Posts Tagged politics

Building Snowmobiles: Man Vs. Machine–Steam Engine, Deep Blue, Ziggy, Watson…..Boyd?

     In The Art of War, Sun Tzu advised that one of the most important rules of warfare is to “know thine enemy.” At the chess table, the more you know about your opponent — how he has played in the past, his favorite moves, his strengths and weaknesses — the more likely you are to defeat him. Knowing these things requires sorting through a wealth of information — and that’s where computers come in…. 

     Kris says today’s chess players have absolutely benefited from the technology: “They are better players because of it, and they’re achieving more at a younger age. Bobby Fischer was considered an anomaly when he earned the grandmaster title at 15. Today, if you aren’t a GM by the age of 14 or 15, you probably won’t go far in chess. Talent will always matter, but technology is helping talented players learn faster and better.”

     What would a war game look like between a Boyd Machine(or just Boyd) and General Petraeus?  Or better yet, a general or political strategist with a Boyd Machine assisting in strategy and planning? These are some interesting concepts to ponder as militaries, companies, and politicians continue to seek that edge that will help them to defeat their opponents.

    If you look at the progression of machine development for Chess playing, Deep Blue was the end result of continuous improvements (kaizen) to the software.  Deep Blue ended up beating the human race’s top chess player and that is significant. It is a key point to remember when conceptualizing the Boyd Machine.

    Furthermore, I believe that Watson will at one point dominate Jeopardy.  It is doing very well now, and the four years of work on the machine is telling. Even if it doesn’t do it now, it will certainly do it in the near future because of Kaizen and because of Moore’s Law.

    So with these two examples of a machine evolution, is it a stretch to envision a computer defeating a top general or a team of generals in a war game? After all, war is the ultimate game of chess.

     I will take this a step further.  If not man versus machine in the endeavor of war, how about cyborg versus cyborg?  The way the human race is interfacing with machines in the present could easily classify us as ‘cyborgs’.  We carry around smart phones or cellphones, we check our computers daily and highly depend on both of these devices. Most humans have a hard time being away from their computer or phone, because they are so important to their lives.  This is reality.

    So with that said, imagine a general with a Boyd machine, versus another general with his machine?  Or a CEO hybrid versus a CEO hybrid.  You get the idea, and this is exactly the point of the various articles below.

     In the world of Chess, this reality has already presented itself. Will we see a similar future where strategists in political campaigns or military campaigns will be assisted by a machine for planning? I think so, because that is the natural progression, and the computing power is there thanks to Moore’s Law and Kaizen.

     Remember the rule of mimicry strategy?  Folks will copy the most successful strategies for winning, and add one little thing to it to give them the edge.  If everyone knows all the strategies and thought processes of all of mankind’s strategists and their opponent’s history, then what would give an edge to one side over the other?  Could a Boyd machine be that edge? Something that can analyze and synthesize faster than an opponent. Or help it’s human counterpart’s decision making cycle and come up with the winning strategies necessary to win that war, campaign, or competition in a market place? Interesting stuff.

    It would also be cool to see how such a Boyd machine would be constructed.  Take all of his theories and papers, as well as all of the material ever created in regards to strategy, and construct a machine that would think like Boyd?  There are plenty of individuals out there that could contribute as advisors to such a project. Best of all, it would be really cool to build a Sun Tzu machine or a Clausewitz  machine, and have cyborg teams war game against one another.  Al Qaeda or Taliban machines could be constructed as well, and I think war gaming in the future will greatly benefit from such efforts.  –Matt

Edit: 02/17/2011- Watson wins in Jeopardy, which to me is incredible because this was it’s first attempt! Watson won $77,147 to Mr. Jennings’s $24,000 and Mr. Rutter’s $21,600. Good job to the crew at IBM for building such an amazing machine.

Watson, the ‘Jeopardy!’ computer, has grander plans

IBM’s Watson Just Latest Edition of Man Vs. Machine Battle

The role of computers in planning chess strategy

The website for IBM’s Watson here.

TED: We Are All Cyborgs Now, Amber Case 

Watson, the ‘Jeopardy!’ computer, has grander plans


By Hayley Tsukayama

Watson, the computer that’s winning hearts and cash on “Jeopardy!” this week, is more than just a pretty interface.

David F. McQueeney, vice president of IBM Research said that Watson’s real applications are far more practical. The computer is actually intended to help users get a handle on unstructured data such as text, e-mails and in-company mail messages.

“We’ve been working for a long time about helping humans navigate a large amount of data, ” McQueeney told Post Tech in an interview. “There’s all kinds of incredibly valuable information about the way an agency runs in unstructured data, and we’ve been working for decades on extracting meaning and structure from it.”

What McQueeney hopes IBM can do by showing Watson off on television is let people know machines have evolved to the point where they can help humans struggle with problems without having to modify all the data for a computer.

“I’m so pleased that the ‘Jeopardy!’ producers agreed to work with us,” he said, “and I’m as pleased as they are that the result was good science and good entertainment.”

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Strategy: Secrets From Inside The Obama War Room

     I know this is a little old, but it is totally relevant to today’s discussion about the future of Afghanistan.  As you read through this story, you come to understand why McChrystal or any other military leader in this war might be frustrated.  I said this before, and I will say this again.  There is not a general out there that thinks that declaring a withdrawal date is a good idea in the context of winning wars.  This administration is set on July 2011, and General Petraeus has made his promises to that administration that he could finish this in that time frame. It is a promise he will have to break in my view.

     Most of all, the Taliban love this date, and it is a countdown to their victory. The enemy will certainly pour it on as this date gets closer, and I just don’t see how this is helpful for any kind of plans with Afghanistan. Or the Taliban will just sit and wait, and then pour it on as soon as we leave. It just makes no strategic sense.

     Petraeus has a lot of work to do in turning around the war. There is alleviating the fears that Karzai has with this date, there is letting our troops fight the way they see fit and allowing them to win battles, there is dealing with Pakistan and ensuring they continue their fight, there is the training of the ANA and police so they can take control of the country, and all of this is dependent on changing that stupid date for withdrawal. Or Petraeus can keep his promise of defeat and go down with the ship. Only time will tell, and the clock is ticking. –Matt


Secrets From Inside the Obama War Room

by Jonathan Alter

May 15, 2010

The first of 10 “AFPAK” meetings came on Sept. 13, when the president gathered 16 advisers in the Situation Room in the basement of the White House. This was to be the most methodical national-security decision in a generation. Deputy national-security adviser Tom Donilon had commissioned research that backed up an astonishing historical truth: neither the Vietnam War nor the Iraq War featured any key meetings where all the issues and assumptions were discussed by policymakers. In both cases the United States was sucked into war inch by inch.

The Obama administration was determined to change that. “For the past eight years, whatever the military asked for, they got,” Obama explained later. “My job was to slow things down.” The president had something precious in modern crisis management: time. “I had to put up with the ‘dithering’ arguments from Dick Cheney or others,” Obama said. “But as long as I wasn’t shaken by the political chatter, I had the time to work through all these issues and ask a bunch of tough questions and force people to sharpen their pencils until we arrived at the best possible solution.”

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Arizona: The Owner Of Gunsite Is Running For Governor

   Right on and thanks to Matt for sending me this.  I am sure this Marine will give the competition a run for their money in this race. I know he would probably out shoot whomever he is running against. lol –Matt


About Buz Mills

A leader who has served our country.  A businessman who has created hundreds of jobs.  A defender of our freedoms and liberties.  Buz Mills believes the trying times in Arizona call for new leadership, new ideas, and a committed philosophy based on conservative principles.  Low taxes, limited government, individual liberties.

Owen Buz Mills was born in Texas and grew up in a loving household with his mom and dad, a World War II Navy veteran.

When he was 17 years old, Buz took the oath to protect and defend our Constitution and our country.  He spent six years serving in the United States Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve.  His service to our country taught Buz about leadership, about commitment, about sacrifice.

Following his service to our country, Buz became an ironworker.  He built bridges, got his hands dirty, and earned an honest living.  Buz learned much about the value of hard work and sweat equity and decided to go to work for himself.

In the years to follow, Buz became a successful communications entrepreneur developing public emergency communications systems.  He helped design and build 911 emergency operations centers and Emergency Medical Communications Systems.  Buz created hundreds of jobs, built many successful businesses, and became an example of an American success story.

In 1999, Buz bought Gunsite Academy, a firearms and self-defense training facility in Paulden, AZ.  He has since trained thousands of our country’s law enforcement officers, members of our nation’s military, and citizens from all over the world.  Buz still offers Gunsite Academy classes to military veterans, free of charge.

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Media News: Death and Politics For Contractors–A Cautionary Tale

Adam Hermanson 

Security contractor Adam Hermanson at the Swords of Qadisiyyah in Zawra Park, Iraq.

Death and Politics For Contractors–A Cautionary Tale


     The other day I was watching a show called Democracy Now headlined by Amy Goodman and Jeremy Scahill, and I was appalled.  They had the family of Adam Hermanson on the show, and the supposed focus was the accidental death of Adam Hermanson in Iraq.  You would think the show would be centered on who did the electrical work that caused the death of this security contractor?  Or maybe even a focus on the lack of management and quality control by the contracting officers and construction company that was tasked with building Camp Olympia and it’s facilities?  But that wasn’t the case, and instead it was a disgusting display of politics.

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