• "As a futurist, I have respected the fact that the future is not only not what it used to be, but that specific predictions as to dates and market size can certainly come back to bite you."
  • "George Soros, the fund manager, has pledged $50m to back a new think-tank with the mission of reconceiving the field of economics, which he describes as “a dogma whose time has passed”. The group, to be called the Institute of New Economic Thinking, will gather luminaries in the field of economics to reflect on the ideas that allowed the latest economic crisis to transpire and to bring new ideas to a profession that some argue has become too deeply entrenched in free-market ideology."
  • In brief a sensemaking system is one that, in contrast to a data warehousing solution, does something active with each piece of data as it is acquired, rather than only storing the data for later re-use. Identity disambiguation is a problem that these class of systems have been applied to in the past, however the new technique will be more generally applicable.
    (tags: intelligence)
  • The IC has responded to current challenges by trying to improve standard best practices; improving information-sharing; and promoting alternative analytical techniques. "A solution that fuses all three initiatives together into a single whole and that resolves the problem posed by the pressure for analytical timeliness would be ideal. We propose that one solution is, ironically, both widely known and little practiced by the IC, simulations."
  • "The opportunity now exists to tap into a vastly larger amount of expertise than was previously available to US intelligence. However, this will require working from a very different paradigm from that which characterized much of our Cold War history. The key features of that traditional paradigm were: secrets; classified channels of information flows; a focus on a few hard targets… very limited contact with outside experts who were almost always US citizens; and focus on key facts and finished intelligence products. The new paradigm, in contrast, will focus on “open source” information and reach out to a wide variety of experts who are non-intelligence professionals drawn from different sectors and often non-Americans. As the 21st century is expected to be far less predictable and dynamic, the objective is to scan the horizon for emergent issues and so-called weak signals that are harbingers of futures for which few governments have begun preparing."
  • “Why did economists not do a better job anticipating the crisis?” was the question everyone seemed to be asking as the global economy began to unravel last fall. The consensus seems to be that most economists not only failed to see the crisis coming but also were downright hostile to the few who argued that The Great Moderation—the era of economic stability brought about by modern banking system controls—wasn’t so great after all…. Anyone who has looked at his brokerage accounts or her retirement portfolio lately already “gets it” at the macro level. But what exactly happened on the cellular level to get us to where we ended up? And what can we, as intelligence professionals, learn from those events?
  • "Recently, I attended a small conference about using social tools for information sharing hosted at Johns Hopkins University and sponsored by the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). Our hosts for three days were the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) World Intelligence Review (WIRe) and the Director of National Intelligence’s (DNI) Intelligence Community Enterprise Services (ICES). They were able to bring together the people who build social tools, those who evangelize about them, and influential end users to have candid and open discussions about them."