This paper rocks, and as you can see, is the basis for a lot of the ideas I talk about here on FJ. From my social networking ideas, to shared reality, to leadership, to being a better contractor and person, to current military and business strategy. It is pure Jundism and I highly recommend reading through it several times to grasp the concepts. If you want a foundation for the concept of OODA, then reading this is a must. Check out the influence of these ideas on warfare here, and I recommend expanding out to other sites that discuss these ideas for further learning and research. –Matt
Boyd never wrote a book on military strategy. The central works encompassing his theories on warfare consist of a several hundred slide presentation entitled Discourse on Winning & Losing and a short essay entitled Destruction & Creation (1976).
In Destruction & Creation, Boyd attempts to provide a philosophical foundation for his theories on warfare. In it he integrates Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics to provide a context and rationale for the development of the OODA Loop.
Boyd inferred the following from each of these theories:
* Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem: any logical model of reality is incomplete (and possibly inconsistent) and must be continuously refined/adapted in the face of new observations.
* Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle: there is a limit on our ability to observe reality with accuracy.
* Second Law of Thermodynamics: The entropy of any closed system always tends to increase, and thus the nature of any given system is continuously changing even as efforts are directed toward maintaining it in its original form.
From this set of considerations, Boyd concluded that to maintain an accurate or effective grasp of reality one must undergo a continuous cycle of interaction with the environment geared to assessing its constant changes. Boyd, though he was hardly the first to do so, then expanded Darwin’s theory of evolution, suggesting that natural selection applies not only in biological but also in social contexts (such as the survival of nations during war or businesses in free market competition). Integrating these two concepts, he stated that the decision cycle was the central mechanism of adaptation (in a social context) and that increasing one’s own rate and accuracy of assessment vis-a-vis one’s counterpart’s rate and accuracy of assessment provides a substantial advantage in war or other forms of competition.
DESTRUCTION AND CREATION
By John R. Boyd
September 3, 1976
To comprehend and cope with our environment we develop mental patterns or concepts of meaning. The purpose of this paper is to sketch out how we destroy and create these patterns to permit us to both shape and be shaped by a changing environment. In this sense, the discussion also literally shows why we cannot avoid this kind of activity if we intend to survive on our own terms. The activity is dialectic in nature generating both disorder and order that emerges as a changing and expanding universe of mental concepts matched to a changing and expanding universe of observed reality.