This blog is organized on warnings that were not listened to, but another angle is separating “noise” from vital information. This has been in the news dramatically, though people may not see it that way.
When Israel went into Gaza, it found many tunnels into Israeli territory, and captured Hamas people told them that there was a plan to send a large force of men through them on the Jewish new year, who would pop up in Jewish communities and kill a lot of people, and also abduct a lot of people.
Hamas barraged Israel with rockets recently, which galvanized the Israelis to invade (the Israelis kept offering ceasefires, and if these had been accepted, the invasion would not have happened, and the Israelis would not have found out about those tunnels.)
But the interesting question is from this news item:
“Shai Hermesh, a resident of the Gaza Belt and a former MK for Kadima, said Wednesday that local residents have been hearing digging sounds from the ground for years, as Hamas terrorists dug their tunnels into Israel, but authorities preferred to hush up the matter…
Hermesh said that while members of his kibbutz did not hear digging sounds from underground over the years, members of neighboring kibbutzim did. “Sounds like that rose up [from the ground] and they were even recorded, but someone made sure this was forgotten and kept out of public discussion. Maybe they did not want to create panic, but on the other hand, hiding information like that from the public is like not telling the residents around the Dimona nuclear plant that it is leaking radiation…”
“The thought that under your home, there is such bustling activity that no one controls or locates,” he added, “is a very problematic one for the state of Israel.”
Now, think about this. People are hearing digging noises. But they don’t really understand what they mean. Gaza tunnels were supposedly for smuggling. There doesn’t seem to have been an understanding of what else could be done with them. In fact, Hamas stored tranquilizers in the tunnels, to aid with kidnapping civilians.
Israel would have had a really serious problem if many of its citizens had been kidnapped – it would have frozen it into helplessness.
We can think of the digging sounds as “noise” – and you ignore noise. Noise is just some random phenomena that doesn’t mean anything.
Now that this has happened, there is another interesting aspect.
In Israel’s north, also on the border with a hostile Islamic organization – namely “Hezbollah”, Mayor Nissim Malka of the city of Kiryat Shmona sent a letter on Wednesday to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and said this:
[residents of the north] “have complained of hearing noises coming from under the ground. I have heard these complaints several times, but yesterday, when I came back from a tour of the Gaza border communities, I understood.”
Malka wrote that “if this is what they did in the South, I am certain [Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah is not sitting idly and giving out candy.”
Again, its quite interesting – if you don’t know what something means, you forget about it. Its just “noise”.
And in fact, no tunnels have yet been found in the North. Though there has not been a big search.
In science, when “Chaos Theory” with its “strange attractors” and fractals came along, scientists understood that some phenomena that they had just dismissed as inevitable noise that accompanied measurements was really something else.
And it was “background noise” that led astronomers to the theory of the “big bang” which created our universe. You can’t get any bigger than that.
There are times when a very small but stubborn fact means something very, very big is going on.