SHORT URL This Post: https://tinyurl.com/2007-Steele-Amazon
From 28:00 in the above movie, Q&A, is UNIQUE, not in below material.
Briefing Slides and Script Below the Fold
Tip of the Hat to Austin Chamberlin, who remastered this lost movie and posted it to YouTube for the good of the group. This may well be the single best briefing Robert Steele has delivered, along with the other three listed below. This is the one YouTube we recommend be broadly shared — and if you value the material, please do consider making a contribution via the PayPal Donate button.
Updated 4 December 2019
We have an 75 minutes together.
I will firehose you for 45 minutes and then answer questions.
This briefing is at: https://tinyurl.com/2007-Steele-Amazon
No script, see movie.
No script, see movie.
My biographies and other specifics are https://robertdavidsteele.com. For now suffice to say that I am a very big fan and user of the more conventional aspects of Amazon, I know as much as anyone about how the US Government wastes $60 billion a year on secret sources and methods, and I have a very clear idea about how to create infinite wealth while stabilizing the planet.
Our objective is nothing less than to capture electronic access to all information in all languages, while putting all publishers, Microsoft, and ORACLE out of business. We use ScanBack to provide True Cost at the point of sale, turn the world green, and educate the 5 billion poor for free so they can become Amazon’s new marketplace
Done right and done quick, this should grow Amazon by an order of magnitude.
The federal government is spending almost $60 billion dollars a year of your hard-earned dollars to “do” national intelligence, and they are doing it badly.
We collect less than 10 to 20% of the information we need to understand, in part because we are obsessed with spies and secret satellites and ignoring open sources of information in 33 important languages and a 183 dialects.
We don’t process what we collect in any coherent or integrated way.
Not only do we not integrate our secrets from different sources, we don’t integrate secret information with open source information, and we don’t integrate government information, such as visa applications, with intelligence, such as terrorist watch lists.
Worse, what we do know is locked up in vaults and not available to state troopers and others who have a need to know.
We have a dysfunctional intelligence system.
I created this slide long ago,
If the Intelligence Community were a business it would have been bankrupt long ago, and its managers put in jail with Enron, WorldCom, and other worthies who pulled much lesser scams on the public.
Sadly, despite 9-11, and the explicit call for an Open Source Agency on page 413 of the 9-11 Commission Report, as well as the Aspin-Brown and WMD Commission reports, the secret mandarins refuse to change, in part because they know we can do vastly better with open sources and methods, at a fraction of the cost, than they can do with spies and secret technology.
Open Source Intelligence, or OSINT, changes the rules of the game. The old way of doing business no longer works at the level of detail and constant coverage that we require. You cannot win this baseball game by bribing one player, bugging the dug-out of the opposing team, sniffing for the ball’s direction, or taking a satellite picture of the field every three days and trying to call the game that way.
Instead, we harness the Collective Intelligence, the distributed intelligence, of the audience. We give them all a glove (a 119 or 114 number to deliver the ball to) and any catch by anyone is an “out.”
I want to learn much more about Amazon’s existing capabilities and plans, but for now, let me just say that I think the possibilities here are without limit.
Amazon started with books, and now does a vast range of products, but I want to make two points:
1)Books are on their way out; and
2) Products are on their way out.
Simple example: why do BookSurge at one plant instead of with every Kinko’s in the world?
Amazon has a good model, a good process, now it needs to make a 180° shift away from tangible things and toward intangible sense-making, point of sale public intelligence delivery, and other opportunities I will discuss very briefly.
It’s no longer about providing information in isolation.
It is now about sense-making, about providing just enough, just in time public intelligence that is useful.
I like to say, “Information costs money, intelligence makes money.” That’s why I am here today, to help you make money.
This may be the most important slide. Time now matters as much if not more than the nature or quality of the information. Does it cost time or buy time?
Earth changes that used to take 10,000 years now take three years. The leading scientists are moving to real-time science and near-real time intervention, and Amazon needs to be able to lead this charge, not follow.
These wonderful points are not mine. They come from a really smart guy named Jan Wylie, and I have the URLs for two key references in the Notes.
Notice what is losing value on the left.
Notice what is gaining value on the right. It’s about communities, context, cultural intelligence, innovation, speed, True Costs.
The Economics of Intangible Value – Trends Determine their Implications for Your Business (2000)
The Economics of Intangible Value: Overview of Trends (1997)
It’s important to me that you not think this is just talk. In 1995, for the Aspin-Brown Commission, on a no-notice overnight basis, I personally beat the hell out of the secret community in a contest to produce intelligence about Burundi.
They were tired, I was wired. It is about knowing who knows, not about how much money you can waste. It also helps to have a global focus and not neglect the Third World, which is where most of the instability is spawned.
Dr. Col Max Manwaring, a brilliant officer and scholar, developed this slide, up to the 6th Generation. With his blessing I am taking us to the next level.
Most governments still have a 3rd Generation force structure, and barely—and I do mean barely—comprehend 4th Generation warfare.
One of my most valued friends, Jock Gill, a former communications assistant to President Clinton, is responsible for this slide being here. I created it, inspired in part by a lecture Lawrence Lessig gave at Wikimania 2006.
It’s not about books or DVDs or products any more. It’s about what my friends at IBM call “Services Science” and the ultimate service is public intelligence on a just enough, just in time, just right basis.
Strategic forecasting, matchmaking, facilitation of collaboration, these are where we are going.
Citation Analysis was pioneered by Eugene Garfield, who created the Institute of Scientific Information and its two flagship publications, the Social Science Citation Index and the Science Citation Index. They have tried to create a Web of Knowledge, and the Chinese have created a China-only version of the citation indices, in Chinese, naturally.
My point is that you are sitting on a gold mine that Google does not have. Your mission is to replace the Institute of Scientific Information and to be the top of the pyramid while Google is the bottom of the pyramid. Eventually I expect you to merge or create an information commons where your respective capabilities, and your joint commitment to Free/Open Source Software, force the entire marketplace to move with you. That’s a good thing.
I created this slide in the early 1990’s and 18 years later the secret world still does not get it and the private sector is not paying attention.
We are in a strategic interregnum where the first major player—be it Amazon, Google, Wikipedia, or the CIA—to actually adopt all these ideas, will in my view become the unbeatable hub for a World Brain where every information transaction will yield a profit.
I especially want to encourage Amazon to fund a public intelligence institute in India, replicating the structure of CIA but without the secrecy. Imagine Indian “Homework Help,” now $18 an hour, on steroids. Imagine the top 100 authors in the world on every single topic being on retainer to Amazon, and preferring to publish through Amazon because they get three times more money while Amazon doubles its profit and guts the publishers.
With this slide I want to make the point that one of the major gaps in global information management is comprised of an inability to rapidly make sense of distributed and often unstructured numbers. We need a global numbers extraction and integration capability. This is certainly worth discussing with CISCO, where Bill Ruh is the Global Director for AON and has a very big and open mind.
WikiCalc may be part of the answer. This slide also illustrates the importance of information not now available to customers at the point of sale, i.e. the carbon cost, the water cost, the slave labor cost of any given good.
Following up on that point, I am very pleased to report that “True Cost” has become a meme, and is achieving more traction with normal people than the 1970’s meme “Limits to Growth,” or the 1980’s meme “Steady State,” or even the 1990’s meme “Natural Capitalism.”
I absolutely believe that Amazon has the power to profit handsomely from leveraging its access to customer cell phones and laptops, using information to push the world toward green by helping cut out the publishers and producers of good with very high carbon, water, and slave labor footprints.
The world need to move to localized production of many things, including books.
Alvin Toffler and I created this slide when we were coming back from lunch with the leaders of the green box, Military Intelligence. We were both stunned by the degree to which they wanted absolutely nothing to do with the leaders of all the other boxes.
These are communities of interest that Amazon can nurture, and I will show how to profit from mixing non-profit and for profit clients in a moment.
Imagine Amazon as a huge global information consignment network, much like Snowcrash described the merger of the CIA and the Library of Congress.
Note the enormous opportunities in displacing journals, becoming the primary source for conference proceedings, for geospatial information, and for localized gray literature, among many other opportunities.
This is a slightly different snapshot of different communities of interest where Amazon can leverage what they know and help cross-fertilize, lowering costs for all of them while increasing Amazon’s profit as the global information merchant bank, the only one able to do all information in all languages all the time, with the top 100 experts on every important topic on retainer and eager to be Amazonian.
Most current knowledge is worthless in the absence of historical and cultural context. While we still need spies and some secrecy, overall national intelligence in the USA and most nations is virtually non-existent because people are confusing INPUTS—lots of money and manpower—and OUTPUTS—lots of paper, reports, meetings—while not actually producing actionable intelligence for every individual at every level in every organization.
Sun has given us Open Office, and SILOBREAKER offers a very fine suite of tools embedded in its global information access offering. The world is waiting for a complete toolkit that includes a geospatial foundation, and is completely Free/Open Source Software not hostage to Microsoft tollbooths at the Application Program Interfaces (API).
This is a slide that I developed on the basis of work done by Diane Webb at CIA in the 1980’s. CIA knew it needed these desktop functions in 1986, and believe it or not, 20 years later, they still do not have them, in my view because they suffer from the worst possible combination of paranoid security officers, stovepipe technicians, and a contracting system that is medieval.
It’s time to put the spies out of business, not because of morality, but because they suck at how they are spending $60 billion a year. We can do better at a fraction of that cost.
This was proposed to the Director of National Intelligence, who will now go over to be the Deputy Secretary of State. No open source system will ever be accepted by the secret world as its foundation. We are going to have to follow Buckminster Fuller’s advice and make the secret intelligence world obsolete rather than trying to fix them, as I have for 18 years
Amazon can nurture these seven tribes, in part by recognizing them, in part by training them, and in part by developing generic standards for migrating the proven process of intelligence to the open world.
I have spent 18 years cultivating tribal leaders, and nothing would please me more than to be able to help Amazon negotiate Information-Sharing Treaties with Nations, and Information-Sharing Agreements with organizations and communities of interest.
Ignore the fine print. That is for your exploitation later. There are three key points here:
1) The top half of the client base pays Amazon with information—free electronic delivery of dissertations, papers, public documents, etcetera.
2) The bottom half pays with cash and information.
3) This is at least a $100B a year marketplace, and I would be surprised if Amazon could not capture the first $10B quickly and then have a barrier to entry that makes the rest easier to capture.
This is my personal build on a very brilliant original concept from General Mike Hayden, today Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Our proposed technical solution–now that CISCO has provided the previously unavailable capability to do content-based routing on the edge of the network, and IBM is developing the super-sized semi-structured data processing solution--permits the dots to connect tactically, operationally, and strategically, both to one another, and to specific individuals that have a need to know right then and there.
I have left the secret disciplines in here, but you can conceptualize them as multi-media streams not now adequately marketed via Amazon—tailored imagery, tailored radio and TV broadcast monitoring, tailored human collection using legal overt means, anywhere in the world.
I have two concept slides, and you will have the brief so I will not discuss each element in detail.
Suffice to say that the world is stuck in Quadrant I, Knowledge Management, and just now getting into Quadrant II. I have been in Quadrant III for the last 15 years, and want to help Amazon integrate all four quadrants and end up as the hub for Quadrant IV, persistent Organizational Intelligence and intelligence aggregation across all boundaries, be they cultural, linguistic, organizational, or national.
This slide was created by Nova Spivack, and I have the source URL visible here.
It is the best slide I have seen other than mine for thinking about where Amazon might wish to go in the near future.
This is my vision. There are two aspects, all enabled by the combination of CISCO and IBM with Amazon and select other partners.
From a collection aspect, the individual is getting everything they need routed to them directly from the sensors and organized to meet their needs, while the routers also send copies up to the middle management and corporate management levels.
From a processing aspect, the combination of technologies will enable simultaneous processing, exploitation, and dissemination at each level, for an infinite number of specified action officers, each receiving exactly what they need, when they need it.
The concept of finished intelligence and linear production is history. What the world needs now is raw information in all languages and mediums, made sense of in context and at machine speed, and delivered to the right person at the right time in the right format
Now as I begin to wrap up, let me just introduce you to the ten threats, twelve policies, and eight challengers. These could be the basis for a pilot project among Amazon, CISCO AON, and IBM as well as OSS and the Earth Intelligence Network, a new non-profit that I am subsidizing until it can attract funding.
You can see daily feeds, weekly summaries, and forecasts combined with weekly histories for each of these thirty topics, at www.oss.net. Just click on the banner for Public Intelligence. [Out of date — still needed.]
The four key ingredients of my non-profit implementation are the Earth Intelligence Network, with thousands of volunteers from expert to observer; EarthPedia, a Wiki without trolls; a Serious Game shell that can accept RSS machine speed feeds and evaluate national budgets in the context of reality, and—on the for profit side—a tight complex relationship with Amazon and selected others.
If Amazon can integrate global information, including numbers, and join with IBM in doing massive sense-making, then we have an opportunity to create marketable profitable public intelligence in the public interest.
I even envision a “Moody’s” that rates governments and corporations by their information transparency as well as their information responsibility.
The previous slide merits additional emphasis. This is about access to all information, sense-making, and reality checks. The public has not objected to the massive corruption and mis-direction of public funds in part because all of this is hidden in open sight—too hard to understand, what one author called “fog facts.” We can blow away the fog.
Lou Dobbs tells us the US Government is broken. I agree. Corporations are also broken in the sense that they do not have our interests in mind—they are predatory. We can do this, and we can do well financially by doing good with information.
The 5 billion at the bottom of the pyramid cannot be ignored. Kill them or teach them. The latter is much cheaper and also more likely to succeed while producing infinite wealth.
I’ve looked at the numbers and made calculations, I am confident that the $111 billion a year marketplace is accurate within $10 billion either way. It will be even larger is ScanBack can deliver intelligence to cell phones for micro-cash, and sell tons of synthetic information for pure profit.
In ten years, it could and should be ten times more, and Amazon should have at least one tenth if not two fifths of the total marketplace.
There is a slim possibility of Amazon getting more than half, but that would require both an immediate start and finding a way to co-exist with Google, where Larry Brilliant and Vint Cerf can be relied upon to understand what we are trying to do.
This is a hypothetical slide, but helps show how Amazon can profit by first capturing government information that is free to the public but not properly managed now, and then growing out to work with universities, Chambers of Commerce, religions, labor unions, and so on. The information is free, by and large—it is the sense-making and the communities of interest where there is profit.
Internationally the sky is the limit, especially if you change the financial model and really focus on selling useful information to billions of people pennies at a time.
I am both a pragmatist, and an idealist. They meet now because the raw fact is that we are killing our planet and we have less than 20 years, some would say 10, to stop a number of terribly foolish endeavors, and to begin recognizing the True Cost of everything we do. This is actually a very pro-business concept, for only those businesses that are sustainable will still be around in 20 years.
Can Amazon make the leap from selling things out of warehouses to creating wealth out of electrons?
I think so and hope so.
Note Futures Arbitrage. That’s my next big idea, worth ten to one hundred more than this one. More on that some other time.
America's very existence is in danger. Our nation is bankrupt, we are bogged down in a war we have not figured out how to win, and we are in danger of having our military obliterated by Iran. George Bush is fiddling–earnestly but incompetently–while America burns. Howard Bloom said this for a press release I did last week, and I agree.
Amazon can make a difference between now and 2008, just as Lou Dobbs made a difference with his series on Broken Government. We can micro-cast public intelligence down to the zip code and household level.
I could not leave this slide out, simply because it represents the future, if we are to have one.
Ideological dogma and the war metaphor do not work. We have to start with reality, integrate morality, and apply the Golden Rule.
I call this Information Peacekeeping.
Will and Ariel Durant say in their Lessons of History that morality is an asset of enormous strategic value. So is truthfulness and reliability.
I believe that Amazon can achieve a reputation for fast, innovative, public intelligence that will allow it to profit handsomely as a service of common concern for government, organizations, and individuals.
Google came at this the wrong way, from raw data accessible in isolation. We come at this with the proper perspective, understanding that all information in all languages have to be processed in the aggregate in order to extract the optimal value for all parties. The two together would be unbeatable, and would replace the oil companies and the banks as the world’s most powerful force
A3 is key.
Information sharing treaties and agreements are key.
Harnesses experts world-wide, paying them with access, not cash, is key.
Monetizing by the paragraph is key.
Eliminating the existing publishing industry is a pleasant side benefit.
A pilot project could start with the ten high-level threats validated by the United Nations and LtGen Brent Scowcroft, and the twelve policies and eight challengers. They are all connected. One reason we are screwed up is because of the disconnect among the policies—we subsidize agriculture and energy at the expense of water, and so on.
An important point: the knowledge network that Amazon builds for the USA will be marketable to the eight challengers as a means of helping them avoid our considerable mistakes. This is why the budget validation is so important. We need to show the cost of the threats, the savings from the policies, and the profits to all for engaging in sustainable practices.
No script, see movie.
Dare to want it all.
Infinite wealth is achievable.
We have thirty minutes for questions, but I have no dinner plans and will be in Seattle until Sunday morning.
ROBERT STEELE: Amazon never called me back. They clearly took my ideas on the federal marketplace, but they have not implemented the core ideas on creating a World Brain, doing true cost economics, or helping restore democracy. One can only imagine how much more good Jeff Bezos could be doing if he were to implement all of my ideas, ethically, instead of writing virtue-signaling checks for Seattle that do nothing at the macro level.
It is not too late for Amazon to get it right.