The Man Foils Torch Tacking Technology

With tracking down the torch yesterday, I have to say that I was quite amazed at how well old fashioned lying and deceit, beat all the tricks of technology for people to be able to see the torch.
We keep thinking that blogging, mobile technologies, and this new age of mass information through Citizen Journalism is going to topple corrupt regimes. As yesterday proved, this isn’t the case and it will most likely not be the case for a long time. The only thing we have seen from this so far is more information, which is good, yet practically useless by itself. It makes us feel like we know something and are affecting change because anyone with an internet connection can know anything immediately these days.
But knowing and doing are two very different things. This would be the big difference between my generation and my parents’. Where we go forth and learn about everything that’s happening in the world, they just went out with bullhorns, masses of people, got in the face of The Man, demanded change, and got a great deal of it.
This is how the city of San Francisco was able to so easily foil the what was probably the largest treasure hunt ever seen. No matter how many iPhones, Blackberrys, and WiFi connections people could pop on to, the simple truth in the end was that no one knew where the torch ended up going. Why? Because the information wasn’t there.
This is one of the big misconceptions about our new digital age in that if you have enough people involved in something, the information will just arise spontaneously. It goes to show that the information is only as good as the activity level of those involved in getting it. All of us amateurs ate it when it came to tracking down the torch. The only folks who were able to really find the torch with limited success, were the traditional media outlets because they have the money and people employed to do these things. Those of us in the blogosphere who think that if we just show up to an event and wonk about it when we get home are doing actual reporting, are sadly mistaken. This is commentary. Reporting requires digging in and kicking some ass out there in the real world. No matter how incredible your cellphone, the planet is still and will always be an analog place that requires getting yourself dirty to get the scoop.
In the end, #1 Fan and I were reduced to losing any aspirations of digital omnipotence. We tried to listen in on what people were saying only to find that they knew nothing more than us. We tried to see which direction large amount of police were heading, only to see that they didn’t really know either. About the only thing that worked in the end was to watch what the helicopters were doing and once we saw them fly away from anywhere that we were, we knew our chances of seeing the torch were sunk. I still find it sad that our officials consider this a success when the only way you could have watched the torch was on a video feed from a helicopter above it.
The Man Foils Torch Tacking Technology