The Red (Team) Analysis Society wishes you a Happy New Year 2014! The edited version of The Weekly will resume next week… many interesting signals and articles however this week too, and as food for thoughts to start the year, an incisive criticism of TED and our society (via @griverorz) :
Japan, an exemplary case for a complex world? The situation of Japan can be seen as a perfect case that exemplifies the complex dynamics into which we are taken. Absence of foresight and warning as well as refusal to consider the reality of environmental risk – and to act accordingly – plays a large part …
This post opens a series on the civil war in Syria, a challenging problem for strategic foresight and warning because, besides the humanitarian disaster, the risks to regional and global peace and stability continuously increase, because the conflict is redrawing the strategic outlook of the region while participating into the global paradigm shift, and, finally, because the fog of war makes our anticipatory task more difficult and complex.
Global Trends 2030 compares our current transition period with 1815, 1919, 1945 and 1989. Yet we have not known recently any global systemic war. Thus why choose such a comparison? What could explain such a puzzling choice and what could we learn from it, for our understanding of the world and its potential future(s)?
The evaluation of our 2012 predictions’ sample underlines notably a widespread conventional view of national security, novel issues being ignored; a relative inability to assess timing whilst our understanding of issues fares relatively well; the existence of major biases, notably regarding China, Russia, and the U.S; the difficulty of prediction for novel issues and old issues in new context.
This second article on The Black Swan: the impact of the highly improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb emphasises some of the author’s points that are crucial for foresight and warning. Likewise, they are necessary for any work dealing with the future and its anticipation, from risk management to horizon scanning through early warning.
The methodology of SF&W and risk management allows addressing these points. They should become rules and principles all analysts follow. Indeed, without paying attention to them, good analysis is impossible. The first article on The Black Swan can be accessed here.
(Notably pp.190-200) Considering uncertainty, but also our imperfect condition of human beings, the complexity of the social world, feedbacks, our more than insufficient knowledge and understanding, we must ….
Horizon Scanning for National Security No83: Towards a multiplication of increasingly fragile states? This is what could mean the report on the state of infrastructures in the U.S. (and probably other so called rich countries?). It is a crucial weak signal that could trump all others: imagine weak, increasingly fragile “rich countries” on the backdrop of all the other tensions and threats…
The Economist shows the lead in a courageous yet hardly ever done exercise: going back to our own foresight and assess, in the light of the present, what was right and what was wrong. It provides us with an example of how such lessons learned could be endeavoured, underlines questions that should be asked and key challenges for anticipation, and exemplifies how biases can derail foresight.
No74 – 15 November 2012 Patterns, battles and conflicts, ongoing, escalating or to come, emerge as articles are read in clusters, as a system: e.g. US as top oil producer with Peak oil theorists disagreeing, the battle for the Arctic, Chinese Energy thinking and 6C increase in temperatures. Click on image to read on Paper.li …