Archive for: 2015

Conspiracy theories, Cognitive Bias and Intelligence Analysis

An intertesting article here relating to conspiracy theories and their worryingly increasing prevalence. The ease with which barking mad, crazy or just slightly twisted stories can be “broadcast” to the world worries me.   And the fact that people can easily find stories which they believe confirms their suspicions is more worrying.  There is a part…

Cognitive Bias in the Forensic Environment

This is a guest post from Donna Crossan, a recent graduate of the MSc course in forensics at Cranfield University who has recently been working at IMSL as an analyst. Why is there a lack of experimental research in cognitive bias and mitigation techniques within the forensic environment? One of the reasons research has declined…

Intelligence and Piano Tuning

Enrico Fermi was one of the last century’s greatest scientists and he created the world’s first nuclear reactor.  One of the talents of that generation of scientists and engineers, driven by necessity, was the ability to do what we in the UK call “back of the fag packet” calculations.   Of course good scientists and…

Using a Wiki to Construct and Deliver Intelligence Analysis

IMSL are involved in number of projects where the output of our intelligence analysis is delivered as a knowledge base or a wiki to a customer.  We aren’t the only ones doing this, although the number of organisations that use a wiki as a collaborative tool for developing and delivering intelligence analysis is remarkably small.…

Avoiding Cognitive Biases in Intelligence Analysis

There is an excellent article in this month’s “Nature” journal about the way in which scientists fall foul of cognitive biases in the analysis of their scientific data.  This matter has an exact read-across into intelligence analysis where the same cognitive biases of course apply. The article provides some key techniques for countering these cognitive…

Instant Terrorism Analysis

For most of the last 30 years, I have been an avid consumer of press reports of terrorist incidents.  Such reports are just part of the “open source” intelligence landscape and yesterday’s bomb explosion in Bangkok, is just another set of news stories in this long sad line.     Today those news stories are…

Yesterday’s Social Media Operations

Social Media Intelligence is all the rage, and of course the modern world is astounded at the ability of spectators to film incidents as they occur, and post them on YouTube or elsewhere for all to see. IMSL are doing some interesting work in examining the “lives” of videos posted on YouTube and other social media,…

Deja Vu, UFO

Last week the Economist published this article noting a possible correlation from US UFO reporting data between the consumption of alcohol and the sightings of UFOs.  (That’s the humans that may have been drinking not the aliens, we suppose.) Now, avid readers of this blog may remember that back in March 2012, the one and only…

Stringing together a database

This blog is about an early and mysterious database system that seems to have been used for OSINT and other purposes by the Incas. Not only that but it’s a 3D system using both base ten and, some believe, binary coding.

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