2009 The Ultimate Hack: Re-Inventing Intelligence to Re-Engineer the World (Faculty of Advanced Engineering University of British Columbia March 2009)
PPT (Our Site): 2009 UBC The Ultimate Hack Slides 2.0 FINAL, with Notes)
With a tip of the hat the University of British Columbia and Professor John Meech of the Faculty of Advanced Engineering, this is the latest briefing. As with most of my briefings, planned words for brevity can be found in the Notes.
All graphics & full text below the fold.
Brief introduction of speaker
Son of an oil (mechanical engineer)
Marine officer, CIA clandestine officer
Champion for Open Source Intelligence since 1988
“Do not send a spy where a schoolboy can go”
My library before I rented out the building to reduce costs.
Categories in which I read, #1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction, all of this is relevant to being the best and most holistic kind of engineer.
Engineers must focus not just on the simple system they are building, but on the constellation of complex systems of which it is a part…..most built by the lowest bidder.
SIDENOTE: Buckminster Fuller’s prior knowledge permeates my work.
We are out of time.
Real-time science and real-time engineering needed.
Re-inventing intelligence is a supporting foundation for re-engineering Earth.
Tetrahedron is building block of life.
Note the relationship among the base and three sides.
Open systems are better than closed systems.
INTEGRITY is the common denominator for good systems able to play well with one another.
Engineering bottom line includes need to understand “true costs” both tangible and intangible, both historic and anticipatable.
This is my area of interest.
I would emphasize that most of what the secret world calls “intelligence” is nothing more than very expensive classified INFORMATION.
No man is an island, wisdom is by its very nature both inherited from prior generations and shared among a larger collective in the aggregate.
INTEGRITY is the primary source of energy for effective collective information sharing and sense-making.
I am a fan of Will and Ariel Durant, and strongly recommend their capstone book, The Lessons of History.
You cannot be the best engineer without understanding the history, not only of engineering, but of the complex societies within which the engineering knowledge and applications were developed.
How we choose to educate—how we as individuals choose to allow ourselves to be educated, really matters.
I firmly believe that the purpose of engineering is to serve humanity. The “social problem” revolves around issues of water, food, energy, shelter, and transport.
You cannot be the best engineer without understanding community and the history of a specific culture that today is beset by a failure of integrity across all the paradigms—schools, churches, business, media, government.
Brass engineers do materials.
Silver engineers do processing systems.
Gold engineers do spiritual social engineering in passing, as an integral part of their engineering.
Here are a few thoughts on intelligent engineering.
As much as an engineer may want to keep the talking frog or kiss the frog and maybe get a princess, to kiss or not to kiss in an inter-disciplinary question.
There is such a thing as evil in the world and people willing to perpetuate it. That’s the sad reality.
However, there is another reality, and that is the reality of a mismatch between our national security capabilities as funded by $500 billion of your dollars each year, and what we actually need to defend America at home and abroad.
When we add our own behavior, from support to dictators to immoral capitalism to a lack of charity and a willingness to throw our military weight around, we add to our global risk.
As long as the US continues to support 44 dictators for convenience sake, for the sake of cheap oil and below market pricing on natural resources, we will not hold the moral high ground. In my view, each of these problems is the equivalent of termites in the basement of the Republic.
Now, I will be the first to recognize terrorists and gangs as part of this larger threat complex, but it is essential that we not lose sight of the larger whole because of a few burning trees. We must address the whole of the problem, not a few isolated bits.
This is reality. To paraphrase Trotsky, you may not be interested in reality, but reality is interested in you.
In modern thinking, a most valuable contribution has been made by the United Nations High-Level Panel on Threats and Challenges.
LtGen Dr. Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Ret), was the US member.
Every one of these threats has engineering implications, and none of these threats can be addressed by engineering alone.
This is the reality that our Pentagon is not ready to deal with. We have a world that is largely unstable and at war with itself.
In 2002—the last year this lovely reference was published—there were 23 conflicts killing over 1000 people a year, 79 killing under 1000 a year, and 175 violent political conflicts internal to a specific country.
It gets worse. Everyone knows about the Holocaust against those of the Jewish faith during World War II.
What most people do not realize is that there have been over 70 genocides in history, and that there are 18 genocides taking place today as we gather here to consider national security and the future of America.
These ethnic conflicts tend to coincide with conditions of severe deprivation.
Note the red line—some of the worst water scarcity and some of the worst ethnic conflicts are along the Russian borders with both the Islamic states of Central Asia, and the Chinese state.
Water scarcity is a national security threat that does not receive enough attention.
At the same time, we are very vulnerable at home. We built our great society on the assumption that there might be occasional acts of God, but never on the assumption that suicidal terrorists would be willing to blow up tunnels, bridges, pipelines, apartment buildings, dams, or banking centers.
Our economy, our data, our public health are all hostage to the possibility of suicidal terrorists. Our existing national security capabilities are simply not effective against this threat. There is nothing in the current homeland security program that actually makes America any safer!
The real world presents America with four distinct threats, each completely different, each requiring completely different national security capabilities.
Unfortunately, the military-industrial complex and the Republican political mindset is unwilling to come to grips with such nuances. They remain mired in their Cold War love affair with conventional warfare and really big heavy expensive weapons systems.
Three of these four threat classes require very big investments in peaceful preventive measures and in human expertise.
When you evaluate the Pentagon and what we have today in our national security structure, against the real-world threats, you quickly establish that our capabilities are helpful only 10% of the time.
The other 90% of the time we are forced, for lack of mature and considered advance planning, to jury-rig very expensive and always inadequate responses.
We need a strong national security program, but it must be a smart program that is relevant to the full range of real world threats.
These are actual depictions of the US political scene.
The really bad news is that the two major parties, roughly 60% of the voters, exclude the other 40% and do not support deliberative inquiry within or among all parties.
2016 UPDATE: the two-party tyranny is now 40% of the eligible voters, 60% are Independent, No Party Preference, or small parties with very slim possibilities of gaining seats in Congress.
As a former spy, and as one of the founders of the Marine Corps Intelligence Command, I am often frustrated by the obsession that we have with secrecy, and with how we misunderstand intelligence. I will tell you what I have learned in the past sixteen years. I have learned that 90% of what we call intelligence is not secret; and I have learned that at least 70% of what we need to know and need to share is not intelligence. These pie charts depict my view of what is share-able among the seven tribes without any attention to restricted, private, or secret information. We are not going for the green, and we need to.
This is reality, and was the subject of my thesis for my second graduate degree.
The feedback loops between citizens providing the revenue, legislators allocating the revenue, bureaucrats obligating the revenue, and corporations spending the revenue, have all been broken and what little information passes between and among the groups is partial, biases, often false, and not at all accessible to most people.
These are the categories for which I provide an annotated bibliography for the larger context within which engineers might seek to develop their practice.
This is a visual depiction of how the US taxpayer dollar is spent. Note the predominance of the Department of Defense in contract to all other agencies focused on the domestic and international needs of the public that is paying the bills
Here is a snapshot of the short-version of this brief.
Compare Western view—John Ralston Saul calls modern thinkers “Voltaire’s Bastards”—with Whole Earth and some would say Eastern reality.
You can choose to be a mechanic who does the bidding of others without your own context, or you can choose to be “engaged in the Whole” and serve instead as a healer that can connect systems, fix systems, avoid harmful systems, and make the Whole better for humanity.
Western decision making has some serious flaws.
Note the importance of accountability, integrity, diversity, transparency in the more natural decision-making.
This is a very simple version of a more complex chart that I provide later in the brief.
The bottom line is that engineers and scientists cannot be the best unless they embrace the larger context of being, nature, man, and God.
The collective is the higher authority.
Here are a few criteria by which the collective might evaluate your work.
The Golden Rule appears to be a constant across all religions, and also makes practical sense.
The sources of collective power have changed over time.
We are now at the end of middle rational, and on the verge of recognizing integral consciousness and Whole Earth Engineering as the highest power, one in which the individual is both an individual and a fully integrated member of multiple groups that interact with dignity, ethics, and transparency.
This is called Panarchy.
I respect Putin and believe that his call for honest appraisal of the past is very important.
Fortunately, there are positive countervailing trends.
Unfortunately, we are coming off 600 years of negative (pre-1491 was positive in the Americas) and the forces of evil are entrenched.
Retaking our government and our planet will require Extreme Hacking.
These are the key negative trends. I will answer any and all questions at my evening presentation.
As engineers, note especially that Acts of Man are creating Acts of God. KATRINA was caused by man’s paving over the Mississippi wetlands.
As an engineer, you must iunderstand the consequences of bad engineering, and withdraw from those projects that are likely to cause harm to present or future generations.
I will not belabor this.
Education is stove-piped, didactic—meaning you listen, we professors talk—and it does not allow for team learning, an emphasis on sharing and multi-cultural sense-making, or true interdisciplinary inquiry.
Dick Klavans and Brad Ashford put this together, and you can see the isolation of all the individual disciplines.
Cognitive Science is emerging, and with some reluctance academia is beginning to accept Collective Intelligence as a humanities counterpart to Cognitive Science.
We are not yet ready to integrate Conscious Evolution as the ultimate process of all engineering, all humanities knowledge in concert, but this small diagram shows Integrity plus Intelligence, Ethics plus Energy, coming together to engineer CS, CI, and CE.
Here you are.
I suspect most of you are operating on 2% of the relevant information, and if I accomplish one thing only, it is my hope that you will see that if you are to be the best possible engineer, you must get a grip on all information in all languages all the time.
Co-Creation is pure engineering, but dealing with social, human, and Earth engineering.
This is a depiction of just a few of the ways in which we can think about Africa.
Here we see both the size of Africa—few in the West realize that Africa is as larger as China, the EU, and the US combined.
On the other half of this slide we see the political history of Africa, one that we can reasonably blame for a great deal of Africa’s current problems.
Sri Lanka just succeeded in eliminating the Tamil Nation after first categorizing it as a terrorist group.
The reality is that every map going back hundreds of years has shown the distinct Tamil Nation at varying stages of its long history.
This is one of my favorite slides. The cover of the book corresponding to each of these pathologies is shown.
As a side note, adding Forgotten Knowledge, there has been a recent public discussion of how we can no longer manufacture the Trident missile. They lost critical files for a critical component. I am NOT making this up!
You can come back to this at another time.
INTEGRITY is fundamental to all that we strive to do
We have erred in our wanton ignorance and often malicious repression of indigenous knowledge.
Mayan Indians needed to work only 60 days out of the year to keep their families safe and prosperous, and the 25,000 miles of rock road they put down are still there today.
A professor at Cambridge University in England, Philipp Allott, has written a book that puts forward an excellent case for concluding that the Treaty of Westphalia was a huge wrong turn.
The concept of sovereignty not only imposed many artificial political boundaries on tribes that had “lived free” for centuries, but it also endowed the so-called sovereign nations with immunity to impunity for all actions within their borders, including human rights violations and arfistocratic kleptocracy.
I borrowed this illustration from my friend Steve Arnold, author of two books on Google and a top analytic mind with respect to information technology.
I added the red to show how Google’s patented Programmable Search Engine manipulates search results so as to show you, the searcher, what someone else has paid to force in front of you.
I consider this to be a good example of great engineering with zero integrity.
Here are three quick looks at “true costs” as “missing information” that could—if easily available to the public—redirect entire markets.
Summing up, this is the state of man as an intellectual and emotional retard today.
In contrast, this is the “good holistic engineer” or citizen.
It boils down to intelligence and integrity.
This is one of a number of books that I admire in this domain, note the key points that the author makes.
With this slide I want to emphasize the importance of process engineering in relation to materials engineering, and at the same time depict four possible information scenarios in relation to any given engineering challenge.
Following on from the original thinking of the author, here are pairs of terms that are very important as a foundation for differentiating “good” engineering from “bad” engineering.
I could easily create an entire year’s course on this one slide, so I will be very brief here.
This is something I created in 1979 as a young Marine lieutenant, using the two-volume Syntopicon that comprise the beginning of the 50+ volume Great Books from the University of Chicago.
Take the time—some other time—to study this in detail. The logic of the terms IN RELATION to one another, is worthy of your reflection.
This slide is the heart of my 1976 thesis on predicting and addressing revolution across all of the major domains within which human society operates.
You can find the original thesis at www.oss.net under Early Papers. It includes the operationalization (identification of specific data that can be collected to demonstrate the condition’s existence and degree) of each of the factors.
In 1988 I created a much more complex model for evaluating 144 factors, each with five degrees of difficulty, related to the global expeditionary environment that the Marine Corps Intelligence Command was supposed to address.
The only point I will make here is that there are four levels of analysis—strategic, operational, tactical, and technical—and it is imperative that all endeavors understand the military, civil, and natural-geographic conditions, constraints, and consequences.
The threat (or the cost or the benefit or the consequences) of any engineering endeavor will change depending on the level of analysis.
In Iraq, for example, we found that first class engineering at the tactical level was completely destroyed by a failure at the operational level.
This is the heart of my second book, THE NEW CRAFT OF INTELLIGENCE: Personal, Public, & Political. It is available free online, at www.oss.net, and I encourage you to read chapter 15, “New Rules for the New Craft of Intelligence.”
Every one of those rules has adaptability relevant to engineering.
It is a sad truth that most academic, corporate, law enforcement, and governance “investigations” are carried out in the home country language, and are generally ignorant of most of the knowledge that is only available in the 33 core languages that are active today, and even less conscious of the other 150 languages still relevant and alive.
After thirty years in government, I reject the continuing emphasis on virtual colonialism, unilateral militarism, and predatory immoral capitalism.
I created Earth Intelligence Network, recruiting 23 co-founders, because I firmly believe that in combination, public intelligence and public integrity are capable of transforming our world.
We do not have the time to discuss this in detail, but I will just emphasize the vital importance of INTEGRITY in every aspect of the information-intelligence cycle, with leadership integrity being utterly essential.
I have lectures online that can be easily accessed via www.oss.net/BASIC.
Complex societies have complex information environments, and we must recognize that simple approaches to information and intelligence that sufficed in the past will no longer do.
Most of the world is at best somewhere between 3rd and 4th Generation Information Operations (IO).
Our challenge—and my book on INFORMATION OPERATIONS: All Information, All Languages, All the Time addresses this in detai—is to get a grip on the totality of the information bearing on our issues.
See especially the Technical Preface by Robert Garigue (RIP), an extraordinary Canadian expert on information warfare and the semantics of war and peace
Here I strive to depict the essential importance of being able to access, integrate, and make sense of all information in all languages across science, humanities, faith, at all levels from local to global.
This is my newest analytic model, created after I was inspired by the UN High-Level Panel on Threats and Challenges. I studied the past 20 years or so of US Presidential transitions, and arrived at 12 core policy areas that appear to be consistently recongized.
I then thought about what countries are certain to define the future on the basis of demography alone.
This is a model I created in the 1990’s that emphasizes human knowledge and also serves to define dumb versus smart organizations.
Most governments and corporations are still stuck in Quadrant I and very resistant to embracing Quadran II or paying to actively exploit Quadrant III.
This slide was created by Jan Herring, former National Intelligence Officer for Science & Technology, and today a partner in the Academy of Competitive Intelligence, which I recommend to all of you .
I use this slide to point out the the bulk of what we need to do our jobs is both inexpensive, and easy to share.
Here is a view of the profound change in our information challenge–we are now at a point where we need to respect and understand individual human beings as the basic unit of measure in devising all engineering and other processes.
This is a proposed means of addressing our need for an EarthGame™ and World Brain that allows for all individuals to both have access to all information all the time, and also be part of all deliberative networks of interest to them.
I grew up around the world, and believe that Asia, Africa, and South America all need their own regional information sharing and sense-making networks.
Although as a private citizen with no access to secrets I focus strictly on the ethical legal information sources and methods, as a former spy it is obvious to me that the same centres and networks could also orchestrate clandestine, covert, and counterintelligence operations of mutual benefit.
Our highest priority must be to optimize the new craft of intelligence among and between all the tribes of intelligence, and among all governments.
US secret intelligence is inside out and upside down. It is very expensive, very unreliable, and very incomplete. I totally agree with the Swedish military view that we must move toward multinational, multiagency, multidisciplinary, multidomain information sharing, and to that I have added sense-making as well, to arrive at M4IS2 as the new code.
When combined, multinational information operations and full exploitation of open sources of information create Information Operations Squared or IO2.
Here are eight core functionalities that have not been integrated, although Alta Vista came close before it lost its key personnel to Google.
The collective intelligence of all the people, regardless of their income, professional, educational level, sex or race or religion, can be harnessed by connecting information to a budget.
This slide depicts a global implementation of the participatory budgeting initative that proved so successful in Puerto Alegre, Brazil.
Bill Clinton is articulating a fear I see creeping across the non-profit organizations that have relied for major grants from corporations and foundations should primary function is tax avoidance.
However, this is actually good news, because when we can do global peer to peer charitable giving, connecting the one billion rich with the five billion poor at the item level of giving—and orchestrate chains of giving—we will in the aggregate not only control more money than any combination of organizations, but we will also be more agile, more transparent, and more effective.
America must be strong. Our challenges are so great that there is no possibility of reducing our investment in national security. We should, however, be smart strong, not stupid strong.
Although the US military has been told that peacekeeping is now on a par with waging war, and there has been much discussion of stabilization and reconstruction, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief, we still have not taken the necessary step of redirecting $100B to $200B from war to peace.
We still have a “big war” military relevant to only 10% of the threat.
It is now possible, and especially so if key countries such as China, India, and Malaysia (and in my own mind, Iran and Turkey as well as Venezuela), to create a global online Range of Needs Table at the item or household level.
Using cell phones to enter “peace targets,” and using call centers as needed to manage the national, regional, and global “tables,” it is now possible to both harmonize organizational giving, and to provide a means for the one billion rich to give to the five billion poor at a $1 to $100 level.
I was inspired in creating this slide by Professor Meech’s own depiction of the cost recovery curve.
You can study this latter, just note the definition of the two axis and the outcome that is sought.
Earth, and the Cosmos, are engineering challenges.
Engineering interventions, in my view, must be fully integrated and blend Human and Social Engineering with Earth Engineering.
Listed here are a handful of domains where I believe that engineering must excell. They are information, cultural, and human intensive.
I borrowed this from the book as listed, to show the broader areas where engineering is undergoing a sea change.
It’s all connected.
Why are we using water we don’t have to flush oil we don’t need or grow grain we cannot eat to fuel cars that should be running on natural gas or not running at all?
To take one simple example, every engineering process has major water implications. Every engineering process has “true cost” on the inputs side, and on the outputs side.
We must be able to do engineering that is holistic and that can take into account all costs and benefits.
If I were to choose another word to emphasize beyond integrity, it would be synthesis, which also implies the casting of a very wide net for disparate information in all languages, disciplines, and mediums.
This is the next book that I will be publishing.
In their rush to monetize problems and solutions, governments and corporations have overlooked the intangible value of truth, trust, and time.
As Clausewitz said, the moral is to the physical as ten to one.
Engineering can be moral or immoral. My view is only sustainable engineering, firmly grounded in the humanities, with very high integrity, is moral.
Inspired by and drawn from http://www.arnet.gov/comp/seven_steps/step3c.html
Here is a seven step program for engineers, as a small foundation for reflection.
A careful examination of the Lord’s Prayer suggests that we are in fact charged with creating Heaven on Earth, and so we should.
The single best investment, dollar for dollar, is in the education of women.
I have not discussed my concept for educating the five billion poor one cell call at a time, with call centers that can monetize the questions while providing the easily available answers. For more information about that visit Earth Intelligence Network.
So—One Planet, One God, One We.