COMPLEXITY, NETWORKS, SECURITY AND UNCERTAINTY
Not initially what I logged on to write about but interesting enough to merit passing along.
"Blogs Study May Provide Credible Information
" at Transformation/DefenseLink" The Air Force Office of Scientific Research recently began funding a new research area that includes a study of blogs. Blog research may provide information analysts and warfighters with invaluable help in fighting the war on terrorism....“It can be challenging for information analysts to tell what’s important in blogs unless you analyze patterns,” Ulicny said....Patterns include the content of the blogs as well as what hyperlinks are contained within the blog. Within blogs, hyperlinks act like reference citations in research papers thereby allowing someone to discover the most important events bloggers are writing about in just the same way that one can discover the most important papers in a field by finding which ones are the most cited in research papers....The new portfolio of projects consists of three areas of research emphasis – incomplete information and metrics; search, interactive design, and active querying; and cognitive processing. ...“Relevance involves developing a point of focus and information related to a particular focus,” Kokar said. Timeliness has to do with immediacy – how important is a topic now. “Credibility,” he continued, “is the amount of trust you have in an information source.”
"Credibility" ? Hmmm...I can think of a few big name blogs who won't make the cut there. But then again neither, would CBS.
I would be intrigued to know how much weight here is being given to the information derived from aggregate patterns (or for that matter the pattern of the blogosphere as a whole and those of the Left vs. Right blogospheres) relative to drilling down to those blogs given 4 star credibility ratings. I would also speculate that the military and IC are very interested in discovering the "deep influencer" blogs - those that consistently or frequently demonstrate an ability to initiate the spread of new memes.
(Indirect Hat tip to YH
Secondly, from Bruce Schneier
- " Complexity and Terrorism Investigations
":"The Committee's report accepts that the increasing number of investigations, together with their increasing complexity, will make longer detention inevitable in the future. The core calculation is essentially the one put forward by the police and accepted by the Government - technology has been an enabler for international terrorism, with email, the Internet and mobile telephony producing wide, diffuse, international networks. The data on hard drives and mobile phones needs to be examined, contacts need to be investigated and their data examined, and in the case of an incident, vast amounts of CCTV records need to be gone through. As more and more of this needs to be done, the time taken to do it will obviously climb, and as it's 'necessary' to detain the new breed of terrorist early in the investigation before he can strike, more time will be needed between arrest and charge in order to build a case. All of which is, as far as it goes, logical. But take it a little further and the inherent futility of the route becomes apparent - ultimately, probably quite soon, the volume of data overwhelms the investigators and infinite time is needed to analyse all of it. And the less developed the plot is at the time the suspects are pulled in, the greater the number of possible outcomes (things they 'might' be planning) that will need to be chased-up. Short of the tech industry making the breakthrough into machine intelligence that will effectively do the analysis for them (which is a breakthrough the snake-oil salesmen suggest, and dopes in Government believe, has been achieved already), the approach itself is doomed. Essentially, as far as data is concerned police try to 'collar the lot' and then through analysis, attempt to build the most complete picture of a case that is possible. Use of initiative, experience and acting on probabilities will tend to be pressured out of such systems, and as the data volumes grow the result will tend to be teams of disempowered machine minders chained to a system that has ground to a halt. This effect is manifesting itself visibly across UK Government systems in general, we humbly submit. But how long will it take them to figure this out? "
Some degree of probability analysis might be a start. Speaking of which.....
"Robust Decision Methodology for Reasoning Under Deep Uncertainty
Despite the sexy title this not a ponderous tome but a sparkly powerpoint presentation. Worth looking at because time, politics, stress and human frailty causes us all to take cognitive short-cuts from time to time ( or in some cases, all the time). Echoes things I have read in Studies in Intelligence
. Perhaps Art
can be enticed to comment ?
recommends the following article on Brain-nanotech interface
and I agree.