Archive for September 12th, 2008

Inference Pitfalls

In the intelligence community, it seems sometimes as if for every piece of tradecraft or analytic trick of the trade, there are about a dozen cognitive traps or pitfalls for the unwary. For those on the intelligence end of things, this is just one of life’s little annoyances; for those in the counterintelligence end of things, this is what makes life interesting, as a large part of counterintelligence tradecraft involved baiting one’s opponents into committing those dangerous analytic no-nos.

One of those potentially dangerous analytic tools is “inference”: deducing what isn’t seen, or known, from what is. It is, essentially, the codification of “common sense”, kept in check by tests for “plausibility” and “reasonability”.
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Published in: Geekiness, General, History | on September 12th, 2008 | Comments Off on Inference Pitfalls