Four short links: 11 February 2020

  1. The Fate of Empires — 1977 text summarizing the history of empires, claiming the stages of the rise and fall of great nations seem to be: The Age of Pioneers (outburst); The Age of Conquests; The Age of Commerce; The Age of Affluence; The Age of Intellect; The Age of Decadence. All history is bunk, of course, and history that neatly buckets diverse experience is doubly bunk, but the application of these stages to large companies is left as an exercise to the reader.
  2. Applied Thinking for Intelligence Analysis — Australian Air Force guide. Time pressures increase the risks of mistakes, confirmatory thinking, cognitive bias, and seizing on the first piece of relevant information an analyst finds. Time pressures also decrease analysts’ use of what they perceive to be lengthy analytic techniques and self-conscious critical thinking approaches. Applicable to most decision-making, not just intelligence analysis.
  3. US Agencies Using Phone Location Data for Immigration Enforcement (CNet) — policies can ban the government from gathering data, but if they don’t prevent the government from buying the data or outsourcing the task to people who gather or buy the data, then the data will still be used to do the task.
  4. Axelrod — Python library for iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma research.