But the most intriguing chapter is Hone’s study of a critical but largely unrecognized reorganization that transformed Navy operations beginning in late 1942. The problem was that commanders of warships were being cognitively overwhelmed by all the new information thrown at them in battle. In addition to traditional sightings and signaling, they were now receiving reports by radio from aircraft and from other ships, as well as from radar readings. The Navy’s answer was to design a new Combat Information Center on each ship. Through it, all that data could be continually funneled, sifted, integrated and passed to the captain and others on the vessel who might need it, like gunners. Such an improvement may seem mere common sense, but then many great innovations do seem obvious — in retrospect. Interestingly, Adm. Chester Nimitz told skippers what to do (establish the new centers) but not how to do it. This meant that different ships devised different approaches, which provided the basis for subsequent refinements.
Really interesting paragraph from Thomas Ricks, writing about this book:
which I will read when I have time, Trent Hone sounds serious!
Late 1942: is that the point in time where the age of information overload began? Sorting, digesting, processing the enormous amounts of information that flow our way, telling signal from noise, is that a/the prevailing cognitive problem of the post 1942 world?