Thursday, February 3, 2011

What topics for this blog?

While reviewing the stats that are provided by blogger, it was interesting to see which posts have had the most readership (see below) since the inception (not! see Remarks 04/28/2011). The two most-read posts dealt with a 787 issue and were written two years ago. The third most-read post was written about 3 1/2 years ago about the same subject.

As an aside, the first two are also the 'most-read' for the past month. So, the topic remains timely. That program is only one of several from which we can extract lessons to be learned. Of course, that oops abound is just a fact of human life. What we hope is that we get better in preventing oops that are not necessary, perhaps minimize the effect of those which cannot be entirely removed (such as the recent storm which went across the entire USA, leaving some unprepared though there were many warnings), and so forth.

The below list can be extended, but let's take the top six, for now. The date of the post and percent of total reads (aside: the counter was activated a little over a year ago) are included.
  • Wing and body - (July 1, 2009 - 7.3% --- 29.6%) -- any multi-disciplinary effort has to bridge ontological, communication, and other gaps. Our hope that the computational, and its mathematical basis, paradigm will do so is a panacea. Except for this, there is a general dumbing down that results from the spirit squish (see first bullet) related to projections (we'll go into this further); the corresponding lifts cannot but trample further.
  • Confoundness (Poll 7) - (July 14, 2009 - 4.1% --- 16.2%) -- Despite efforts at solving non-linear systems (link here) appearing to be magic, things are solved with linear approximates (hear this, folks). It's a type of dumbing down (yes, guys). And, we never 'simultaneously' anything, even with parallelism. That continues to be a pipe dream. Now, quantum computing might add an interesting wrinkle, or two, if we can handle entanglement. Yes, the program seems to have tried to disentangle by outhousing. Did it work? Perhaps, the students of industry will be thankful for this chance to observe the effects of relaxing along almost all directions of decision. For one thing, there seems to be an upper bound (though, not by necessity -- as the company's engineers, and knowledge workers, seem to have pulled this thing out of its perilous state).
  • Cramming for the exam - (Sept 13, 2007 - 3.4% --- 11.2%) -- There was an article (find this) about the first two years of college being wasted, on partying and such. Too, people learn from examples and tests for which there is an answer. Underdetermination is solely underappreciated; has always been, it seems. Hubris breeds its own set of oops.
  • Truth, fiction and finance - (Oct 21, 2008 - 2.6% --- 10.2%) -- Ah, is it any better now? Have you seen anyone's knuckles rapped by the ruler-holding nun?
  • Here we go again - (June 24, 2009 - 2.0% --- 9.0%) -- Those bullets hold up. Perhaps, there'll be an attempt at focusing on each of those and at extending the scope beyond the theme of that post.
  • Facebook, as metaphor - (Sept 22, 2010 - 1.6% --- 5.3%) -- computational ubiquity, and inter-connectedness, are going to be a given in the future. However, how will this play out, who will exploit whom, how will things work? Many questions abound. No doubt, there'll be oodles of oops (it might be fun to collect some of these that we have seen so far -- such as supplier driven changes (see below)). The blogger has been involved with computational mathematics for decades, saw intimations of some of these modern sights along the way, appreciates the progress (who of the younger set could claim that?), bewails some of the emergent idiocy (goes along with the oops, I guess), and so forth. Hence, expect a continuation of this theme.
Here are some facts related to the blog: the first post was Aug 31, 2007; as of this post, there have been 197 posts; the most posts were done in 2008; the most posts per month was October 2008; financial oops outweigh those of engineering, by far and for many reasons.


What does the use of 'supplier driven' mean? Perhaps, the 'better mouse trap' motivation is a key one in which innovators present the results of their efforts. Some of these will become fads and attract a lot of attention. At the same time, some of the lucky will become enormously rich.

Those things that don't become fads may have several reasons for not being such, like being ahead of their time, too difficult, and more. In any case, the total of the inventions might allow some means for determining what will last, as in having an intrinsic value. How often do things of 'intrinsic value' ever map to fads? Sometimes the answer to that is frightful.

Is there a reasonable way to try to direct toward a better future? That is another question. A view of technically minded (meaning, those who can - not necessarily only the younger set has this attribute, by the way -- not exclaiming too much that notion, either) pokes fun at the manager types (those who cannot do, except through the efforts of others -- sheesh, you supposed best-and-brightest, we ought not be expected to royal pabody osculate, okay?) say: I don't know what I want until I see it. The usual smart-arsed reaction is to bring a rock.

There is something to the fact that we don't know, until something is tried (to wit, the cramming the exam bullet above). Oh, I know, engineering's prowess with the computational might show otherwise. Well, no, it does not - quasi-empirical claim.

Progress has been attained on the backs of many and at the ultimate peril of a not-small number. That is, oops are one way to learn. An adage suggests that we ought to learn from what oops others face. But, how many bodies and how much time do we have? Ah, yes, managers, out-housing seems to extend any limits there to something uncountable, does it not?

Well, 'nuf for now, expect several posts dealing with these notions.


04/28/2011 -- There is an overall count for all reads that goes back to inception. However, for individual posts, the 'all time' count is for the past year. Percentage numbers for the most-read posts updated with the new basis, e.g. Wing and body went from 7.3% to 29.6%.

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). While we're at it, we ought to look at Canadian banks, again.

Modified: 08/24/2011

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