily apparent to the casual eye?  Because, to me, it looks like a waste and a danger to young, precocious polar bears.

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Spyweb!

Ok, I couldn’t fit this all into a reasonable title, but this is what I wanted for my title:

“[A-Space is] a place where not only spies can meet but share data they’ve never been able to share before.”

Never did I know (before now) that spies were in the business of sharing.  I thought it was about amassing as much intelligence data as possible and deliberately not sharing it with your peers, even if you are working for the same government.  Ah well.  Shows what I know.

i mean, there is something to be said for the various spooks bouncing analysis off one another and hopefully seeing something new from that synergy.  I’m all about the brainstorming.  And I’m not a spy (or am I just telling you that to throw you off-track?), but I do see the necessity of people working across organizations for a common cause.  However, there are other modes of thought on the analysis of data.  Group consensus can keep individuals from picking apart certain ideas they might examine more closely if not shared.  Data analysis in consortium can lead to trends that are hard to break out of, rather than spurring dialogue.  And how much dialogue is inspiring, versus just plain dissension.

And then, there’s always the matter of the classic double agent.  Once you give somebody the clearance to be inside A-Space, what’s to stop them from wreaking havoc?  There are supposed to be controls in place to stop this kind of thing, but again, in such a case, who watches the watchers?

On the whole it’s probably a good tech move, and a good way to share resources and get into real data mining that the people in these agencies need.  But it’s also fun, and funny to the outside world.  To prove my point, I will leave you with a final article quote: “Yes, analysts can collect friends on A-Space the way people can on Facebook. But nobody outside the intelligence community will ever know — because they’re secret.”

Watch out, secret BFF, here I come!