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Sept 25.pdf

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HTST 489
John Ferris

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HTST489 Sept 25 Monday was Perception and Perceptual Bias. Assessment and Net assessment. Issue of assessment – have to distinguish between individual's assessment and an organization's. We all assess information. Distinction between bureaucratized decision making and an individual's. Up til a couple centuries ago, decisions made by state were largely individual. Leaders would have access to data or be only one or two steps removed from it.Assessing the data themselves without any intervening body. Since WWI onward, find rise of large assessment bodies which handle most of the process of making sense of intelligence. When looking at assessment, in the last century it become more political than before. Treated as an element in political decision making.Assessment – what are you doing in a given competition? If you're playing chess, running a business or a war, your assessment is different. Intentions and Capabilities, or Ideas and Things. Intentions – what someone would do. Capabilities – what they can do.Assessing intentions is more difficult that assessing capabilities, though assessing complex capabilities can be more difficult than assessing simple intentions. What to do with your next move is simpler to assess. Number of options in front of you is limited, you assessment of intentions is reduced to manageable number of things. Bureaucracies constantly fluctuate, leaders change their minds. Policy by a government is not concrete and fixed by varies from day to day – sometimes governments change their mind or don't mean what they say. Intelligence can be useful on intentions the more concrete the issue is. The longer term it is the less useful intel will be. Still useful, especially with a close and opaque decision making system. Intel can help you make this a little clearer, let's you know the players on the other side. If dealing with the top deicison maker, intel generally won't tell you what they'll do as you can't read their minds. Top decision makers are cagey about expressing their views and thus it isn't simple to figure out. Sometimes in very specific competitions, intel can give you very useful information on intentions. Capabilities – more problematic. In peacetime, capabilities of a state are gauged in general terms that are often inaccurate. A small state may have greater diplomatic capabilities than a large state. In miilitary issues, you assess the quality of units, how well they fight, what are their weapons, who are their commanders.Assessing how they will fight and how good they are is complex, and never entirely accurate. Best you can do is be accurate.As a general rule they are simple, simpler than is true of intentions, but nto at all straightforward. Complicated capabilities are as hard to deal with as simple intentions. Focusing here on military issues, but can be used in trade, diplomacy, etc.Assessing Canadian intentions on trade – what do provinces want, how far will the federal government go to achieve its ends. Final major point on assessment: net assessment. Military term that can be applied to non military issues. How do I gather all the information I can on me versus someone else? How do I assess myself compared to them. Going on a date can be a net assessment.Always judging both sides by your own way of looking at things. Ethnocentrism is an important element in any mode of assessing intel. Part and parcel of net assessment. The natural way for you or a government to assess yourself or competition is to use yourself as the standard. If your standards are wrong, you've got problems. Sometimes the standards that are appropriate for you are not appropriate for everyone. Simply because one has a set of solutions that worked well, doesn't mean another's s
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