Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Ethymology of intelligence

William S. Lind muses a bit over the the litteral meaning of the Swedish word for intelligence "underrättelser" - which he translates to "corrections from below".

The translation is very direct - and a bit dubious. But the resulting "Corrections from below" is a nice illustration of what 3rd generation intelligence gathering should embody - not amassing data in piles to get the rationalistic "hard facts", but doing qualitative intelligence, bottom-up.

In Danish, intelligence is called "Efterretning", is related to the Swedish term, but in the same literal translation it means "Corrections after". And in a strange way that might actually reflect strategic intelligence at its most effective: using all that data to understand - after things have happened.



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