First of all, it is much easier after the event to sort the relevant from the irrelevant signals. After the event, of course, signal is always crystal dear; we can now see what disaster it was signalling, since the disaster has occurred. But before the event it is obscure and pregnant with conflicting meanings.
Allison, G. T. (1971).
Essence of decision: Explaining the Cuban missile crisis.
Boston: Little, Brown
read pages v-viii;
skim pages 10-38, 87-100, 144-184;
read pages 245-263; and
skim pages 264-277
For explaining and predicting the behavior of individual men, this general orientation toward purpose and rational choice seems to be the best available. The rationality of man's choices is, of course, "bounded" by things such as the availability of information and the difficulty of calculation. But as a baseline, if one knows how an individual has defined his problem and what resources he has available, his objectives provide a good clue to his behavior.
Difficulties arise when the thing to be explained is not the behavior of an individual but rather the behavior of a large organization or even a government.
Read the article while thinking about the impact of organizational culture, in both the French and American armies, in 1918.
... the tactics and scheme of manoeuvre devised by the 2nd Division’s innovative commander, Marine Major General John A Lejeune, departed significantly from the rigid and dogmatic tactical doctrine of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) under General John J Pershing. During the course of the war, in fact, the 2nd Division was the subject of official criticism by the AEF’s Inspector General ... for failure to follow approved American tactical doctrinee — regardless of any actual battlefield success.
"La Mer" (English: "The Sea") is a song credited to French composer, lyricist, singer and showman Charles Trenet. The song was first recorded by the French singer Roland Gerbeau in 1945. It was not until 1946 that Trenet recorded his own version. When it was released in 1946, it became an unexpected hit, and has remained a chanson classic and jazz standard ever since.
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