Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Off the Charts II

In the hyperreal the map "precedes the territory."

The model builders are imperialistic

in that they "attempt to make the real, all of the real,

coincide with their models of simulation
--The Precesssion of Simulacra
, Jean Baudrilard

For the record: There are two types of briefings: Action/discussion and information. Both can be formal or informal.

The two should not be confused. Formal briefings are what the Army usually uses at the General officer level, and little is left for discussion. Formal briefings usually become the centerpiece of the day when the situation is least understandable and actionable. It gives all involved a sense of doing something constructive.

Decision briefings should be minimal since any Commander worth a bean should know the facts before the briefing begins. Today's Army briefings have become a separate sacred event that is more of a happening than than a useful tool for implementation.

It is also constructive to know that a distinction must be made between facts/events and statistics and trends. These are briefed by different staff sections and can be synergistic if coordinated and fact-based.

We are back to one of Ranger's basic concepts: We now accept opinions and assumptions as fact, rather than for what they are. For example, how does one prepare a chart for a Rumsfeldian assumption, "The Iraqis will greet our soldiers with flowers!", or something similar?
As the early computer programmers said, "Garbage in, garbage out [GIGO]".

Military briefings are not the only ones to be faulted. The same techniques are used by General Motors, Chrysler, Ford, AIG, Golman Sachs, Congress, CIA, FBI ...

You get my point.

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