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)?


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

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