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10 August 2007

Considering again the very smallest of stuff

We have previously mentioned the key Proteus Insight of Small Stuff. It remains one of the more visionary aspects of that groundbreaking study, and the one in which we have observed quite a bit of movement within the intelligence community. It is difficult to understand new accounts in the community, such as pandemic monitoring and other emerging disease related medical intelligence, alongside the increasing importance of other targets, such as network warfare, absent an overarching strategic framework of concerns.

Smalltech is not only the stuff of futures studies, but rather also serious scientific examination. We note a fascinating piece from the National Academies Press - Nanotechnology for the Intelligence Community. This study concludes in part:

The IC should develop a strategy for exploiting smalltech areas of special promise mentioned in this report...
Search for quasi-commercial technologies.
Develop a methodology for producing non-commercial technologies for use by the IC.
Develop a mechanism for monitoring and supporting enabling technologies for smalltech breakthroughs.
Build up long-term, in-house technical expertise in areas related to smalltech; in the near term, seek expert advice regarding investments in areas of high technical risk or uncertainty.

For those young analysts seeking to find the accounts which will define their careers, one could do much worse than a focus on the Small Stuff. (In our humble opinion, this is likely to be far more useful and actionable an intelligence endeavor than the politicized reaches of climate Wx… particularly when “scientific consensus” continues to avoid peer review.)

UPDATE: Via Instapundit this afternoon comes the following presentation on "Nanotechnology and the Future of Warfare", from the "Center for Responsible Nanotechnology. Interesting presentation and fortuitous timing...

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