Bletchley Park – Are they forgetting lateral thinking?

December 16, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Hazel Speed

Bletchley Park is to be restored and modernised. There is to be residential accommodation provided and computer students will be recruited for their IT technical expertise to assist in National Security work.

As far as it goes this is probably appropriate given some major world threats are now very much within that framework of internet and computer spying and hacking, initiating terrorist networking then onto much worse aspects.

Young minds are needed for techniques of a present and emerging generation, that is understood.

Given court cases of recent years where hackers can access major world agencies with relative ease it made me wonder if the ‘powers that be’ will be hiring their unique capabilities in the old ways of poacher turned game keeper, i.e. who knows better how to protect valuable animals game than a poacher – they can successfully circumvent the system.

I also recalled attending a library computer room one day when a gentleman had brought along his young teenage grandson with him and it was amazing to see how “unofficially” he saw older people having technical difficulties and within minutes he moved from one person to the other sorting out their computer problems like a chess Grand Master playing 20 games simultaneously moving from one competitor to the next making a chess move each time within seconds. Bletchley Park may do well to recruit young children with parental supervision too.

No doubt the Official Secrets Act requires a minimum age for such intelligence work participation. That said, who would believe a seven year old bragging in the playground that they sent five submarines a computer code to go to, etc?  Let’s face it, when one is in front of an irksome computer problem where defenestration is the only solution does it matter the age of an expert technician!

Which brings me to age.

Bletchley are missing a trick in neglecting other age groups who can contribute in different and lateral ways.

In World War II a man had to be guarded for a while because he had innocently worked out a set of crossword clues regarding beach landing code names in Normandy.

Bletchley should remember all age groups and skills to complement the abilities of the young. Are we yet again seeing ageism or has Bletchley not considered a think tank of sorts regarding lateral and visionary initiatives in broad-stroke terms?

Operation Mincemeat is one good example which was used in the war to some good effect. It involved lateral thinking.

Where does one acquire lateral thinking? From a whole range of ages from very old to very young.

Adapted nursery rhymes by children can provide great ideas to adopt, authors, writers, musicians, the creative arts, crossword experts, chess and poker players, artists, philosophers, psychologists, historians – in fact anyone. I can think even chefs may have their uses regarding lateral thinking. You name it – any profession or even someone at the job centre or sick, disabled, elderly sitting at home. The brain and human imagination can generate wonderful concepts which may have viable productive adaptations. Just think of many inventions.

Within the creative world is a wealth of lateral thinking, Operation Mincemeat a prime example.

Some of my own endeavours and projects have found soul mates who share the same vision despite others thinking the ideas are mad or would never work when in reality they have as far as they have been possible to progress within circumstance and opportunity.

Bletchley needs visionaries and if they think not then they themselves have no vision. Unless, of course, Bletchley are entertaining such ideas covertly then they are missing out on a great wealth of knowledge and skills.

Okay, we have technology in every facet of our existence but there are still ways it can be circumvented without touching a keyboard.

I am sure there are other countries who know this already but does Bletchley? The only caveat to that being other aspects are catered for distinct to Bletchley.










Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing stages of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short: She has also written an E-novel, ‘Just Suppose…!‘ which is available via the attached link.

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