Speakeasy forum: Not looking for a bun fight. I found this concept very

by: Ziks511 January 31, 2013 9:22 AM PST

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Not looking for a bun fight. I found this concept very

by Ziks511 - 1/31/13 9:22 AM

compelling and illuminating of the way dumb ideas seem to take hold of a reasonably intelligent and sensible group of people who all hold the same set of pre-conceptions and prejudices.

Apparently the Pentagon (or the military generally) identified a form of group think which was then called "Incestuous Amplification".

A group of like-minded individuals coalesces in a position of power, say in development and procurement, or in tactical simulations, in the case of the Pentagon, or in an Administration which wants to project toughness.

Part of the price of being part of that group is to check your independent thoughts at the door, otherwise you are no longer viewed as like-minded and are no longer part of the group. Then, when asked to perform a task, militarize the AR-15 for example, or design the Bradley AFV, or come up for reasons to invade Iraq in the absence of any evidence of complicity in 9/11.

If the premise is flawed, or the group is wedded to previous shibboleths regarding military firearms. or the Administration has an agenda, the Incestuous group crowd around, rejecting any alternatives and hypering one another into a frenzy over this brilliant and necessary plan. It then moves forward, possibly acquiring random ideas thought good, which may diminish the effectiveness of the idea, but because they have been taken up by the "family" who are pushing the idea.

Instances of this sort of thing are present in every area. The company which releases a new product which is found to be ludicrously bad. An Education system which adopts a model of teaching which is not conducive to learning. A Corporation which adopts and accounting method which may be criminal, and certainly doesn't serve its shareholders.

"Incestuous Amplification." A great term for a bad process.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/29/incestuous-amplification-economics-edition/

Rob

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