Search, Intelligence, and the Nobel Prize

February 6, 2017

For me, intelligence requires search. Professional operatives rely on search and retrieval technology. The name of the function is changed because keywords are no longer capable of making one’s heart beat more rapidly. Call search text analytics, cognitive insight, or something similar, and search generates excitement.

I thought about the link between finding information and intelligence. My context is not that of a person looking for a pizza joint using Cortana. The application is the use of tools to make sense of flows of digital information.

I read “Intelligence & the Nobel Peace Prize.” My recommendation is that you read the article as well. The main point is that recognition for those making important contributions has ossified. I would agree.

The most interesting facet of the write up is a recommendation that the Nobel Committee award the Nobel Peace Prize to a former intelligence operative and officer. The write up explains:

the Committee would do well to consider information-era criteria for its nomination this year and going forward into the future. An examination of all Nobel Peace Prizes awarded to date finds that none have been awarded for local to global scale information and intelligence endeavors – for information peacekeeping or peacekeeping intelligence that empowers the peace-loving public while constraining war-mongering banks and governments. It was this final realization that compelled me to recommend one of our authors, Robert David Steele, for nomination by one of our Norwegian Ministers, for the Nobel Peace Prize. We do not expect him to be selected – or even placed on the short list – but in our view as editors, he is qualified both for helping to prevent World War III this past year, publicly confronting the lies being told by his own national intelligence community with respect to the Russians hacking the US election,[5] and for his body of work in the preceding year and over time…

My view is that this is an excellent idea for three reasons:

Robert Steele has been one of the intelligence professionals with whom I have worked who appreciates the value of objective search and retrieval technology. This is unusual in my experience.

Second, Steele’s writings provide a continuing series of insights generated by the blend of experience, thought, and research. Where there is serious reading and research, there is information retrieval.

Third, Steele is a high energy thinker. His ideas cluster around themes which provide thought provoking insights to stabilizing some of the more fractious aspects of an uncertain world.

If you want to get a sense of Steele’s thinking, begin with this link or begin reading his “Public Intelligence Blog” at (In the interest of keeping you informed, Steele wrote the preface to my monograph CyberOSINT: Next Generation Information Access.)

Stephen E Arnold, February 6, 2017


One Response to “Search, Intelligence, and the Nobel Prize”

  1. Alessandro Argentini on February 7th, 2017 5:56 pm

    It is a great fact!
    All my congratulation to Robert, he really deserves this nomination (and for me also the prize),
    And all my compliment to who had this idea and started the nomination processm which I fully support.

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