Pinteresting Photographs and Notes.
A few days ago we opened a Pinterest account to complement this blog and its related Twitter feed and Linked-In, Google+ and Facebook pages. The associated Pinterest page, thus far, is organized thematically and in ways that regular visitors here will recognize. Its boards include Arms Trafficking, Arms & Ordnance Identification, Unsafe Handling, DIY Arms, and others. The boards will start small but become more populated with time. More boards will follow as the page takes shape.
We hope Pinterest can serve two primary purposes.
First, that it can provide a related index to this blog (although if you hit on the oval-and-arrow beside the RSS symbol in the upper right corner of this page, you’ll find a reasonably functional chronological presentation of all posts on THE GUN).
Second, and more importantly, we hope Pinterest will provide an organized way to post and share arms-trade data with other researchers, and arms-safety information with readers and the public. Why? Often, arms-trafficking research and ordnance identification relies on pooling information and resources. The fairly small circle of competent and ethical researchers can be collaborative and collegial, and their informal networks can lead to solid conclusions and analysis that otherwise would not exist. (One example, of many.)
Pinterest, ideally, can provide a board to post images that others might want or use in their work (I’ll put up two examples shortly), and the contents can remain there indefintely to stimulate projects and encourage others elsewhere. In an age when many arms transfers remain almost completely non-transparent, data often has to be assembled - cartridge by cartridge, label by label, serial number by serial number - by the few people in the field troubling to take on this unglamorous task.
We have only two requests. First, that those who use the work responsibly cite it. And second, that those who document arms and ordnance in the field, or encourage or use the efforts of other people, will make their records safely and insist others do so, too. It has become scary out there, in this social-media age, with people rushing toward unexploded ordnance to make images and video that are then cast out onto the internet to score political or propaganda points.
We’ll be adding much more about this last point soon, with a group of concerned friends.
One last note: Pinterest, like this blog, is a work in progress. Readers’ suggestions are welcome. Send them to email@example.com.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPH
Home-made hand grenade, for the Pinterest DIY Arms board, made in part from an Al-Bustan tomato paste can (al-Bustan means “the garden” in Arabic). By the author. Eastern Libya. Last year.