Gavin E L Hall Blog - Insights into my Mind

December 2013


Welcome to the blog page for Gavin E L Hall.

The idea behind this page is to provide access to my thoughts on a variety of subjects which orientate around the global security arena. Comments and questions are appreciated.

How to launch and start a blog is not as simple as it appears. I have a specialisation in cyber-security and a core part of the debate revolves around establishing the terminology. In much the same way I thought a good way to start this blog would be by considering how we understand the core aspects of a debate.

Having spent some time in the Royal Air Force and endured the exposure to the military's love of acronyms I introduce two here; KISS and DGLTS. In trying to establish the core aspect of debate we are engaging in a form of problem solving. Academic questions and essays pose a problem that is then answered. In order to achieve this a process is undertaken, which is no different to improving sales in a business or conducting a military operation. The aforementioned acronyms provide the mechanics for understanding how the process is undertaken.

KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid
DGLTS = (Dear God Let Them See) Define, Gather, List, Test, Select

KISS is relatively straightforward. Don't over-complicate things unnecessarily as doing so impugns success and simple plans are more flexible and open to adaption bought on by change that will undoubtedly occur. In military circles this follows the widely held maxim that no plan survives first contact with the enemy, much the same could be said of business to. The link to academia may not be so obvious. Research involves design and following a theoretical framework and methodological plan to achieve answering a particular question. This is largely based on expected results for the research to have yielded. However, unusual and unexpected results occur and situations evolve as new information become known, which can render the research design obsolete and in need of change. If it is overly complex then the problems are further compounded and it becomes more difficult to update and deliver.

DGLTS, if done properly automatically includes KISS. The way we think about problem solving is broken down as Define the central problem, Gather information to enable problem resolution, List possible solutions, Test possible solutions and then based on all the above select the solution to be implemented. The aspect that the majority of people have problems with is identifying correctly what the central problem actually is. By utilising a framework like DGLTS this should be minimised as the problem would not be solved adequately if all the steps are followed. Furthermore, in the case of research if events or research changes direction then it should be clear to see that only a minor change to the solution selected would be needed, as opposed to rendering the whole process obsolete, as alternatives have already been considered.

Anyone engaging with problem solving, even if only to a basic level, would be advised to consider what the core problem actually is. Granted it is not always easy, or even possible according to some arguments, however, if you chose to neglect giving the matter thought then the likelihood of impugned research or planning increases exponentially.