I discovered this evening that Raymond Pritchett, also known as Galrahn of Information Dissemination, has passed away at the age of forty-seven. For those who remember the Old Blogosphere, Information Dissemination was a breath of absolutely fresh air in the defense blogging community. Ray was a self-taught maritime expert, and he had the chops to talk about strategy, tactics, and technology with the best of them. Information Dissemination was one of the first independent blogs to tackle defense policy (and especially maritime policy) outside of the lenses of partisan politics and of the Wars on Terror. Like many other Second Wave blogs, Information Dissemination showed what could be done by specialists having an open, intense conversation about complex subject matter. For those who wonder why we think the Oral History of the Blogosphere is an important project, well, this is the reason. I had given thought to inviting Ray on for a conversation but of course it seemed that there would be plenty of time. We have a Bloggingheads conversation from 2009 out there somewhere but it seems to have been misplaced in the intervening years (here it is, thanks to comments!).
David Axe wrote this appreciation of Ray a decade ago:
Meet Raymond Pritchett, better known by his internet handle “Galrahn” — a bit of nerdy wordplay referencing the Star Trek Klingon commander Gowran. For five years, he has used his blog Information Dissemination to argue for ships like Ponce, among other naval initiatives. Pritchett even claims credit for naming Ponce‘s vessel category. “Many people tell me that the term ‘mothership’ was very infrequently used as part of the Navy lexicon until I began writing about the concept,” Pritchett tells Danger Room.
The Ponce plan perhaps represents a high-water mark for Pritchett and Information Dissemination, but there have been other instances where the wonkish blog with the unwieldy name has helped shape naval developments. Increasingly, Information Dissemination is the go-to site for meaningful public discussion of maritime strategy, naval leadership, warship design and the nuts-and-bolts of managing a diverse, globally deployed force of sailors and Marines. In naval community that can sometimes veer into hidebound and even deliberately thuggish behavior, Information Dissemination is a progressive ideas machine.
Fair winds and following seas.