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Event Series Event Series: Curious Naturalist Book Club

Curious Naturalist Book Club

January 17, 2023 @ 5:00 pm 6:00 pm PST

Welcome to Spy School. Together we will examine this declassified CIA document and apply it to our own thinking.

Join a discussion as we work our way through the Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by Richards J Heuer. This is a curated collection of declassified CIA documents to help analysts (and the rest of us) think more clearly and make better decisions. It is directly relevant for any naturalist who wishes to make explanations based on the evidence we see in the natural world. Thinking is hard. We all are subject to bias and may use simple heuristics where deeper thinking may have been more appropriate. This book gives us hands-on techniques to help us think more clearly and make better decisions in the face of uncertainty.

This volume pulls together and republishes, with some editing, updating, and additions, articles written during 1978-86 for internal use within the CIA Directorate of Intelligence. The information is relatively timeless and still relevant to the never-ending quest for better analysis. The articles are based on reviewing cognitive psychology literature concerning how people process information to make judgments on incomplete and ambiguous information. Richard Heur has selected the experiments and findings that seem most relevant to intelligence analysis and most in need of communication to intelligence analysts. He then translates the technical reports into language that intelligence analysts can understand and interpreted the relevance of these findings to the problems intelligence analysts face.

You can buy the book here or get a free download here.

We will be working slowly through the book because the content is dense and because Jack is dyslexic and reads slowly. I hope you will enjoy our weekly one hour discussions (we will try to keep it to this). We will meet Tuesday evenings/afternoons. If you have missed any previous meetings, you are still welcome to come join the fun.

  • Jan 3, Chapters 1,2,3
  • Jan 10, Chapters 4,5,6
  • Jan 17, Chapter 7,8,9
  • Jan 24, Chapter 10,11,12
  • Jan 31, Chapters 13,14
  • Feb 7, General discussion and take aways

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