Insights

Don’t like what the data shows? Simple! Shoot the analyst…

A while back I posted on this blog about the importance of maintaining strong intelligence functions within organisations, despite funding cuts, and the reasons why it may not be clever to always prioritise ‘Front Line Services’ over more mundane back-office functions such as data collection and analysis. Well, there’s a short article in last weeks’…

Quote Bertrand Russell Unquote

A post or two down, Panjandrum’s ingenious plot to instantly incinerate an irritating scotsman in the remote fastness of Knoydart (who’d know?) reminded me of the earlier post on The Dunning Kruger effect. I still think I see Dunning Kruger effects. Everywhere.  Do I just think that and actually it’s just the rest of the world…

“Just a couple of interesting slides…”

It is undoubtedly inadvisable to advertise those particular words or phrases which one particularly dislikes on a public blog, as it must surely provide a great temptation for ones’ colleagues to take advantage. But I know my colleagues are good men and women, and would not stoop to such base forms of entertainment, so here…

The Dunning-Kruger effect at close quarters

Roger has previously written on this blog about the Dunning-Kruger effect, a cognitive bias based on the notion that if you’re a bit dim, you may lack the self-awareness to know that you’re dim. Not so long ago I had an excellent opportunity to see the Dunning-Kruger effect in operation at close quarters. I was…

Terrorism and the Media Part 3 – A Historical Perspective

I’ve commented before about my discomfort with the overly dramatic way in which the media reports terrorism. My fundamental position is that the terrorists are seeking publicity and by giving it to them we, as a society, have a poorly thought through counter-terrorist response. We are giving them what they seek, the oxygen of excessive…

Looking after our fellow intelligence analysts

Time for a bit of levity and gentle leg pulling.  As a team of intelligence analysts at IMSL we look after each other.  We look for the following signs to start worrying about our colleagues: If an analyst describes or predicts something as”nigh”.  As in “the end of the world is”. Nothing good is ever…

Ham and Jam

Today is the 5th of June and I want you to use your imagination.  After dark tonight at about 10pm, pour yourself a small whisky, open the back door and look up at the dark sky. Imagine.  69 years ago, looking up at a similar sky, you may have heard the rumble as 6 Halifax…

Black hats and “bad guys”

It’s time to get something off my chest.  I’ve worked in counter-terrorism for about 30 years, near enough, and in the intell part of that for the latter part of that period.  If there’s one thing that I’ve been biting my tongue on all these years, one thing that really annoys me, one thing that…

Bing Data? How crooner Crosby kickstarted the information revolution.

In 1946, Bing Crosby, then one of the richest and most-influential entertainers in the world, made what we would now refer to as an early-stage investment in a tech start-up. Ampex had salvaged the Nazi innovation of magnetic tape recording from the aftermath of World War Two and turned it into a flexible, splice-able, editable…

Demeter’s Debrief – This Week’s Top 5 #BigData Stories

Google’s Eric Schmidt Invests in Obama’s Big Data Brains (Bloomberg Businessweek, 30 May) Traditional marketing has the same inherent limitation as traditional campaigning: It’s impossible to appeal to everybody, even among the groups likeliest to favor a product. “Budweiser might target football fans with an ad showing half-naked women jumping up and down with a…