Connecting Facebook status updates and fighter pilot tactics

Really liked the link made in the fourth programme of the BBC’s The Virual Revolution between Norbert Wiener’s feedback loop for anti-aircraft gunners in WWII (ie breaking down the division between people and systems, to allow gunner’s to hit their airborne targets) and the radical impact of the status updates within Facebook (and the likes of Twitter…) on driving the internet revolution.

So here’s my question. What would happen if you applied fighter pilot military strategist John Boyd‘s concept of “the decision cycle or OODA Loop, the process by which an entity (either an individual or an organization) reacts to an event. According to this idea, the key to victory is to be able to create situations wherein one can make appropriate decisions more quickly than one’s opponent” (see wikipedia page) to understanding of how *we* interact online?

I wonder if anyone’s applied this to produce an effective counter-cyber warfare strategy, as I can see the ‘fit’ from a theoretical point of view? [pause while *we*make a quick check..] oh yeah, see here for example as part of the University of Washington’s resource page on cyberwarfare.

More practically perhaps I wonder what would the OODA loop mean in explaining differing peoples’ actions online in the context of the BBC programme’s ‘Web Behaviour Test’ experiment?

Of course on a more practical social media level I have already blogged recently, thanks to HP Labs paper, on the value of creating good feedback loops with your top contributors:

This paper demonstrates that submitters who stop receiving attention tend to stop contributing, while prolific contributors attract an ever increasing number of followers and their attention in a feedback loop.

We demonstrate that this mechanism leads to the observed power law in the number of contributions per user and support our assertions by an analysis of hundreds of millions of contributions to top content sharing websites and

Download:  Feedback loops of attention in peer production (PDF; 0.5 mb).

What the Governor of the Bank of England said

Watching Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England speaking live at the Mansion House he said something to the effect that the church did weddings and funerals, and people ignored the sermons. He said the Bank of England did sermons and burials, fluffing the intended analogy. The BBC then reported that the Bank said it wanted the power to ensure its sermons were listened to. Did I get that wrong, but surely the slip of the tongue is indicative; that the underlying reality is that no one driven by profit really listens to the Bank of England? And who can blame them when King can’t even get the fundamental analogy right; surely the precision is important?

PS: The Chancellor said there were no simple solutions. Wrong, there are no easy solutions. Simple is part of complex. There therefore logically must be simple solutions.