Reasoning by analogy is powerful, but dangerous for of thinking. Einstein, for example, showed how reasoning by analogy can unleash stunning insights , but only when properly tempered by critical observation, testing, and systematic analysis, can analogical insights lead to brilliant syntheses that literally change our view of reality.
But that benefit comes with a heavy price, because this kind of reasoning is also a very dangerous way to think. Analogies can capture the imagination and thereby bias the Orientation of less disciplined thinkers and decision makers to distort and twist their Observations into a vision of reality the Observer/Decision Maker wants to see. In so doing, the distorted Orientation takes decision maker off the cliff by disconnecting his Actions from the real world. And … for every Einstein with a highly disciplined Observation – Orientation – Decision Action loop, there are thousands of crackpots, nutcases, and charlatans trying to sell their visions of “what is” to sell their pre-concieved views of appropriate decisions and actions of action.
In the below essay, Richard Falk offers a good example of reasoning by analogy done properly. He carefully crafts and explains a limited set of parallels between the January 1968 Tet Offensive in Viet Nam to Obama's dilemma in Afghanistan. CS
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. government suspended an Arctic biologist over how he awarded a polar bear research project to the University of Alberta and its management, not for his earlier scientific work detailing drowned polar bears, a watchdog group said Monday.
The reality check:
Documents provided by the watchdog group showed questioning by investigators earlier this year focused on the polar bear observations that Monnett and researcher Jeffrey Gleason made in 2004.
“The nature of cyberspace is borderless and anonymous,” R. Chandrasekhara, secretary of India's telecommunications department, told a cyber security conference in London last week organised by a U.S.-based think tank, the EastWest Institute. “Governments, countries and law — all are linked to territory. There is a fundamental contradiction.”
Phi Beta Iota: The national secret intelligence communities mean well, but they are cognitively and culturally incapacitated in relation to both the global threats and the global infomation sharing and sense-making possibilities. It may just be that the solution has to come from a private sector service of common concern that can provide the integrity now lacking in governments and most corporation. Scary thought. M4IS2 is inevitable….delay is costing trillions.
This email is from an active duty colonel who travels all over Afghanistan. He actually goes on foot patrols with troops to see things for himself. Here is his latest report. His message is bad Ju Ju, I am afraid.
La Ciotat, France
The mendacity is getting so egregious that I am fast losing the ability to remain quiet; these yarns of “significant progress” are being covered up by the blood and limbs of hundreds – HUNDREDS – of American uniformed service members each and every month, and you know that the rest of this summer is going to see the peak of that bloodshed.
Link TV in San Francisco is a precious resource for the progressive/transpartisan communities, and we¹re asking you to join us in making a gift to Link.
In December 1999, our good friend and colleague, Kim Spencer, http://www.linktv.org/whoweare/staff launched Link TV, the first nationwide television network dedicated to providing Americans with global perspectives on news, events and culture. In the wake of media consolidation. Americans have little access to diverse perspectives on critical global issues, and Link challenges this trend. Today, Link is now broadcast into 35 million homes across the US (largely through DISH, DIRECT TV and with some cable outlets), has 6.7 million regular viewers (many across the political and cultural divides), and provides coverage not found anywhere else in the US.
Link is the only US provider of Al Jazeera English, broadcasts Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! daily, and has won a Peabody Award for its Middle East news program, Mosaic.
Here are a few of the BIG lies used to support the status quo. What we need, rather urgently, is a counter-narrative
LIE 1. The earth is an open system with infinite supplies and sinks;
POSSIBLE TRUTH: Earth is a closed system, changes that used to take 10,000 years now take three, humanity is “peaking” the entire system.
LIE 2. Everything must be monetized;
POSSIBLE TRUTH: Money is an exchange unit and an information unit; in the absence of holistic analytics and “true cost” transparency, mony is actually a toxic means of concentrating wealth and depriving communities of their own resources (e.g. land).
LIE 3. The extreme unregulated free market is the only option for a modern economy;
POSSIBLE TRUTH: Information asymmetries and “rule by secrecy” have been clearly documented–the free market is neither free nor fair. A modern economy needs to be transparent, resilient, and hence rooted in the local.