Friday, December 09, 2005

Jeff Baxter: Counterterrorism

Today Jeff Baxter spoke about counterterrorism. He was a very engaging speaker. The talk was supposed to be an hour, but I stayed for almost two, only leaving to go to Business of Software class. There were about twenty people in the room, and he had us go around and tell him what we do and what our interests in counterterrorism were so he could speak to those. He also had his college-age daughter with him, which I found to be very sweet.

He was the guitarsit for the Doobie Brothers, and now works for the LAPD counterterrorism unit. He holds many clearances, and his nickname is Skunk. Okay, here are the notes:


  • Those in DC are like the court of Louis the 14th: good poeople, but with a loss of perspective

  • There is are stovepipe (this is my vertical) and rice bowl (don't even think about touching my rice) mentalities in government agencies

  • His goal is to cross the stovepipes

  • Dealing with terrorism is like dealing with the flu: It can't be eliminated, only managed

  • He doesn't intend to think out of the box; he just doesn't have a box at all

  • He uses unconventional methods to achieve his goals. People don't know how to deal with a rock star rather than the usual visitors, so are forced to tell him the truth (he had some great stories, btw)

  • We need creative people

  • War used to be like chess. Then the bad guys started circumventing the military and attacking civilians

  • If we step back from the horror of 9/11, the use of planes as weapons is creative; it's a mix of art and science. We need to start thinking like this to counteract it

  • Think about:How do you reward someone in the mmilitary without the classic promotions?

  • Nothing is impossible: "Somebody wins the lottery"

  • Need to be creative: "If we only have a hammer, every problem is a nail"

  • Example of creativity is using missile finder technology to detect breast cancer

  • When asked about success said that he earns much more money than his dad ever did. However, he learned from his father, so in reality, his father is more successful than him.

  • Talked about systems architecting approach (inspiring me to write in all caps: "Why can't our sys arch class be like this???")

  • Recommended listening to Wynton Marsalis and reading the biography of John Boyd

  • I've left some details out because I didn't feel right posting all info to the web, so come talk to me if you want to know more =)

3 comments:

Bob said...

He spoke at the lab on Thursday. What an interesting life he's leading!

Anonymous said...

Baxter is a traitor.
His band was used as a black op
cover so that fake marshal
Herbert Bryant and Arthur Kassel
could trade secrets with KGB...
Bryant's family Ohrstrom financed Hitler
along with Others like Prescott
Bush.
9/11 was staged by these people
just like Hitler staged the Reischstagge fire to terrorize the
citizens into accepting a police state and follow them into the
concentration camps...time is
of the essence...WAKE UP

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

Do you have anymore on Baxter and the Doobie Brothers? I know a little about Bryant and I was wondering how you linked the two (Bryant and Doobie Brothers)?