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Thread: Intelligence failure: get the right IT system thinking

  1. #21
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Boston, MA


    If anyone's heard of a higher up tasking a junior to post or link to a Word doc on the wiki, that's one huge glaring indicator that Intellipedia is nothing more than a high tech circular file. I've seen it happen too many times in business that I'm not prepared to believe a government employee makes for a better user.

    Bottom line, Wikipedia works because its users--some 300,000 listed editors + God knows how many million anonymous ones--grew it to meet their mostly individual needs, and the aggregate of their contributions meets the needs of hundreds of millions more. A corporate wiki exists solely because someone ordered it deployed and then ordered someone else to contribute to it. Another example of how differences in scale pose drastically different problems.
    PH Cannady
    Correlate Systems

  2. #22
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Belly of the beast


    A good example of the Wiki problem is at my Uni. My students all said how they needed a Wiki (woe I'm a dullard if I don't support their little socmed needs). So, we built it (remember this is the "user" community demanding it). They had many grandiose ideas of how they would use it. We populated it with course information, set it up, allowed some students editorial control (and the ability to grant it) and off to the races. We got stagnant pond water. It's still there (no real cost to leave it up), but the reality is that ONE wikipedia works, maybe a special one here or there. I know of one socmed web forum that tried a wiki too, but nobody participated.

    I do reject a few things. The government intelligence community problem is not unique. It is a knowledge management issue (which is a lossy system). Wiki's are a form of knowledge repository but they are not the only ones. Small Wars Journal/Council is also a form, Amazon Answers (and others) are other forms of knowledge repositories.

    The problem with most (not all) repository systems is they are passive/reactive. The issue with any technology is that it will likely be event driven and as a result not-predictive. Trend analysis and such strategies are flawed (if not we'd all be rich on the stock market). The best we can hope for is "best case" that fails rarely. I realize my compadre Presley has a bone to pick with the tech but, there are places where similar systems work pretty well if not perfectly. The imperfect, failure prone, immature technology that keeps getting referred to is over-hyped. Each of those criticisms are life cycle issues and in many cases development failures. You can't say all tech is bad and be any more relevant than the current failures in tech.

    My personal belief (near religious zealotry) is that the only scalable effect that works is a mandelbrot fractal solution starting with the human being and integrating the technology. I'm far from the first person to suggest this strategy. The resulting solution is a person using technology and being replicated again and again with each smaller piece making a similar larger piece. This is how wiki's work but it isn't a wiki (if that makes any sense). Each person is a writer, editor, evaluator making thousands of judgements on each topic. Then larger groups and larger communities do the same. It is a known imperfect system (as many fake editing incidents prove). What we want to do with the technology solution is the same pattern of behavior only automate it as much as possible (the writing and data entry is all over the place being done by outsiders) and apply some filters to look for those outliers we're interested in. Will it be perfect? Not on your or my life. We still haven't reached Minority Report status and personally I hope we never do.
    Sam Liles
    Selil Blog
    Don't forget to duck Secret Squirrel
    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

  3. #23
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    Don't just discard the value added of IC versions of twitter and facebook. Though they may not fill the need for many of the topics covered in this thread, mainly Terror Watchlisting, they willl/do provide a invaluable human networking resource. Not sure if you have seen the video for Chirp (IC Twitter) but if not check it out. I could not find a good link but I will keep looking and post back if I find it. But as I see it, two of the biggest problems an analyst faces is 1) not being able to get the information needed to make proper assessments due to lack of knowledge where the data he/she needs is available and 2) once they produce products not being able to distribute those products to the customers that need them but the analyst doesn't know exists. This is where Chirp really fits in: allowing analyst to publish reporting to the masses while tagging it for relevance, and allowing other analysts to pull the info based on needs from sources they didn't know existed. And allowing them to follow those sources to keep up to date.

    I know there is lots of debate about whether the push or pull method of data dissemination is the best. And I think that it is really neither one but more of a combination of them. This is what Chirp does. But what it doesn't do is provide the human networking capacity like facebook... That is currently filled by old fashion email. But an IC facebook would combine the functionalities into one place and likely provide even more.

    -Just my 2 cents

  4. #24
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Macro Trends in CT Technologies

    Reviewing my workload in 2011 I found this link to a presentation by Jeff Jonas to an EU-funded project: Macro Trends in CT Technologies. It is a rather large Mb Powerpoint:

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