It has been a long time since I have posted anything. Mostly I have been enjoying sitting on the bench, watching the scenery and reading....
And lately, I have learned a few things that have direct ties to a previous discussion a long time ago, and I would like to mark a trail to see where it goes.
I was re-reading the forum discussions about Ch 31, The Intrepid.
One thing I read said that he set up the model for the system that became our CIA. Is that right?
Then Paul wrote:
The evidence seems to support that claim. Stephenson had a hand in Roosevelt's selection of William "Wild Bill Donovan" to form the Office of Special Services (OSS) in World War II, and OSS was pretty much the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency. It went through a couple of incarnations before the NSA (National Security Act) was enacted, creating the CIA in 1947, but the nuts and bolts of it was what was left over from the old OSS.
And that he was a great friend to Winston Churchill?
Churchill was the one who dubbed him "Intrepid," and -- I don't have the source material in front of me right this minute so I could be misquoting -- when Stephenson was knighted, Churchill said something to the effect that "this one is very dear to me." So, yeah, they wuz buds.
And that he was like the go between FDR and Chruchill during the war And ran a "domestic intelligence service" inside the United States.....
It was called "British Security Coordination" (BSC) and it was based in Rockefeller Center in NYC and yes, it was a foreign espionage operation conducted on American soil with the full knowledge of the President, but...
Add to that quote all of our discussions about submarines and the war.....
Anyways, a new subject that is really an old subject that we really didn't elaborate on has surfaced around me, and I wanted to bring it up before the fog lifts and the thought is gone.
As many of you know, I am in a MBA program. One of the classes that I am in right now is called Management Science. Other names for it are Operations Research or Decision Analysis. the first day of class we watched a short video clip about the history of ORMS (Operations Reserach and Management Science). Bear with me as I need to include a bit of history to get to my point.
Operational Research in Europe, is an interdisciplinary branch of applied mathematics and formal science that uses methods such as mathematical modeling, statistics, and algorithms to arrive at optimal or near optimal solutions to complex problems. Through Operational Research (OR) – the scientific scrutiny of new weapons, their deployment and relative efficiency – scientists also influenced how warfare itself was conducted. This new scientific field emerged in the UK, where it helped to tighten the defense against the Luftwaffe. It quickly spread to other aspects of the military machine, improving both antisubmarine campaigns and bombing strategy.
According to the video, the science of ORMS had its origins in the British Navy during WWII. The military intelligence units realized the potential benefit of using this new branch of decision analysis in naval warfare and implemented its use. They put together teams of mathematicians/physicists/engineers to build a brand new department in military intelligence warfare. The focus of the original ORMS team was on Naval warfare against German Submarines. During the War, Operations Research doubled the success rate of aerial attacks on submarines by recommending a shallower detonation setting on the depth charges being dropped by aircraft. The depth charges had previously been set to detonate at the depth where the shock of the explosion would be most efficiently transferred through the water, but submarines were unable to reach that depth in the limited time available after being spotted by the aircraft. Shallower detonation depth settings reduced the distance of the detonation from the submarine: a close detonation with lower shock transmission efficiency was more destructive than a more distant detonation with better transmission.
SO, then the video talked about how after the war, ORMS became widely used in furthering Radar research, Information Technology, and eventually Satellite Technology.
When the video ended, the professor got up and talked about how if we were to turn off all linear/integer programming today, the world would just stop, and everything would be in chaos, especially since the world is built around ORMS in Satellite technology.
As I was thinking about the subject of Stephenson, and the BSC, and Brown's history with submarines, I wondered to what extent he and T. Brown were involved in the initial aspects of developing the ORMS Naval Weapons team, and to what extent these developments wound up in the NRO.
I would love to hear from people who know much more than I do about ORMS, its origins, and its link to modern day "technology". It's a fascinating subject, and I know I will probably spend only a minutia in the subject before moving on.
All my best,
Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. ~ Albert Einstein