Sunday, September 30, 2007

Second poll series

Note: Poll completion.

Announcement: You can support your favorite charity by using bet2give (787 on time).

With the first poll completed, this is a short-time poll so that we can get a couple iterations done by end of October (hopefully, getting useful information).

- I would fly on the 787 -- Let us know how much of a delay you would allow prior to flying the new technology (after its first delivery, of course, meaning post the test phase). This might help gauge the implied risk as seen by the flying public.

- First delivery (787) will be in -- We cannot know this except for a range that might be provided by the OEM. This is your assessment, not what you expect will be announced with the next month or so.

- My role is with -- We won't be able to establish any correlations, however knowing who might be taking the polls might be interesting. We'll continue to have this part of a series.

Disclaimer: Usual poll etiquette assumed; polls are oriented toward information and not mis/dis-information. A casual user cannot double vote on any poll. But, there is no guard against intentional duplicate votes by those who know how. There is no consistency checking between polls. There is no meta-information about who votes or why. There is no way to correlate between the polls, however the 'role' poll allows some indication of interest.

Modified: 01/20/2013

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Hype and hypothesis

This is a dichotomy (both bane and boon) that we'll look at in depth over several posts augmented by truth engineering discussions. Unfortunately, many times we can look at this with two other disparate, but not by necessity, things: talkers and doers. Would not any reasonable mindset recognize that we need balances?

Hype has several connotations and does not need to have a pejorative flavor; it is just that some roles deal with hype more than hypothesis. Who faults a team fan for cheering both before and during a game? Now, whether the fan is cheering after the game is another story. Perennial winners and losers in games may bring up interesting psychology; but, it's the in-between (our needed balance) where it is even more so. Modern technology has not made this balance any easier.

Does anyone think that if two teams play, the one with the greater number of fans will win? Okay. Granted there are advantages, such as the home field and targeted noise that could be major factors. At some point, we'll get back to this in terms of advanced sales being any indication of realness (after the fact, not a priori expectations)?

An extreme positive view is not all bad; we want a surgeon to be positive before surgery, yet read carefully the caveats that are presented to you prior to the event.

Granted we need vision and motivation in order to grasp for the higher rungs, yet progress also requires that advances in science and engineering be applied to project, and earned-value, management without the burden of too much hype. Part of the on-going discussion will deal with balances that need to be re-adjusted, it seems.

Now, hypothesis too has several uses. For now, we're taking a more informal approach that hopefully has some intuitive appeal. Do we all know that our expectations are not the reality? And, that the more complicated the future event the more care needs to go into details (while, at the same time, fall-back positions become important)?

One problem has been that advanced mathematics has shown tremendous use and potential beyond imagination. In actuality, we have probably only begun to harvest the fruit. We can easily, though, place more reliance than may be prudent; how can we know?

Essentially, our best bet is to use modern techniques, such as risk management; however, these techniques rely, as well, on the mathematics. Too, we need to compute; but, we need to be very careful about computation as a proxy for things (depending upon several factors including what things we're talking about).

And, we need to learn how this lesson from the market (which has a lot of prominence in the minds of deciders) applies more generally (say, with technology or products): past success does not guarantee future success.

Now, it may be easier to see why that lesson applies to the market than to our products (after all, we see successful engineering efforts everyday). It is true that many feats of prowess have been accumulated under the belt which can very well lead to certain types of confidence which may or may not be sustained. Does any amount of success warrant excessive hype (meant rhetorically, but only in part)?

Remarks:

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.

09/02/2009 -- Lets face it, folks, undecidability needs to be discussed and adopted in any complex situational setting, especially if computers are involved. Only hubris pushes us to make loud exclamations about what we're going to do in the future.

06/25/2009 -- Yes, this is one of 5 issues.

01/22/2009 -- We'll be looking more at hype in this new day.

11/26/2008 -- Problems continued to arise in 2008. As of now, some static tests have been done. But, issues with supply management were troublesome. Of course, an IAM strike caused a little delay. But, there has been no test flight, as of yet, so functional issues remain more unknown than not. See Polls for an idea of opinion at various points.

10/26/2008 -- Yes, things fell apart for several reasons: fiction, leverage, and more.

10/04/2008 -- Wall Street unraveled here of late. The new plane is on hold. Much analysis is going on to describe what went wrong and why so fast on several fronts. Yes, happy talk is one factor.

Modified: 03/25/2013

Friday, September 28, 2007

Rush job

This is a general comment not particularly mapped to any one event (though links and some comments may appear to have a particular flavor).

We have all seen the types of things related to rushing to meet a deadline, usually as earned-value analysis fails to perform properly. Time for some deliverable starts to run out, things are done more quickly, perhaps corners get cut, the equivalent of the 'triage' of medicine becomes the modus operandi, and so forth.

Of course, in retrospect, after a rushed job a product may very well be okay since only value-added (in the lean terminology) tasks were performed. Others were bypassed. However, such an outcome, assuming that some effort at lean had already been done on the task definitions would essentially be miraculous. So, rushing may very much lead to errors (as probably most can attest).

That some errors only come to fore down the pike is how we learn. Usually, we expect that the cause is looked at and improvements made. Yet, the first pass through any process change ought to be consider experimental and hypothetical (this lesson seems to not have sunk in, in general, as much as will be necessary). Yet, things that only happen now and then need to be even more conditionally handled (say, new airplane program -in which case, the regime of testing in actuality and of correcting faults is the safety net if done correctly) than those things that recur regularly.

Skimping on process (such as, according to the book and not expecting to have to handle any unforeseen contingencies) is not what one would expect to be the prevailing attitude on a major product that is not only of high market value but also is high on the criticality scale (plus having roles related to the human imagination).

Part of it is our fault (yes) for not understanding technology (but how can we without the appropriate information?) and evaluating things on the surface (even though later analysis shows any problems with substance).

However, we also expect those that do and those that have the authority are taking their responsibilities seriously even it it causes schedule slides. But, again that's our fault: for not understanding that foresight is not 20-20; not knowing that any project that spans more than a limited time (whose cardinality may vary by several factors) needs course corrections (a flying metaphor is perfect; would you want to be on a plane where all the instructions for the whole flight were put in as an initial condition and then it just played out like a record? Silly, isn't it?).

Was there a missed chance the past year or so for a particular thing to be a good demonstration of extremely proficient project management? What glory is there for allowing a mindset that does not consider things in a balanced manner? This seems almost like 'look , ma, aren't I wonderful?'.

Let's see, what is one problem? Well, engineers who become managers say that they are 'recovering engineers' (for those manager who are not from engineering ask an engineer to explain). Indeed.

It's a case of a mind going from handling the specifics of nature to the generics of pseudo-control and from performing extremely difficult manipulations of our models of nature to another role that may or may not be as necessary as we think: playing well on the screen (talking heads), smoothing over troubled waters (back slapping), thinking of money (mostly how to keep it in the pocket - albeit that whole abstraction is something that we'll be looking at more closely - abstraction in the sense of what is a 'buck' exactly? - yet, this role can result in accumulations that could be considered obscene), worrying more about surface issues rather than substance (some might call this air brushing), and much more (oh, I forgot, decider).

Management may rule and control employees; they have not succeeded in taming nature. Also, not many have bridged well the ontologies that exist between those who are involved with the 'real' plus their lower-level managers who have a good sense of what's real and those who are in the highly abstracted world of the executive. Earned-value determination requires more than an accounting overview.

In the realm of technology, we will need to get management (and decisions) to more of an science/engineering stance than we see now; the computer will help; yet, the human element will still be a strong factor (and engineers are mostly of nerdish variety, many mindsets think - yet, how to get a better operational balance is still in the works, systems engineering is one of the new pegs); truth engineering needs attention; and so forth.

Yet, in the realm of imagination (motivation, etc.), which is a tremendous human trait, we may not get beyond the art (which insightful management strives to be very effective in) despite our best efforts to engineer the thing (in itself). Hence, expect that management will continue. Besides, the roles connected to management may be a necessity (they are never anywhere near sufficiency).

As one columnist noted recently, managers need to be leaders, rather than pirates, in order to help us through the complexities that we face.

Remarks:

01/19/2011 -- Update1 and Update2. The focus now will be mostly the idiots of economics/finance.

09/02/2009 -- Lean assumes a current framework which can be improved. That the process is still effective during the change can be checked easily. However, if it is not still effective or we do not have a stable framework, then we were, by necessity, in the undecidable state.

07/14/2009 -- Nope, confounding continues.

01/28/2009 -- Earned value issues continue to be of interest.

11/01/2008 -- Much has happened with regard to the schedule, the suppliers, and more. Boeing announced some insights about its 787 planning. Before that, the idiocy of a truncated (abbreviated) test cycle was changed.

Reminder: at this point last year (we can pinpoint the specific dates), there was still some talk about delivering in May 2008.

Modified: 01/19/2011

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Poll completion


The time for the first poll has elapsed allowing a pause for interpretation and comment. The former can only have an anecdotal nature; the latter might to lead toward further polls that will be of interest and of use.

The 'role' poll will be part of subsequent polls.

These polls started around the time that the flightblogger posts were dealing with unannounced problems. Many thought that these would be covered in a scheduled status report (9/5 - indeed the topics were addressed somewhat). Usual poll etiquette was assumed, so we expect that the intent was to provide an opinion and not disinformation.

The first poll (started before 9/5) dealt only with the May 2008 date. 'Will this date be met?' is a very reasonable question (otherwise, how does one smooth over issues related to rushing the job?). Evidently, those who voted (124) thought so.
  • 37 (30% - for yes) with 87 (70% - for no) - see the third poll
The second poll (started before 9/5) dealt with the first flight (FF) date which was changed at the telecon. Polls 1 and 2 did not start at the same time, hence the difference in count. However, if FF is after the 2007 year-end, then delivery (functional, of course, and not just a show vehicle) in May 2008 would be a problem.
  • 28 (26% - before end of year) 80 (74% - before mid-2008)
The third poll is of interest as all of the four groups were represented with the majority being observers.


Modified: 10/2/2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A new game

Americans like to take risk. In fact, the whole aura (or ought we say illusion) of capitalism is that those who take risks get the rewards. Everywhere we see people taking risks. Yet, a whole lot of those have someone to bail them out when things go awry.

People who venture into the wilds expect that a rescue team will come to their aid, if needed. Actually, insurance protects against reasonable risk. Wall Street (several definitions here, but think of those who get $100,000s [multiply] based upon questionable evaluations but who do not pay back any of this when things go awry later (you know, a plane flies for years - those who design and build the thing are on the hook for the longer time - why do we let the financial types take short-term profits?) has the Fed that can bail it out even to the extent of rewarding lapses into the 'moral hazard' area (there have been many instances of this, folks, and recent events continue the trend).

What if there were no one to bail you out when you got into trouble? Many have experienced such a situation. And, one of the black marks on the human race might be that too many are still experiencing this.

Okay. To back up a minute. More than Americans take risks; it's human nature. The main problem is that undue risk can lead to waste and other things that are not desired. Someone pays for rescuing people from their risky behavior. But, who is to define what risks apply where and to what extent?

Risks and their types are many. Test pilots, and similar roles, take calculated risks. Some say that getting up in the morning is risky. But, even staying in bed can be problematic from several sides, such as health (bed sores, eventually), environment (many example here), etc. So risk is something that we manage.

The flying public doesn't want risks of a certain type, so there is a general interest in things like a new approach to flying. Some changes, like process [supply chain] or material [composite], are not as problematic as they would seem, as we can test these things, assuming several things: for one, that the related time lines are not being truncated inordinately.

Time? Yes, it is important in this situation. There is more of an abundance of this with the proper perspective, notwithstanding marketing pressures. When time becomes short, risk can rise without a balancing act, such as a corresponding diminishing of the mission.

The bigger issue may be that certain frameworks [modeling], which we are putting into place as proxies of something that is real, may have taken more prominence than might be warranted (we'll look at the appeal of abstraction and talk about how risky that can be).

Forgive the metaphor, but expansions upon a house of cards is shaky from any perspective. How so? We will be trying to explain this, hopefully with some success.

'Game-changing' of any type, carries risk. A company risking itself is what freedom allows (and the Board of Directors, and hopefully the investors, and ... --- you get the drift?). That any of that risk falls out to the financial types; well, we can only hope it's done smartly.

That any of that risk falls out to the flying public is not acceptable. Yet, there will continue to be risks even after all tests are done.

Has anyone put these together in a coherent, and readily accessible, fashion? Perhaps, they ought to be made more visible in this current context.

Remarks:

01/19/2011 -- Update1 and Update2. The focus now will be mostly the idiots of economics/finance.

09/14/2009 -- We'll need to look at UUUN, as a framework.

01/28/2009 -- Earned value issues, and finance's basis, continue to be of interest.

11/01/2008 -- Much has happened with regard to the schedule, the suppliers, and more. Boeing announced some insights about its 787 planning. Before that, the idiocy of a truncated (abbreviated) test cycle was changed; reminder: at this point last year (we can pinpoint the specific dates), there was still some talk about delivering in May 2008.

Modified: 01/19/2011

Flightblogger and more

A recent news report was discussed in an airliners.net thread (whistle blower issue, more later). Among the comments was a reminder that investment companies have analysts who specialize in these topics. Too, several reporters (several old media types) watch what is going on. The question arises as to whether 'New Media' (to be defined further, as flightblogger had a discussion related to this) can play a role. Jon was helping to explore this.

The underlying motivation in this current blog, as expressed in the seeds, is a new look at information, especially that which has advanced computational support, and how we might evaluate it. The particular focus is due to its interest and potential, perhaps, to provide access to real-world experiences and backward-looking analysis.

Isn't the world watching things unfold?

Remarks:

08/24/2016 -- Boeing is 100, this year.

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.

01/19/2011 -- Update1 and Update2. The focus now will be mostly the idiots of economics/finance.

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.

01/11/2009 -- Re-format back into the usual Remarks scheme. which was lost with the 10/20/08 update. It's pure coincidence that we have a 1/11/08 and a 1/11/09 entry for Remarks. As said on 11/2/07, the issues of 'sock puppetry' (and how Jon's blog got this notion started) remain to be discussed.

10/20/2008 -- More evidence as in this article at the Chicago Tribune detailing the evolution of the flightblogger. As the story says, people within Boeing risked their jobs (and did not honor their proprietary agreement) to contact Jon. Hence, that photos, which are really the property of Boeing, came into the possession of Jon is of interest from several sides.

That Boeing, seemingly, has capitulated the issue is something to discuss (albeit, that what has been characterized as a 'potemkin' event occurred is puzzling, too).

How there will be many ways for the new media to unfold is another topic that'll get some attention.

01/11/2008 -- We have more evidence now that Jon is real. Expect, at some point, more discussion about why this might have been an issue to a viewpoint based entirely on bits portrayed on the screen (representative, you know, of many types of 'virtual' experiences where our need for truth evaluation rest upon fairly weak measures and weaker substance) and critical analysis of content.

11/2/2007 -- flightblogger is back; we'll see what information comes from that source; the context will change due to the flightglobal connection.

The issues about how we identify sock-puppets remain.

9/22/2007 -- The flightblogger is offline until further notice (see Jon's explanation, Reply 5 by IAD787, on airliners.net). The airliner.net thread looked at possible reasons, such as the Comments getting out of hand. Jon said that he had no pressure to take it down. We look forward to the resurrection.

In the meantime, topics to discuss here are several. The seeds need to be updated. The first poll will expire shortly. At that time results from the existing 3 polls will be summarized; other polls will start with a role poll attempting to show who is interested.

With 26 votes, most were 'other (just interested)' followed by 'a Supplier' and encompassed a large majority.

Modified: 08/24/2016

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Benchmark and performance

What is the saying? If you want something done right, do it yourself?

Well, we can't all fix our own cars, perform surgery on our own hearts, and such. Yet, that we can push the farming-out envelope too far will be part of the discussion.

Farming out work can also be having someone do what you don't want to do, and it's not an un-smart move. If something has been done before and what is being sought is to have better ways (by cost or what have you), then certain types of supplier-chain relationships can make sense.

However, such farming out, when there are new horizons to conquer, can be thought of as pushing difficulty to someone else. In short, avoiding responsibility (or, call it risk sharing). That is, letting someone else do the creative work and just kicking back and evaluating the results relies on problematic benchmark management.

How about another saying? I don't know what I want but can tell you when I see it.

Do we see requirement and specification work falling into the trap of show me and I'll let you know? If something has not been done before, can doing a 'game change' by modifying terminology help obtain the necessary performance?

So many questions to ask and try to answer. We need to look at issues of measuring progress to sort out these benchmark and performance issues.

Remarks:

09/02/2009 -- Lets face it, folks, undecidability needs to be discussed and adopted in any complex situational setting, especially if computers are involved. Only hubris pushes us to make loud exclamations about what we're going to do in the future.

01/23/2009 -- Expect more effort in firming up the earned-value (and related) discussions.

11/01/2008 -- In the fall of 2008, IAM went on strike. Around the time that SPEEA would begin their talks with Boeing, the company announced that it had learned a few things about outsourcing. Imagine that! Of course, a post here had already made a parallel between outsourcing and leveraging, that bane of the financing world.

Modified: 09/02/2009

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cramming for the exam

There is always a disparity between what management might wish and hope to accomplish and what engineers and builders can actually do to produce a viable product. Therefore, we rely heavily on tests to close the gap (one attempt at empiricism). But, the emphasis has to be on doing the work and ensuring that the product is safe.

Introducing systems engineering and advanced computer systems might help but do not remove the fact that we do not have 20-20 foresight.

Getting to a point where the schedule is without a buffer is troublesome since the schedule can be adjusted at several points (in fact, advanced project management might argue that it 'ought' to be) thereby showing some insight to the problems that have encountered (assuming that they can be discussed).

A test situation of a major product is much more than just cramming for a final exam.

Remarks:

08/01/2013 -- Ben cannot unwind or taper downhe has too many Doves. We'll have to get back to the king thing (yes, the divine rights of the CEO, new royalty, in other words) and dampening of these types by a new outlook (Magna-Carta'√≠sh).

05/25/2011 -- Such as, lemons problem, dark pools, ... Oh, so much to look at! Does the idiocy have any limit?

01/19/2011 -- Update1 and Update2. The focus now will be mostly the idiots of economics/finance.

09/02/2009 -- Lets face it, folks, undecidability needs to be discussed and adopted in any complex situational setting, especially if computers are involved. Only hubris pushes us to make loud exclamations about what we're going to do in the future.

07/14/2009 -- Nope, confounding continues.

01/28/2009 -- Earned value issues continue to be of interest.

11/01/2008 -- Much has happened with regard to the schedule, the suppliers, and more. Boeing announced some insights about its 787 planning. Before that, the idiocy of a truncated (abbreviated) test cycle was changed.

Reminder: at this point last year (we can pinpoint the specific dates), there was still some talk about delivering in May 2008.

Modified: 08/01/2013

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Concerning the polls

The polls are simple opinion samplings and are not scientific by any means. Usual poll etiquette is assumed (see Disclaimer below). First pass at polls is closed.

If there is an interest (as determined by comments), a more rigorous approach will be tried.

A summary of the vote about May 2008 (closes 9/27 8:22 AM): Date, Total (I think so, Praying for, Maybe not, Nope)
  • 9/27/2007, 124 (25, 12, 19, 68)
  • 9/23/2007, 122 (24, 12, 19, 67)
  • 9/19/2007, 116 (23, 11, 17, 65)
  • 9/15/2007, 100 (19, 9, 15, 57)
  • 9/11/2007, 87 (16, 9, 12, 50)
  • 9/9/2007, 75 (13, 8, 11, 43)
  • 9/6/2007, 56 (6, 7, 10, 33)
  • 9/5/2007, 47 (3, 5, 9, 27)
  • 9/4/2007, 30 (3, 6, 6, 15)
A summary of the vote about First Flight will be before (closed 9/21 7:31 AM) : Date, Total (Nov 2007, Dec 2007, Jan 2008, Mid-2008)
  • 9/21/2007, 108 (11, 17, 34, 46)
  • 9/19/2007, 105 (11, 17, 33, 44)
  • 9/15/2007, 89 (11, 14, 28, 36)
  • 9/11/2007, 76 (10, 13, 24, 29)
  • 9/9/2007, 63 (9, 7, 22, 25)
  • 9/6/2007, 47 (6, 5, 16, 20)
  • 9/5/2007, 38 (6, 5, 12, 15)
  • 9/4/2007, 21 (6, 2, 8, 5)
A summary of the vote about My role is with (closes 10/31 5:54 AM) : Date, Total (an OEM, a Supplier, an Airline, other (just interested))
  • 9/27/2007, 31 (3, 9, 2, 17)
  • 9/23/2007, 30 (3, 9, 2, 16)
  • 9/19/2007, 22 (3, 4, 1, 14)
  • 9/15/2007, 7 (2, 1, 0, 4)
The 'role' poll is new; perhaps, those who voted before will return to update their role. Future poll combinations will include a 'role' poll.

One topic to discuss will be how many polls, of two-week durations and of this type, could there be the next few months to a year, or so, that would be interesting and, perhaps, useful.

Disclaimer: Usual poll etiquette assumed; polls are oriented toward information and not mis/dis-information. A casual user cannot double vote on any poll. But, there is no guard against intentional duplicate votes by those who know how. There is no consistency checking between polls. There is no meta-information about who votes or why. There is no way to correlate between the polls, however the 'role' poll allows some indication of interest.

Modified: 09/28/2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Reasonable effectiveness

The steps to a new product can be long and arduous. The computer has helped improve the situation on many fronts, such as design and analysis, enhanced products through embedded systems, and efficient processes, to name a few.

In short, effectiveness may be a measurable property. So, one might ask a question about the reasonable effectiveness of analytics such as those reported recently where physical tests help confirm analytics and product properties. Learning to balance between the sufficiency of model and any necessity of the physical foundation is still an art; this has historically been less troublesome overall in engineering than in finance.

Remarks:

06/11/2015 -- There will be a rework here and a rework there.

09/02/2009 -- Lets face it, folks, undecidability needs to be discussed and adopted in any complex situational setting, especially if computers are involved. Only hubris pushes us to make loud exclamations about what we're going to do in the future.

06/30/2009 -- Another delay (is the project out on a limb?).

01/22/2009 -- Questions to ponder include how does engineering handle hype? We all rely on, and must trust, that discipline's prowess.

11/26/2008 -- Boon and bust, the way of fairy dust.

10/27/2008 -- Yes, things fell apart for several reasons: fiction, leverage, and more.

09/11/2007 -- On another note, a summary of the vote: Date, Total (I think so, Praying for, Maybe not, Nope)

  • 9/5/2007, 47 (3, 5, 9, 27)
  • 9/9/2007, 75 (13, 8, 11, 43)
Modified: 06/11/2015

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Unknowns and unknowns

Generally, our progress involves adding to what we know and what we can do; engineering is a fairly systematic application of what we know about what we can control. Yet, there are unknowns which may vary in importance from 'of no consequence' to 'we better pay some attention.'

There was some mention yesterday (09/05/07 conference call, see flightblogger) about not knowing what-is-what until you get to where you have to deal with what. This sort of suggests that part of a schedule would be actually giving time to work several things through a process before trying to lean-and-efficient the thing. Otherwise, you're talking only in the abstract and allowing those things-in-themselves to have little ground. This can bite one.

Which brings up not knowing what we don't know. The financial types have been discussing the 'black swan' theory as it pertains to our inclination to over layer what we don't know with what we have known. That is, do we need to be better about expecting the real unexpected?

This issue does apply to engineering, as well, in particular when what we know is either relaxed or we make mixes of what we know in a new fashion. In the first sense, unknowns will be more problematic in less stable domains; in the second sense, using lab results and making sure that extreme values are tested are a couple, of many, techniques that we have come up with.

In any case, time is usually not of overriding importance unless you're heading toward a crash in the wall. But, under such conditions, one wouldn't be experimenting with fundamental control issues. 'However long it takes' is the real key for handling unknowns.

Remarks:



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.


09/02/2009 -- Lets face it, folks, undecidability needs to be discussed and adopted in any complex situational setting, especially if computers are involved. Only hubris pushes us to make loud exclamations about what we're going to do in the future.

09/02/2009 -- We need to assess wind direction, many times.

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

01/27/2009 -- Lessons to be learned (as opposed to learnt), including, by necessity, Ponzi.

06/14/2008 -- Early posts were related to engineering, but the tone of the blog now covers the gamut. What we see with engineering can be tested since science is available; what we see with finance and marketing will continue to be more problematic and therefore of interest.

Modified: 04/07/2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Open and honest ...

Ethics training talks about this subject a lot. As we know, our world isn't just black and white; how the grays (and other colors) are handled speak a lot to the interests of truth engineering.

A quote from today's telecon (a paraphrase (flightblogger notes from 9/5/07, 787 Status teleconference (9/22/07, will be offline until further notice)), of course): "Tell the world exactly what's going on with the program. You won't know what you have to deal with until you have to deal with it. We'll get this airplane in the air, and we'll get to flight test."

First, there is no doubt about the seriousness of the effort and probably little doubt about the eventual outcome. How the eventuality will map to time has gripped our minds. Some postmortem analysis could be done now (if one has the time and energy). At some future point (probably not too far out), there definitely will be more data.

It's the journey and details thereof that seem to have everyone's attention (as it should). Yet, we on the outside can only surmise (isn't that a normal human endeavor). How 'exact' any report may be deals with several issues that will be discussed further as we go along.

Naturally, as on any journey, there is discovery, except perhaps when one is retracing steps in a cow pasture ad infinitum. Yet, the thing-in-itself way of the world would suggest that even something so mundane as that retracing could be considered new (think of Blake).

There was discussion that going through the processes that were defined in the abstract (a necessity, since they were before the fact) causes one to adjust. Perhaps, our wonder is that process seems to change in every way except as movement of the EIS (first delivery).

We'll stay with the polls and try to make them more objective. As of 6:30 EDT on 9/5/2007, of 43 votes on the EIS, 34 (78%) say that most likely (or stronger) that there will be a slide. It might be interesting to ask how far the slide is expected. Only 3 are positive definite (6 are wishing, as most of us are, that things work).

Expect more polls as we go along. Hopefully, they'll contribute to the discussion.

Remarks:

01/27/2009 -- At the time of this post, engineering was the main focus. Then, other areas become of interest due to overlaps in the problems: map-territory, computation and being, and much more. There will be more integrating posts to bring some cohesion, such as leveraging and fiction.

Modified: 01/27/2009

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Who knew or knows?

Technical questions always abound in a society that tends toward critical thinking (saying 'tends' in that this is a goal, yet the issues of quasi-empiricism still pertain). So, questions can be about any of the aspects, whether process or part.

Here are some.
  • On 5/21/07, a News release talked about the first 787 as if it would be done in about 7 weeks since all that was necessary was putting together 6 major sections; the release also retold the story of the goal of stuffed sections and the few day turnaround for future planes.

    At that time, it was known that the 7/8/7 roll out would be an empty shell. Does this indicate a disparity on the views related to earned-value?

  • A recent report described a position on visual inspection referring to lab test, and perhaps even analytics via computation, results. Though it is good to hear that engineering has been working hard, a few questions arise. One might ask about scaling up in that the material in the lab needs to be manufactured in a much larger scale. There is a homogeneity assumption. With metals, we have long experience in controlling the process to obtain desired results. Yet, even with some metals, this control can be more problematic than we would like. What is the length of our experience with composites? Of the scale that we're talking now?

  • Do we know how well fixes made to the composite material due to extraction and replacement of temporary fasteners preserve the expected properties (design allowables)?
Remarks:

09/02/2009 -- Lets face it, folks, undecidability needs to be discussed and adopted in any complex situational setting, especially if computers are involved. Only hubris pushes us to make loud exclamations about what we're going to do in the future.

06/30/2009 -- Another delay (is the project out on a limb?).

01/27/2009 -- Through time, 787 problems identified, discussed, and reported.

Modified: 09/02/2009

Monday, September 3, 2007

That seductive abstract

As mentioned in the earlier list, abstraction has a lot of modern appeal thanks, in part, to computation. It's also very seductive in the drive for minimum costs or for the most lean effort or any other quest for the optimal.

Yet, an experienced engineer will tell you that no amount of modeling prowess replaces the thing-in-itself. That is, even an advanced 'second world' (or call it holodeck) experience is not reality. Just like a simulator experience is not the real thing.

So, how does this problem play in the stacked deck that we see with CAD and CAE (CAx to some) in the context of a complicated product? Well, given a product with new material, process, and configuration, are we to believe that the analytics are so strong so as to push us to think that we can ignore risks that may be inherent (will be discussed further)?

One thing of importance here will be quasi-empiricism versus a focus on foundations. The latter seems to take hold when the less 'hard' come to fore (finance, etc.).

Stay tuned, as this topic will keep reappearing.

Slogan: a new product, even though engineered by computer, is a hypothesis that needs to be proven (not hyped).

Remarks:

01/17/2013 -- Grounding due to fire.

11/02/2010 -- This post is 3 years old. Originally, the context dealt with engineering. But, finance soon came to fore with its importance to capitalism. We need to redo money, essentially.

09/02/2009 -- Lean assumes a current framework which can be improved. That the process is still effective during the change can be checked easily. However, if it is not still effective or we do not have a stable framework, then we were, by necessity, in the undecidable state.

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

01/23/2009 -- At the time of this post, engineering was the main focus. Then, other areas become of interest due to overlaps in the problems: map-territory, computation and being, and much more. There will be more integrating posts to bring some cohesion, such as leveraging and fiction.

Modified: 01/17/2013