Tag Archives: flowcharts

A Blizzard of Charts and Diagrams

It’s busy here in South Dakota. A lot of friends, including myself, have converged on our home state. Today I’m doing a lot of driving in windy snow, which won’t be fun, but it will be worth it. So instead of a normal post, I present links to three presentations

First, Michael Crichton criticizes hubris and panic (hat-tip to Larwyn).


A great presentation with ample notes covers the Club of Rome simulations, environmentalist-lead destruction of the ecosystem in Yellowstone, the neuromechanics of crustaceans, and climate change.

Second, A Mentsh Trakht (who I found via John Derbyshire links to Why you should continue to date me: a series of charts and graphs by Joel A. Friesen.


Sadly, Joel’s powerpoints did not the cold heart melt.

Last, a blast from the past:

Sheik of Jesus

tdaxp-reader PKA’s parody of my love of charts and diagrams.

Update: The Omaha Airport has wireless, so time for a quick note: Chrichton’s analysis reminded me a lot of my post on The Magic Cloud

OODA Loop as Flowchart, Try 2

Earlier, in a post picked up by Coming Anarchy, ZenPundit, and others, I attempted to reconstruct the OODA Loop as a flowchart. You may remember I drew it like this:

Since that post, I have been in an email conversation with an expert on OODA loops. He asked me not to quote him, so I will neither use his words nor his name (if he lets me, sure sure I will!) Dr. Chet Richards of DNI. The expert informed me that my drawing contained an important mistake. That is, the flow from Observe to Act is the primary link out of Observe. Most actions are not “decided” upon, so the Observe-Decide flow is a secondary link.

So by thickening the Observe-Act link and thinning the Observe-Decide and Decide-Act links, the flowchart becomes:

However, two things looked wrong on this new version to me

  1. If the Observe-Act link is a primary flow, then why isn’t the arrow from Observe to Act straight?
  2. If a man goes out of his way to decide an action, then it makes sense that that decision will always be observed and always be acted upon. My “corrected” flow chart implies either one or the other may happen.

New problem: the flowchart is ugly. The Decide-Observe link is the only curved line. The flowchart isn’t close to symmetrical.

That’s easy enough to fix:

Corrected OODA Flowchart

Observe the fixed OODA loop!
Orient yourself to its wonder!
(No decision is necessary to…)
Act by leaving comments!