I assume most of you have seen Tom Friedman’s oped in the NYT today, “More risk-taking, less poll-taking.“
He opens with:
THE U.S. military trains its fighter pilots on a principle called the “OODA Loop.” It stands for observe, orient, decide, act. The idea is that if your OODA Loop is faster and more accurate than the other pilot’s, you’ll shoot his plane out of the sky. If the other pilot’s OODA Loop is better, he’ll shoot you down. Right now, our national OODA Loop is broken.
Although we could quibble with his use of the term (for how Boyd actually used it, see “Boyd’s OODA Loop” on the Articles page), his claim that our “national OODA loop is broken” has some validity.
Recall that in Boyd’s framework, action flows from orientation. Individuals have orientations, but when we’re talking about countries or other groups, we need a surrogate for orientation. What Boyd suggested was something called a “common outlook” or “similar implicit orientation,” which he describes on pages 74 and 79 of Patterns and pp. 18-23 of Organic Design.
What Friedman appears to be arguing, and in this I think he’s right, is that we have nothing like the common implicit orientation that we need to implement solutions to our problems, and that the President’s focus now should be on creating one.
I haven’t seen the movie, but didn’t Lincoln say something about a house divided?