Variations of the OODA Loop 4, Pseudo-Boydian Loops

Note: This is a selection from Variations of the OODA Loop, part of tdaxp‘s SummerBlog ’06

Pseudo-Boydian loops run the gamut from minor mistakes to serious complications. As amateur writers, bloggers are especially prone to this: for example, leaving off the Orient-Observe feedback41 42 However, even knowledgeable experts can make mistakes. Library Philosophy and Practice, Karl Bridges43 cited Dr. Fred Thompson’s44 pseudo-Boydian loop. The Thompson variant allows for Act -> Orient and Act -> Decide feedback (which doesn’t exist) while prohibiting Orient->Act or Orient->Observe “implicit guidance and control” (which do).

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Variations of the OODA Loop, a tdaxp series:
Variations of the OODA Loop 1: Introduction
Variations of the OODA Loop 2: The Naive Boydian Loop
Variations of the OODA Loop 3: The Sophisticated Boydian Loop
Variations of the OODA Loop 4: Pseudo-Boydian Loops
Variations of the OODA Loop 5: Post-Boydian Loops
Variations of the OODA Loop 6: Bibliography

TSA: Top-Notch Security Agency

With my vacation to Beijing completed, I want to get something off my chest.:

The Transportation Security Agency does their job very, very well.

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The tdaxp Seal of Approval

Since the 9/11 attacks, every time I’ve flown the security has become more and more professional. In this latest trip, the reached new heights. The TSA was better not only than previous incarnations of itself, but also bested Japanese and even Chinese security.

As someone who enjoys criticizing the federal government, this can be hard to say, but it’s true: “TSA, Job Well Done!”

(The same cannot be said for American stewardesses, but that is a post for another time…)

Review of "Bad Twin" by "Gary Troup"

International communism. The bubonic plague. The mischievous “Others” from Lost Island. All of these things are worse than Bad Twin.

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But not by much.


The author of Bad Twin, Gary Troup (the name is an anagram for “Purgatory”), perished in the crash of Oceanic Flight 815 over Lost Island. The manuscript was discovered by the fuselage survivors of the crash, and has figured into two episodes of LOST.

Bad Twin is the tale of two “mirror image” twins (identical except one is right-handed and the other is left-handed). The mystery starts at as a rehashing of The Prodigal Son, so much so that the characters discuss that parable looking for clues. Gradually more thematic elements are introduced and rehashed — from Shakespeare, Dante, and more. All of this should add up to a top-notch mystery, especially for LOST fans. It doesn’t.

The connection to the mythos of LOST is unclear. While LOST elements are mentioned — The Hanso Foundation, Alvar Hanso, the Widmore clan, and even Paik Heavy Industries, the book either takes place within a fictional world within that fictional world, or is even less related to the show than the online game, The LOST Experience. For instance, in the second season finale of lost the Widmore family played a vital role. However, Bad Twin is of negligible help in understanding it because the TV show focuses on the UK side of the family, while the book discusses the American side.

Bad Twin has some interesting twists, but most of the plot is either painfully predictable or merely arbitrary. An ending that would be controversial in a better written book, and the political implications thereof, are telegraphed early by the author. At the same time the last section seems composed of one “As it turns out” after another, as the author ties up one lose end after another.

As both an extension to the TV show LOST and a mystery, Bad Twin falls flat. If you want to spend more time on LOST, listen to the very good, free podcasts developed by the online community of fans. The Lost Podcast with Jay and Jack, the Generally Speaking LOST Podcast, and the theory-heavy LOSTCasts are all better than Bad Twin. Those expecting a fun mystery would do better to read Dean Barrett (previously featured on tdaxp), especially his Skytrain to Murder.

Do yourself a favor. Avoid Bad Twin.