Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oops types

So, we need to address this issue so that we can motivate solutions. That is, yes, the tone here will turn from taking potshots at oops and the oops'ers toward a more constructive bent.

We can talk three basic oops types, for now. There will be more which then will be categorized, analyzed, and smoothed (nod to the fact that underdetermination is the main thing, folks) out (we cannot remove wrinkles of many sorts).

So, for the first type, it would be a purely human affair, like the hubris we see with the CEO crowd (not all, just those with the biggest egos and pockets). But, there are other types. Is not the saying, to err is to be human? Does that not imply that none of us are without some fault and mangling ways?

In regard to that, the CEOs ask for their comeuppance several ways which we can discuss at length (but will not, given the new spirit). Trash talking gamers might be another category, but that brings in a whole set of other issues.

So, we have human error.

Then, for the second type, we have artifact oops, such as computer, or system, error. Mind you, system would imply products of all types. So, engineering has been working for eons on improvements. And, we see processes in place to help ensure better lives from use of the results. Some of this is just plain common sense, yet a lot of it had to be mandated by government actions (thanks, CEOs - oops, there I go again -- the new spirit will eventually win out here, it is guaranteed - oops, again).

Many product makers think about safety and minimizing harm from failure. Those who think forwardly in computing are looking at what would be involved with error-correcting systems. Mind you, communications has worked on this for years, with various types of checks and fix ups. But, as we ascend the conceptual tree (and complicate contexts), it becomes more of a problem, especially since undecidability is at the core. There have been means proposed, discussed, and implemented throughout the years. In fact, default logic, for one, was motivated by these concerns.

So, those are two types of oops: the wetware type and the hardware type.

What then is the third type? Well, sci-fi aficionados will get a metaphor of the borg. What we have, folks, is that ubiquitous computing has permeated human affairs to the deepest level and across the board. And, the growth proceeds both in depth and in breadth. There is no sense in being alarmed, as this progress was an inevitable consequence of the enlightenment switch that was thrown a few centuries ago.

It is that third type of oops that we'll focus on in 7oops7. Plenty harp on what others do wrongly, that seems to be a human trait. There is a saying about this that involves glass houses (find it, if you must). Many suffer from hardware (all types) failures. What is problematic there is that many providers of these things like to blame oops type 1; it's called user error.

Now, to be complete, we need to mention software. You see, with computation, even hardware can be parameterized. So, we will place software oops into the type 2, as then oops type 2 would actually be any type of system error.

So, we will look at oops of this third type, yet that we can differentiate between oops type 2 and oops type 3 is not always easy (here we need to link to discussion of cyber-physical issues). Come to think of it, what we might think of as oops type 1 could very well have some oops type 3 in it (that is, someone (CEO) takes a stance based upon they're told by a techie who is off the mark).

The main thing to remember is that oops type 3 deals with humans dealing with systems. This can range from comic (Chaplin's guy) to tragic (too many, and too depressing, to itemize). These types are going to become more of a concern (already were, but now cannot be ignored) as we proceed with the 21st century.

Aside 1: That examples of oops type 3 will be heavily computationally flavored is only the result of the growing ubiquity. In many cases, we might discuss things that are mechanical or other.

Aside 2: it might be fun to look at what the human-machine interface people have defined over the years in terms of oops, such as usability.


01/15/2012 -- Two oops are of interest here. One deal with a product, namely one of these types handled by Sealy. Now, another was related to computing, namely mad-house rush, on the web, to be first in line to receive something (Dr Oz). We saw mayhem this past fall in situations where people had to fight to get one of a limited number of goods (black friday). So, is that the point, the settos? If so, tsk?

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).

12/14/2010 -- One necessary topic will be compiled knowledge.

Modified: 01/15/2012

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

As if by ...

... magic. Yes, technical people laugh about this. What management does is put things together (resources), mix them, and then expect some output of note. As if by magic, essentially.

Why? They do not appreciate that it's good people (who are not just a resource, you fat cats) who make things happen. And, leaning on them to do the impossible can only go so far, you top-down thinkers who believe that you're John Galt [], or something similar.

This type of fat-cat creep-ness screwed up the financial world. We would expect those dealing with matter to be above this crappy game.

Does Jim M. (who?, figure it out) seem to be like that? Now he's saying that that the production projection line will be shallower and longer than he said before. Say what, guy? Any reasonable person knew that years ago; you're just now admitting the reality.

Oh, I know. You guys went off to South Carolina in a union busting mode. That was going to work? Like magic?

That last successful program, identified with the triple numbers, was the culmination of a long string of work. It was within the same milieu (product, design, and process spaces), you see. That is, as one works issues within some domain, one gets better. Yet, any relaxing of basic ASSumptions can perturb such as to cause divergences that are not pleasant. Good people scramble to put things back in order. And, do so (that's why they get good pay - not to your level, though, Jim M (and your ilk)).

By the way, some do appear to work magic. That is, from the outside it seems so. Yet, on analysis, there is a basis of solid knowledge, good methods, constrained expectations, practical sense, etc. I'm not talking the sleight of hand, Jim M. That cannot fly.

The new thing (project rolled out as an empty potemkin liner back in 2007) threw caution to the wind, relaxed along all axes of decision, brought in the unknowable by out-housing, listened too much to the modelers who said that the computational framework was (would be) wonderfully effective, allowed the risk guys to run rampant with their little fantasy (yes, you all know who you are - your numeracy led us to (and led us along) perdition laden paths), and so forth. It is a litany too long to even consider here, right now.

You see, Jim M, you would do more service to the world to learn about undecidability and how it applies even to how we handle matter than to keep your coif out of the wind, preen for the cameras, bask in your tub of money, calmly talk to the Street (Wall more than Main - yes?) as if you know what's up (did you not say things in that forum before and then have an announcement within days that would have some wondering how can this be? talk but not walk the talk?) or whatever it is that you top-level guys do (as you think of yourselves as kings of the rest of us).

We can use linear logic, and its extensions, to help the world learn the proper lesson. It has to come from the engineering camp. Jim M, you are running what was once a top-notch engineering firm that produced highly-engineered products. You came in the clean up the ethics. How did you actually help the problem-ridden program?


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

Modified: 01/17/2013

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Finance and pay

Well, it's bonus time, again, on the Street. Yes, as in Wall, not Main.

Oh, the argument goes. If we don't pay the best and brightest, they'll go elsewhere.

Let me categorically say, as I've said before, what these types have wrought is not necessary. We can stop the whole futures market, for instance, and start over with something better.

Why? We need to shore up the utility aspect of banks, that is the plumbing. All else is speculative and necessary only to those who want to suck money from the pockets of the hapless into their own. It's called near-zero, folks.

But, Congress had a chance with the last downturn. Politics, and the power of big bucks - as in banks arguing for their bonuses, got in the way.

Will there be another chance, ever? Perhaps after a few more bubbles, but I'm too old to see that. Right now, I'll continue to argue the concept of 'simple living' as needed by those who touch money and control the flow.

Guess what? Big Ben almost makes it; but, his current digs are palatial. I'm sure that it'll grow on him like it did King Alan.

It is still the fact that the basis used by the best and brightest to demand their bucks is a house of cards. That computers are at the core will become problematic probably sooner than later.

Who will suffer this next time?


04/01/2011 -- The last man wants the old days back.

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).

12/05/2010 -- Raj Patel has the proper grasp on the 'financial madness' that is threatening us.

12/02/2010 -- Banking is a utility (but we also need plumbers - a few, not an army).

11/30/2010 -- Best and brightest, yeah!

Modified: 04/01/2011

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Product safety

A new connotation can be made about this concept given the event of last week (trial explosives found in cargo shipments).

The cost of safely moving products? Was this even considered in full or did the model assume an ideal, and unrealistic, situation?

Is this not an oops or what?

Does not making it at home (not out-housing) become more feasible when the true costs are considered? As with any abstracted model, the 'pure' theory of international trade does not take into account any human quality. No, people are modeled as rational agents. Now, that's fine, except whose rationality is taken to be the model?

Sheesh, everyone papered over with some type of mediocre view. Is this not how business runs? Is it not why employees are considered just a resource pool only there for exploitation?

Oh, yes, the one star? The CEO, of course.

'market' ideology is like any other that makes a bunch of assumptions that match up with the belief system. Again, whose belief system?

What we need is a mindset that considers all aspects, albeit with rankings and risk analysis. Actually, the basis would be science and engineering. But, a heavy emphasis on people would be part of the system, to boot.

Now, how to attain such is the problem that will continue to be the focus.


11/08/2010 -- A technical look is necessary.

Modified: 11/08/2010