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Recommended Reading


Top Billing! Fred Leland  Book Review: TEMPO Timing, Tactics and Strategy in Narrative Driven Decision Making by Venkatesh Rao

 The author of Tempo, Venkatesh Rao a man I have never met or heard of prior to the book, began research into decision making that was funded by the United States Air Force and concerned key concepts such as mixed initiative command and control models: complex systems where humans, autonomous robotic combat vehicles and software systems share decision making authority. This research led Rao to this insightful 157 page book, packed full of useful information all law enforcement and security professionals should read.

….In the chapter he titled Narrative Rationality described as; “an approach to decision making that starts with an observation that is at once trivial and profound: all our choices are among life stories that end with our individual deaths. Surprisingly, this philosophical observation leads to very practical conceptualizations of key abstractions in decision making, such as strategy and tactic, and unique perspectives on classic decision-science such as risk and learning.” Orientation and the factors Boyd discuss that shape and reshapes orientation; cultural traditions, genetic heritage, previous experiences, new information and analysis and synthesis all play a roll here. He goes on to say that the simple view “calculative rationality” or planning is not wrong, it’s just limited to simple situations that fits one or more of your existing mental models very well. In complex situations, planning based on such models is merely a training exercise to sample the space of possible worlds, get a sense of the complexities involved, and calibrate your responses appropriately

Speak of the devil…. 

Venkat RaoA Brief History of the Corporation: 1600 to 2100

….If this sounds eerily familiar, it shouldn’t. The year was 1772, exactly 239 years ago today, the apogee of power for the corporation as a business construct. The company was the British East India company (EIC). The bubble that burst was the East India Bubble. Between the founding of the EIC in 1600 and the post-subprime world of 2011, the idea of the corporation was born, matured, over-extended, reined-in, refined, patched, updated, over-extended again, propped-up and finally widely declared to be obsolete. Between 2011 and 2100, it will decline – hopefully gracefully – into a well-behaved retiree on the economic scene.

In its 400+ year history, the corporation has achieved extraordinary things, cutting around-the-world travel time from years to less than a day, putting a computer on every desk, a toilet in every home (nearly) and a cellphone within reach of every human.  It even put a man on the Moon and kinda-sorta cured AIDS.

So it is a sort of grim privilege for the generations living today to watch the slow demise of such a spectacularly effective intellectual construct. The Age of Corporations is coming to an end. The traditional corporation won’t vanish, but it will cease to be the center of gravity of economic life in another generation or two.  They will live on as religious institutions do today, as weakened ghosts of more vital institutions from centuries ago.

Infinity Journal has an amazing array of authors for their third issue including Martin van Creveld, TX Hammes, Gian Gentile and David Betz 

SWJ Blog – Ordinary Men and Abhorrent Behavior

The mediocrity of Evil.

Information Dissemination (Galrahn) – The Navy is Losing the Narratives Battle

If you have been following ADM Roughead’s speeches lately, whether at the Current Strategy Forum (PDF) or last Thursday’s event sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (PDF), you may have noticed that AirSea Battle is no longer discussed. The question has come up a few times… is AirSea Battle dead?

The answer is yes and no. AirSea Battle doctrine is rarely discussed anymore in public by the Navy because the Navy is backing off AirSea Battle, and some would call it backpedaling with speed. AirSea Battle is a warfighting doctrine developed towards dividing roles and responsibilities of military forces in combat from the sea, and is intended to provide guidance towards cutting redundancy and insuring all mission requirements are clearly understood by the services. The development includes a great deal more detail, but that’s the general overview. That guidance would inform the services where overlap exists, and in theory inform services where cuts need to be made and where renewed focus on capabilities needs to be emphasized.

Committee of Public SafetyOvergrown Comment, Short Post

Joseph Fouche summarizes and extends the debate on whether or not the administration is “astrategic

…Whatever framework you use to analyze human actions, especially those actions your framework categorizes as war or conflict, it should be equally capable of shedding light (and defining) “good” or “successful” actions and “bad” or “failed” actions. Categorizing one lump of actions as Actions while excluding another lump of actions as less than actions does not a good framework make.

Shlok reviews The Profession 

Wikistrat’s Grand Strategy Competition is underway

Jihadica –Zawahiri at the Helm

Seth GodinCoordination

The internet has largely mirrored (and amplified) this competition. eBay, for example, not only pits sellers against one another, it also pits buyers. Craigslist makes it easy for buyers to see the range of products and services on offer, making the marketplace more competitive. Google, most of all, encourages an ecosystem where producers can evolve, improve and compete.

I think the next frontier of the net is going to use the datastream to do precisely the opposite–to create value by making coordination easier.

Adam Elkus –We Go to War With The Strategic Culture We Have

Dr. Von –An Attempt to Make Some Sense of Quantum Mechanics

Eide Neurolearning Blog –A Jolt of Insight

Singularity Hub –Archetype Movie Asks: Can The Dead Live On As Robots?

WSJ (Gillepsie and Welch)-  Death of the Duopoly

Outside the Beltway –Obama Impersonator Tells Racist Jokes at Republican Conference

I share Dr. Joyner’s utter weariness with the GOP’s politically self-immolating wingnut faction who appear to have secret brainstorming sessions where the objective is to come up with some jackass way to lend maximum credibility to 2012 Democratic campaign attack ads. OTOH, Rep. Weiner appears to have cornered the all important “national laughingstock” crown for his party, proving stupidity is thoroughly bipartisan.


Robot Mercs of Armored Core

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