Why this blog?

Internet technology has brought self-publishing to anyone with access and this is where the idea of the Information Militia has come from: ‘the people’ do now have many voices with access to not just more information but more opinion on that information than ever before. It’s uncontrolled but not out of control, has limited accountability and a depth, richness and passion that traditional media never dreamed of. This is my little contribution…

In 2000, I ran an email blog for my sister who was in a coma following a traffic accident and wish I had  a tool like WordPress for this. At the time Hotmail was the cutting edge of web sharing but when Hotmail went to a policy of deleting mail over a certain age many of these emails were lost. Over time I have been able to recover many of them from people on the distribution list but it would have been so much easier with these tools.

The blog topic I would have liked to have started years ago (and, yes, I know that blogs were not just invented this year so I could have done this anytime) is a food blog that just records good places to eat, or not, as the case may be. Over the last couple of decades I have eaten in some top eateries around the world (and some not) and wish I had kept a record of who, what, where…and yes again, I do know that there are such things as notebooks I could have used as well…So while being neither a gourmet in the kitchen or the dining room, I do enjoy food and cooking and will be offering up occasional snippets here on culinary matters, mainly my own misadventures but also those experiences (good or perhaps otherwise) of note when we eat out. That’s not that often as we live rurally but let’s see how it goes…

For a long time (decades) I have had a strong interest in low intensity conflict, counterinsurgency and what the Brits called Countering Irregular Activity. I did some military studies through the University of Waikato in the early to mid-90s but that formal training stopped when the Waikato extramural programme in this subject area fell over. So it remained just an interest until Operation Iraqi Freedom and the switch to counterinsurgency. In 2007 I was given (one of those ‘gifts’ you just don’t decline!) the opportunity to review the then-available COIN doctrine and distil this into key themes for the environment we face today: what we face is bigger than COIN as we know it now and well into the realm of what the British call Countering Irregular Activity, simply Stabops++.

The lightning evolution rate of the Contemporary Operating Environment means that formal doctrine processes we relied on so heavily can simply not keep up with the rate of change. From grappling professionally with this problem, the Information Militia idea was born. Through discussion groups, communities of interest, papers, articles, and blogs, from the informed and uninformed, those with or without agendas, across borders and boundaries, an incredible base of concepts, ideas, tactics and strategies has been formed. In my own small way, I feel I can contribute something meaningful.

My professional passion in the past decade has been Lessons Learned. Armies have been talking about lessons learned for generations and occasionally perhaps happens actually learning the odd lesson but it is only recently that the term has permeated into the commercial knowledge management world. A more recent buzzword for lessons learned is organisational learning – the process by which an organisation, any organisation, captures its own knowledge, monitors external knowledge sources (other peoples lessons), and incorporates relevant lessons into its own processes and procedures; the key here, of course, being relevance. This is my place to talk about lessons.

The blog is also a means for keeping friends and family informed of goings on up here on the Mountain – an extension of Facebook philosophies for keeping in touch – so here you’ll also find what’s up with the vege garden, the menagerie, and other ‘stuff’. It’s also a place for me to occasionally post updates on my main hobby of modelling – sorry, Feral the Cat does the only cat walking here – but the building of scale replicas of aircraft, ships, vehicles etc that take my fancy. Truth be told, for years, the emphasis has been more upon procurement than production but that is slowly changing and one year soon I hope to actually complete a model.

Some may find the content interesting.

Others amusing.

An enlightened few may actually find the odd nugget of use.

4 thoughts on “Why this blog?

  1. Kia ora bro…just seem your tribute to my brother Bruce….awesome mate….Lest We Forget…ran into you a few times back in the day. I went Clerking after being a Rifleman & Aslt Pnr. Always remember your name because of the unusual 3 first names “SPJ” as one of the many O’Neils on the nominal roll. Not sure if you in the FB group 1 RNZIR (1972-1989) Dieppe Barracks – SINGAPORE


    Onward my bro, Roscoe (C Coy 1Bn 82-83, Aslt Pnr 1Bn 83-84, B Coy 2/1 84-85, C Coy 2/1 85-87, A Coy 1Bn 87-89)


    • Cheers, Roscoe, I remember bumping into you a few times…I still here that call ‘hey, SJP’ across the street or in a bar and I know it’s someone from one of the 80s battalions…together with jack Te Nana, Bruce was one of the SNCOs who had the greatest influence on me as a young lad in 2/1 before I went to Singapore in ’87…even today, I can still not cut a corner on the road without hearing that voice telling me to use all of the road. Even though we may not always have thought so at the time, I think most of us remember Bruce as an excellent platoon sergeant, firm, fair but leaving no illusions as to who was really running things…


  2. Hello,Wondering how I could contact you. It seems you must have completed the Advanced Air Power Course in 2011 because in one of your blogs you were highly critical of a couple of the seminar topics-irregular war and international law. It was a long time ago but I am pretty sure you did not raise your objections with me as I would certainly have got back to you Could you let me know the nature of your dissatisfaction with the course. It is only with feedback that it can be improved. My e-mail is cappella44@outlook.com.au-telephone not possible I would think because of the distance but it would be (02) 4233-1916. Regards, John McCarthy, Coordinator, Advanced Air Power Course, Air Power Development Centre.


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