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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Principles of Accurate Analysis and Synthesis

Principles of Accurate Analysis and Synthesis

This article is about making predictions. Predictions are just best guesses of what is going to happen in the future based on known intelligence (information). This article can be useful for any type of prediction including military prediction, business prediction, and science prediction

Analysis is the process of breaking down known pieces of information into smaller pieces of information so that the details can be studied.

Synthesis is the process of putting the studied small pieces of information together in a way that will paint a picture of possible future events.

Data analysis and synthesis should be based on facts or data that has a high order of probability of being accurate.

1. Avoid preconceived notions. Just because an event happened a certain way in the past does not mean it will happen the same way at this point in time. By repeating the same action over and over again, a good enemy can lull you into believing that he will never change tactics. Then he kills you.

View every situation as a blank slate, even if that situation is similar to a past situation. Enemies that don’t change their tactics from time to time do not survive long. This means change will come at some point even though the situation’s are similar to past ones.

2. Think cause and effect. If you want to understand an effect, study the effect’s cause. If you want to understand a cause, study the effect produced by that cause.

3. Do not rely on just a few sources of information. Get your information (intelligence) from as many sources as possible-internet-books-magazines-libraries-talking to people. Also, don’t be an intelligence snob. Get your information from the good. Get your information from the bad. Get your information from the ugly. Don’t be afraid of getting information from sources that are so low they can sky-dive off a piece of paper.

4. Listen to the dissenting opinions. The majority is often wrong. Why? Because the majority is made up of individuals who fall into that broad and general category known as “average.” How do average individuals behave? Average. This means they are susceptible to peer pressure (cause) and to group-think (effect).

At this point lets be clear: groups do not think. Only individuals think. What group-think really refers to is a situation where a few individuals in a group (usually the more popular or charismatic individuals) do the thinking and everyone else in the group just goes along.

Truth is not determined by consensus. At one time, not so long ago, you could go to the greatest universities on this planet and talk to the most learned men of science, and they would tell you, with a straight face that if you sailed your ship too far out to sea you would fall off the earth because the earth was flat. The fact that they had a consensus did not make their idea true.

5. Remember that big changes for better or worse happen extremely fast. If something big happens, it is going to happen fast. Think Pearl Harbor for example. Think stock market crashes’.

6. You don’t have all the information. In fact, you’re lucky if you have half of it. And, if and when you get the other half, the half you have now will be out of date.

7. The universe we live in is a chaotic, non-linear system. This means that some things cannot be predicted, yet via observation patterns can be detected. Always look for patterns in data that seems totally chaotic. Often patterns will appear.

8. Small details matter. By observing small details, you may catch a pattern that you would otherwise miss.

9. Be on guard for disinformation. Enemies will put out false data. More dangerous enemies will put out false data mixed with true data. Sometimes the false data mixed with the true data will be something crazy. This is done to make the person looking at the data have a knee jerk psychological reaction. The person looking at the data thinks that if the source of the information can come up with something this crazy, the source is crazy, and one should believe none of that source’s data.

When looking at data and you come across something crazy, study it just as you would study any other data. Then move onto the next piece of data.

It’s worth noting that the disinformation an enemy puts out can tell you as much about that enemy as true data. The nature of the disinformation will often tell you what your enemy is trying to hide and what your enemy fears.

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