The anatomy of a trinitarian OODA wave:
- New information is observed.
- This new information is funneled into the input end of a bow tie architecture.
- To orient is to throw away. New information is compressed into a tacit orientation that draws on primordial (even blind) natural forces like culture, genes, and previous experience. The compressive pressure of these forces, expressed in a cycle of analysis and synthesis, tear new information down to its basic symbolic representation and reassemble it as a simplified storyline. Their particular configuration of orientation is the tacit component of purpose.
- Now the efficient tacit path may be taken as the path to action…
- Or the newly compressed tacit orientation line might be further compression into an explicitdecision in a slower and more consciously deliberate and instrumental process that is (hopefully) subordinated to pure reason. This restructures a more heuristic tacit orientation into explicit decision that can serve as a a more structured hypothesis.
- This puts an decision on the explicit path to action.
- Inside the bow tie, whether on the tacit or explicit path, there is only power, the possibility ofcontrol. The ambition of cognition is raising the potential of control to the certainty of control. Control is the guiding star for how new information is compressed into orientation and how orientation can be further compressed into decision because the amount of control achieved determines how friendly the outside world will be to realizing purpose.
- Action is where the potential of power is converted into the application of control. To act is to test, less formally as an orientation following the tacit path and more formally as a decision following the explicit path.
- Power is a spectrum of potential that ranged from violence to influence. There is, however, not guarantee that the potential of applied power will result in the degree of control selected and nearing the purpose that control is intended to contribute towards.
- Attempts at control unfold under the conflicting pull of three poles of attraction: the tacit, thecontingent, and the explicit. This subjects any attempt to apply control to the mercy of these forces and their fluctuations between the tacit pole, which is knowable and foreseeable (but not necessarily known and foreseen); the contingent pole, which is unknown and unforseen; and the known and foreseen.
- This shifting balance between the tacit, the contingent, and the explicit is further complicated by friction, the sum of all things that combine to frustrate control and make easy things hard.
- The results of an attempt at control fall on a spectrum of application between diversity andconformity. However, the degree of control sought along the spectrum may not be the degree of control ultimately applied.
- The outside world generates contingency. Even if attempts at control, intended to minimize contingency, are successful, the control achieved may not translate into realizing the purpose the control is intended to advance. The tyranny of contingency is inescapable.
- The realization of purpose is frustrated by the same friction that works to frustrate the application of control. This means the purpose realized usually falls short of full realization.
- The contributions of potential power and applied control towards purpose fall on a unpredictably wide spectrum that ranges from the total realization of purpose to only a limitedrealization of purpose. Realizing purpose depends upon the outcome of the shifting interaction of the Trinity of the tacit, contingent, and explicit.
- The trinitarian OODA wave is represented as a loop for compactness and convenience. It’s actually a wave hurtling forward through time.
- The pattern of the wave follows the lifecycle of the culminating point of the offensive.
Even the seemingly irreconcilable can be reconciled.