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Recommended Reading

To Billing! Peter J. Munson – The Black Hole of Real Thinking

…Nor are we particularly attuned to operate in complexity.  I do not believe that the complexity of today’s operating environment is really dramatically different than that of days gone by.  Some argue that today’s problems are “complex,” and thus different and more difficult from the simply “complicated” problems of yesterday.  Direct causality can be determined in complicated problems, according to this analysis anyway, while complex problems have so many interconnected variables that causal linkages between action and outcome cannot be determined.  Perhaps the defeat of the Germans and Japanese was simply a complicated problem.  Then so too was that of the Iraqi army and the Afghan Taliban regime.  Under the complex/complicated dichotomy, though, how could the reconstruction of Germany and Japan, the establishment of the “Marshall Plan,” and indeed the creation of a new postwar world order, be anything but complex?  How were those problems any less complex than those of post-2003 Iraq?  While two retired colonels writing in Armed Forces Journal (Kevin Benson and Steven Rotkoff) argue that “decision-making in the 21st century will take place under conditions of ambiguity and hyperspeed in information” (whatever that means), I’d argue that the only differences between today and yesterday are that yesterday’s ambiguity due to incomplete information and imperfect communications means has become today’s ambiguity due to incomplete but cacophonously copious information.

Fabius Maximus- Cyberwar: a Whole New Quagmire – When the Drones Come To Roost

WIRED Magazine reports that the US drone fleet’s command-and-control systems at Creech Air Force Base are compromised by a piece of malware that appears to be logging keystrokes and otherwise, “We think it’s benign.” If  having a keylogger on a weapons system’s command-and-control console is “benign” we don’t want to know what “malicious” is – though perhaps the operators of the Iranian reactor at Beshehr could share some of their experiences. There is, simply put, no way that malware should be able to get onto competently built control systems. There are plenty of ways it could get onto incompetently built control systems, starting with….

Thomas P.M. Barnett-My best explanation of Wikistrat yet

….So how would I describe Wikistrat as we embark on our midstage effort?

….It thus proved, to a pleasantly surprising degree (for me, at least) the viability of a phrase I had started using last spring after Joel and Daniel confronted me with their idea of the competition: we are building the world’s first MMOC, as in, a massively multiplayer online consultancy.  So, it’s not just the community (Facebook of strategists) and it’s not just the environment (Wikipedia/GLOMOD), it’s the MMOC that combines the two into a product-offering machine.I had written about this back in “Blueprint for Action” (2005) in my concluding bit called, “Headlines from the Future” (last entry for the 2020 timeframe)

SWJ – How Corruption Affects National Security of the United States

While there isn’t evidence of intense and cruel violence carried out by Mexican TCNs on the U.S. side of the border, such as we see on the Mexican side, some media information would suggest that sophisticated and non-traditional forms of corruption are increasing.[xiv] As explained above, in the present document we refer to this as sophisticated forms of corruption in order to highlight that these situations do not consist of traditional bribery carried through monetary exchange. In fact, it has been stated that recruitment procedures carried out by Los Zetas include those observed in official espionage agencies, applied to achieve long-term agreements

HG’s WorldA Promise to Remember a Life Lived

Yesterday October 8th, marked the 44th anniversary of the death of Specialist 4th Class Scott Christofferson, in Vietnam. I did not know Scott, and only became aware of him when a co-worker and nephew of Scott’s sent out a small email message to the staff commenting on the anniversary of his uncle’s passing and bringing attention to a little book that was published from a collection of his letters home. I first wrote about Scott two years ago and in pausing to remember a fellow soldier I am reprinting it in full.

Something happened today to bring memories flooding back of a time that I mostly try and keep locked away only to be visited in the company of those who have also held the lance. This morning, a young man sent out an email to all the employees where he worked, asking them to take a moment and remember his uncle Scott, whom had been killed in action on this date, October 8, 1967 while serving with the United States Army in Vietnam. He asked that those who got the email to visit the a youtube link to view a tribute to his uncle….

Dr. Von -Mathematics – Both Discovered and Invented

An interesting thought experiment presented in the Livio article goes like this: If the intelligence of the world resided in a jellyfish that lives deep in the ocean, where it is generally isolated, would the concept of numbers exist? If there is nothing to count, and nothing discrete about the environment in which one lives, do numbers make any sense at all? So does this mean numbers are a natural concept of Nature, or that numbers are an invented entity because humans have a need to count things? Perhaps the jellyfish thought experiment leads to a conclusion that numbers are an invented concept

That’s it!

4 Responses to “Recommended Reading”

  1. Mercutio Says:

    Re: " If the intelligence of the world resided in a jellyfish that lives deep in the ocean, where it is generally isolated, would the concept of numbers exist?"

    Go ask a jellyfish.

  2. Larry Dunbar Says:

    Math would exist, as math doesn’t need numbers to exist. So the question is irrelevant, unless there was an advantage for jellyfish to know numbers, as in crossing domains. Once you cross domains, you need math to make the connection between the implicit and explicit.

  3. historybuy99q Says:

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks very much for the link. I want you to know that Scott’s family is also very grateful for the recognition gained from your linking my humble post.

  4. zen Says:

    Only too happy to help, Professor Tomas. Excellent post!

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