Saturday, December 25, 2010

Here we go again, III

The lessons that can be learned from 2010 are many and wide. As one would expect, the list from 2008 seemed to mostly be about finance (and fiction). Now, we can broaden the view.

Just now, I was looking at some Wikipedia pages on biochemistry, in particular on chirality (note the uses). We would see this as handedness. Well, it seemed that it might be fun to use an analog of optical resolution as an overlay while looking at project (program) management problems. After all, has not this blog berated mis-use of mathematics (Effectiveness, Abstraction, and Computational)? As well, has not the concept of underdetermined come to fore, now and again? But, a new wrinkle, brought on by computation is visualization and the whole notion that some ephemeral digital state is similar enough to the natural (God made?) state to which (or for which) it's being proposed as equivalent (only in certain types of world views) for us to make decisions that are sound.

A white paper asked: Do Sensors "Outresolve" Lenses? Just how does (can) this be applied?

Well, some comments to blogs, such as to the flightblogger, suggest that the 787 program assumed too much of something and allowed things to get out of control by not watching closely. Say what? We'll get to that. Too, from our long experiences with those in power we know this, hubris colors their thinking more than does reality. Except, where that reality has to do with the size of their pockets. How did this come to be? And, does not a good general (military) know that he/she has to get out with the troops to know the truth?

Sensors are an analog for getting information. In any decision, and control, context, one needs feedback. That is, take the driving scandals that were running amok last year, at this time. As mentioned in regard to that, the key discipline would involve cyber-physical studies; as well, sensors become of real epistemological concern.

When a program doesn't have sufficient information, things can go awry. And, bodies may be required. Boeing found that it had to send armies of people out to help determine what was what. Was there some errant notion that computational frameworks could replace expert eye sight and observation?

What about lenses? Well, some of these would be related to sensors. Take eyes and their owner: would not rose-colored glasses influence attempts at accurate reporting? As well, consider that which is between the ears. Are those of the supposed highest order any more than those who have risen far beyond their level of capability (as the adage says)? Of course, we may add another, at some point, to the sensor and lens category, namely the filter.

But, let's stay with those two, for now. Notice in the white paper that mathematics comes into play for both sensors and the lenses. And, it is done in a non-trivial manner. In fact, a lot of the computation requires high-powered artifacts; that is, the class of computation that has been enabled by modern techniques is growing daily and is far out pacing any human parallel.

Except, we do know that people rise for more than their power-holding abilities; insight, to be discussed further, is important. But, that type of knowledge cannot be taught; one problem with science/engineering, it'll be shown, is that the educated intuition was thwarted long ago by certain types of preening intellectualism. That topic is big-T truth, of course,


06/28/2011 -- Have succeeded in getting this far with coming back. Engineering has KBE to keep it honest.

01/01/2011 -- This theme? We're done. Engineering is a shining example of human effort. Finance? Ah, cannot be said by a civilized tongue!

Modified: 06/28/2011

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