Showing all posts tagged #john-boyd:


The Most Important Part of The Creative Process That Everyone Misses: A Draw-Down Period clipping

Posted on August 26th, 2019

There are many phases of the creative process. One is overlooked more than any of the others. Inspiration, research, production, editing (refining), release, promotion. Most of these get their due. I’m talking about the phase that comes between the inspiration and the core act of creation (and sometimes appears again briefly between the time the work is finished and the time it is released). It’s the most nerve-wracking and difficult...

The Art of Drawdown Periods clipping

Posted on August 26th, 2019

Inspiration is important. Your influences matter. But you also need time to process, reflect, and create your own connections before jumping into your next project. Whether that’s a book, startup, or scientific theory, the lesson holds true for artists, entrepreneurs, and scientists, alike. Best-selling author, Ryan Holiday, refers to these as "drawdown periods." In the months leading up to writing a new book, Holiday guards himself...

Colonel John Boyd USAF (Ret.) Presentation Q&A

Posted on July 10th, 2019

This is a restoration of Colonel John Boyd’s presentation at Air University. It is one of the few known surviving videos of his briefings. The video covers a range of topics from his experiences on the FX/F-15 program, the importance of cross functional teams, and the Toyota Production System. It is worth watching the video just to hear his account of Shigeo Shingo and Taiichi Ohno. Technical Details [1] The original video conta...

Genghis John clipping

Posted on July 6th, 2019

Genghis John October 9, 1998 Comment: #199 Reference: "Genghis John," Proceeding of the US Naval Institute, July 1997. Attached.It should now be clear to most readers of this list the Defense Department is not adapting to the changing conditions brought about by the end of the Cold War: We have a modernization plan that can not modernize the force structure, a readiness nose dive, and a corrupt accounting...

Colin Gray on John Boyd and the OODA Loop clipping

Posted on June 28th, 2019

Boyd's Place in Modern StrategyThe Strategic Importance of Boyd and the OODA LoopJust as (Edward) Luttwak's logic of paradox permeates all levels and kinds of conflict, so Boyd's loop can apply to the operational, strategic, and political levels of war, as well as to tactics for aerial dogfights. Boyd's theory claims that the key to success in conflict is to operate inside the opponent's decision cycl...

Not John Boyd clipping

Posted on June 27th, 2019

Not John Boyd. But a good video, nonetheless. Here’s Prof. Daniel Bonevac giving an introductory lecture on the OODA loop: Professor Bonevac is a member of, and was formerly chair of, the Philosophy Department at the University of Texas. I don’t know when this lecture was given, but the video was posted in April of this year. One of the interesting things about it is that Professor Bonevac is teaching a class on Organizational Ethic...

The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation clipping

Posted on June 27th, 2019

The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth GenerationWilliam S. Lind, Colonel Keith Nightengale (USA), Captain John F. Schmitt (USMC), Colonel Joseph W. Sutton (USA), and Lieutenant Colonel Gary I. Wilson (USMCR) Marine Corps Gazette October 1989, Pages 22-26The peacetime soldier's principal task is to prepare effectively for the next war. In order to do so, he must anticipate what the next war will be like. This is a difficult ...

Warfighting, Brought to You by John Boyd clipping

Posted on June 26th, 2019

Warfighting Brought to You by . . . By Major Jeffrey L. Cowan, U.S. Air Force . . . several people, but most notably, an unlikely source. The groundwork for the way the U.S. Marine Corps does business was laid by none other than a retired Air Force officer, the irascible John Boyd.Co-Winner, Marine Corps Essay Contest http://www.proceedings.org/Proceedings/Articles01/PROcowan11.htm Republished wi...

Deconstructing Conflict clipping

Posted on June 26th, 2019

Editor's note: The following paper is an example of what John Boyd called a "snowmobile," a synthesis of ideas from across a variety of domains (interested readers can see see how Boyd develops the notion of "building snowmobiles" in his briefing, Strategic Game of ? and ?, available here on DNI, then scroll down.)Snowmobiles result from analyses combined with trials at a synthesis. Since it is virtually imp...

Thinking About Deception clipping

Posted on June 26th, 2019

Thinking About Deception by Fred Feer 5 August 2004This brief paper discusses the most often asked questions about military deception. What is it?Why do it?How do you measure its impact, or, how do you calculate its contribution to winning?Can you rely on it?What is Deception?The answer to the first question is misleadingly simple. The official definition is: deception — Those measures designed to mislead the enemy b...

Continuing John Boyd's Legacy by Chet Richards clipping

Posted on June 26th, 2019

October 31, 2005 Beyond Patterns of Conflict? By Chet RichardsAs many readers of this site know, John Boyd was heavily influenced by the ideas of the Austrian-American mathematician Kurt Gödel, particularly, the notion of incompleteness. Although Gödel worked in the rarified realm of foundations of mathematics, the notion that no even moderately complex mathematical system can be complete formed a critical elemen...

The Myth of Grand Strategy clipping

Posted on June 26th, 2019

Summary: What would a grand strategy for America look like? This critiques our current policies and Barnett’s proposals in terms our limited wisdom and power. It ends with recommendations for design of a modest but functional strategy for America.ContentsIntroductionWhat is grand strategy?Primal StrategiesGrand Strategies are a ChimeraBarnett’s Grand StrategyWhy do Grand Strategies Fail?America’s Need for a Humble Grand StrategyNatur...

To Be or To Do?

Posted on June 25th, 2019

[July 1, 2007 – Of all the things Boyd wrote or said, we probably get the most requests for his "To be or to do?" invitation. Although Boyd associated with many junior officers during his Air Force career, there were a few, perhaps half a dozen, that he had such respect for that he invited them to join him on his quest for change. Each one would be offered the choice: Be someone – be recognized by the system and promoted – or do some...

John Boyd Compendium

Posted on June 24th, 2019

John Boyd may be the most remarkable unsung hero in all of American military history. Some remember him as the greatest U.S. fighter pilot ever -- the man who, in simulated air-to-air combat, defeated every challenger in less than forty seconds. Some recall him as the father of our country's most legendary fighter aircraft -- the F-15 and F-16. Still others think of Boyd as the most influential military theorist since Sun Tzu. They k...

The Real Problem with Killing America's A-10 Warthog clipping

Posted on June 9th, 2019

"To win wars, people come first, ideas second and hardware last."—Colonel John Boyd As lawmakers and senior United States Air Force (USAF) officials debate A-10 divestment and alternate approaches to close air support (CAS) responsibilities, the divestment of the A-10 community, not the aircraft, poses the largest risk to the future of the mission. In Gen. David Goldfein’s nomination testimony, he rightly stated the A-10 community is...

Zen and the Art of Business Books clipping

Posted on March 24th, 2019

This is Tokyo, circa 1832. The print is "Nihonbashi no hakuu" by the Ukiyo-e master Andō Hiroshige. Many years ago, my wife found a copy in a consignment store in Atlanta. I don’t remember what she paid for it, but she assures me that framing it cost many times the purchase price. Since we’ve been here in South Carolina, we’ve had it reframed to show off the stamps and writing around the borders. Intro to Chapter 6, Surprise and An...

Is it agility or adaptability? clipping

Posted on December 21st, 2018

I tend to think of "agility" as adaptability with a time dimension, that is, the ability to adapt more rapidly to new situations than can competitors or opponents. That may not, however, be the only or even a very good way to think about these concepts. Here’s an alternative view:AQ is hot right now – but is it the Adaptability Quotient or the Agility Quotient?Kristopher Floyd Founder and CEO, TeamMate AINovember 13, 2018 Originally...

How to Think Like Hercule Poirot clipping

Posted on June 4th, 2018

Notes: Trust your right-brained pattern-spotting. Be a skeptical, data-driven empiricist. Add a moral compass. Tie it all together with storytelling. Be aware of, and exploit, the flawed doctrines of others. Do not be concerned about the morality of this: doctrinal flaws provide the moral justification for their own exploitation August 31, 2009 By Venkatesh Rao Last fall, I spent a long weekend in the Outer Banks region, a few hour...

A Short Tutorial on the Moral Essence of Grand Strategy, September 11, 2003 clipping

Posted on May 22nd, 2018

A Short Tutorial on the Moral Essence of Grand Strategy September 11, 2003 Comment: #491 Discussion Threads - Comment #s: 490 and referenced comments. Attached References: [Ref.1] Richard Bernstein, "Foreign Views Of U.S. Darken Since Sept. 11," New York Times, September 11, 2003, Pg. 1 On the second anniversary of 9/11, the world-wide outpouring sympathy a...

What was Boyd Thinking? clipping

Posted on May 21st, 2018

What was Boyd thinking and when did he think it?In his own words:For the interested, a careful examination will reveal that the increasingly abstract discussion surfaces a process of reaching across many perspectives; pulling each and every one apart (analysis), all the while intuitively looking for those parts of the disassembled perspectives which naturally interconnect with one another to form a higher-order, more general elaborat...

Thingness and Thereness clipping

Posted on May 1st, 2018

For months now, I’ve been thinking about a whole mess of related ideas with the aid of a Penrose triangle visualization of three key, interconnected loci that frame a sort of canvas on which life scripts (whether canned or improvised) play out. The three vertices are home, public and frontier. This is the simplest version of the visualization:Between home and public you find subcultures of being and identity, defined by the question,...

The Strategy of No Strategy clipping

Posted on May 1st, 2018

Strategy is everywhere in our society. But strategy in practice seems to be a cruel and even silly joke. I learned that the hard way when I went to college long before I ever studied strategy formally. My own "strategy" about how to get through college collapsed virtually the moment I set foot on campus. I was living on my own for the first time and had never been outside of California’s perennial summer weather environment before. I...

Make Your Own Rules clipping

Posted on May 1st, 2018

Make Your Own Rules February 15, 2018 By Venkatesh Rao We seem to be in the middle of a renaissance of rules for life. Not since Robert Fulghum’s All I Really Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten (1987) and Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits (1989) has there been such a peak of interest in such rules. Then, as now, we were going through a period of deep global changes, and everybody was very anxious because nobody knew what the new rules...

The Boydian Dialectic clipping

Posted on May 1st, 2018

June 18, 2015 By Venkatesh Rao If you’re a certain sort of metacognition-obsessed person, at some point in your intellectual wanderings, you will eventually run into a murky and illegible world of ideas and practices swirling around words and phrases like OODA loop, control the tempo, snowmobile, fast transient, maneuver warfare, E-M theory, inside the decision cycle of your adversary, fight the enemy, not the terrain, and be someb...