Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Truth engines

The banner reflects this concept now. That truth engineering is going to show its necessity is a given and a task. That engineering implies an 'engine' will be a central theme. The idea is to get beyond the anecdotal to an operational stance that has predictive power. That's a big undertaking, one might counter. Yes, but it's essential.

That finance is in a shambles will allow reasonable foundational discussions that can be both concrete and theoretic (say, untangling the opaque web hedge fund).

As mentioned, some truth engines are given via the natural world in which we live, and others are given via our magnificent selves (see people as a type, Remarks) as exhibited by our current evolutionary state. Within that framework, we have had enough experience over time to be fairly effective in surviving and progressing, though that we know that success is not a given. No, many things are beyond our direct control (and knowledge). And, one can argue about luck and fortune, as we have seen with the interminable discussions over the eons.

So, what is new? Well, mathematics, for one, as it is taught on a much larger scale now than ever. But, too, the computer (the term used generally to cover all aspects, see ACM, IEEE, and much more) has changed the scene. As Chaitin says, "Now everything has gone topsy-turvy. It's gone topsy-turvy, not because of any philosophical argument, not because of Gödel's results or Turing's results or my own incompleteness results. It's gone topsy-turvy for a very simple reason---the computer! ".

Some have exploited the situation, as we see with finance. But, plenty of other examples abound.
New disciplines have evolved, such as risk management.

Each generation deals with newer types and configurations of truth engines. However, there are threads that have been there, and growing, throughout time, and history, that we can use. In fact, we do not even have to go to big 'T' truth issues to consider these.

Are we talking more than situational logic here? Well, yes and no. Yes in the sense that multi-logics are required; no, in that we all know that things are not new under the sun and in that iterative improvements through time and generations has been our forte (the meme and more).

That last aside was biologically motivated. That computationally-derived truth engines will (need to) have biological analogs, and spawn metaphors, will become more apparent through time.

This post is introductory; expect that coming posts will continue to expand upon this theme.


03/23/2012 -- Renewal of the idea (and related energies) via Cooper and CiE.

11/21/2010 -- Three years ago, it was said: Computational foci raise miraculous need. Still applies.

06/18/2009 -- We are collecting types of truth engines. People are a type.

05/27/2009 -- That we have topsy-turvy needs to be addressed more fully in both an epistemologic and an operational sense.

05/22/2009 -- Let's consider the legal types.

05/06/2009 -- Given the multi-disciplinary flavor of this study, a list of related work is always apropos. Risk management was mentioned. We can add handling uncertainty smartly. 'spooky science' (see WSJ weekly reflection) will play a role, too.

Modified: 03/23/2013

Monday, January 26, 2009

Title change

Notice the banner change. As said before, this is a new day. Influences are changing from the top. That will impact the bottom-up, at least, in the sense of interpretations. The t-values there, at the bottom, are beyond top-down changes, in many senses and cases.

So, from whence comes 'truth engineering' as a concept? Well, the hypothesis is that we deal with 'truth engines' of various sorts. We'll enumerate those (first example).

But, for starters, some are innate, some learned, others imposed (the top-down - note, every good leader knows that those he/she leads are of prime importance), some generational (ah, peers and cohorts); but, no matter the source, a truth engine (or even aggregation of truth engines) is central to every human endeavor.

Now, given that we will show the existence of the truth engines, then we have to suppose that these can be defined, created, altered, and what have you. That, folks, brings up the engineering part.

So, both the engine's being, and the engineering thereof, will be expressed as hypothesis. And, in the manner of science (in the general sense related to knowledge - not just that of the reductionists' materialism), we'll describe, propose explanations, and even experiment. Science and discipline are the promise; another is that hubris and hype will be minimal (essentially, human traits).


10/17/2011 -- With Steve's passing, we need to accelerate this.

01/28/2009 -- Poster boys, et al, motivate.

Modified: 10/17/2011

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hype cycle

So, how to handle hype? Think of this in the sense that it is very easy for us to blur the line between hype and hypothesis, especially in those human endeavors that are not strictly rigorous. Even then, we have issues related to map-territory (and related truth) to ponder. Hence, the issues of abstraction-phile still need more discussion.

This question is asked in the context of a business/social/economic model that excels in hyping products and egos. Of course, we get damping attempts, such as truth in advertising.

We can do a lot of analysis, ex post facto. Calling before-the-fact mental, and computational, gymnastics 'analysis' may be problematic.

One would not expect for the issue of hype to be as much of a problem for engineering. Why? A product has to function and to do so in a very observable, measurable way. When a program forgets that, such as getting a plane into the air, things get fuzzy quick.

Of course, we still have to address the issues of earned value, especially in the context of globalization and finance.


02/24/2011 -- Gravy trains, et al.

Modified: 02/24/2011

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A New Day

As the new President said, "Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths", in his Inaugural Address is very much of interest to the focus of this blog.

Some of the current fuzziness has come from inadequate handling of the complexities of change; actually, in many cases, those who were able to exploited this fuzziness almost as a right. One consequence has been the growing gap between the rich and the non-rich (monetarily defined). There were many others.

Of note, too, will be that the new President talked about the need to move away from greed and irresponsibility. Yes, indeed. Taking advantage of others, just because one is able to do so, is not a 'fair game' in anyone's book (finance can (ought to) be respectable).

Also, President Obama has talked that effort is necessary and is rewarded. In some cases, effort can be its own reward. The view, though, has to look to the future and to what impact our current actions will have there rather than to consider, solely, opportunistic gains.


11/08/2016 -- New Day, again.

10/10/2013 -- Ben is leaving (did he get called out?); Janet is stepping up to the plate. Will Janet bring a new game?

11/07/2012 -- Another new age is upon us. Well, not for a couple of months. We just had the vote yesterday. One has to think of all of those things left undone during the last four years in the context talked about above (which was written about four years ago). What will the next four years bring? Can we list the undone and talk what ifs? Perhaps.

Modified: 11/08/2016

Monday, January 12, 2009

Value and truth

Value has several senses (one example, of many), so we will need to talk about the different sorts as we look for lessons to be learned. For starters, consider the 'value' that the wags say ran from the market in 2008. Well, we'll need to look at that, in the context set by the money discussions. Perhaps, financial engineering will be seen to mostly generate more gas than solid (apologies to matter and to those who work with it).

Financial and economic value will take a lot of time to look at, just to understand the ponzi/made-off necessity. For a little different background material, see Vanity Fair (Wall Street Lays Another Egg by Niall Ferguson).

We need to look, too, at intrinsic value which will have even more connotations to worry about. Our task will be to keep things within the realm of the small 't' , not that large 'T' issues will not, from time to time, have some mention.

The use of 'instrinsic' even shows up in derivative modeling and other areas of economics. We'll look at that, to boot.


06/20/2009 -- Yes, rent can go to labor (new look at capitalism), and finance can have a higher calling.

01/18/2009 - We even need to look at why we need finance.

Modified: 06/20/2009