The OODA Loop Completes The Store Model

The Store Model contains weakness, such as its Central Executive, the “conscious part of the mind” that “coordinates incoming information with information in the system” and “controls attention.” This unified command does not exist in all cases, as has been shown in cases where the corpus callosum has been damaged (Pinker 2002). Likewise, the Store Model hides an absurdity: how do we know what we do not know we do not know? If the Central Executive is conscious, then we must consciously ignore information we have not even noticed yet.

The Store Model is more intelligible when seen in the light of the OODA Loop. In the OODA Loop, outside information, unfolding circumstances, and unfolding environmental interaction are “Observed.” These are then fed forward and previous experience, new information, genetic heritage, cultural tradition, and analysis/synthesis led to an “Orientation” which also feeds backwards to Observation. In most cases this creates an implicit guidance and control to a person’s Action, though sometimes a Decision is made, in which case it feeds forward into action and feeds back to Orientation. In every case, Action feeds back to Observation. (Fadok, Boyd, and Warden 1995). The OODA Model resolves these problems. The Store Model becomes acceptable by breaking the “Central Executive” into a large, complex, unconscious Orientation component and a seldom used but powerful Decision making aspect. Because Orientation is itself composed of sub-procedures, cases of split personality are intelligible as maladaptive assembles of these sub-procedures. Likewise, if Observation must go through Orientation before Decision, then it is no surprise we often do not “see” things that would change our decisions if we knew of them (Richards 2004).


Fadok, D.S., Boyd, J., and Warden, J. (1995). Air Power’s Quest for Strategic Paralysis. Maxwell Air Force Base AL: Air University Press.

Pinker, S. (2002). The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. New York City: Penguin Books.

Richards, C. (2004). Certain to Win: The Strategy Of John Boyd, Applied To Business. Xlibris Corporation.

Pro-American, Pro-Iranian Party Calls for Dismemberment of Iraq (Good)

A Mixed Story,” by Juan Cole, Informed Consent,, 30 January 2005 (from tdaxp).

Groceries and Election Results…,” by river, Baghdad Burning,, 18 February 2005 (from tdaxp).

A Defeat for the Iraqi Constitution Is a Victory for Iraq,” by NYkrinDC, New Yorker in DC, 16 October 2005,

Call for Shiite Autonomy as Iraqi Tribal Chiefs Meet,” by Karnal Taha, AFP, 26 August 2006, (from Democratic Underground).

SCIRI – the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq – is the largest political party in Mesopotamia. Like other large Iraqi parties, it has attempted a strategy of friendship with Iraq’s natural allies, Iran and the Untied States. This has earned SCIRI distrust from Baa’thi sympathizers

Then there’s Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). He got to be puppet president for the month of December and what was the first thing he did? He decided overburdened, indebted Iraq owed Iran 100 billion dollars.

and commentators who just hate Bush

I’m just appalled by the cheerleading tone of US news coverage of the so-called elections in Iraq on Sunday. I said on television last week that this event is a “political earthquake” and “a historical first step” for Iraq.It is an event of the utmost importance, for Iraq, the Middle East, and the world. All the boosterism has a kernel of truth to it, of course. Iraqis hadn’t been able to choose their leaders at all in recent decades, even by some strange process where they chose unknown leaders.

Yet in spite of hope that terrorist minorities would defeat the democratic process, SCIRI and its Shia-Kurdish partners (mainly Dawa, the Kurdish Democratic Party, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) established a Constitutional Democracy in Iraq.

Now the Shia want out

At the same time Saturday one of Iraq’s most influential politicians called for the vast and oil-rich Shiite region south of the capital to become a self-governing area stretching from the holy city of Najaf to the port of Basra.

Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), said a referendum should be called in the region to endorse a breakaway, an idea which is fiercely opposed by Sunni leaders.

The reason is obvious: the American military has been more interested in appeasing terrorists than supporting democracy. Instead of recognizing that our enemies come from a violent minority that has no interest in democracy, we subvert democracy. We should celebrate when the Kurdish North and Shia South liberate themselves from their former terrorist masters. We should embrace those who kill terrorists instead of attacking our natural allies.

Support the Iraqi struggle against terrorists. Support the dismemberment of Iraq.

Pragmatic Vygotskianism

(Long time readers of this blog will notice a thematic similarity between this paper and my earlier post, PNM Theory is Critical Theory (And That’s A Good Thing).

Psychologists has been described as holders of flashlights in a dark cave. Different beams illuminate different surfaces, and the true nature of things is difficult to determine. This analogy is apt. The best a psychologist can do is to move from beam to beam as appropriate, evaluating what he sees not by some abstract “truth” but on utility. By this standard, the Vygotskian perspective should be carefully implemented by psychologists.

Most of Vygotsky’s ideas should be used because they are useful. Mentoring is critical in the development of expertise (Price 2005, Barnett 2006). “Zones of Proximal Development,” “Scaffolding,” and “Guided Participation,” are Vygotskian concepts that fit under this ancient rubric. Other concepts should be used but with caution. “Intersubjectivity” and “Reciprocal Teaching” are similar to attempts to construct rationality in domains with multiple perspectives and peer interaction. The record here is more mixed, with some supporting the idea (van Glasersfeld, Moshman 2005) and others who are more critical (Safranski 2006, Steinberg and Morris 2001, Allen et al 2005).

That said, Vygotsky’s theoretical framework should be junked. It does not matter if a child’s babblings are “egocentric speech” or “private speech,” so long as he is able to obtain mastery in whatever domains are important. Likewise, whether make-believe is spontaneous or taught, or whether language is a central or secondary process, does not matter in practice.

Child Psychologists must be pragmatic and results-oriented, helping children achieve their best. Vygotsky’s ideas and powerful tools for these end, but they should not be confused with an objective truth.


Allen, J.P., Porter, M.R., McFarland, F.C., Marsh, P., McElhaney, K.B. (2005). The Two Faces of Adolescents’ Success with Peers: Adolescent Popularity, Social Adaption, and Deviant Behavior. Child Development 76, 747-760.

Barnett, T. (2006) Personal Communication, February 19, 2006.

Moshman, David. (2005). Adolescent Psychological Development (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Safarnski, M., Personal Communication, March 28-30, 2006.

Steinberg, L., & Morris, A.S. (2001). Adolescent Development. Annual Review of Psychology: 2001 52, 83-110.
von Glasersfeld, E. (1995). A Constructivist Approach to Teaching. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Is Singapore Resilient?

Singapore’s Resilient Strategy,” by Stephen DeAngelis, Enterprise Resilience Management Blog, 25 August 2006,

Singapore Is Not Resilient,” by W.F. Zimmerman, Nimble Books LLC, 25 August 2006,

In a recent blog post, Enterra CEO Stephen F. DeAngelis all but said that Singapore is resilient

In other words, Singapore isn’t lamenting that the world is changing and it might be losing jobs that might be going elsewhere; rather, it is actively trying to change its position in the future it sees emerging. That is what a resilient enterprise does. A few years ago, Francis Fukuyama wrote, “Just as the twentieth century was the century of physics … the twenty-first promises to be the century of biology.” [“Second Thoughts: The Last Man in the Bottle,” The National Interest, Summer 1999, p. 17] Apparently Singaporean officials see the future in much the same way. The article relates a number of proactive steps that Singapore has made to ensure its place in the emerging world.

No one can doubt that Singapore’s economic miracle has become permanent. Its resilient strategy is positioning Singapore for an emerging future rather than trying to get the country to cling only to those sectors that made it successful in the past, like electronics and finance. It jump started its strategy by importing world-class scientists, building world-class facilities, and ensuring that its standards are as high as any around the globe. It’s a great lesson in resiliency.

Yet Nimble Books Publisher W. Frederick Zimmerman (the same man who sent me Misquotes in Misquoting Jesus to review) notes a flaw in the logic

Unfortunately for Singapore, it is a classic example of a single point of failure. I respect Steve D. & Enterra, but in the proliferated 21st Century, resilient assets must be distributed assets. Singapore, by definition, isn’t.

Clearly, DeAngelis and Zimmerman are thinking of “resilience” in different ways, and both of them may be right. Just as Thomas Barnett “New Map” was operationalized (defined in terms of numbers and variables), Stephen DeAngelis should operationalize rationality.

Operationalization allows discussions to move forward in ways they otherwise couldn’t. For instance, in a recent thread on Barnett’s website, I was able to show why Tom’s model describes Mexico as “Core” and not “Gap.’ Yet, as far as I know, Steve hasn’t blogged a model that allows one to do the same things with countries that are “Resilient” or “Fragile.”

Enterra should at least create a framework for measuring resilience, like Thomas Barnett did in his book The Pentagon’s New Map. Then we can move this debate forward, and not forever trip over ourselves.

Computer Games Aren’t Bad For You, and The Internet Is Good For You

The text’s statements on computer games are doubtful. It states that “an increasing number of studies show that playing violent games, like watching violent TV, increases hostility and aggression.” However, more than half of studies looking at the connection between media violence and violent activity failed to find any significant link (Pinker 311). The spread of video games has mirrored the fall in the violent crime rate. Nor it is clear that the greater appeal of software applications to boys than girl is a problem. Newborn boys show a greater affection for mechanical contraptions than newborn girls in their first day (Alford and Hibbing 2004), so how are similar observations later on surprising? Likewise, the the Columbine shooters played “Doom” lessens when one learns the last game they played was bowling (Moore 2002).

Following the text’s advice on the Internet can impede development. The author focuses on negative aspects of electronic communication, such as increased loneliness and exploitation. Then what to make of these quotes: “I’m from a medium-sized city, I’ve still found it hard to find good company…” (Chirol 2006) and “The Internet makes this far easier in today’s world.” (Curzon 2006)? They are statements of domain experts on how Internet communication has allowed them to experience the advantages of geographical nearness (tdaxp 2006) that is required for expertise in a talent domain (Csikszentmihalyi 1996, Gardner 1997).

A focus on negative aspects of new technology is harmful, especially when combined with an incomplete literature review or pessimism. The Internet is good for you, and video games don’t hurt. At least, that’s what scientific research tells us.


tdaxp. (2006). The Creativity Anarchy. Paper for Creativity, Talent, and Expertise.
Alford, J. and Hibbing, J. (2004). The Origin of Politics: An Evolutionary Theory of Political Behavior. Perspective on Politics, Vol. 2 No. 4, 707-723.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: Harper Perennial.
Curzon, G. (2006). Personal communication.
Chirol, I. (2006). Personal Communication.
Gardner, H. (1997). Extraordinary Minds. New York: Basic Books.
Moore, M. (2002). Bowling for Columbine. MGM Distribution Co.