Sunday, February 8, 2015

Conclusion = Hypothosis?

Real things I've been wrong about:
       The team I was sure would win the Super Bowl
       The smart investment move
       The right speed to navigating a curvy road

So how did I get to these wrong conclusions? A simple model:

                          Facts
                             | 
                       (Leads to)
                             |
                     Conclusion

I think that's a bit too simple. If you give two people the same facts they often come to very different conclusions.  Why?

Maybe it's context? General philosophies in which we organize and make sense of individual facts.1 

                         Facts
                             |
                    (Seen through)
                             |
General Philosophies/Frame of Reference/Schema
                             |
                       (Leads to)
                             |
                     Conclusion

This assumes the "rational observer". I am NOT. A more realistic model:

                         Facts
                             |
                    (Seen through)
                             |
General Philosophies/Frame of Reference/Schema
                             |
                     (Affected by)
                             |
                  Personal Desires
                             |
                       (Leads to)
                             |
                     Conclusion

Therefore, a conclusion (including this one!) is so separated from fact that it's basically a question without the question mark. In essence I think a conclusion is a hypothesis. Something to test:

       Hypothesis: The team I was sure would win the Super Bowl 
       Test: The Game
       Result: The other team won (just barely!)

       Hypothesis: The smart investment move
       Test: Moved my 401k from stocks to bonds
       Result: I made 1%! (but missed out on a 20% gain when the market recovered--oops)

       Hypothesis: The right speed to navigating a curvy road
       Test: Cruising along...
       Result: Slid off the road, one bent the axle, one more careful driver

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cover Feedback

A friend of mine is working on a self publishing project. Here is the cover he's been working on. We'd like some feedback--what you like about it, what you don't like, etc.

Thanks

Monday, January 24, 2011

Why I Like the Filibuster

In my work I am regularly called upon to make difficult technical decisions. My best work is done in a slow methodical way. Decisions made quickly in the passion of the moment are often regretted. Some of my best decisions have taken months to solidify in my mind. I don't find it strange at all that groundbreaking legislation can take months to work through Congress. In fact it should!

I've always respected the U.S. Senate for it's policies and procedures that delayed and inhibited the legislative process. Good decisions only come after the emotion has passed and thinking takes over. If you hear anyone talking about "streamlining" government by removing the filibuster please remind them that the legislation that got us into the Iraqi war was was passed VERY EFFICIENTLY. Is that the model for legislation that we want? If anything we need more barriers not fewer.

Monday, December 20, 2010

FCC vs. the Internet

Over the past twenty years the Internet has grown from a small academic community into a worldwide phenomena. In the process transforming how we work and think. Over the same period the US Government has stumbled from one failure to the next becoming increasingly mired in debt and ineffective policies.

Today the big news is that the FCC is going to get involved in regulating the Internet in the US. Considering the track record of these two worlds I can't image that the injection of government is going to be anything but a disaster.

Please contact your congressional representatives and beg them to get government out of one of the last pieces of our economy that is still working!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wikileaks--Providing a Valuable Service?

I find it interesting that nearly all the coverage of Wikileaks makes the implicit assumption that organized governments are against Wikileaks. A good analysis of the situation however leads me to question that assumption.

1) Wikileaks has operated with impunity for a remarkably long period of time and until fairly recently from Amazon.com servers. If wikileaks were as big a threat as the 6:00 PM anchor implies they would have been pushed out of the mainstream far sooner.

2) Wikileaks provides a great opportunity for America (and it's allies) to embarrass political (and/or military) opponents (and get away with it). That is a rare and unusual privilege. It would be hard to argue that government agencies haven't at least considered "leaking" certain documents.

3) Wikileaks provides political justification to ratchet up "oversight" of security agencies. In an age of growing privacy concerns this is another valuable commodity.

4) Too much drama. Sexual scandal, hiding, then jail time while fighting extradition. The media blitz is extraordinarily and just a little too dramatic to be believable.

What I can't figure out is whether Wikileaks is fully orchestrated by a government agency or if it's a "public/private partnership". I suspect it's the latter, but in any case the Wikileaks side is playing their role beautifully. This could be a truly historic moment--the first widespread internet based misinformation campaign. If so I have to give a round of applause to however organized it--this has been very, very well done.

I don't have any "evidence" to "prove" any of this. I just analyze things. But, like the old saying goes, "When you see hoof prints think horses not zebras". Right now everybody is talking zebras and that doesn't analyze.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How many democrats would vote for Health Care if George Bush was Running it?

I wonder how many of the house democrats would vote for this bill if George Bush was president? A democratic president won't be in the white house forever. . . we've got to think ahead people.

The 30 Second Health Care Bill Summary:
1) After the bill goes into effect the only health insurance available for purchase will be through government exchanges.
2) Existing plans may not add anyone.
2) In five years your existing plan will start to look a lot like a government plan.

The 2 Minute Version (Directly quoted from the Bill section 102):
1) "Individual health insurance coverage that is not grandfathered health insurance coverage under subsection (a) may only be offered on or after the first day of Y1 as an Exchange-participating health benefits plan.

2) "the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day of Y1."

3) "plan years beginning after the end of the 5-year period beginning with Y1, an employment-based health plan in operation as of the day before the first day of Y1 must meet the same requirements as apply to a qualified health benefits plan under section 101, including the essential benefit package requirement under section 121."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Attention Span

Ever notice that pay is largely determined by attention span? Low paying jobs typically require very short attention spans--make a burger, ring up a sale. Higher paying jobs require longer interactions. The highest paying jobs often have steps requiring months if not years to complete. What is your attention span? Could you make it longer?