pattern of intelligence

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pattern of intelligence

Post by Anny » Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:44 am

It's common knowledge that the word pattern poses a major problem for translators and interpreters, as very often there is no adequate equivalent, so it's a good chance to test your creativity. I have to admit, the other day I lost this chance. A friend of mine asked me to translate a sentence for her (a separate sentence,with no wider context)which read :"In BBC radio interview, Blair said that while no such weapons had yet been found, Britain's intelligence service 'very rarely' erred with regard to a 'pattern' of intelligence.Everything is quite clear but for the last three words. So I have to turn to you for help :)
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pattern of intelligence

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:22 pm

I take this to mean that Blair believes that Britain's intelligence service very rarely makes mistakes in its conclusions about the significance of patterns of intelligence data; here 'pattern' is being used to mean 'a cluster of items of information that collectively point to a particular conclusion'.

I would never suggest that the pattern of Blair's own intelligence obliges him to find post facto evidence to support conclusions he has already reached without it.
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pattern of intelligence

Post by Bobinwales » Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:54 pm

I'm glad you didn't suggest that Blair's pattern is to find evidence to prove an erroneous conclusion, Erik, I wouldn't dream of doing so either. I wonder how many other people will find ways not to say such things before 05.05.05.
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pattern of intelligence

Post by Anny » Tue Apr 26, 2005 6:08 pm

Gentlemen, thank you for your most helpful explanation and for further examples of the usage of "pattern", which I found in your caustic remarks about Blair :)
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pattern of intelligence

Post by Wizard of Oz » Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:58 pm

Erik,
".... to mean 'a cluster of items of information that collectively point to a particular conclusion'."
.. I would add slightly to your definition by adding the word repeated so that it became a repeated cluster .. for me a pattern has an element of repetition and in this case the inference I take from Blair's statememnt is that his intelligence gatherers had observed that some elements of their data repeated in such a way as to form an identifiable pattern of intelligence ..

WoZ of Aus 27/04/05
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pattern of intelligence

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Apr 26, 2005 10:19 pm

Hmm. I can see that while this might be important in a patterned quilt, the element of repetition does not seem to me to be essential for a pattern to be identified in intelligence data of the kind that Bliar was referring to. While some kinds of activity may be repetitive (e.g. when someone makes a similar daily journey and/or repeatedly follows the same route), effective security intelligence does not necessarily depend on that kind of repetitiveness for the data observed to comprise a pattern. I suppose it partly depends on what one understands by the word 'repeated' in this context.
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