Not Your Grandfather’s Intelligence Analysts

I recently picked up a copy of the new edition of Jerome Clauser’s An Introduction to Intelligence Research and Analysis, which was first published way back in 1976. As editor Jan Goldman points out in his introduction, the new edition is “an abridged version of that book.” What was removed? Lots of outdated stuff, that’s what. Goldman again:

“The chapters that were removed dealt with how to collect basic information during the initial phase of research. The chapters describe in detail where to find and how to utilize a card catalogue in the library and how to develop specific punch-card procedures to help extract information from referenced work.”

Okay, fine, good. But, you see, there’s a footnote after that passage, and the note reads:

“A card catalogue was the location where index cards were kept for each book in the library’s holdings and punch cards were perforated cards that would be turned into data when fed into a very large computer.”

Do college students and people in the intelligence community these days really not know what card catalogs and punch cards were? Okay, I guess I can understand the punch cards, but card catalogs?

Other than the strange generational-gap thing there, so far it’s an extremely interesting book.

Published in: Geekiness, General, History | on April 27th, 2009| Comments Off on Not Your Grandfather’s Intelligence Analysts

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