Sunday, July 26, 2009

Econoblog

The new blog (examples - A Reader's Guide to Econoblogs) will start soon with an emphasis on things economic, including basic things like money, the markets, capitalism, people, et al. The current leaning is toward naming the thing FEDaerated (started 8/10/09).

That is, we need to find something other than the gab standard (and Ben's vigilance - see Remarks, yes, Ben was watching out for his own pocket - why sack the savers, Ben?) as the basis for the economy. There are physical analogs (look for heterodox) that have been proposed. What is missing is the rationale and motivation. Well, we can discuss that.

Some of the posts related to money here and at truth engineering might suggests the basis of the approach and opinion. The delivery will be more circumspect and coherent.

But, having Goldman Sachs (Surviving the end of civilization) offered as the ideal grates. Hah! Too, that the stars get to grab excessively needs some scrutiny. Examples, like China, will be very important (Rich China, Poor Peasants).

Then, the current mess from which we haven't taken the right lessons will play a large role. We have to worry about how bad things might be (The Economy Is Even Worse Than You Think) or will be (The Economy Has Hit Bottom).

Of course, the FED sacking the savers is another grate. But, Ben gets his say (The Fed's Exit Strategy) and, perhaps, keeps his job (The Fed Can Lead on Financial Supervision).

Remarks:

03/23/2012 -- Ben is doing a series of four lectures on his, and the FED's, role.

11/05/2010 -- Big Ben is still putting us at risk and trashing the savers.

09/08/2009 -- See Econoblog II.

08/02/2009 -- WSJ's headline writer seems to think that this leeching is all the rage. The technique, and its motivation, reeks with a terrible stench.

07/31/2009 -- Let's see, 5,000 got over $1M for services rendered. Well, that's probably a sign of being a best-and-brightest, at least to certain eyes; it's called rolling-in-the-dough.

Now, this can be used to illustrate how the game it to fill the pockets of a small set to an exorbitant amount. Does the game need to be that way? Hell no. We'll look at that some more.

Wait! More exposures: "computers, some housed right next to the machines that drive marketplaces like the New York Stock Exchange, enable high-frequency traders to transmit millions of orders at lightning speed and, their detractors contend, reap billions at everyone else's expense." To anyone who isn't at Goldman Sachs or the like, does that appeal to you as the way that we ought to be handling our beans?

07/30/2009 -- Well, I suppose that we couldn't expect Bernanke to work for nothing. But, he's far from the ideal of non-profit handling of our money and economy (though, I'm not calling for his head). Turns out that Ben raced to support the market, probably, in order to keep his own wealth bolstered. Okay, one could argue that he's got his money where his mouth is (gab standard), but it has not been shown that we need the market to the extent of gaming and moral hazards.

So, Ben's not a saver; sack us again, Ben, please. Oh yes, in one sense, he has built wealth. Yet, he's got the majority of his wealth in the game. This needs to be discussed more. Casino (fictitious) capitalism, indeed. Yes, Ben, the savers are the heart of the economy, not the spendthrifts.

Hey, wait, does he even know that the dollar will be permanently trashed with the actions of the past few months?

On another note, the DOW is up. Finance equity is booming. Banks, some, are rolling in the dough. One factor: change in accounting rules. We'll need to look at valuation issues more thoroughly.

03/23/2012

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Consequences

The title could mean many things, but we'll look at only one. The 'Cult of me' post looked at imbalances that come about in life. For instance, China and others have a big bucket of bucks while the US worker drowns in a sea of debt. And, the worker has no life-jacket in many cases.

The following chart that comes to us from the Wall Street Journal opens up a line of discussion, probably several, that can continue on the coming econoblog.

But, let's just put a few words. Essentially, it shows that the Lords take, which does not include a whole lot of other income, went from an astounding 28% to over 32%. Yes, we know that the Lords are a way smaller set, orders of magnitude smaller. Yet, they laugh on their way to the bank with a cornucopia.

Needless to say, at the same time, the large set of un-Lords has seen their take diminish except for a few who have scaled the rungs of the meritocracy ladder.

Consequences, indeed. We have to ask, though, of what? How has this come about?

Remarks:

11/27/2011 -- Continuation, somewhat.

09/03/2009 -- Are these guys/gals 'miracle' workers or only stand-ins? Give us a break, please!

07/31/2009 -- Let's see, 5,000 got over $1M for services rendered. Well, that's probably a sign of being a best-and-brightest, at least to certain eyes; it's called rolling-in-the-dough.

Now, this can be used to illustrate how the game it to fill the pockets of a small set to an exorbitant amount. Does the game need to be that way? Hell no. We'll look at that some more.

07/29/2009 -- For the econoblog, leaning toward FEDaerated, for obvious reasons.

07/23/2009 -- We see Goldman raking it in. Too, some of the hedge funds have bled, some almost fatally, while at the same time a few have raked it in. How ought we get the type of accounting done that is required? Expect an econoblog soon.

11/27/2011

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lords and Serfs

Like in the old feudal times, we have those who work to exhaustion, do so while they can, and then have what they might have saved stolen. These are the Serfs. Now, on the other side, are those who accumulate massive amounts of stuff, display much of this in ostentatious manners, and then ensure that their intake is sustainable by pilfering in various ways. These are the Lords.

Now, it's not so simple as a two-set affair. As, we have various mixtures. The meritocracy (link here) that we've come to love tries to help some rise out of their Serf-ness. At the same time, most of the rules and actions on the part of a third party (our beloved government (say, the FED and Treasury)) mostly bails out the Lords ('fat cats'). Some say that this is so due to the government being susceptible to the lures of money dangled before the nose (Message to those in the lead. Let us get back to limited terms, gentleman and lady public servants, and this: finance can be run by people who can be non-profit in scope (no need for the silly games) and who have an impeccable (oh, what quaintness!) un-interest in money. Yes, it can be so.).

Yes, business likes to use metaphors that involve beating people, in all senses. For instances, sharks eat people's lunches and more (dead peasant). There are too many examples to go into.

In short, the Lords of business like to beat on the Serfs who have to work for them. Well, one would think that the third party, government, would help balance out the thing (level field). But, look at the recent playings. Who got bailed out? The fat cats. Okay, it may be that the Lords have had the press in their pockets and such.

Thankfully, the internet is opening up the discursive means (econoblogs) to a broader populace. Unfortunately, what we see might indicate why Serfs are sometimes their own worse enemies. But, efforts need to continue in lifting out the potential of the web.

Now, one implication of all this is that the best-and-brightest, apprentices for Lordship supposedly, are those who ought to ascend. Well, some who go up are the dumbest. Too, there are many in the Serf camp who brain-wise can outweigh any of the Lords.

Many Lords are bullies. Of course, Lords can be found on the union side, to boot. It's just that no union person can accumulate like the Lord of business. Even mis-appropriations on the union side pale in contrast to those we've seen doing the perp walk (posing for their mug shot). Many more sail by since any who might have a misgiving about their smell (whosenoseknows) are beaten down or threatened or the powers that be are just not paying attention to the right people.

Lords dazzle.

Oh wait, I'm descending into a game of the idiots. Let's lift ourselves out of the mire. Why does business mostly seem like pigs in the slop?

Where is there the analog of beauty in nature? Tell me, please. I have an idea. And, the future belongs to that side. The mire side is of the dinosaurs, believe me.

Now, why is this? Well, we'll go into that in depth. Expect that there will be an econoblog soon attached to this blog, and its related kin, that will look at the specific matters in a fresh way.

Of course, there may be insights which could help improve various business aspects as the majority of my time has been pondering microeconomic issues. Yet, it's in the macro side where those in charge focus. And, many have their heads in the wrong place? (quasi-empiricism)

Partly, we can blame the sirens of mathematics, science, and technology (underdetermination) for screwing things up.

Recent events show that even engineering can find paths to perdition just as we've seen happen in finance. After all, many of the decisions are very much economic in part.

Now, for success does a serf have to emulate Lords and strive for their ilkness? Interesting question. Madoff provides the answer, in part.

Can Lords pass through the needle's eye? Oops. That a t-issue but nevertheless part of the discussion.

Now, what name might be appropriate for the new blog? Fed-aerated? Any suggestions?

What has happened to all the talk about 'moral-hazards' of only 12 months ago or so? Gosh, when the money flies is not like fairy dust?

Remarks:

07/03/2014 -- The Magna Charta is a wonderful example for us to apply to provider (king)/user (baron) issues.

07/31/2013 -- Ben cannot unwind or taper downhe has too many Doves.

11/27/2011 -- Continuation, somewhat.

09/25/2010 -- Capitalism was defined within a classist's framework. We can improve on that.

01/26/2010 -- This sort of started tongue-in-cheek but moved a little (Lords? What else but the Street of the best and brightest. Serfs? Well, Main Street). Yes, employees as chattel is one lesson. Too, ideological issues have screwed up Adam Smith's little idea. And how. We've been in a mess now for over a year. Big Ben shot his bullets early and showed where his loyalty were (bail out the Big Chimera). Obama did not take on the financial idiots and their slobbering lobbyists early enough. Nationalization sounds more interesting, in retrospect. What was done only increased the gravy train. Big Ben was Man of the Year? He's up for review now. Can we take another four years? Oh, yes, there are traps that we all face in trying to do things; however, some have this Lordly Prince thing going on that needs more scrutiny.

08/17/2009 -- As promised, FEDaerated is here.

07/29/2009 -- For the econoblog, leaning toward FEDaerated, for obvious reasons.

07/22/2009 -- We need to look at economic causes and their consequences.

Modified: 07/03/2014

Friday, July 17, 2009

Two trillion

As in bucks. Even the richest person hasn't gotten there yet, that I know of. Okay, they are at fractions of a trillion with their growing billions. But, China has this large of a bucket of bucks (could we use such a bucket?), reports the WSJ.

We need to consider that it's being shared mostly with a few (comparatively) there like anywhere. They have fat cats there (just like here) that got that way by influence, merit, or whatever.

Then, we need to consider the larger set (having lesser accumulations) which does not mean, necessarily, the very poor.

As, the middle people, especially on the lower ends, are stuck in the mire. The fat cats are hogging all the space in the sand box. Why? We've gone over this a few times and will continue to do so. But, it's not a simple issue.

Even Volker and Summers (look, you guys, too many from the Ivy League and with the modern financial indoctrination warp the context - look to the middle of the country, please - and state schools produce worthy peoples, to boot) are arguing about this. Like, ought GS, and those in their milieu, be reigned in, for example. The WSJ also says that CIT probably won't get help; you see, their clients are the smaller business people, perhaps fat cat strivers, but by no means amongst the dinosaurs (yes, used advisedly and will explain) of gigantic proportions.

Okay, back to the two trillion. So, that accumulation was from selling us stuff, via the role that they got under the guise of globalization, a lot of which was crap. Yes. Let me explain below.

But, first, during the same time period, Americans were losing jobs. Those that had them were swimming in deeper and deeper pools of debt. They were being led down the path to perdition while being told that consumerism (Darwin?) drove the economy. How? Well. Buy something now. Of course, use credit. That something would look good but, most likely, would fall apart (planned obsolescence) and need replacement. An eternal cycle that kept the monies flowing to the buckets/pockets of those who are really communistic at the core, that sucked the monies out of those who were on the tread mill here (not that China didn't work their people to death - actually, we exported the labor exploitation scheme to Japan, to boot - and are we ever proud of that, some of us, that is), and covered the oceans with carriers full of junk, more or less.

Ever wonder why the furniture stores, after about 10 years ago or so, didn't have anything USA made. Nope, it was prettied up junk. Of course, one could argue that one who thinks that a dining table ought to be able to last 20-30 years, oh my, is an idiot. Oh yes, buy prettied things, get half (or less) use, then throw it in the growing garbage pile.

Now, of course, that two trillion is mostly over here (is it not?) muddying up the US financial markets. Not that the fat cats care. They earn from the churning that muddies the water, no matter what.

How many in the past few months lost a lot (some everything)? And, were not some of these of a class that never expected such losses (say, the rules changed so that security holders saw their assumed value in hand vanish)? There is a lot more to tell.

Has anything really been done at the core? Nope, we have GS off running. Oodles envying their position. Thankfully, it is a new day, so things may change as needed.

As the comment to the last post mentioned, some of those who are acquiring continue to do so (one is in jail for 150 years, would that have even been seen if the administration had not been changed party-wise - think of if, Made-off still pocketing his gains, ill begottenly).

This is not a rant (well, maybe, a little full of hyperbole), by the way, as this discussion will continue with examples until the picture is clear about what might need to be done. Those in the flow now are too close, too addled trying to handle the complications, and tied too much to the rewards.

We need to step back and 'stop' as said by old WFB, Jr. And, that savings is up might be a good sign of something permanent. The WSJ also showed the star economic bloggers. Do any of those in the dismal science really know?

One could say nope, yet the function of thinking of these things is somewhat necessary. We can't go back to the agrarian. That was never fun, anyway.

But, think of how the current fat cats are not unlike the old lords who made the lives of the serfs miserable. Back then, the cardinality of the lords was small. The misery? Well, was it worse than now? The number of fat cats is larger now; their take is way much more - something like 0.01% of the people sitting on a big part of the wealth.

The fact is that we do not need as much structured finance as some would have those in the lead to believe.

Message to those in the lead. Let us get back to limited terms, gentleman and lady public servants, and this: finance can be run by people who can be non-profit in scope (no need for the silly games) and who have an impeccable (oh, what quaintness!) un-interest in money. Yes, it can be so.

Remarks:

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

07/22/2009 -- We need to look at economic causes and their consequences.

07/21/2009 -- The WSJ was right. Elsewhere, someone remarked that the CIT rescue shows capitalism in action. Well, we'll go into all that in a new blog soon.

Yes, the fat cats go crying and get bailed out. Where is the talk of moral hazards nowadays?

Modified: 08/10/2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cult of me

An opinion in the WSJ the other day reminded us that maturity involves seeing ourselves and others in the world and in reality. Some get trapped into their ownness, say some politicians, some stars (film and such, plus sports), some managers (ah, we could start naming) such that they're very good examples of non-sustainability.

That's the key. Right now, we're mortgaging future generations. Actually, that sort of thing has always happened (even now, some poor sell their kids' labor (and more), but one sign of civilization is cherishing, not exploiting, the young ones). It's that now we have the knowledge and resources to not do that or to do it more insightfully (as in, only by necessity - which will be discussed further).

Companies have the same problem though it can be traced back to the managers (includes the Boards, too). The colonization by globalization and outsourcing is an example even though it's couched in terms of economic theory - yes, as in the Pure Theory of International Trade and such.

Fact is, too often theory can be used to cover malfeasance (sort of indicating some talent there, I'll admit). Yet, we expect that those who govern know how to protect the little people. Obama goes to Africa and chides them for raking off the top.

What does he think goes on here? CEO's pad their wallets and those of their friend, the likes of Goldman Sachs (under the guise of high-speed trading - who the heck needs that, you guys?) bleed us to the state of dessication so that they can have their gigantic bonuses, special interest groups are allowed to lead those that make the law around by their noses (and, I'm not talking the discerning function here), and much more.

Okay, more about GS. First of all they have the knowledge and the tools to surgically remove our vitals (in the sense of our beans) just to the point of demise. Then, we're allowed to recover as they can then chase off after others - almost never-ending bunch of victims. We'll discuss this further, as those guys seem to think that they're the epitome of capitalism (oh yes, casino et al). Not that plenty of other people don't envy their state.

People write about the behemoths that we've bailed out (including GS who came home like the prodigal son to be under the extended wing of the American eagle) as they are too big to fail. If you don't say crap, then listen up to the discussion. What we have is a situation where there are sandboxes that we'd like to play in and to share. But, there are 300 lb bullies with their fat cat arses in the way.

You see, the government is supposed to keep those bullies in line. Does that happen? Only now and then. The government thinks that it needs them (as in Wall Street, et al, who get bailed out - the little folks get the shaft). It's a sorry state of affairs, folks.

Remarks:

12/08/2009 -- Consider Paul and current CEOs.

09/12/2009 -- Sandbox was used without definition. Let's discuss that concept.

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

07/31/2009 -- Let's see, 5,000 got over $1M for services rendered. Well, that's probably a sign of being a best-and-brightest, at least to certain eyes; it's called rolling-in-the-dough.

Now, this can be used to illustrate how the game it to fill the pockets of a small set to an exorbitant amount. Does the game need to be that way? Hell no. We'll look at that some more.

Wait! More exposures: "computers, some housed right next to the machines that drive marketplaces like the New York Stock Exchange, enable high-frequency traders to transmit millions of orders at lightning speed and, their detractors contend, reap billions at everyone else's expense." To anyone who isn't at Goldman Sachs or the like, does that appeal to you as the way that we ought to be handling our beans?

07/23/2009 -- James B. Stewart, of the WSJ, says that we ought not 'hate Goldman for making money' of late. Well, he's right, in the sense that we're talking near-zero. So, for all those who lose, someone is raking it in. Of course, one may argue that some of the taxation discussions of late are about taking from the few for the many.

07/22/2009 -- We need to look at economic causes and their consequences.

07/16/2009 -- Oh, yes, GS says its for their clients. Too, WSJ did do some analysis on this recent pot-of-gold of GS as to its sustainability.

The idea is that we could drive finance (liquidity, et al) using a non-profit framework and volunteers. Yes, we'll discuss that further. Are the Grassos, et al essential (not talking function, talking the notion of entitlement to the beans)?

Must it be play the silly game (as if equity and other trading has some superior ability) or be a reasonable person and save?

We're months into meddling and do not know what's next. The whole concept of savers seems to have been trampled by the fat cat hordes after the big money. Too, those servicing the smaller people lose out while the fat cats relax and assume that their moral hazards are not so.

Modified: 03/03/2010

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Confoundedness (Poll 7)

Poll completion: 08/02/09

--- original post ---

It's time for another poll. Gosh, the last one was September. This shows that I believed in the process progression as we were told by many statements and was not one of the naysayers.

Boeing seems to be exhibiting confoundedness. So people ought not beat on them; it would be like an ER doctor berating a patient even though whatever is ailing the patient was the result of the person's own choice. No, we need to understand the causes and fix things up.

In short, was Boeing biting off more than one can chew, hoping that subcontractors could magically handle what might be intractable problems, dissing their own employees to run after new partners (the old middle-aged syndrome), and much more?

Much of this has been discussed here, will continue to be discussed here, and can serve as a very interesting lesson of what was wrought with the ending of the 20th century. That is, the 21st century will belong to the workers not to the fat cats (in engineering, it's the negative influences coming out of GE and Welch's legacy that got in the way).

Yes, that comment is a tie back into the economic side of engineering.

Why Boeing allowed themselves to maximize the confounding of factors is anyone's guess. Relaxing along all decision axes is very troublesome in safe environments. To do so when risk is not entirely understood (yes, you guys - Jim M, Scott C, et al - there were people arguing way back about not going whole hog (by what, was the necessity?) after a dream) can have very undesirable consequences.

Lessons learned will abound.

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 current correlation between the polls, however the 'role' poll allows some indication of interest.

Remarks:

12/31/2013 -- A popular post in both 2012 and 2013. Ah, how many ways to we confound things? Do you not think that queuing up packages, at the last moment, for deliver somehow would not work (as in, expectations being way out of whack?)?

08/13/2011 -- Added completion; see top of post.

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

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

09/02/2009 -- Let's 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.

07/23/2009 -- There have been several critical articles. Here are a couple, from down under, that illustrate the mood swing.
Gosh, wonder if Boeing would like to take back 07/08/07 and start over. Yet, there are five issues ought to be addressed. Remember, the underdetermined state is more common than we would like to admit.
Modified: 12/31/2013

Friday, July 10, 2009

Missed milestone

Gosh, two days ago it was 07/08/09? Was it not two years ago that Boeing rolled out the Potemkin airliner? Talk about 'pulling wool' over our eyes.

When will Boeing step up and be honest about what is going on with this plane? At this point and time, how can we believe what we hear from them? Do the powers that be speak with a forked tongue or do they just not understand? Or, is it just bad culture?

flightblogger has a recap and commentary to which this blog will respond with additional content.

Expect another poll series the next few days: Poll1, ..., Poll6

Remarks:

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

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

09/02/2009 -- Let's 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 -- Critics can be more of a bane than boon.

07/11/2009 -- Notice the comment about Boeing bashing which ought to be dampened with reason, except stopping a swinging pendulum may be difficult.

Related posts: Here we go again (issues are: Earned value, Parameterized Models, Hype over hypothesis, Misused mathematics, Underdetermination), Out on a limb (the Board and management are way off - can they learn?), Scale up versus extrapolation (basic tenets were ignored in the rush to claim fame - not much wiser than a toddler - which is what computation can do the mind, by the way).

Modified: 08/24/2016

Monday, July 6, 2009

Canadian banks

All the digression into engineering issues cannot be sustained without a break to look at what's going on in the money world.

The USA Today had an article that exclaimed how the Canadian banks (yes, our northern neighbors) did not have the meltdown seen here in the good old US of A. Well, they didn't run off after ridiculous leveraging schemes (reminder, farming out is a type of leveraging). Too, they were suspect of those who wanted us all to think that toxic securities were manna from heaven (reminder, parallel here with hype over hypothesis).

Perhaps, it's that cold air up there that keeps them sane. New York must not freeze enough to rid us of the pests (eternal noise from the best and brightest).

Hey! Isn't Chicago cold, yet we see (Cramming for the exam, Rush job, A new game (risky business), ..., Out on the limb, ...)?

Remarks:

02/03/2011 -- This is a place holder, for now, for Lewis' article. The Irish people (where is the rage?) were screwed over even more than the Americans. Now, one could argue oops; but, the truth is that certain minds need much more restraint than they are willing to admit. Unfortunately, other people bear the effects of these idiots (who, by the way, may, in many cases, test well - too bad there is not an effective arse test).

07/31/2009 -- Let's see, 5,000 got over $1M for services rendered. Well, that's probably a sign of being a best-and-brightest, at least to certain eyes; it's called rolling-in-the-dough.

Now, this can be used to illustrate how the game it to fill the pockets of a small set to an exorbitant amount. Does the game need to be that way? Hell no. We'll look at that some more.

Modified: 02/03/2011

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Scale up versus extrapolation

Aviation Week (AW) covered the recent problem discovery and reported an element of surprise.

No, folks, this was predictable from the beginning as shown by entries (see #2, #4 and more) in this blog; one main issue deals with quasi-empiricism.

First of all, in the AW article, an engineering professor is quoted as saying that Boeing did it backward. Usually, one starts small and then scales up (remember this important concept, as we'll cover it more thoroughly). That is, one enlarges from a small basis. You know, there is an adage: don't bite off more than one can chew.

The concept is applied a lot in modeling. In fact, software vendors always worry about scale up, in many ways, such as logic, throughput and more (very many ways).

The professor expressed some surprise that Boeing had extrapolated so much from a limited basis of knowledge. You see, not only were there relaxations along many axes in the product and process spaces, the program jumped to a maximum without prototyping. Why? Well, the computer was the magic key (computerism).

Now, the article says that some claim that the software involved (meaning CAE) is not suspect. No, the article says, it was the data and model that were. According to those that know, including a quoted expert.

Well, the blogger has no inside information on the particular project but speaks from experience related to this type of modeling. The software, and its underlying philosophical framework, are always to be suspect. Why? There is no grand theory to support these things to the level that we have been led to believe.

Ah, folks, it is a very un-insightful viewpoint for an engineering company to not know the limits of mathematics and software. But, the view is probably the one to be expected to be held by a gaming generation, that is until they bump up against the world.

We'll go into this further, as the subject is not something amenable to easy resolution. I hope that the FAA is aware of the issues like these.

One big issue? Allowing output from one program to run into another program as if it were equivalent to naturally-obtained data. Say what? Well, why do you think they say the software is okay but not the data/model? Supposedly, the belief in the software is much stronger than we expect. Gosh, if this is so, it needs to be deconstructed; perhaps, recent events provide the perfect opportunity for engineering to learn.

Formerly, there was a hard rule to never think that a program's output stood for nature. Especially so is this the case when dealing with the results of an application of differential equations (and the like); no matter how brilliantly close these results may appear when viewed with the newer mechanisms for visualization (yes, we'll go into that more, too), they are approximates to the real.

Too, these techniques require fiddling (think of oodles of knobs) for controlling the evolution of a solution (in this case, data or model?).

Gosh, have we begun to believe that our little virtual selves (and their artifacts) on the tubes (in cyber space or the cloud) are more real than what we are in the world (and its artifacts) in which we live? This will be very important to discuss.

The management view does not understand the subtleties of these problems. Technical fellows do a little bit more so, but they too can go astray.

There is (can be) no hubris in engineering!!!

Remarks:

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

09/02/2009 -- Let's 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.

08/20/2009 -- Nor in financial mathematics, either.

Modified: 08/24/2011

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wing and body

flightblogger gave a run down on the cause of the recent 787 delay and followed up with more information. That latter begs a question of how Boeing information can be out on the web with a flightglobal mark on it (this is only one example).

If flightglobal didn't protest so much about this, one would think that there was some conduit (yes, financial metaphor - remember? off the books) in place.

The plane that you sit in is essentially a tube being pulled along by the engines. So, believe it when they say that the wing-body join is crucial. If it breaks, ... This join has a very significant role. Too, it is a very difficult thing to design. Why?

It has serious aerodynamic requirements at higher speeds, and it has to be strong enough to handle the loads (meaning more than carrying around a bunch of sitting passengers and their luggage, okay?). The design for the first set of requirements (the external look) can be analyzed prior to flight (somewhat) but is something that flight testing (and lifetime performance) validates. The second set of requirements deals with the internal structures and seems to be where the current problem is found.

The design issues of the wing-body join have caused many to tear their hairs out. Higher speeds, minimizing efforts at material and weight, the computational sirens of modern technology, and other things make the design issues very difficult to solve. We will get into part of this further.

The associated knowledge, folks, is what is called a competitive advantage and usually is proprietary. For some reason, Boeing decided to farm this baby out to others (where is the soul of this thing?). Then, they seemed to have let the oversight of this crucial piece lapse. Why?

Was it relief at getting rid of the problem? Ah, how many Boeing engineers are sick at hearing about the current state?

Well, the middle-out issues apply here; we'll discuss that, too.

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.

02/03/2011 -- The topic of this post can be used for a whole bit of discussion.

Modified: 04/07/2012