instead of the corporation remaining a conglomerate body lacking unity, it must become, or rather become once more, a well defined, organised, groupIn the analysis of the internet I feel that we can elucidate social network interaction if we define the differences between Conglomerate and Well Defined.
Why does this distinction matter? I would like to point attention to the thoughts and idea's of the modern security & intelligence analysts. John Robb in his first book Brave New War, illuminates the patchwork organization of the Iraqi insurgency, a mix of both loosely affiliated and non-affiliated groups fighting both against a common enemy (The United States) and at the same time fighting for their own interests (sectarian violence). Robb terms this state Open Source Warfare.
In our analysis we are trying to examine more closely identify and define the functional online relations between groups: just as these insurgents are using the same tools available to anyone with an internet connection. In aggregate the groups that practice Open Source War, just as any other online grouping, are only a conglomerate and not a defined corporate body. In a way this is the perverse reality of the information age; yes groups with similar thoughts and feeling are brought together, however at the same time the different factions and sub-cults within that very same group also becomes apparent. This is even more exacerbated when these people share a similar jurisdiction.
This idea of function as part of online group behavior is probably going to be the most vexing problem to define. In fact it has baffled many and will continue to do so. Individuals have different habits of use. In fact the internet has pushed things to such an abstract level that such a functional definition of groups is practically impossible without having information that is only available to someone who is inside the group in question.
This reality should give the national security experts pause. Essentially the only way to accurately predict the behavior of any of the coming mobs is to have somebody on the ground there to serve a reporter of that mobs' actions. Given the cuts in the defense industry, the overstretch of the state, the spiraling debts and countless other problems for the state such a demand seems virtually impossible. Yet if Human Intelligence isn't developed, and quickly, then there is no accurate way to predict another Tunisia. Such is the sad truth of the any age, you need the right information, not more of it.
The internet has made it so easy for people to express themselves that there has been a complete loss of the all process of adjudication and moderation. As I've said before there are very few barriers to entry. It is no surprise that the security experts are now worried about the next mob. Given the glut of information such mobs can effectively mask themselves in plain-sight.
So I think that in some instances the internet represents Durkheim's Utopia, yet I must add a large caveat, that his ideals do not extend to all instances online. In fact the very idea of a misshaped conglomerated body plays an important part in his work. We must, as the security experts already have, heed this warning and seek to find ways to seek definition and not content ourselves to be happy with mere conglomeration .