Also full of gems --
This has answered several concerns I've had about the OODA model. Until now, no one has been able to say anything other than that OODA is a habitual practice or that you don't actually follow the loop. Neither explanations were satisfactory to me and both explanations were well addressed in this paper.
If you are into Boyd's stuff (based on this post and a previous one about reading his biography), you would be well-served looking into Osinga's Science, Strategy and War: http://www.amazon.com/Science-Strategy-War-Strategic-History/dp/0415459524 It talks about all of the concepts that Boyd pulled into his theories (cybernetics, chaos theory, evolution, and more) and provides a very dense and wholistic approach to his work. There is a version of this book that was previously a thesis floating around on the internet. Highly recommended for a better understanding of his work and the foundations he built on.
Yep, it's free online http://chicagoboyz.net/blogfiles/OsingaBoydThesis.pdf
I skimmed, it's on my reading list for a while, but it seems amazing. Have you gone through it? I know boyd's work are pretty high level, but out of the top of your head, do you remember any solid takeaways?
I had a feeling someone would ask for takeaways, Sebastian always does the same. :) I completed reading this a couple of years ago, so here are the things that I remember. The book is challenging to read. It would be easier the second time since I have a general sense of where the book is headed. There are still paragraphs like:
"Boyd derives from the first list of positively valued features the insight that ‘interactions
represent a many-sided implicit cross-referencing process of projection, empathy,
correlation, and rejection’. This is a deceptively simple description. The carefully chosen
words, and the few examples which precedes it mask a spectrum of insights and theories. In
the collision of ideas and hypothesis (projection) with reality contained within this
description we find the Popperian process of conjecture and refutation. In its human
elements, this description incorporates Polanyi’s vision of knowing, while the aspect of the
environment suggests systems theoretical and neo-Darwinist roots. All resurface in his next
For me the greatest value for me was seeing how the various sources that Boyd studied informed his final theories. There are hundreds of sources and various fields that are cited, and if you aren't familiar with them, they are are a great way to get at least baseline knowledge of a new field. He goes through a lot of military strategist history and Boyd's challenges to them (Clausewitz in particular.)
Example: "His study covered every known strategist from Sun Tzu, Genghis Kahn
and the Mongols, Maurice de Saxe, Pierre de Bourcet, Compte de Guibert, Napoleon, Baron
de Jomini and Karl von Clausewitz, Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant,
Alfred von Schlieffen, Eric ovn Ludendorff, the British theorist Julian Corbett, J.F.C. Fuller,
T.E. Lawrence and Basil Liddell Hart, the German theorists/practitioners Heinz Guderian,
Eric von Mainstein, Hermann Balck, Erwin Rommel, as well as theorists of revolutionary
and guerrilla warfare such as Karl Marx and Vo Nguyen Giap, to name the most familiar
However, he also talks about how 20th century science was a huge influence. Osinga weaves this all together in a book that is actually coherent when you consider the limited nature of the written words that Boyd left.
Boyd deliberately sought out these disparate resources to gain a better understanding of the world (orientation? :) )
Do not become disconnected with the external world (self-imposed or externally-imposed) or you will suffer organizational (informational) heat death. Useful for me because it reminds me to stay connected.
Analysis vs. synthesis (snowmobile)
Schwerpunkt and Nebenpunkte
A deeper understanding of OODA loop, similar to the article Sebastian posted
BTW, thanks Paulo! I had been meaning to go back and review the book and this was a good way to do it. Re-reading would be useful still. Thanks again!