Archive for July 7th, 2009

North Korea’s Missile Launches: The Unknown Knowns

One aspect of intelligence work I find fascinating – albeit frustrating – is the use of inference to identify bits of information you didn’t realize you had – what I guess would be called “unknown knowns”, in Rumsfeld parlance. (“The things we don’t realize we know”, in other words.) Something observable happens, and everyone gets really excited about the obvious aspects – so-and-so possesses the capability to do X, with a fair degree of reliability and competence, et cetera, et cetera. In amid the really obvious stuff, though, are sometimes observations that are just as valuable – and just as evident, once you start to think about them.

I’m not a maths geek or a weapons wonk, and nothing involving North Korea or missiles falls within my area(s) of expertise. (I generally avoid blogging about anything touching on my area(s) of expertise.) That said, I wonder if there aren’t some interesting inferences to be made about last week’s launch of seven ballistic missiles by North Korea.
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Published in: Geekiness, General | on July 7th, 2009 | Comments Off on North Korea’s Missile Launches: The Unknown Knowns

Are They Nuts?

Let me be brief: Michael Jackson’s casket will be on display at the Staples Center today as part of the tribute hoopla. What the heck were these people thinking? Are they trying to cause a riot?

I’m trying to think of a worse idea, and I honestly can’t, without involving Vladimir Putin, “Bruno”, Elton John… or some combination of the above.

Let the First Annual Michael Jackson Memorial Riot commence…

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', General | on July 7th, 2009 | Comments Off on Are They Nuts?