The hardest part of staying informed as citizens of the U.S. or wherever your home happens to be is whether you can rely on the validity of the information that you’re given. And that’s the first rule of what I call “Pedestrian Intelligence”, or in other words, intelligence for the rest of us.

Rule 1: Only infants are spoon-fed

Go out and get your information. Don’t rely on others to give it to you. This applies to all sources, regardless of your political affiliation. Do not rely on Fox, CNN, NPR, CBS or any other outfit. They all must make editing decisions to fit a number of parameters (scheduling, editorial, etc.), none of which support your need for reliable information (aka intelligence) that you need in order to make sound judgments.

Rule #2: Google is your friend

Google Search, Google Reader, and Google Translate are three key applications that should be in your Pedestrian Intelligence (PI) toolkit.

If your areas of interest are Russia, China or the Middle East, then you need three more tools: a Russian search engine (, a Chinese search engine (, and an Arabic search engine (