Books Biz Borrowed: The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell


I apologize for the lack of posts lately, but to be honest, Dan’s homework is a tough act to follow. I am okay with following yet another amazingly cognizent rant by Aaron though.

My path to this book involved a review for “” that said, “Diablo Cody is to stripping what Sarah Vowell is to American History. As a lover of both strippers and the history of America I was intrigued. I rushed to the library with my eyes filled with visions of well-filled American flag bikinis. In fairness to Diablo Cody, she put in more work for her book than Sarah Vowell probably ever has.

The Partly Cloudy Patriot is a collection of essays that tie in current events with political history and travel. writes like a that focuses less on quirky one-liners and more on making larger connections full of irony. Calling Lincoln our “American Jesus” and contrasting Ted Nugent with Rosa Parks, Vowell remains intelligent yet accessible, and communicates her points very eloquently.
I do find a flaw in this book that brings it down an inch or two in my own opinion. Sarah Vowell is billed as an American History writer, and the library has this book wedged between books chock full of Pearl Harbor and Appomattox. However, only about half give history more than a passing glance.

The saving grace for this book and the main reason I recommend it is in the titular essay. Written in December of 2001, Vowell makes a powerful statement on being American.

“And while I could shake my fists for sure at the terrorists on page one, buried domestic items could still make my stomach hurt–school prayer partisans taking advantage of the guilt of children to circumvent the seperation of church and state; the White House press secretary condemning a late-night talk show host for making a questionable remark about the U.S. military: “The reminder is to all Americans, that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do, and now is not a time for remarks like that.” Those are the sort of never-ending qualms that have turned me into the partly cloudy patriot I long not to be.”

Guerrillaz, Part II: 19-2000

neither_shall_they_try_to_lose

The world is spinning too fast
I’m buying lead Nike shoes

To keep myself tethered
To the days I try to lose

My mama said to slow down
You should make your shoes
Stop dancing to the music
Of gorillaz in a happy mood

Keep a mild groove on

Ba ba ba Day dee bop

There you go!
Get the cool!
Get the cool shoeshine!

There’s a monkey in the jungle
Watching a vapour trail
Caught up in the conflict
Between his brain and his tail

And if time’s elimination
Then we got nothing to lose
Please repeat the message
It’s the music that we choose

Keep a mild groove on

Ok bring it down yeah we gonna break out

Ah ah ah ah”
Gorillaz, “19-2000” (repetitions omitted)

There’s more…


19-2000, by Gorillaz, Gorillaz, 19 June 2001, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/19-2000 [buy the cd, read the lyrics, watch the video].

We do not feel good about Iraq. The reason is that our enemies have gotten inside our OODA loops — our learning processes — and are able to transient between one form and another faster than we can comprehend them. This makes them appear to know whack, when in fact they are whacking us. Much as Stalinism had a negative influence on the moral-political condition of the Party, created a situation of uncertainty, contributed to the spreading of unhealthy suspicion, and sowed distrust among Communists, the Iraq War has done similar things (but to much lesser extents) to America.

Time and again we have played into our enemy’s hands. Abu Gharib seriously damaged our ability to offer generous terms to the vanquished, while popular Iraqi politician Abdul Aziz al-Hakim was partially right when he blamed American Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad for the destruction of a holy Shia mosque. As Hakim said, American policy of Sunni-Arab appeasement has given a green light to terrorists by rewarding violence and bloodshed.

Now, it may be that appeasement does work. By appeasing Hitler early on, Britain eventually managed to permanently knock out Germany, warp Soviet development, and give global hegemony to a fellow English-speaker power. Perhaps by rewarding anti-democratic terrorists, Khalizad can achieve a similar coup for the United States. But the moral cost of this is very high.

From a moral perspective, our behavior has been functionally identical to trying to lose. As might say, we have shaped and influenced events so that we not only diminish our spirit and strength but also influence potential friends as well as to uncommitted so that they are down away from our philosophy and our antagonist toward our success.

If America wishes to remain a moral power — a nation capable of inspiring others towards a worldwide grand strategy — we have to stop dancing to the enemy’s music. We need to stop dancing, and buy lead Nike shoes.

We need to time-shift the OODA loop. When we try to dance to their rhythm we tear ourselves apart. But if we make them dance to our rhythm, if we purposefully elongate our thinking, we render the guerrilla’s advantages moot. John Boyd outlined three categories of conflict

  • Attrition
  • Maneuver
  • Moral

Maneuver warfare focuses on agility and the ability to get inside an OODA loop. The enemy is more agile, so wishes to fight maneuver war. We should deprive him of that, by instead focusing on attrition war.

We can do this by empowering local proxies to fight for us, refusing to fight the enemy where he is strongest (our lack of agility) and instead forcing him to fight where we are strongest (his lack of resources). In the case of Iraq this involves welcoming Shia and Kurdish reprisals against Sunni Arab terrorist networks. Going forward, it means that friends on the ground are much more important than a friendly UN vote or French nods.

(Focusing on local friends also gives us the advantage in moral warfare as well.)

Our military is designed for blitzkrieg, and its rapid interaction with so many complications in the local environment leads to friction and harmful waste heat. Instead of melting in this sauna, we should focus on what we do best and allow local friends to do what they would do best.

We need to cool down. We need to get the cool. The current heat of Iraq is too much for America to easily take.

We have spent too long listening to dancing to their music. Now it’s time for them to hear the music that we choose.


Guerrillaz, a tdaxp series in four parts
Part I: Feel Good Inc
Part II: 19-2000
Part III: Clint Eastwood
Part IV: Dare

Guerrillaz, Part I: Feel Good Inc

neither_shall_they_know_whack

Feel good.

City’s breaking down on a camel’s back.
They just have to go cause they don’t know whack.
So all you fill the streets it’s appealing to see
You wont get out the county cause you’re bad and free
You’ve got a new horizon It’s ephemeral style.
A melancholy town where we never smile.
And all I wanna hear is the message beep.
My dreams, they’ve got to kiss, because I don’t get sleep, no..

Windmill, Windmill for the land.
Turn forever hand in hand
Take it all in on your stride
It is sticking, falling down
Love forever love is free
Let’s turn forever you and me
Windmill, windmill for the land
Is everybody in?

Laughing gas these hazmats, fast cats,
Lining them up like ass cracks,

Ladies, ponies, at the track
its my chocolate attack.
Shit, I’m stepping in the heart of this here
Care bear bumping in the heart of this here
Watch me as I gravitate
Hahahahahahaa!

Yo, we gonna ghost town, this motown,
with yo sound, you’re in the place
You gonna bite the dust, can’t fight with us.
With yo sound you kill the “inc.”

So don’t stop, get it, get it
until you’re cheddar header.
Yo, watch the way I navigate
Hahahahahaaaaa

Don’t stop, get it, get it
we are your captains in it.
Steady, watch me navigate,
Ha ha ha ha ha!

Don’t stop, get it, get it
We are your captains in it
Steady, watch me navigate
Ha ha ha ha ha!”

Gorillaz, “Feel Good Inc.” (repititions ommitted)

There’s more…


Feel Good Inc,” by Gorillaz, Demon Days, 24 May 2005, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feel_Good_Inc. [buy the cd, read ASL lyrics, read 3S lyrics, watch the video].

O’Reilly: U.S. Should Leave Iraq ‘as fast as humanly possible’ because ‘there are so many nuts in the country’,” Media Matters for America, 22 February 2006, http://mediamatters.org/items/200602220007 (from Aaron).

It Didn’t Work, by William Buckley, Universal Press Syndicate, 25 February 2006, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-2_25_06_WB.html.

It goes without saying that William F Buckley does not feel good

One can’t doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed. The same edition of the paper quotes a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Reuel Marc Gerecht backed the American intervention. He now speaks of the bombing of the especially sacred Shiite mosque in Samarra and what that has precipitated in the way of revenge. He concludes that “the bombing has completely demolished” what was being attempted — to bring Sunnis into the defense and interior ministries.

Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans. The great human reserves that call for civil life haven’t proved strong enough. No doubt they are latently there, but they have not been able to contend against the ice men who move about in the shadows with bombs and grenades and pistols.

Nor, on the opposite end of the intellectual spectrum, does Bill O’Reilly

Somewhat of a disturbing report out of Iraq, and it’s more important than it first appears. The governor of — or the mayor of Karbala, which is a town in the south part of Iraq, Shiite-controlled, has banned any further government dealings with the American military in his province, saying that they’re not behaving well.

Now, it’s a small little thing, but I picked up on it, because here is the essential problem in Iraq. There are so many nuts in the country — so many crazies — that we can’t control them. And I don’t — we’re never gonna be able to control them. So the only solution to this is to hand over everything to the Iraqis as fast as humanly possible. Because we just can’t control these crazy people. This is all over the place. And that was the big mistake about America: They didn’t — it was the crazy-people underestimation. We did not know how to deal with them — still don’t. But they’re just all over the place.

As Bill noted, the reason we don’t feel good is that they don’t know whack: too many Iraqis act inexplicably. Or perhaps we don’t know whack: if we did, presumably we could control them. William continues:

One of these postulates, from the beginning, was that the Iraqi people, whatever their tribal differences, would suspend internal divisions in order to get on with life in a political structure that guaranteed them religious freedom. The accompanying postulate was that the invading American army would succeed in training Iraqi soldiers and policymakers to cope with insurgents bent on violence.

The reason for our whackless knowledge is that “the Iraqis” are operating at a high tempo. They can get inside our cognition loop, they can teach us, by quickly transitioning from one type of activity to another. The cognition loop is stable over the long term because ultimately every mind is attracted by both high-kinetic activities (teaching) and low-kinetic activities (learning).

However, by having powerful energy free energy sources — by exploiting the liberal concept of ideology and the preliberal concept of kin — our enemies can spend more time doing and less time resting. In the same way, by relying on free energy sources from the environment, windmills can run as long as the wind blows. The Iraq’s powerful mix of religion and family is analogous to a similar movement in the United States — political movements that here have refined themselves into victors.

Not only are they powerful and built for victory, they are attacking us wisely. They are laughing-gassing us, what John Boyd might have called pulling us apart and collapsing our will to resist. They have magnified our entropy by working with critics in our own societies. Howard Deanesque criticisms of George Bush lying over the lack of hazardous materials — WMDs — in Iraq combine with William Lindoid concerns over real hazardous materials — centers of disorder — to try to get us to just leave.

These moral infiltration tactics rely on flow. Instead of trying to synchronize their forces, the enemies “seep or flow into any gaps or weaknesses they can find in order to drive deep” into our rear. By taking the path of least resistance, they rely on gravity — another free energy source — to do the heavy work for them. Instead, our objective of making them sane (O’Reilly) or making them value “religious freedom” (Buckley) requires us to constantly hold up the sky and defy gravity.

This is why we don’t feel good about Iraq. Half of our strategies aren’t working. We are not strong enough for the means we have chosen.

We see them choose which streams to follow, which mosques to destroy, which weddings to bomb. They seem crazy. We feel bad.

We need to stop dancing to the music of the guerrillas.


Guerrillaz, a tdaxp series in four parts
Part I: Feel Good Inc
Part II: 19-2000
Part III: Clint Eastwood
Part IV: Dare

Guerrillaz: A tdaxp Series

Earlier I promised a somber post on the mosque bombing in Iraq. But I don’t have the words for it. And I’m not a naturally somber person. Like a broken bell, the post would not ring true.

shiite_shrine

By random chance, while I was trying to think of how to write, I finally listened to Feel Good Inc, off the album Demon Days” by Gorillaz. For some reason the memory of Lady of tdaxp being surprised by the “incorporated” in the title was playing in my mind yesterday — I could not get the song nor her exclamation out of my head.

As I listened to their songs I came across their video, Clint Eastwood, and was blown away. Watching whatever I could find and listening to every track, this series appeared before me.

gorillaz iraq

In the coming days, tdaxp will host the series “Guerrillaz,” joining Embracing Defeat, Liberal Education, and OODA-PISRR as tdaxp tetraologies.

Part I, Feel Good Inc
Part II, 19-2000
Part III, Clint Eastwood
Part IV, Dare

I hope you enjoy.

Truth Extends Beyond the Borderlands of Science

The Structure of Science,” by Earnest Nagel, 1961.

Conjectures and Refutations,” by Karl Popper, 1963.

Social Theory and Political Practice,” by Brian Fay, 1975.

The Restructuring of Social and Political Theory,” by Richard Bernstein, 1976.

This is my first “reaction paper” for Scopes & Methods. The first third of this class has focused on how to write a research design. The rest focuses on the epistemology of political science.

The debating topic this week is ‘Just look at all of the advances made by science and you’ll know that the only way to understand human behavior is to study it scientifically. We are limited to two double-spaced pages. I have been assigned to the contrary team.

Those interested in Karl Popper, by the way, may wish to check out the Popper-themed blog, Conjectures and Refutations.


The answer: “Wrong. Just wrong.”

The question: “What are plagiarism, vandalism, and the proposition, ‘Just look at all of the advances made by science and you’ll know that the only way to understand human behavior is to study it scientifically’”?

As the readings show, that statement is wrong on five counts. First, it assumes that inductive thought is valid by itself. Second, it assumes the ability to ascertain absolutely knowledge. Third, it simplistically uses the word ‘scientifically.’ Fourth, even allowing all this, the statement does not provide for normative context. Fifth, the statement’s nonsensical gibberish.

First, as Hume said of intuition “even after the observation of the frequent or constant conjunction of objects, we have no reason to draw any inference concerning any object beyond those of which we have had experience.” There are two ways out of this mess, both of which are proscribed by the statement. The first would be to presupposed that inference — “just [looking]” — is a valid method, but then we are just looking and assuming. Or we may, as Popper does, add in trial-and-error, but then we are looking, trying, and erring!

Second, it is doubtful one can truly “know”. For example, in his defense of social sciences, Nagel qualifies the reach of all science. He acknowledges that objectivity seems to be the same as “relational objectivity” because all objective science appears to rely on perspective. One may trade perspective for another one, but perspectiveleess scientific knowledge appears to be impossible.

Third, as Popper said of science, science and truth are not the same thing. While there is considerable overlap, there is also a lot of difference. What is false can still be scientifically useful, as as Popper says “false theories often serve well enough: most formulae used in engineering or navigation are known to be false, although that may be excellent approximations and easy to handle, and they are used with confidence by people who know them to be false.” Also, recall Nagel’s remarks on the methodological limits of science. He writes that even radical exponents of behaviorism, a scientific form of psychology, “do not deny the existence of conscious mental states; and their rejection of introspection, in favor of the study of overt behavior, was controlled primarily by a methodological concern to base psychology upon publicly observable data.” The truth of conscious mental states do not make them scientifically valid, but their scientific invalidity does not make them untrue. Likewise, Bernstein writes that “few social scientists are willing to suggest that the study of [non-scientific] political and social philosophy has no value whatsoever.”

Fourth, even if all previous criticisms are ignored, the statement remains wrong because it assumes that what we see is beneficial. As Fay writes, “science deprives men of the old faith by which they lived and thus helps destroy the old social order…” and later “the emergence of a core of policy scientists would also support the rise of an active and centralized government.” The issue is not the normative value of the mental health of old people and local governments, to name just these two issues. Rather, normative context requires something outside of “just looking,” and the statement does not provide for any such thing.

Fifth, the statement itself makes no sense. It is clear that the original statement is not scientific, because there it does not make a falsifiable prediction. It is as self-serving as Freudianism or Individual Psychology. However, the statement claimed that the only way to know was scientifically. Therefore, if the statement is true, it is worthless (because of there is only the scientific avenue to knowledge, unscientific statements aren’t reliable guides). But if the statement is false, it may be true (because then non-scientific statements may be valid after all).

When it comes to positivist science-only extremism, “just say no!”

Currently Watching and Listening

Without comment, other than these are the three most recent albums and dvds I’ve watched, and all are highly recommended. Except for HHGTTG. Which Lady of tdaxp liked, so maybe it was a good movie after all. But if you’ve read the book, stay away. Read Mostly Harmless instead.

matisyahu_live_at_stubbs_sm
house_of_cards

greetings_from_michigan_sm
interview_with_the_assassin_sm
sigur_ros_takk_sm
hhgttg_sm

OK, I lied. One comment. Sigur Ros’s “Staralfur” is available for free download. It was also featured on Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

And while I’m at it, get the 1981 BBC version of Hitchhiker’s Guide instead. And note that all DVD links go to Greencine. Unlike Netflix, greencine doesn’t .

OODA-PISRR, Part IV: System Perturbations

“You’re such an inspiration for the ways
That I’ll never ever choose to be

He did this
Took all you had and
Left you this way

It’s not like you killed someone”
Judith, by A Perfect Circle, from the Album, Mer de Noms

“It’s the meteor that will separate dinosaurs form mammals in defense. It will tell us what we need to know about war within the context of everything else. The impact on our community will unfold over years, but eventually this will change everything.
– Thomas PM Barnett, The Pentagon’s New Map, pg 260

neither_shall_the_pertubation2


The is a bi-stable system. It alternates between two attractors, high-intensity operations and low-intensity operations. High-intensity operations occur at the very end of the (Observe-Orient-Decide-Act) loop and the very beginning of the (Penetrate-Isolate-Subvert-Subdue-Reorient-Reharmonize) loop. As intensity falls, the PISRR Cognition Loop turns to the stability of low-intensity operations. Then, the OODA loop ratchets up intensity to complete the circle.

This cognitive circle:

ooda_pisrr_14

can also be viewed as a cognitive wave:

waveform_one

Part of victory is going through the the cycle faster — increasing the wave’s frequency. But that alone is not enough. Creating a high-frequency waveform allows the adversary to know what we are doing, and guard against it.

Explaining one of his suggestions, the thinker wrote:

Why? Such activity will make us appear ambiguous (unpredictable) thereby generate confusion and disorder among our adversaries—since our adversaries will be unable to generate mental images or pictures that agree with the menacing as well as faster transient rhythm or patterns they are competing against.

In other words, victory requires that we break the stable OODA-PISRR cycle. Not just make the OODA-PISRR cycle go faster, not just increasing the frequency of our waveform, but breaking the waveform.

If one thinks of social cognition as a system, we know one of five things will happen if we break (“perturb“) the system. The system may:

  • Return to its original state
  • Settle in another stable state, perhaps after some period of unpredictable behavior
  • Bifurcate, that is, begin to oscillate among tow states, but not settle in either of them. It may bifurcate repeatedly, generating a collection of states among which it oscillates.
  • Wander among various states, but not settle in or even return to any of them
  • Become unstable, that is, lock up, disintegrate, or in any other way cease to function as a system

(from Page 45 of Richards’ . The passage draws on Beckerman’s The Non-Linear Dynamics of War, which has also been featured on ZenPundit).

Ff the OODA-PISRR social cognitive system is perturbed for a while…

waveform_fast_md

There is not an equal chance that each of the five possible outcomes will happen. At least as far as social cognition goes, we know that the system will return to its original state.

Unlike non-linear systems that can display emergence, social cognition is closer to a pendulum. The waveform of an pendulum looks very similar to the OODA-PISRR waveform, and has two attractors:

waveform_two

A swing of a pendulum is “attracted” by both the maximum height and the minimum. (See Wikipedia for the mathematics).

Just as the pendulum-based intertial guidance systems maintain a form of repeated perturbations, human-based social cognition loops will also tend to the waveform. Over and over we see this. The cyclical patterns of football games allow knowledgeable observers to routinely predict, in detail, several plays out. In many countries, political cycles are also well documented. Even historical long-cycles have been observed.

The Social Cognitive Wave, the OODA-PISRR loop, can be perturbed for a while. Wise strategists will use this fact to their advantages. But in any system with two players (whether on the systemic, alliance, state, organizational, or individual levels), the attractors will win out over time. Wise strategists will use this fact as well.

The world is a system of systems. Some systems, such as the national defense system, have changed forever as a result of 9/11 and the Iraq War. Yet others, such social cognition loop between the United States and everything else, were just perturbed for a time.

Then the system is restored:

waveform_restored

An event can be an inspiration for us – it can reorient us. It can even be an ideal which makes us want to change “everything.” It can throw us into unpredictability. But the old cognitive patterns will come back.

It’s not like we killed them. Or can.


OODA-PISRR, a tdaxp series in four parts
Part I: The Social Cognition Loop
Part II: The PISRR Cognition Loop
Part III: Formless Fast Transients
Part IV: System Perturbations

The tdaxp Interview of Thomas PM Barnett

is an author of three books (his doctoral dissertation, The Pentagon’s New Map, and ), an important grand strategist, and a Harvard PhD. Recently I asked him to answer some questions for a class I am taking on creativity, talent, and expertise. I only expected short answers, and I promised him that what I was asking him was for class-use only.

I was blown away by his public answers to the questionnaire, and delighted that he used the chance to mention tdaxp. Here’s a sample:

18. How often do you “fail”? What do you do when you fail?

To me, failure is just realizing the distance from where I am currently on some issue to where I ultimately want to go. Those realizations are often driven by critical feedback on the brief, when then are turned into better or newer or more expanded slides. When I’ve explained that new thing many times, it usually finds its way into the blog/column/article/book in a progressive fashion.

That’s the idea version of failure for me.

The career version of failure is me simply recognizing I’ve grown beyond whatever bounds I currently face and need to recast myself in another venue. The trigger is typically financial: I feel scared about my ability to earn money in the current configuration of jobs/relationships/alliances and so I reinvent myself to recast those as effectively as possible. Those moments are typically scary, but invigorating in a good way. Having gone through them now a number of times, I’m fairly open to welcoming them (the instinct is to avoid at all costs), so I’m learning to enjoy them.

Performance failure happens here and there (the bad TV remote appearance, the stupid blog post, and the perceived bad briefing), but outright failure is rare (I recently had a very bad brief which stunned me, but it was mostly the result of how the event was set up rather than my performance, but it re-taught me the importance of managing the venue as much as possible—i.e., being demanding with my hosts to ensure the best performance). The bad interview is frustrating, but I’ve learned that’s overwhelmingly the function of the interviewer, something that’s almost impossible to surmount. So I guess a lot of dealing with failure is understanding what you can’t control and accepting that (you know, that old chestnut).

Dealing with failure effectively is mostly about diagnosing it quickly, accepting your portion of the blame, and then chilling on it and putting it behind you quickly. So you seek “getting back up on the horse” moments ASAP.

Read the rest. Or check out previous interviews with and tdaxp.

Update: Tom answers another question: how do you know you are right?

OODA-PISRR, Part III: Formless Fast Transients

This is your waveform

waveform_md

This is your waveform on fast transients

waveform_fast_md

Any questions?


begins his epic briefing, , describing the need for fast transients:

In other words, suggests a fighter that can pick and choose engagement opportunities—yet has fast transient (“buttonhook”) characteristics that can be used to either force an overshoot by an attacker or stay inside a hard turning defender.

Yet while mere fast cycling is important.

Idea of fast transients suggests that, in order to win, we should operate at a faster tempo or rhythm than our adversaries—

A better strategy is to aim for getting inside the enemy’s head

or, better yet, get inside adversary’s observation-orientation-decision-action time cycle or loop.

The purpose is to hide the form of the fighter, creating a confusing, menacing, ambiguous, unpredictable disorder

Why? Such activity will make us appear ambiguous (unpredictable) thereby generate confusion and disorder among our adversaries—since our adversaries will be unable to generate mental images or pictures that agree with the menacing as well as faster transient rhythm or patterns they are competing against.

This is not simple optimization for speed. If a fighter wanted to optimize for speed, he would merely practice his routines so he could act without thinking (bypassing decision in the OODA loop) and rope-a-dope when attacked (so one can bypass subversion in the PISRR loop). His cognition loop would then be:

ooda_pisrr_15
The Fast Fighting Machine: Non-Deciding, Non-Developing

Rather, this is optimizing for formlessness.

The OODA-PISRR cycle, the Social Cognition Loop, was previously displayed as a circuit:

ooda_pisrr_14

It could also be shown to be a wave with a unique form

waveform_one
Vertical Axis is kinetic Energy, Horizontal Axis is Time

All merely going faster would be do is decrease the cycle-time of the waveform. It would definitely be menacing to face an enemy going fast. But not confusing, ambiguous, or unpredictable.

waveform_faster_md

Fast transients rely on appropriate use of Decision and Subversion to get inside the enemy’s cognition loop and make your waveform disappear.

As John Boyd said in Patterns of Conflict, describing the Mongol Horde:

By exploiting superior leadership, intelligence, communications, and mobility as well as by playing upon adversary’s fears and doubts via propaganda and terror, Mongols operated inside adversary observation-orientation-decision-action loops.

In a similar way, by exploiting decision and subversion, the winner operates into the enemy’s cognition loop.

As Chet Richards quoted Sun Tzu in Riding the Tiger (previously featured on tdaxp):

Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness;
Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness;
Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.

Victory with OODA is not just going fast, its using decision and subversion to deprive the enemy of the patterns needed to detect you. By acting in ways that are incoherent to one’s enemy’s, one’s waveform becomes confusing, menacing, ambiguous and unpredictable

One reaction is to create what Boyd called “many non-cooperative centers of gravity” in the enemy, making his waveform disappear too. But while the winner’s waveform is merely apparently chaotic, the enemy’s waveform is chaotic.

Next, the enemy ceases cycling, paralyzing him in one cognitive state. Visually

waveform_victim_md

Of course, not all transients are fast. Until they are.


OODA-PISRR, a tdaxp series in four parts
1. The Social Cognition Loop
2. The PISRR Cognition Loop
3. Formless Fast Transients
4. System Perturbations