Review: Intelligence Analysis – How to Think in Complex Environments

4 Star, Intelligence (Commercial), Intelligence (Government/Secret)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Wayne Michael Hall and Gary Citrenbaum

4.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Brilliant, Mind-Glazing, 440 Pages of Straight Text, December 2, 2013

You could read this book a hundred times and learn something new every time. I have taken off one star because the book is too dense by far, with not a single graphic, table, or highlighted anything. 441 pages, pure text. What needs to happen, plain and simple, is a complete do-over — this book needs to go to 500 pages at least, with 60 added graphics, tables, or lists.

What I love most about this book, and its companion, Intelligence Collection: How to Plan and Execute Intelligence Collection in Complex Environments (Praeger Security International) are the following two attributes:

01: Among all the books I have read on intelligence, these two books are among the most detailed, structured, critical, and relevant I have read. Both books share the same flaws, flaws that superior editing and a graphics team could easily fix for a second edition, which I would strongly recommend. BEFORE the books go to paperback, they need to be redone. As they are now, the books are too overwhelming for 98% of those who might otherwise benefit.

02 Buried within each chapter are absolute gems of blood-letting romping stomping criticism of the US Intelligence Community at every level (tactical to strategic) across every mission area. This book is startling in its depth and breadth of understanding. The authors are articulate but dense, and I dearly hope they will redo both books to make them more accessible to the vastly larger audience that needs this level of detail, but served up as a quiver of “open” chapters instead of one really dense baseball bat that clubs you to death with compounded words.

Although I am troubled by the book’s lack of a holistic analytic model, its lack of any reference to true cost economics, and its general avoidance of any discussion of the complexity of the customers for intelligence in the aggregate (the focuses on individual commanders and their needs, not on Whole of Government or Multinational or Eight Tribe collection and analytics), I whole-heartedly recommend this book for every library on intelligence (decision-support), and I sincerely hope the authors will re-do both books to open them up — more graphics, more white space.

Below, for this particular book, I list the chapter headings that are a Master’s course in advanced analytics:

Continue reading “Review: Intelligence Analysis – How to Think in Complex Environments”

Review (Guest): Millennial Hospitality II: The World We Knew

5 Star, Extraterrestial Intelligence, Intelligence (Extra-Terrestrial)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Charles James Hall

5.0 out of 5 stars Another testimony of TW visitors February 3, 2011

Hi, open minds.

My summoned review of this book: “the most interesting one of the MH saga”.

In this book you can find the most revealing information about this human race.  While I was reading this book, a long sleeping memory re-ignited in my head: I ALSO met these people !! No joke I swear, this fisonomy matches exactly to that of 4 people that came across my hometown about 35 years ago:

On july 1975 (perhaps 1976) my family spent vacations in a little village named “Chera”, here in Spain located some 70 km inland from East coast (Valencia).
My uncle startled stood up during the street-laid supper and voiced: “what the heck is that thing”, spotting what he said “looked like a flying bus”.
Effectively all of us could see about 3000 feet high and 3 miles away, an strange object cruising from east to west in utter silence.  This sighting was at roughly 11 pm and lasted for no more than 30 secongs. This place is sorrounded by mountains and the object soon hid behind a ridge.

Continue reading “Review (Guest): Millennial Hospitality II: The World We Knew”

Journal: Moody’s Loss of Integrity

Commerce, Commercial Intelligence, Ethics, Methods & Process
Full Story Online
Full Story Online

How Moody’s sold its ratings – and sold out investors

Kevin G. Hall

McClatchy Newspapers

October 21, 2009

A McClatchy investigation has found that Moody’s punished executives who questioned why the company was risking its reputation by putting its profits ahead of providing trustworthy ratings for investment offerings.
. . . . . . .

“The story at Moody’s doesn’t start in 2007; it starts in 2000,” said Mark Froeba, a Harvard-educated lawyer and senior vice president who joined Moody’s structured finance group in 1997.

Continue reading “Journal: Moody’s Loss of Integrity”

Journal: MILNET Flags Sorting It Out: New Tools Wrestle Mountains of Data Into Usable Intelligence

Communities of Practice, InfoOps (IO), Methods & Process, Technologies, Tools

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

August 24, 2009

Pg. 11

By Kris Osborn

In 2008, U.S. military forces collected 400,000 hours of airborne surveillance video, up from several thousand hours 10 years ago. So the Pentagon is turning to computers to help save, sort and search it all.

“The proliferation of unmanned systems across the battlefield is not going to lessen in the future. We saw it happen in the first Gulf War. Once commanders have it, there is an insatiable appetite for FMV,” or full-motion video, said Maj. Gen. John Custer III, who commands the U.S. Army Intelligence Center, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

“You not only need the tools to exploit that, you need storage because commanders don’t only want to see a building now but what it looked like yesterday, six weeks ago and six months ago,” Custer said. “When you have 18 systems up for 18 hours a day, you get into terabytes in a week. We are going to be in large data-storage warehousing for the rest of time.”
Continue reading “Journal: MILNET Flags Sorting It Out: New Tools Wrestle Mountains of Data Into Usable Intelligence”

Review: Underground Buildings–More Than Meets the Eye

5 Star, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution

Underground BuildingsPhenomenal, Practical, Superb Photographs, Detailed,

February 23, 2007

Loretta Hall

At $29 or less, this book is being given away. This is a museum-quality book in terms of the paper, the photographs, the lay-out, and the cover.

I bought this book in part because land is becoming extremely scarce around the great universities and the central business districts, and I was looking for something to help me think through how to persuade a university to let me put a building into a hill or under a playing field.

This book does that. It is a very fast read, the photographs are priceless–worth 10,000 words each as the Chinese would say–and the only thing I did not find in this book were architectural specifics and photos of underlying infrastructure (pump rooms, air cleaning rooms, etc.)

If you are contemplating the need for squeezing a building into an area that is down to the “do not disturb” green space, or if you are contemplating how to exploit existing mines, caverns, or other underground options, this exquisite book is not only useful as a tool for reflection, it will help you “make the sale” to skeptical others you have to get on board.

The author provides a list of 50 places to visit with addresses, telephone numbers, and web sites, a fine resource section for more reading, and an excellent index.

This is an all-around world-class book that is easily worth $49 or more.

AA Mind the GapClick Here to Vote on Review at Amazon,

on Cover Above to Buy or Read Other Reviews,

I Respond to Comments Here or There