Paul Revere's Ride

June 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Just finished reading David Hackett Fisher’s wonderful biography of the ride.

Revere did not ride alone that night: what he did was to trigger a network of couriers throughout new england, a network he had spent two years developing. As a reult, riders in DARPA like redundancy were able to move rapidly from the center to inform all the towns in New England of the march of the Regulars (couldn’t call them british because all the New Englanders thought of themselves as British citizens) began their march out to control weapons storage then under the control of the countryside.

Two key findings then.

1. New England was, from an informational point of view, ungovernable because of the distance and dispersion fro England. A true information failure. (for example, after Lexington. the Patriots sent a fast ship to England with printed broadsides of the Lexington encounter that arrived two weeks before the Royalists’ ship arrived, hence commanding the news cycle. This was done on purpose by the patriots).

2. Revere developed the first network with nodes and redundancy, with many riders rehearsed and ready to ride and spread the alarm.

Both of these factors will lay a role as we lurch toward sustainability, social disruptions will be large and information flow creating new networks will be very important.

This show once again that there is nothing that can be read that is so remote that it is not immediately useful.

Douglass Carmichael doug@dougcarmichael.com Stanford MAHB, Stanford Strategy Studio, Media X Shakespeare and Tao Consulting Http://dougcarmichael.com/blog Http://gardenworldpolitics.com

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