Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This guy amuses the heck out of me

...and should scare the heck out of you, if you're a security professional, or even if you just understand the implications of all this stuff.

Trevor Paglen is an author, and Dr. of Geography, who developed a fascination for the "black" side of the military some years ago; and started snooping.

His first book on the subject "I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me", was basically a recounting of his experiences in trying to figure out what mission patches for classified projects meant.

I posted a video interview of him talking about his book when I first found it, about a year ago; but I can't find it at the moment. I'll post it when I find it again.

I think this is it. It's not embeddable, but it is a flash video from C-Spans BookTV.

He's nowhere near 100% accurate (for one thing, he has a very odd and limited understanding of the military. He approaches it as a cultural anthropologist, from the outside looking in), but I'll tell you, the guy knows how to make an educated guess.

His new book is "Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon's Secret World." ; in which he extends and develops on the methods and means from the first book, into an expanded view of the black world, focused on geography (and specifically logistics, and how they are related):

So, what you're watching in this video, is an intelligent man with no experience in the field but a great deal or personal interest, training himself to be an intelligence analyst.

Following connections, that's really all it is. Find a point and follow it outward to get the big picture. Then find a thread, follow it 'til it dead ends, then zoom back out and follow the next thread, and so on. Then, once you have enough threads in the warp, look for threads in the weft (the parallels between threads, or where threads cross). Then look for where there SHOULD be a thread, and it isn't there. Pretty soon the picture in the tapestry starts to show up, and the holes become more and more obvious.

The smart ones, and the curious ones, and the persistent ones will always follow connections, and will always figure it out (of course, you could take advantage of that if you were a bit clever...) . That's the problem with intelligence (both types).