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Every inquiring system presupposes every other inquiring system. Unbounded inquiry asserts that everything is connected to everything else, so it sets its sight on the big picture. The unbounded inquiring system is claimed by its advocates to be an appropriate way to explore wicked problems , 81 because of its focus on the technological, environmental, and human dimensions of problems. The output from this perspective is thinking that is not constrained by the existing conceptual structures of disciplines and professions.

The output is an active search for information that contradicts accepted beliefs. Abduction — Focus On Intuition : Abduction means guessing. Abduction is a type of intuition. Less is understood about the abductive inquiring system than the previous systems because only recently have intuitive perceptions and judgments been at least quasi-legitimized. There are problems with abduction, as with all inquiring systems. Rather, Chertoff had studied terrorist patterns and some undisclosed intel to come up with his determination. Behavioral economists, neuro-psychologists, decision theorists and others point out the cognitive barriers to thinking objectively and accurately.

But sometimes intuition and gut feelings work effectively as a mode of inquiry.


Melendez-Perez did not allow the person assumed now to have been the 20th hijacker to enter. On December 14, , U. Go with your gut, but have it be an educated gut, a best guess; make it clear what your guess is; expose your ideas to others and look for confirming and opposing evidence. Go and see the forest. The straight trees are cut down, the crooked ones are left standing. The previous inquiring systems searched directly for actionable knowledge, for truth. The system emerged from studies of how art, poetry, and philosophy were used in China to access and influence power. I will not pretend to know as much about this inquiring system as I would like to know.

It seeks oblique, indirect, and suggestive meaning to explore how shape-shifting techniques of detour provide access to subtler knowledge and meanings than can be obtained through the direct approaches that characterize most Western inquiry. The strategy underlying the National Preparedness Report may be an illustrative example 94 of the detour and access inquiring system.

The authors of the Report do not, and probably cannot, come out and say that directly. They must detour around that conclusion if they are to retain access to policymakers. This section argued there are at least seven approaches to structuring inquiry. Each approach is a tool that can be used by people who want to learn about homeland security. Induction : what data do you want to know? Deduction : what theories can you use? Multiview : what are the data and theories employed by stakeholders with an interest in an issue?

Dialectic : for any particular homeland security issue you care about, what are the arguments, and the pros and cons for the various positions? Unbounded : what are the meta-issues and problems with their attendant data, theories, stakeholders and arguments that transcend and overlap specific homeland security topics and questions? Abduction : what does your experience and intuition tell you about what you are trying to learn?

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Detour and access : how can you approach learning about a homeland security issue by attending both to the object of your inquiry and to its surrounding context? How will you know when you have learned what you want to know about homeland security? Once you have applied the various inquiring systems to the homeland security questions you care about, how will you know when you have learned the truth? What is the true perspective? Arguments can be constructed to support — more or less convincingly — each of the four claims 98 about how to measure VBIED preparedness.

Asked in a more general way, what is the truth about homeland security pick your specific issue , and how can we know it? I have written elsewhere about the role of truth in homeland security. Correspondence truth means there is a one-to-one relationship between the phenomenon being investigated and the language used to describe that phenomenon. Truth corresponds to the thing being described.

For this example, the reality of radio communication will correspond to the language used to describe whether I have succeeded: e. Correspondence truth seems to work best within limits in the world of material reality. It is a truth that cannot easily be talked around or wished away. Coherence truth is a dominant mode of social truth. It refers to agreements about the world knowledge that are internally consistent, within a particular community. Pragmatic truth is about getting the job done.

For learning, pragmatic truth is when you know enough about your initial question to build on this new knowledge. What is homeland security? From the perspective of correspondence truth, the answer would depend on the relationship between what people say they are doing when they are doing homeland security work language and how they behave reality.

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From a coherence view, the answer depends on what language community one is in. The answers can be and almost always are different if one is talking, for example, to emergency managers, firefighters, DHS leaders, professors, travelers going through an airport, counterterrorism officials, or children who fear they will be deported. From a pragmatic truth perspective, homeland security is whatever it has to be for me to obtain the resources I need to prevent, respond, recover from and mitigate the threats faced by my community of interest.

This section offers three checks: does what you know correspond to reality as you understand it? Does what you know cohere with what other people you respect believe they know? Does what you know help you accomplish your homeland security mission? The advantage of a foundational approach is that it is a comparatively easy way to impose conceptual order on the study of homeland security.

The much more messy and ambiguous start-from-where-you-are approach is filled with uncertainty and — if you enjoy learning — adventure. To those tools, add the experiences you had before you started your academic study of homeland security, the ideas you are exposed to in classes, in readings, in exercises, in writing assignments, and in discussions. These tools lead me to postulate a homeland security inquiry matrix illustrated below.

The rows describe the inquiring systems: inductive, deductive, multiview, dialectic, unbounded, abduction, detour and access. The columns hold the types of truth: correspondence, coherence, and pragmatic. Now consider what you want to learn about homeland security, the questions you have. The core question addressed in this essay is how CHDS students — and maybe other interested people — can begin to learn about homeland security. Learning about homeland security by starting with institutionally approved, rather than objectively tested and validated, foundations may provide academic order, but the order is achieved at the risk of constraining too quickly what homeland security could become.

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An alternative approach embraces subjectivity start from where you are and combines it with the requirement to present and defend subjective observations to others the transformational dialectic. I do not believe we can yet eliminate or avoid subjectivity in determining the roots and bounds of homeland security. I want to expand who gets to decide what the foundations of homeland security are, and to encourage reflective practitioners to construct and share insights derived from their own foundations.

A version of the uncertainty principle asserts one cannot measure both the position and the movement of a physical system.

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People learning about homeland security can emphasize where our proto-discipline used to be and is today, or they can focus more on the opposing pole to help create where it could go. The approach outlined in this essay points to a method of keeping homeland-security knowledge alive and continuously evolving.

Starting from where you are, learning what you need to learn, and exposing your ideas to your colleagues might light a fire that could help shape the future of homeland security. He serves as the executive editor of Homeland Security Affairs. He may be reached at christopherbellavita gmail.

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Acknowledgement: The author would like to thank the five reviewers whose comments, critiques, and suggestions greatly improved this manuscript. The proverb is frequently attributed to Yeats. I have not found any evidence Yeats actually wrote those words. One reviewer suggested I broaden my audience to include other graduate and maybe undergraduate programs. However, I believe the approach could be useful to other people who are looking for a way to start learning about homeland security.

I discuss this term more fully later in the essay. Donald A. New York: Basic Books, Kuhn, in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions p , claims that having textbooks is one of the indicators a field of study is becoming a discipline. Oliver, Nancy E. Marion, and Joshua B.

One aspect of this approach is illustrated in a paper by Ramsey and Renda-Tenali. The domains — according to the consensus judgment of nine subject matter experts — are intelligence, emergency management, law and policy, critical infrastructure, strategic planning and decision making, terrorism, human and environmental security, [and] risk analysis and [risk] management. James D. An academic discipline minimally requires: a set of problems to work on; a body of knowledge to apply to those problems; scientifically legitimate research about the problems; textbooks that aggregate the core knowledge of the discipline; and programs to educate students at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including developing PhD programs to advance knowledge in the field.

For an argument that homeland security is becoming a discipline, see Michael D. For another perspective, see William V.

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Pelfrey and William D. One can also note the national homeland security agenda in differed significantly from the focus on catastrophic climate events, immigration, cybersecurity, and biotechnology, among other topics. This is a preliminary conclusion. I am still testing the claim by examining widely-adopted homeland security textbooks and reading lists.