Author Archives: Milo Jones

Constructing Cassandra in paperback

If you were waiting for the paperback edition of Constructing Cassandra to order your copy, now’s your chance:  Amazon is accepting pre-orders for $26.96 here.

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Review in the Army War College journal Parameters

Capture 1Constructing Cassandra was reviewed in the the Winter 2013-14 issue of Parameters, the official journal of the US Army War College.

The review concludes “Jones and Silberzahn have crafted an insightful masterpiece to frame the true nature of the CIA. The depth to which their arguments are presented clearly shows the dangers a tight knit intelligence society may have when analyzing intelligence reports. Their purpose is not to craft lofty goals the agency will never reach but rather to examine the reasons why the agency failed in the past. I recommend this book to anyone with a passion in understanding the analytical framework of the CIA and who seeks to comprehend the theoretical approach, through the uses of organizational theory, in uncovering its internal mysteries.”

Parameters

 

Our article in Revue Défense Nationale

If you read French, a summary of the main ideas in Constructing Cassandra has just appeared in Revue Défense Nationale (issue 767).   See the article “Incertitude et surprise stratégique : les leçons des échecs de la CIA” beginning on page 114.

Revue Defense Nationale issue 767

Meeting of the Oxford University Strategic Studies Group

Tonight at 8:30 PM, Milo will lead a discussion about strategic surprise and Constructing Cassandra at a meeting of the Oxford University Strategic Studies Group.  The meeting will be in the Old Library of All Souls College, and all discussions will be conducted under Chatham House rules.

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Three Alternatives to Strategic Popcorn

Summer has been over for a while, but I’m only now finding the time to do a post.  It’s going to be short – just an update to a couple of my previous posts on reading for strategists (like Geopolitics and Investing and How to Think Like an Intelligence Analyst).

Red, White, Red, White, Red:  Five Forces!

White & Red – Five Forces!

The not-so-subtle idea underpinning those posts is that much of what is called business or investment strategy “literature” is intellectual popcorn:  fun to eat, temporarily satisfying, but with no long-term nutritional value.  Eat only popcorn, and you’ll starve to death.  (Here I could criticize business schools for serving mostly intellectual junk food to  their students, but that’s what happens when you let kids create the menu!)

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Constructing Cassandra Now Available

Our new book on strategic surprise, Constructing Cassandra:  Reframing Intelligence Failure at the CIA, 1947-2001, is now available for pre-order worldwide.

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Interested readers in North America can read reviews and order it via  Amazon.com or Barnes&Nobel;  in the UK you can use Amazon.co.uk; in the rest of the EU, you may wish to use Amazon.fr or Amazon.de; and in Asia you may wish to use  Amazon.jp.

If you do order it thank you.  Naturally, if you have any questions about the book, please ask us.

Personal Genetic Testing Companies – an Update

Last week, I again attended VALUEx.   If you’re a Value Investor, this is no more interesting use of your time – it is an extraordinary gathering of intelligent, talented and fun people.

Like me, many people at VALUEx avoid investing in technology firms.  On the other hand, many participants know that it’s important to follow the evolution of what I call the “3 GRAIN” technologies (3D printing, Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Information Technology, and Nanotechnology).  Each of the 3 GRAIN general purpose technologies will have an increasing impact on the creation of value in the years ahead.   Moreover, how they will combine to produce social changes is something that Philippe and I think about a lot.
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Forecasting World Events – Call for Participants

We may be looking for you.

We may be looking for you.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably the sort of person that the US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is looking for:   IARPA is now looking for new participants for its online research study, Forecasting World Events.

The Forecasting World Events study involves making predictions about current issues that you select from various categories, like international relations, global politics, economics, business, and other areas.  If you’d like to try to participate, click HERE.

Once you sign up at the website, they will send you a background questionnaire.   After you complete the questionnaire, they will send you an e-mail to let you know if you have been selected.  The initial questionnaire only takes about 20 minutes, and the prediction study itself is really interesting and quite quick to do every few weeks.

PS To understand the methodological background of the study, we recommend Tetlock’s Expert Political Judgment:  How Good Is It? How Can We Know.

PPS If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe to our blog?  Thanks.

New Forbes Entry, “Market Armageddon Postponed”: Why Technology and the Price Mechanism will Prove the Scarcity Cassandras Wrong

Our latest post on Forbes, an update on ruminations about commodity scarcity that you’ve seen on this blog before, is now available here. The future isn’t bleak, even if fear sells.

Repeat after me: “Why won’t the price mechanism work?” – Energy independence and neo-Malthusian commodity fears

I’m not supposed to be blogging.  Philippe and I have a book deadline at SUP this week.  We have a Forbes piece due soon, too.  And I have a speech to prepare for an Institutional Investor Forum in mid-September.  So I’m going to make this quick…

Tonight I went out for dinner with a stack of reading to catch up on.  Over indifferent Italian, I read two articles that I have to share.  One I want to share because it’s so smart, and the other I want to share because it’s the opposite, but it parrots several popular misconceptions.

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