Phi Beta Iota: Both YouTube and LinkedIn appear to have hit critical mass this year. YouTube is now breaking up both documentaries and films of the past into bite-size pieces that can be crowd-ranked for relevance. LinkedIn, which has been mostly a job-hunt site, is now achieving huge efficiencies as a means of leveraging networks as scouts for interesting things (most of our posts here, for example, now come from what we see others highlighting at LinkedIn–connect with either JZ or Robert if you want to be “visible” to us there). Our general sense is that 2012 is going to be a year of convergence, in which past data pathologies and information asymmetries collide with current truths and crowd-level information awareness, and out of it, emerges the Second American Republic and a world that is much more accountable through transparency that eradicates corruption. What is happening is that the “cognitive surplus” of America and the rest of the world is connecting with the “information overload” of the past, and sense is being made in the public interest. We will say that again: sense is being made in the public interest. That’s a good thing.
Phi Beta Iota Summary: Where should NATO go on out-of-area expeditionary operations? How does NATO define security & stability? How does NATO achieve balance between territorial defense and expeditionary operations, and between the voice of the big nations and the small nations? What is defense? What is 360 degree defense in a complex world? How should NATO address a complex world? Is over-simplification a threat of its own? Is NATO predominantly a forum for dialog about collective intelligence? Does NATO really need to get into global anti-missile defense?
Context: Long, long, ago in a land far far away, Frank Carlucci spoke to a group of CIA analysts at a hotel near the White House, and his observation has stayed with us to this date. Paraphrasing from memory, he said that in the Reagan Administration, the perfect intelligence briefing would be a five minute video tailored to the President’s next hour, that could be viewed five minutes before the hour began. We have never forgotten that, it is probably influenced our own concept of just enough, just in time intelligence, and our diamond paradigm, where the acme of skill of an analyst is not in developing an answer, but as Stevan Dedijer said at OSS ’92, “knowing who knows” and connecting the customer with exactly the right person who can create tailored intelligence on the spot through interaction with the customer (recorded and retained for the intelligence archives).