chapter  6
18 Pages

The Kaiser, the Tsar, and the Computer: Information Processing in a Crisis*

WithSola Pool Ithiel de

This chapter describes the Crisiscom model by some successive elaborations. The Crisiscom simulation represents the interaction of national commanders in a crisis in which they confront each other. In the real world decision makers receive information about their world from various sources and through various media. The decision maker's "mind" represented in the Crisiscom simulation consists of two main parts: one representing the kind of stable backlog of experience that each person carries with him into any new situation; the other representing the flow of new messages and information which the decision maker processes. Both the changes in attention and the changes in the affect matrices are recorded in the computer output describing the major test of the Crisiscom simulation so far. That test is a replication of the minds of the Kaiser and the Tsar in the seven days of the outbreak of World War I.