Late in 2005, the US Central Intelligence Ageny began to explore new and innovative ways to adapt to a new world. No longer could the agency continue its top down, hierarchical approach to management and information gathering, intelligence gleaning, etc. Change was suggested to break the agency out of gridlock. The change was patterned after changes already underway in many parts of the US Defense Department. Interestingly, the changes recommended are the stuff we have been working on here for the last couple of years.
I wonder when other government organizations will wake up? We see too few governmental players warming up to blogs and wikis. Below find excerpts from two discussion paper/policy recommendations looked at by the CIA. No telling (at least by me) what changes have been acted upon by the secretive CIA. Read the linked papers for the rest of the connections to complexity theory in this realm. Here are a few highlights:
How the Web Can Relieve Our Information Glut and Get Us Talking to Each Other: Connecting the Virtual Dots
Matthew S. Burton
… A blog lets ordinary computer users with average technical knowledge instantly publish on the Web. Since blogs came along two years ago, 9 million people have started their own, many of them at no cost. Most authors are just looking to keep friends and family updated without overloading their inboxes.
This nonintrusive publication method lets writers say what they really think. We all have that uncle who forwards every terrible joke he finds online. We usually groan when it shows up in our inbox. How dare he waste my time and hard-disk space with this? We victims of poor e-mail etiquette don't want to be seen as the annoying uncle, so before we send e-mails, we self censor, taking into account our addressee's possible reaction: "Will he think I'm stupid? Will he delete this in disgust? Maybe I should remove this sentence."
A blog is different. It's our own space. Readers have the option of viewing it every day or completely ignoring it, but whatever they do, we're not necessarily liable for their reaction. We're not telling them that they have to read it, so if they don't like it, we aren't to blame. This gives us freedom to speak our minds. …
Broadcasting a blog has another big advantage over a point-to-point e-mail conversation: It lets previously unknown people participate in the dialogue. …
And visitors to our blogs wouldn't just read. Blogs allow readers to contribute to the discussion by adding their own comments to a writer's posts. Do you have a question to which someone out there is bound to know the answer? Blog the question and wait for someone to come across it and post an answer. Do you have thoughts on an intelligence product? Write them down and let the rest of your community know what you think; then watch as your counterparts contribute their own opinions.
If the IC [Intelligence Community] used blogs, analysts, collectors, and customers could hold impromptu discussions at any time, instead of having to schedule meetings weeks in advance. And when the time came for such meetings, those present would already have a solid foundation for discussion instead of having to spend time learning the names, roles, and interests of those involved. Intelink has the potential to be a place where groups of intelligence officers from around the world can speak freely and substantively on a daily basis. Such continuous, candid dialogue is the only way to forge relationships of trust in an industry where people are trained to be distrustful. …