OODA-PISRR, Part I: The Social Cognition Loopon February 13, 2006 at 12:00 am and modified on May 12, 2008. at 8:18 pm
But once one looks at it like a loop
all sorts of things become apparent.
To look “more like” the PISRR loop
but the differences, such as the Decide->Observe loop-back, mean that PISRR is not the same as OODA..
More profitable is to follow Larry Dunbar’s realization
While I now understand the strategy of OODA (as well as any non-expert could), PISRR should be give equal time. OODA is going from Potential Energy (Observe) to Kinetic energy (ACT). PISRR is going from Kinetic energy (Penetrate) to Potential Energy (Reharmonize).
Harmony can be considered non-destructive waves of changing potential energy. To reharmonize would be to reunite these non-destructive waves of energy into a society.
There are many similarities, almost mirror images, to the OODA loop and the PISRR loop. Both rely explicitly on trust, this must have been where Col. North screwed up the PISRR loop. Both are powerful strategies in war. While OODA can be considered an organizational loop from Special Operations forces to a Leviathan force, PISRR can be considered an organizational loop going from Leviathan force to a System Administration force.
That is, OODA describes escalation and PISRR describes de-escalation
(Compare also to normal and revolutionary change.)
This implies that one can replace the “external world” in the OODA loop with the PISRR loop, and vice verse, so:
Yet here “Act” is redundent, because the first step of the PISRR loop — Penetrate — is itself an action.
We may call it a day, if not for a red flag. A clue in John Boyd’s language tells us we are missing something profound
If “Penetration” is a form of “Action,” then should Reorientation not be a style of Orientation?
The red flag alertts us to another similarity in PISRR and OODA — Decide and Subdue
In a comment I made to Dr. Dan Nexon, I mentioned
The difference between 3GW and 4GW difference is that 4GW tries to force a qualitative change, while 3GW tries to force a quantitative reevaluations. As I mentioned in another post , 4GW focuses on Orientation while 3GW focuses on Decision.
For example, we can simplify the British public’s thought process as
“While the cost of war is not too high, fight bad guys”
Strategic bombing tries to change the value of the quantitative value “the cost of the war” past the fuzzy value “too high.” The bombings themselves increase the cost of the war, while propaganda decreased “too high” (by saying “a Berlin-centered England wouldn’t be so bad…” ).
4GW would have tried to change the identity of the British public itself. It would have tried to shift the British public, not just into neutral observers, but allies. It would have convinced the public in the 1940s, in a way that many Marxists were able to do by the 1970s, that Britannia herself was the evil empire.
In other words, Orientation and Subversion all focus by changing qualitative characteristics of a person. It alters whether or not a person would do something, all other things being equal. Subdue and Decide focus on quantitative change, whether or not a man can practically achieve his goal.
This implies that Subvert is part of Orient…
which means we can simplify the model to:
We now have a realized model of the “cloudy” OODA-PISRR model we started out with
This combined loop may be called a Social Cognition Loop, because it reflects the subject’s OODA loop and the object’s PISRR loop as part one one cycle. Like a sine wave.
Yet this Social Cognition Loop is wrong, and Boyd is incomplete. A wise fighter will try to break it anyway. He can’t, but he can destroy something else.