In the post The Saudi Oil Conspiracy Theory, several historical citations are used to validate the assertion that, despite denials and confusion, Saudi oil is currently a weapon against Russia, Syria, and Iran.
But I left out a “trick of the trade”, and in doing so, did not serve the other purpose of this blog. Hopefully, some readers are curious, besides the predictions, about the methodology, how we get there. So, we’re not going to have any of that wizard-behind-the-curtain stuff, even if it robs some dignity.
In this case, the problem was attacked via “fuzzy logic“, the invention of Lotfi A. Zadeh, formerly head of th EE/CS department at UC/Berkeley. Fuzzy logic is a form of probabilistic logic that is mathematically incorrect, in that it does not satisfy Bayes Theorem, yet, paradoxically, is widely and practically used today. From washing machines to cell phones, it is omnipresent.
To enter a problem into the framework of traditional probability theory is an arduous process, which involves defining an event space and probability distributions. Fuzzy logic is the “silly putty” of the math world. Kneading it in my hands, this is what I did:
The options of Saudi Arabia foreign policy are infinite. So imagine them to exist as vectors in a Hilbert Space. Every vector represents something they could do, if only they had the drive to do it. Encapsulate this in a function, F(x), where x is the thing to do, and F is the relative attractiveness of the action.
This is multiplied by a scalar factor, “D”, representing the drive to actually do something. In your world of dreams, D is practically zero, because of all the things you dream, you actualize little or nothing. Example “D” values:
- Bush administrations, high to very high.
- Iran/Khomeini, very high.
- Iraq/Saddam Hussein,extremely high.
- Obama Administration, low to moderate in foreign policy, high in domestic.
- Clinton Administration, moderate.
- Saudi Arabia, traditionally low, with occasional excursions of passive aggression.
It is reported that King Abdullah personally mediated the end to the Gulf rift with Qatar, with the same initiative of reconciliation now pushed at Egypt. That’s quite an effort for a 90 year old monarch. At that age, he wouldn’t do it without support in depth within the Saudi government.
- Saudi foreign policy is growing. Out of sheer necessity, Saudi Arabia is becoming a regional power.
- The factor “D” indicates an increase of tendency to actualize.
- Gulf state support of terrorism, with the possible leaky exception of Qatar, is a thing of the past.
The fuzzy logic composition function, D*F(x), now supports the use of oil as a weapon. To the reader with a taxonomic mind and a penchant for precision, this may seem like a fake. Perhaps it is. But pseudo-math can be very useful. This example is not so different from the physics game called “power of ten calculation”, which asserts that practically anything can be calculated to that order precision, without resort to complicated formulas, on the back of an envelope.