What we had to begin with + Practice + Memorization = Orientation

Chet Richards, founder of DNI and Belisarius, has an excellent post on decision speed cycle (in the context of the OODA loop):

1. The side which can keep its Orientation more closely matched to the unfolding situation will have an advantage. Another way to say this is that the side whose mental model of the universe is better will find opportunities to create and exploit gaps in the other side’s understanding.

2. You need an inventory of potentially effective actions that can flow smoothly from Orientation via the “implicit guidance and control” link. These actions are generally developed and made intuitive through years of hard training and exercises.

Basically, under this concept, when Orientation decides that it’s time to trigger an action, it just does it. Until then, we continue to observe and to tweak our orientations.

My current projects center around translating these concepts for educational psychologists. It’s a ton of work getting beyond the catch-22 (“why develop a theory if it’s not mentioned in the experimental literature?” “why run an experiment if its not implied by the theoretical literature”), but also a ton of fun.

One thought on “What we had to begin with + Practice + Memorization = Orientation”

  1. Dan:

    Absolutely. It begs the question: through what mechanism does orientation trigger action? As with neurons, I would expect the signal to be digital and analog.

    The comment about your current project is of great importance. This is exactly what it means to be a Ph.D. student. It should be painful. It should contribute significantly to the body of knowledge within one's field. (And, yes, it should be fun.) Unfortunately, I've seen what seems to me to be a growing number of institutions offering Ph.D.'s to students who, quite frankly, don't deserve them. I know of one person in particular who graduated having defended a thesis on race and education based on less statistical analysis than some of my quarterly reports.

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