Friday, August 31, 2007

7 'oops 7

Any new product release requires attention to a whole lot of detail part of which deals with the activity involved along a time line. One type of method could be product life cycle management. Basically, any successful release is a demonstration of multi-disciplinary cooperation and of handling truth engineering.

As the product grows in complication, so too do the details. One can think about all sorts of decision gates that need to be defined and applied along the product time line. Let's call them 'oops; in one particular case, we can marvel at all the 'oops that a product like the 787 must leap through.

To allow a focus on that topic for awhile, a 7 'oops 7 blog has been created. Activity there is expected to further movement toward a demonstration of the necessity of truth engineering.


01/07/2011 -- A whole lot of water under the bridge with enough backflow to, perhaps, learn something.

01/27/2009 -- Now a new day and way to consider these matters.

06/12/2008 -- The focus of the 7'00ps 7 blog changed in November of 2007 to be more broad; actually, one motivation was that finance has many more oops potentials than does engineering. Why? Well, in engineering you can go to nature and test. We can find out if something works or not, perhaps even getting to know whys and wherefores.

What do we have in the dismal areas other than gab standards? Well, what is there depends upon a lot more than what has been allowed into the equation, as truth engineering is attempting to show.

Modified: 01/07/2011

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sock puppets?

The concept is old, however Wikipedia has a good take on its use in the new frontier of the virtual, as enabled by the WWW or otherwise.

In order to evaluate truth, do we need to know the source? Does knowing the source help?

Through processes like critical thinking we can discern truthfulness even if we do not know the source. However, does not hiding behind a cloak raise questions?

For instance, recent news carried stories about on-line efforts, under an alias, by a high-ranking official of Whole Foods. Given the ease of this sort of thing, do we know what type of mischief, or innocent fun, is going on right now?

Ought a publicly traded company be open about its Internet presences (plural, as we all know that one presence is never sufficient)? If there are activities that are under an alias, ought this be allowed?

For instance, a recent question dealt with the flightblogger (9/22/07, offline until further notice) site which provides information about the 787. The addition of the Disclaimer goes a long way to reducing suspicions of conflict as the site is an example of new media. However, there still exist issues related to verification of sources. (see disclaimer added at flightblogger on 08/16/07 of no connection whatsoever with Boeing; 9/22/07 offline)


04/07/2012 -- Flightblogger ends, as least, Jon's watch. Some issues raised five years ago are still apropos. The context may have changed a little, yet, perhaps now is time to re-address the themes.

05/17/2009 -- This whole issue will be re-addressed as the flight test results unfold. For one, the new media's impact has grown the past couple of years. Too, plenty of the older media have stopped paper output and only have a web-presence. Yet, how all this will evolve is anyone's guess. There is still the basic issue: how to verify on-line content. Wikipedia's known problems are one example. The issue is not just hoaxing; bad information can propagate quite rapidly; many times the genie, once let loose, cannot be put back into the bottle.

10/20/08 -- flightblogger's evolution looked at by the Chicago Tribune. The article mentions what was essentially risky (and unethical) pushing of information from within Boeing to the new media context. That is right along the lines of material suitable for analysis and discussion in this blog.

One has to ask about why there was no effort to stop the flow (after all, access was controlled - are we to believe that Boeing security is incapable of doing their job?); arguments that this was not possible are suspect (but, too, the release of information could have been done with Boeing's approval [how would we know otherwisel?]); some of the legal issues related to new media are still being defined and will be handled eventually (how is a photo released out of Boeing considered the property of flightblogger?).

11/9/07 -- flightblogger back on-line.

What does this have to do with truth engineering? Truth needs to be accessed via evaluative means of which the source and its attributes may be a not-small factor. So, the topic will be re-occurring in the posts.

Modified: 04/07/2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

If you're so smart, ...

Context: See Tru'eng anewfocus going forwardmathematics.


Have you ever heard, "If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?" (We can turn that around, to boot.)

Well, this was a common refrain in the 60s (and is even so now) when massive accumulations of wealth were only held by a few. Since that time, the set of wealth holders has grown quite large, yet it remains, with the proper perspective (what would be the threshold, etc.?), percentage-wise much smaller than the rest of us.

This retort generally was in response to statements alluding to philosophical superiority (since the posts, for now, are dealing with the 'little t' truth, let's exclude spiritual or moral arguments - yet the Fed jokes about moral hazards - it would be funny it this were not so serious -- also, see 3/30/08 remark about capitalism not honoring intellectuals). In many cases, the viewpoint being mocked was idealistic and may have even considered that determination of intrinsic value could be truthfully based.

In the sense of history, some economic and social analysis can start with that 60s era. Expansions occurred along many fronts, since then, that are too numerous for this forum. Just the advances in mathematics and science have been tremendous, and this enabled computation which then helped establish schemes for determining value.

The thing called the 'market' became to have a very large importance in the minds of many. For instance, in finance, 'marked to' market may be preferred to 'marked to' model which trumps 'marked to' wish (not in some views, see 6/1/08 Remark).

But, as recent events show, and again, we could say, since bubbles seems to be as ubiquitous as mankind has baser instincts, the market can become a ploy for those who are smarter to toy with the rest. It wasn't meant to be that way.

Slogan: 'marked to' the market needs truth engineering to improve handling of value issues.

A similar issue can be applied to advanced analytics (CAE, etc.) where the blurring of the line between reality and the model can push us toward losing sight of the former and setting too much reliance on the latter (see Unreasonable effectiveness).

Who is smarter? Those who fly high with abstractions or those who can trudge through gory details. You see, in finance, people chasing after the lure of easy money may fall into the former trap; yet, those pockets that do get lined (as, the success set is the smaller) need to rely on the reality built and maintained by those doing the trudging. So, too, in the product world, the reality is more associated with engineers and other doers rather than with other views (finance, mainly) that we hear from so much.


01/05/2015 -- Renewal, see Context line.

06/12/2014 -- One way to look at this: cognitive elitism.

12/03/2013 -- Born smart or rich: The Atlantic. If the former, it depends upon how far down the hole one's life begins. Standing on the shoulders of giants does help which is what richness may (but, not necessarily) bring. ... Case in point. Take the English aristocracy. If you look at the history some big name families, you'll see a later start. Many times, a guy marries up and starts a dynasty (din-asty, as the brits say). On the other hand, many families died out. Take Charlemagne, all descendants now are via daughters. That is, there is no male line that come down through the years. Whole series of books look at expired lines. ... Back to the present. Of course, getting help is needed (despite the protestations of some supposed self-starters - Ayn loved writing about these - who forget their infantile dependencies, and those who coddled them - in some cases, trampling their families under their feet). Cooperation is part of sustainability. Despite that, though, richness has side-effects that are not easily overcome (even if you give it all away a la Bill and Warren - that does not counter negative karma accumulated over the years of abusive practices). So, for me, I would pick smart (too many examples of idiots with money - need I elaborate?).

09/19/2013 -- To some, evidently, grabbing oodles of money, without due consideration of ramifications to others or to the common weal, is the smartest thing; but, we do know that virtue is smart, to boot. Even the secularists are trying hard to show how their worldview can lead to right living (as in, they do not need God to have a conscience). And, what virtue might be prime important to this discussion? Prudence (see Remarks, this day).

09/18/2013 -- Pop, fizz, ... Ben had to show largess because of idiots who ran the economy to the ground (rogues all around). Ben is going. What do we have to look forward to? Businessweek has a review issue (of the past five years). Several articles are especially interesting. Too, phrasing shines: spin dross into gold (in relation to mortgage bonds). Perhaps, we'll get back to some of the more pertinent ones, at some point. If we do, it would be to bring forward what has been said here, from the beginning. To wit? Tranche and trash (WSJ has a good take on that). Securitization? This article brings on weeping (one example of the misuse of mathematics and computing that has been harped about). Adoption, and improved understanding, of lazy evaluation let loose the powers that resulted in the wild web and its little children, namely social media and more. To grasp the problem, we have to go back to computing that is in some type of responsible area. Avionics comes to mind. If what is couched as software in looser domains (financial engineering? -- looser?, yes bailouts are the norm despite all of the protestations of the ruling elite; or the whole cadre of the poorer folk can just suck it up when there are problems in order to relieve the fat cats' loss) were to used in flight controls, would we not have planes falling out of the sky? We'll get back to the simple issues that seem to not be seen by the elites chasing after the bucks that Ben has been throwing out of his helicopter.

06/03/2013 -- Supposed smarties, with big pockets, are making computational hells for us all due to several factors that we'll address.

05/02/2013 -- This has been a popular post (most popular), of late. Perhaps, it's the growing awareness of the ever-increasing gap twixt the haves and those without. The post ought to be re-done using insights gained over the past six years. It seems like a life-time ago. Well, the theme of the blog needs to look at lessons from the past (such as, we not learning Anselm's message). Too, money does not solve existential problems. Never has. And, one does not need a pot load to figure that out.

03/25/2013 -- The Atlantic had an article about King Abdullah II. Now, he is an example of a doer, from several angles. What I liked when I read it was that while being educated in Massachusetts, he bussed tables. What that means for those who don't know is clean up dirty dishes and such. When I, as a young man, was in the US Army, we had still had KP duty which included such types of things. Another task that ought to be tried once by everyone: cleaning the grease pit. There is no one so smart that they wouldn't learn something from the experience of the grease pit.

02/09/2013 -- This year, we'll get more into t-issues. Plenty of people are looking at science/religion topics. Too, Dawkins was quoted as saying that the existence of God ought to be subject to a scientific test. This can be arranged, given the right framework. Perhaps, I'm too old to see it, but its day will come. And, with its advent, we would not have an explanation, necessarily. The benefit? Progress of a nature not seen due to the dampening related to not allowing the broader views. Mind you, science getting into religion may help root out all of those accumulated bits of dross which are so problematic (too many to name here, but I would attempt such an enumeration if there were interest).

05/03/2012 -- We'll start a 'meme' discussion, Either / Or.

10/13/2011 -- It is our economy.

05/09/2011 -- Doers, reconsidered.

03/15/2011 -- The M & Ms are apropos.

03/13/2011 -- The machine can help us realize our smarts, in part.

10/11/2009 -- Forbes has an article about the traits of those who made it rich. That one of these deals with technical talent (or the inverse of innumeracy) is correct, yet those who grab oodles of bucks, at the same time, have people working for them who are more talented. So, the question remains, is rich smart?

10/11/2009 -- Discussion has gone over to FED-aerated. Note the 10/11/2009 Remarks about the Business Week article on India's progress' inhibitors. 'Near zero' recognizes that some always suffer more than others, especially in win-win situations, as the whole notion of characterization minimizes visceral reactions by diminishing the real in favor of the abstracted (ah, the modern world, you say?).

08/26/2009 -- Looking at some of the arguments (see Remarks), it seems that a corollary is: if you're so smart, then why don't you accept underdetermination?

08/10/2009 -- As promised, FEDaerated is here.

06/27/2009 -- We can think about this in terms of money and class (as Orwell would have us do).

06/18/2009 -- A fresh look will be needed.

05/08/2009 -- This'll be look at from first principles.

01/27/2009 -- Now a new day and way to consider these matters.

10/21/2008 -- Yes, it's time to re-look at related themes, hopefully coherently.

09/25/2008 -- Things continue to unfold. We're now going to bail out (we meaning the taxpayers) the idiots to the tune of $1 trillion. Oh well. Do smarts lead to fraud? That we need to answer.

06/11/08 -- Seems that some think that marking to 'model' is preferred to marking to 'market' which, if we think about it, could be true. Of course, it's a matter of who wins and loses (it's always near zero-sum, folks, we can only argue how far is 'near' which is an abstractionistic outfall, which, in the terms of money, results from gab standard-ing [a long story, to be told]).

06/01/08 -- Naturally, this topic would cover a whole lot of material, and it's is large enough to keep our interests for awhile. Too, both 'smart' and 'rich' are right at the core of matters that need discussion; that is, these topics cannot be avoided. For instance, we need to look at 'rich' in terms of utility, perhaps, as well as what is needed to be so (monetary basis, etc.).

The sub-prime event has brought attention to several related topics. How does one 'mark' for evaluation is one. No less august person than a Forbes magazine editor thinks that we ought not be marking to market. His argument is that such action causes unnecessary unwinding. Yet. given that abstraction leads to problematics (by necessity), continuing to mark to model stands to just perpetuate a house-of-cards, does it not?

Well, discussions about evaluation, in various senses, can follow a nose metaphor.

03/30/08 -- As referenced in a Cato Institute report, philosopher Robert Nozick noted that capitalism does not hold intellectuals to be of much value. Of course, the report emphasizes the intellectual as being a 'wordsmith' yet one could look at this as similar to the science and engineering rift, assuming that we could identify such.

02/24/08 -- So much going on that topics related to this blog keep growing. A recent article in the WSJ pointed to works suggesting that there is a new aristocracy in the making, the main story being that accumulation of riches is the key factor. That those at the top of business regularly skim off, albeit legally, pocket fillers could hint that the taking is considered as 'divinely' given. What would a different model for motivation look like and could it be sustainable? Well, the answer is not as quickly forthcoming as many would believe; we'll be looking at this further.

01/12/08 -- Things are getting interested, both in the 7'oops7 and finance realms. Plus, analysis is progressing as it ought.

12/02/07 -- So, accumulation and greed seem to be the operative viewpoint, or ought we say operational strategy. Too, though, is the drive to play the game. From the experiences of some, it might be that this latter drive is the stronger. Hence, we ought to provide a means for gaming that allow rewards to those who play the system well, yet, at the same time, protects the innocent (or not so). One result of this growing use of layers of abstraction is that the distance from the 'real' increases.

This whole post might get a different flavor at some point. Tolstoy had the right idea: how much land does one man need? So, the post might ask instead, how much money is necessary? However, large T (Truth) issues start to lurk.

Modified: 01/05/2015

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Appeal of Abstractions

Everywhere we see greater facility at reducing things to a state that allows us to think that we understand them. One result is that a lot of little things, when disparately displayed, can look fairly complicated. We've learned rules and methods to handle separate items as well as wholes, mainly using computational analogs and tools.

That bit of evolution culminated in the modern gaming and visualization regimes where we successfully deal with complicated things that may or may not have counterpart in the real world. In the former sense, think of CAD/CAE/PLM in terms of products. For the latter, we have many examples of worlds that are without any natural map.

On the product side, think of a car that has been pulled apart. How much ground area would be covered? Also, in pieces, can the car function? That's the point. After we apply the reductionist step, how do we get things back together?

Of course, that we could put the car back together, if we knew how, is one point. How does one take an arbitrary set of items and collect them into a coherent whole that is functional?

Well, the difficulty is that pieces from different things may be collected together. As one would think, this would be a new entity. This is essentially the design context. But, 'would a design work?' is always the question. A bane of modern thinking is how truth (little t) cannot be used to integrate back pieces, we need more in the sense of simulation and test.

Now, think of the issue of a new design, especially of a complicated system with severe operational demands. Our improved computational prowess has led us to place strong reliance on types of modeling that may not be as solid (pun) as then seem. Somehow, we need strategies and methods related to maintaining the proper balance.

For now, we will ignore the influence on these issues of Truth (big T); there are many examples of related problems that truth engineering can address, but let's look at some examples.

Finance - the subprime issue results from a little bit of real property being layered with abstractions that map to money and that end up integrated into something with more value, at least from a market sense. One common problem in the market is that a bubble can arise from a lot of unfounded expansions. The Federal Reserve says that we cannot identify bubbles (no foresight is the claim); that leads to the strategy of trying to lessen falls like those recently seen by adding liquidity. Yet, truth engineering can show that the concept of intrinsic value can be used with somewhat of a good foundation. One common theme has been leveraging with things that are extraneous, such as borrowing, virtual transactions (selling something that is not there), etc.

Virtual worlds (including gaming) - a whole new realm of economies and environments (example is Second Life) is being developed upon the limited bits founded upon a set of servers communicating with databases and presentation devices that are not thin. Enough progress has been made in this regard that virtual value has been mapped to money in the 'first world' (considering that the virtual world is the second - how many of these can be stacked?). These types of creations are fairly new; computational progress will only make these more confounding; we don't understand their influence on the human psyche or on the social fabric. Yet, several potential roles for truth engineering will be discussed and demonstrated.

Design -the realm of new products deals with many types of abstractions that may not relate easily to each other. For instance, planning accumulates steps that hopefully map well to goals and necessary resources. Engineering and manufacturing have to define the product to meet requirements and then successfully build within a not small set of constraints. A recurring problem can be described under the 'earned value' umbrella with which project management has struggled. Too, 'analytics as truth' is still full of open issues. As risk increases, to error on the side of empirical tests might be a preferred way to go.

The list could go on. That the 20th century brought forth our abilities to deal with 'abstract nonsense' is something that we're still trying to understand. Opportunities abound for both study and application of knowledge.


01/22/2013 -- T-issues will migrate to issues of science and religion.

08/04/2012  -- Over five years, we had a lot of side trips. We'll try to focus more. BTW, Rumsfeld has recently had his say.

09/03/2009 -- Let's face it, folks, undecidability needs to be discussed and adopted in any complex situational setting, especially if computers are involved.

07/05/2009 -- This subject is central to understanding computerism.

05/18/2009 -- With things kicking up dust again, we'll need to re-address these issues related to truth, being, computation, et al.

01/27/2009 -- Now, a new day and way (the whole sky has changed) to consider these matters.

12/12/08 -- The financial mess turned out to be worse than thought possible. The 787 problems continued to loom large.

06/01/08 -- More analysis is being done on consequences related to bad financial choices, as usual adding interesting twists to the story.

01/12/08 --- Things are getting interested, both in the Design and Finance (analysis is progressing as it ought) realms.

Modified: 01/22/2013

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Paragon or Prototype

Many examples can be given for interpretation of any thing as it is influenced by viewpoint which we attributed, in part, as being influenced by a tribal view. To examine a context, we would need to look at the things and tribes that might be involved.

Though truth engineering pertains to things with a computational flavor, we can use a real example for illustration of concepts. As an example, let’s take home ownership, and, in particular, consider a house that was an award-winning model (at least 12 awards) in a new development.

We can identify three tribes related to such a situation: home buyers, developers/builders, and those with the interest, or trade, to make home ownership a positive experience for all concerned. Needless to say, the third tribe is a fairly heterogeneous mixture covering many domains; one question to consider would be the motives and ways to partition this tribe.

In any case, it would not be wrong for a buyer to think that the house is a paragon that represents the best that the developer can offer, especially given that the awards resulted from a review by the developer's peers. As a paragon, the house would have minimal hidden untruths, in terms of risk for the home buyer. A working issue is how can a home buyer know before the fact?

Now, at the same time, the developer cannot be faulted, assuming that the goal is to provide a quality product, for trying to improve his product by applying new techniques and/or material to the house. The goal behind such changes may be improvements in quality or may be reductions in cost. The underlying issue here is whether such changes to an established process would result in a working prototype (did the improvement work?).

The award givers are in the third tribe which consists of many other types of disciplines. Any evaluation process would be constrained by time in several contexts. A retrospective look at the review process could find fault, however the committee would not know before the fact (a priori) whether changes were for the better, even though a superficial analysis might point this way. They do not have 20-20 forward-peering glasses anymore than any of the rest of us.

Part of the owner's dilemma is the big difference between the viewpoints of these tribes. From the buyer’s viewpoint, any experiment is a working hypothesis that needs evaluation within a timeframe that is suitable for allowing all effects of the experimental aspects to come to a natural closure. This timeframe may very well be more than one-year in duration. The builder ought to be upfront about what lessons might have been learned with subsequent houses, perhaps even going back to retrofit the model house as needed. How award-giving activities may be improved is something that needs attention.

The use of paragon and prototype to depict sides of a model that represents what is, or is to be, applies to many more situations which will be an ongoing topic.


05/09/2013 -- Eric Hoffer, longshoreman philosopher and autodidact, and his views apply here. 

01/07/2011 -- A whole lot of water under the bridge with enough backflow to, perhaps, learn something.

Modified: 05/09/2013