Disrupting the cycle of decision making

Earlier this week I fell for some clickbait that was tailor-made for me: Military strategist explains why Donald Trump leads and how he will fail. That headline is the equivalent of supermarket tabloid for me — I am incapable of not scooping it up and tossing it on top my groceries. Instead I spent almost an hour immersed in learning about how people make decisions, which had a broader thought impact on me than just explaining Donald Trump:

Observe, Orient, Decide, Act
John Boyd was a fighter pilot who developed the above decision cycle while studying patterns of conflict in the post-Vietnam era. His theories focus on how people make decisions, and how interfering with that process through shifting operational tempo can affect how your opponent makes decisions. Combined with ambiguity, embracing constant change and exploiting the conditioning of an opponent, it aims to constantly change the field of conflict in a way that the enemy can never adapt. This article applies his work to the 2016 GOP primary (and explains better than anything else I’ve read Tump’s success), but it’s incredibly insightful for any level of decision making or conflict.

Why we’re glad we say “no” to college football
Drexel President John Fry wrote an op-ed this week in the Wall Street Journal on their school’s decision not to have a football program. I might be biased (BU does not have a football program either), but agree with the insanity around division one football. In the few instances where its profitable to the school its great, but the fact that schools are consistently subsidizing these programs (really, the government on the backs of kids borrowing money) is insane.

Where’s Rey?
There has been a lot of controversy on the lack of Rey toys related to the new Star Wars movie. I agree that it’s pretty overt sexism, but some perspective on the marketing side about how Disney sees its toys versus its film empires shows where the decision making comes from. In some ways it reminds me of the OODA article posted above — cultural mores and gender distinctions have shifted, but the marketers at Disney are working off an antiquated handbook and in not evolving, appear out of step. 

Philly is corrupt; nothing new
After years of not doing his job, I’m happy to share that city commissioner Anthony Clark will receive a half million dollars to retire. This story helps summarize everything broken in Philadelphia — and why I’m so pessimistic about its future.