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By Martin C. Libicki

Throughout a large choice of endeavors, failure to expect catastrophe has been ascribed to the shortcoming to "connect the dots." yet to "connect the dots," one needs to first "collect the dots." The authors examine the boundaries to circulating vital details and describes ways for bringing info jointly in a significant manner and describe a proper approach for accumulating the dots.

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Additional resources for Collecting the Dots: Problem Formulation and Solution Elements

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If this aspect is an essential ingredient in the solution’s recipe, then the cultures of many 42 Collecting the Dots: Problem Formulation and Solution Elements intelligence and law-enforcement communities explain why difficulties have been encountered in them in the past. In these communities, where sharing information would seem to be critical, it is in fact the protection and hoarding of information that is rewarded. For example, the FBI is infamous for not sharing its information with local law enforcement organizations, because agents get credit for cases they crack.

Perceivers see that some event or fact is notable in some way, and they may or may not notify others (decisionmakers, connectors, other perceivers) of the existence of the notable action. The perceivers thus associate some degree of credibility with the evidence that is provided to the decisionmakers. As noted above, connectors are those who keep track of the other two roles, knowing when it is appropriate to make known to one group or person a notable event highlighted by a perceiver. Of course, a single individual can take on multiple roles, especially at different times during a process or activity.

Doctors have templates for most conditions they encounter. But doctors recognize that the great variability among humans means that many people’s conditions are unique but not necessarily inter- Introduction 27 esting for that reason. Indeed, the variability among humans makes it difficult to know whether atypical symptoms are characteristic of atypical people or atypical diseases. ” Doctors mentally catalog these typical situations as templates; then they use the templates when deciding which of several diseases is the most likely one, based on symptoms, history, and context.

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