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Daily Archives: May 5, 2014

Defense Planning for National Security: Navigation Aids for the Mystery Tour

The United States Army War College, Colin S. Grey, 2014: “The purpose of this monograph is to explore and examine the challenge to America’s defense planners of needing to make purposeful and prudent choices in military preparation for the future. The problem for defense planning that is beyond resolution is the scientifically certain fact that we have no data from the future about the future. Moreover, this will always be a fact. No matter the scholarly discipline and tradition to which a defense planner owes or feels most allegiance, he or she needs to recognize and attempt to understand fully a personal and institutional condition of awesome ignorance of detail about the future. Further study, more cunning analytical methodology, even more powerful computers–none of these can reveal with any certainty what the future will bring. Fortunately, this does not mean that we are ignorant about the future; but it does mean that defense planning is guesswork and can only be such. Understandably, both senior policymakers and soldiers tend to be reluctant, even to the point of appearing to be evasive, when legislators question the plausibility of the answers given in congressional hearings. After all, it can be troubling to the conscience of honest and competent people to be obliged to affirm the integrity of choices made in defense preparation for national security in years to come, when there is and can be no certain way to know that one is sufficiently correct.”

Essay – A World Digital Library Is Coming True!

Robert Darnton is Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and University Librarian at Harvard – via New York Review of Books - [Snipped] “The entire system of communicating research could be made less expensive and more beneficial for the public by a process known as “flipping.” Instead of subsisting on subscriptions, a flipped journal covers its costsContinue Reading

WHO Emergency Committee concerning the international spread of wild poliovirus

News release: “At the end-2013, 60% of polio cases were the result of international spread of wild poliovirus, and there was increasing evidence that adult travellers contributed to this spread. During the 2014 low transmission season there has already been international spread of wild poliovirus from 3 of the 10 States that are currently infected:Continue Reading

WSJ – Law School Job Data Shows Wide Gulf Between Elite and the Rest

“In an unforgiving job market, graduates of top-ranked law schools have had a far easier time landing full-time employment than their peers from the lower ranks. That much is obvious. But how much easier? A Law Blog analysis of the latest American Bar Association employment data paired with the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankingsContinue Reading

OCED 2014 Better Life Index

“Japanese users of the Better Life Index (BLI) worry most about safety, Australians seek work-life balance, Latin Americans strive for better education, and Danes want to be happy – user feedback shows as the Index marks its third birthday. More than 3.6 million people in 184 countries have used the wellbeing barometer to measure and compareContinue Reading

CDC – Up to 40 percent of annual deaths from each of five leading US causes are preventable

“Each year, nearly 900,000 Americans die prematurely from the five leading causes of death – yet 20 percent to 40 percent of the deaths from each cause could be prevented, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The five leading causes of death in the United States are heart disease, cancer,Continue Reading

The FRB/US Model: A Tool for Macroeconomic Policy Analysis

The FRB/US Model: A Tool for Macroeconomic Policy Analysis, Flint Brayton, Thomas Laubach, and David Reifschneider “The FRB/US model of the U.S. economy is one of several that Federal Reserve Board staff consults for forecasting and the analysis of macroeconomic issues, including both monetary and fiscal policy. To improve public access to and understanding of the model,Continue Reading

Commentary – This is what comes after search

Christopher Mims - Quartz: “The average person with an Android smartphone is using it to search the web, from a browser, only 1.25 times per day, says Roi Carthy, head of special projects at Tel Aviv-based mobile startup Everything.Me. That isn’t just bad news for Google, which still relies on ads placed along search results for the bulk of its revenue—itContinue Reading

WaPo – Sammies finalists are harnessing technology to help the public

Lisa Rein at the Washington Post: “One team of federal agents led Medicare investigations that resulted in more than 600 convictions in South Florida, recovering hundreds of millions of dollars. Another official boosted access to burial sites for veterans across the country. And one guided an initiative to provide safe drinking water to 5 million peopleContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Defense Acquisitions, Defense Contracting, Uranium Contamination

DEFENSE ACQUISITIONS: Military Services Consistently Held Required Configuration Steering Boards That Actively Reviewed Requirements Changes, GAO-14-466R: Published: May 5, 2014. Publicly Released: May 5, 2014. DEFENSE CONTRACTING: Early Attention in the Acquisition Process Needed to Enhance Competition, GAO-14-395: Published: May 5, 2014. Publicly Released: May 5, 2014. URANIUM CONTAMINATION: Overall Scope, Time Frame, and Cost Information Is Needed for Contamination Cleanup onContinue Reading