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Valid Analysis Starts with a Valid Mental Framework

Image courtesy of Dayne Topkin under the terms of the Unsplash License

A high school graduate with the right mental framework for analyzing a situation can come to better conclusions than a thinktank loaded with geniuses using the wrong framework. A lot of the analysts predicting COVID trends used the wrong framework. So, I was able to assess trends more accurately than most, despite having no background in the subject.

Here's an article from May of 2020 that is a good summary for how I look at this war. The foundation for the article is a framework for viewing political events laid out by Sanuel Huntington in his 1996 book "The Clash of Civilizations." It's a short article, but I believe it accurately captures the essence of the conflict.

The Ukraine isn't one nation. It's two. Part of it is aligned with Russia. Part of it is aligned with the West. We are seeing the intervention of Russia in an undeclared civil war. The opening salvo was the 2014 removal of Ukraine's Russian-aligned president. I believe many of the critics. The US facilitated his removal. That's the kind of thing superpowers do.

One action begets a reaction. Russia promptly occupied the Southern and Eastern parts of the country. Note that the West didn't do a whole lot about that. I think we understood. But now Putin is overreaching. He is attacking the part of the Ukraine oriented toward the West, and they are resisting strongly.

In my opinion the principle of self-determination justifies our economic and military actions there. It also happens to correspond with Western interests. Okay.

If the West Ukraine prevails against Russia, which I believe likely, political calculations will change. What if the will of the people in the South and the East remain more aligned with Russia? Will we support the Western part of the country in fighting a civil war to regain that territory?

In the above, I see the value of stating your mental framework and assumptions up front. You may disagree with me, but in just a few paragraphs I believe I've laid out a coherent way to look at the immediate conflict, established a working model for scenario planning, and provided the basis for others to evaluate the merits of my argument.

This is all related to my brand of consumer analytics. I recently outperformed an 10,000+ employee database marketing agency in a head-to-head direct marketing competition. Why? Because my framework for the analysis was fundamentally more valid than theirs. The value one derives from analysis is not necessarily proportional to the resources one devotes to it and the credentials of the people performing it.

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