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Decision Trees

             
     The last six lines, obviously, are Order of Battle data. Note the "moreover" reference to Anak's children, unqualified by any precise number they claimed to have seen. Note also that the processing step of the Intelligence Cycle has been omitted. I feel the omission was deliberate, as I shall suggest in more detail.
             
     Once a collection requirement has set the Intelligence Cycle in motion, we really can't be sure of how successful the effort has been without some measure of user reaction. It is often user reaction, in fact, that causes the most measurable changes in our activity in support of the cycle. In this regard the Israelites were no exception. After the initial report, just cited, they became considerably exercised; it took both Caleb and Joshua to calm them down.
             
  EVALUATION    
  (User Reaction)     
             
  And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said,  
   let us go up at once and possess it;      
   for we are well able to overcome it.      
         
     This is the leader of the largest tribe speaking-a man who had been to the Promised Land and returned. He and Joshua, to the consternation of the other 10 spies who did not share their optimism, apparently were making some headway with the Israelites.
             
  But the men that went up with him said,     
   we be not able to go up against the people;    
   for they are stronger than we.    
         
  And they brought up an evil report       
   of the land which they had searched     
   unto the children of Israel, saying,     
    
  The land, through which we have gone to search it,  
            is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof;  
    
  And all the people that we saw in it  
           are men of great stature.        
           
   And there we saw the giants,         
           the sons of ANAK, which come of the giants:  
     
  And we were in our own sight as grasshoppers,   
           and so we were in their sight.   
             
     Under any objective form of processing whatsoever, it is highly dubious that from the initial three known and observed "giants," the final report could arrive at an entire population "of great stature." We will pass over the concept that a competent processor might have pressed the spies for more precise specifications-say, in cubits or in axehandles-rather than accepting the grasshopper ratio.
 
     There was also a bald appeal to superstition: with Moses the only Israelite of the past few generations who had ever been outside Egypt before, there was no experience to disprove the spies' claim that the land ate up its inhabitants. If true, however, there should have been no inhabitants left, giant or normal, and the spies themselves should never have returned.
             
54             

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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:43 AM
Last Updated: May 08, 2007 08:43 AM