Answers on OSINT for India 30 – Gibson’s Flawed Understanding



How correct is the given depiction by Mr Gibson (PhD Thesis)?

Dear Colleague,

As annoying as it is to be reminded of Gibson’s clerical inventory lacking in any substantive value, this graphic is useful as a means of both re-confirming Gibson;s ignorance, and an opportunity to emphasize the importance of understanding the true cost of varied open sources.

The better chart, from Dr. Joseph Markowitz, is here — Gibson appears to have lacked the foundation to make the basic point that OSINT at any cost is vastly cheaper and more satisfying, by and large, than any secret source.

Now consider this graphic from my virtual CTO Stephen E. Arnold, to which I added the Google red at the bottom:

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Gibson’s  thesis, apart from its gratuitous insults and its drawing heavily on my life’s work without due credit, is sophomoric at best — certainly not PhD level work in my view. It ignores the fundamentals of both data integrity and true cost economics; it also ignores the reality that most human networks for information sharing are relatively free of financial cost, not high cost at all.

Gibson also ignores the foreign language / foreign culture nuances of open source information development, a common failing among camp followers in the US/UK system.

His term “relative associated cost” is stupid. It  assumes that online products are “free” without contemplating the enormous cost of institutionalized falsehoods, advertising-driven search, data manipulation, deplatforming of dissident voices, and more.  The opportunity cost of relying on “free” online is embedded idiocy. — the true cost of embedded idiocy is national suicide.

Gibson appears to have no understanding of the relative costs and hazards of academic research, most of which is incomplete and much of which is fabricated, or the total lack of value in most market research. I don’t believe he ever did proper research on citation analytics, or harvesting top students of top cited published academics, which allows for control of data integrity at source, or insisting that all research be fully multilingual in all aspects.

Finally, apart from not getting that most experts and indigenous ground truth can be harvested at almost no cost given proper management (which is to say, established quid pro quos), he completely overlooks the cost savings that are achievable when commercial systems that have proven integrity (East View Cartographic for example, or Jane’s especially its military budget offerings) are utilized instead of trying to do stuff in-house at great expense and often with losses of time and context that more skilled commercial elements can offer.

Here are four contextual graphics. Gibson never made the leap from being a pedestrian regurgitator of the works of others, to thinking big thoughts about how OSINT is the nail in the horseshoe of the secret intelligence horse that should be, but is not, the foundation for a Smart Nation. OSINT is HUMINT. OSINT is also ethics.

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Click on Image to Enlarge
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My must current work on where I wish to go is below.

Smart Nation Vision – By Invitation


Answers on OSINT for India

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Answers @ Phi Beta Iota

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