Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Design and design

We all know that the 787 program is dealing with a complicated product that introduces and integrates new technology, that is undergoing development with new processes proving that may prove to be more difficult than not, and that has an unparalleled visibility due to the internet.

So, we will probably see many lessons to be learned. There are several places where one can read about the program, its history, and the status.

It might be a good idea to pull some of these together with commentary, such as the below one. This would establish a viewpoint totally from externally-derived information (meaning, nothing from inside the OEM). The motivation will be explained fully.

For one example, look at this triad: what led to the decision for the 787, some of the debates on technology, initial reactions and responses.

Another example is a recent article on the flightglobal site that talks about some things that are different with the 787 in comparison with earlier planes.

The comparison of two images (which are from two sources, yet they have a common orientation) offers several points of discussion. The images are the following.
  • from flightglobal - This is an early design image that illustrates an emphasis on a look that would be natural and suggestive (see Emery's comments on the looks).
  • from seattlepi - This is a rollout image from July 2007 that shows the as-built condition.
It's the disparity between the as-desired and as-delivered view that is of interest as it demonstrates how a real part that needs to meet physical constraints cannot fit exactly the design which may represent some ideal concept.

This disparity as shown here (subtle though it is) is a good metaphor for the management problem (both program and executive); we find this disparity in just about any context involving planning and actuality. Now, an improvement in our processes might be means to know when something is physically attainable. The computer is helping here in allowing better modeling (CAx), improving risk management, and providing the means to bridge cultures (ah, but watch out for those ontologies and other issues)

These are not easy matters that are resolved a priori (hindsight is usually better than foresight, but that in itself is not a given) ; operational aspects (the necessary) related to this type of convergence is one interest of truth engineering.

Modified: 11/24/2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

Poll completion 2

There were fewer votes than before due to a shorter polling period (two weeks) and, perhaps, the absence of flightblogger which was a natural place to leave pointers to the poll.

bet2give has updated its stock (from 787 on time to 787 in 2008).

We'll attempt to have more polls after a brief pause to catch up with all the changes.

Further discussion can follow several tracks, such as how we assess any type of truth (to be itemized).

Modified: 01/20/2013

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Another round

Today, a six-month slide was announced for the 787. This was anticipated in the 7oops7 poll (see poll disclaimer), at the poll (Will the 787 stick to its certification schedule?) and at the bet2give (787 on time).

With the announcement was a disclaimer (Forward-Looking Information is Subject to Risk and Uncertainty) that pertains to the subject of this blog and to truth engineering (Effort and truth - written way before the announcement without access to any inside information).

We will need to revamp the polls and adjust our dialectic.

It can be frustrating to have a highly-detailed plan not converge, except, even the determination of convergence has to be done in retrospect. It's not that we must live looking in the rear-view mirror, but the metaphor is not far off (we're very myopic going forward, at least as far as detail is concerned - foresight cannot be 100%, yet it does exist). For some reason, the lessons behind the mirror metaphor (and there are plenty of morals related to the phenomenon, not 20-20, etc.) goes unlearned (perhaps, because of our understudied talents). All any of us really need to do is reflect back upon our life and the related progressions that we undergo and then try to apply this to the forward-looking situation. We cannot look forward too much but consider some aging person that you know as an example of this progression. As lifeforms, we grow; we peak; we decline. In the case of a program, it's the transition from the growing to the peak that is unknown. If a program is not a replay along any of the important axes, the whole thing has to be a learning experience (experiment, if you would). Well, as we've learned from school, time and repetition are important. Methinks that the notions we learn about problem solving can be somewhat contributive to the issue to boot. So many things to think about.


01/20/2013 -- Changed link for bet2give.

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.

Modified: 01/20/2013

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Territory and map

To re-look at an earlier discussion about abstraction's appeal, in which there were references to things and quasi-empiricism, we can use a slightly different terminology (territory, map) that lends itself to both concrete and metaphoric phrasings. Let's use 'territory' and 'map' and look at the problem of confusing the map for the territory. Generally, we don't see the other problem, though it will come into play to boot.

This may seem like a simple approach but hang on while we expand this theme through a few posts here and in the truth engineering thread.

Territory will be used in the sense of things, such as we can walk around our office or manipulate the keyboard. Now, map will be used for the abstractions, of very many types, that we encounter or use daily. An earlier things post mentioned how models and things could be recursively related.

This applies, as well, to territory and map. For instance, a map could be consider part of the things within a territory (say, a Rand McNally book, sitting on a table). As well, a territory could be within a map (say, within a virtual environment [Second Life, etc.] where some operation (mouse) on a graph embedded within the space starts a subprocess).

Hey, wait! What just happened? Well, we'll have to get used to the idea that a map might enclose territory. You see, it can become problematic real quickly to distinguish between territory (in the traditional sense [more below]) of things and territory within maps of things. You see, the computer is (or you could say contains) a map of things, though it, itself, is a thing. 'Second Life' was used in that a virtual experience can be very visceral (look at advanced simulators).

Actually, think of a vivid dream. So, where are the demarcations between the thing and the map. We have been building maps as territory for a long time. What has changed is that now we have this thing called the computer upon which we can build these in a persistent and public manner.

To go way back, we were mostly territory roamers (over nature's terrain) who learned how to have mental maps. As we progressed and extended the natural, we had maps passed through generations via media (books, etc.) and tradition (and, perhaps, other ways - think memes). Along with our progression was increased facility in mathematics (hence the quasi-empirical link) which for the most part relied upon human talent to both apply and to extend.

Ah yes. Since the mid-1900s, there has been another element added: computation and all its abilities (too numerous to go into here, but we'll be looking at this). Now, we have people thinking that their map-based territory/map on the computer may actually be equivalent to the thing-based territory/map. Get the drift.

Well, they are not equivalent in many ways. Can they be? It's interesting how well the effectiveness plays, in some cases. Simulators are used for training in lieu of actual flight time in the thing that is simulated (the airplane). But, one could ask the question, since simulation for re-training is the most common: could the entire education of the pilot be done via simulation?

Obviously not, for the same reason that medicine requires internship and residency for the MD.

Well, it could, but the knowledge of the pilot would be limited by what the simulator experience could show; that, of course, begs the question of whether the perfect simulator could be built.

Ah, that is related to one of the issues in the quasi-empirical discussions.

So, you see, territory and map are not so simple; these, and their relationships, will recur in future posts. (12/18/2008 -- These may be more of a problem in the ungrounded world of finance than in the naturally-based world of engineering and science)


04/19/2011 -- We have to get back to the basics.

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

08/18/2009 -- Applies for both macro and micro views.

07/05/2009 -- It's taken awhile, but this message is becoming more apropos all the time.

12/18/2008 -- Well, things really fell apart in the 3rd Quarter of 2008. Of course, a technique called the tranche was one factor. Others include the players and the games. Now, games include using mathematics erroneously, as in getting an aura from the use of derivatives (to be discussed further). We'll have to re-address this map/territory issue.

08/01/2008 -- One place where the territory/map dynamic plays (many times with dire consequences) is in the realm of busyness and the market. So, to further the discussion, we will look at money and what it is.

Modified: 04/19/2011