Saturday, June 03, 2006

Control Rooms

We don't see many intelligent control rooms on TV. The NSA tends to always show the same one, usually with some distracting red light going, like some cop car was embedded in the ceiling.

The Pentagon shows boring maps on butcher paper (the Hollywood war room is passé). CBS shows Google Earth or such like.

But where's the data? Power lines, fuel lines? Like, have those Iranian nuke plants been turned on yet? We get to see lots of scaffolding, plus we have diplomats in a tiff over enrichment (yawn), but are regional hospitals getting a more constant flow of affordable electricity yet? What's the story? If the enrichment is for power plants, then let's see that power. God knows it's needed.

That CBS segment on the CIA's harvesting of open source television broadcasts for its growing DVD archive was fun, but TV is highly redundant with non-information. Telecasters simply repeat what they learn from one another, embellishing a little.

How many independently reliable sources really fed this story? Sometimes only the producer may know, and sometimes even she doesn't. "News from nowhere" they call it -- an occupational phenomenon.

The TV maps show political boundaries, some sense of big cities, other geographic features, and that's about it.

I'd hate to think of anyone really needing to make important decisions in such control rooms. The visuals are so poor. There's barely any read-only instrumentation, let alone flight controls. Talk about flying blind!

So I guess I should take this time out and thank the World Game and its Fuller Projection, for giving early inspiration to my Global Data's corporate mission: to make lots of relevant global data freely accessible. Advertising slogan: It's your Spaceship.