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All Blog Posts Tagged 'alienation' (18)

Market Alignment - An Application of Systems Theory for Organizations

The main components of systems theory that readers might remember are “inputs,” “processes,” and “outputs.”  The part that tends to get neglected is “feedback mechanisms.”  These mechanisms tell the system the extent to which operations fit the environment.  If there is lack of fitness, there is stress.  One adaptive impulse is to make processes more complex and intelligent - i.e. sometimes described as the fight response.  Another impulse is to give up and run away - i.e. the flight…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on June 23, 2018 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

Ecology of Metrics

Although I deal with many different types of metrics, I believe they can be generally classified as follows: 1) time use; 2) alignment; 3) production; 4) performance; 5) service; 6) and market.  In this blog, I will be providing some comments pertaining to each.  Although I have yet to encounter any myself, I am certain that there must be text books on the issue of operational metrics and how to make use of them.  However, I personally developed nearly all of those that I use.  Although I do…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on May 26, 2018 at 9:00am — No Comments

Applied Ontology and the Drivers of Data Recognition

I shared my story in a few blogs about returning to university to do a graduate degree.  In my first class, I found myself being asked to define “ontology.”  It was a course on the Geography of Disability.  I returned to class the following week with some details.  I said that strangely enough, this is not a word that can be found in all of my dictionaries.  One dictionary listed “oncology,” which I believe is the study of cancerous tumours.  My Collins Cobuild dictionary says, “Ontology is…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on February 11, 2018 at 7:30am — No Comments

The Theory of Theory

Since I am sometimes asked to explain phenomena in the absence of data, it becomes necessary to determine what data is required to explain phenomena.  Some would say the best approach is to develop and test a hypothesis - to start filling a void of space with pinholes of light - until there are enough lit pinholes to provide a working theory.  This is not to say that a few additional…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on January 20, 2018 at 6:00am — No Comments

Quantitative Alienation in the Workplace

For my graduate paper, I studied perceptions of workplace stress through the critical lens of social disablement.  Writing this paper was certainly an intellectual exercise that at the time didn’t seem to have many practical applications.  I am therefore honoured to become better acquainted with the “mechanics” of quantitative alienation through my day-to-day duties.  I respect the fact that I can’t share any substantial details about my actual work processes on a blog.  It will therefore be…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on November 4, 2017 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

Influencing Behaviour Using Persuasive Data

I came across the story of a manager who felt that the best way to encourage desirable behaviours was through reward and humiliation.  This encouragement occurred indirectly through what I would describe as “persuasive data”:  a table of data went out each week showing the best and worst performing employees.  Everyone in the team could see the stats plainly along with the names of coworkers.  They were encouraged to make comparisons.  This represents an aggressive use of data.  From my…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on March 18, 2017 at 5:51am — No Comments

Internal Capacity, External Demand, and the Metrics of Consumption

In my blogs, I often distinguish between event data and metrics.  I usually say something to the effect that events help to explain the metrics - or events “provide the story behind the metrics.”  In this blog, I will be discussing two competing lines of thought behind events:  internal capacity and external demand.  Why do sales appear much lower for the month of June compared to July?  Some explanations relating to internal capacity are as follows:  “There weren’t enough agents in June to…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on February 18, 2017 at 6:30am — No Comments

Preambles and Future Directions

I will be using this blog to assemble a number of different concepts that I introduced over many years in previous blogs (indicated in bold); then I will explain where all of this will be going in the future.  I am turning 50 years old in a couple of weeks, and I find that I habitually take inventory of my belongings these days before beginning any lengthy mission or journey.  I recently acquired a fairly expensive device called a CPAP machine.  It resembles a small stereo with…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on December 18, 2016 at 8:30am — 2 Comments

Disablement from the Institutional Use of Aggregate Statistics

This blog is about the lived experience of "becoming a statistic." In our increasingly data-oriented society, the use of data serves not merely to try to understand but also to control people and determine their placement in the scheme of things. Central to the theme of systemic racism, gender discrimination, and the formation of class strata is the elevation evidentiary artefacts such as statistics in order to structurally define and diminish "individuals." The purpose is to make lesser the…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on November 19, 2016 at 5:30am — No Comments

Deconstructing Symbolic Expression

I sometimes ask myself while musing over the need for a particular service, "I wonder if this is commercially viable?" If the service is routine and the required software is rather inexpensive, perhaps there is little need for a company to outsource. I cannot think of any company that would routinely outsource work normally performed on a spreadsheet. I suspect that decades ago some companies hired specialists to handle spreadsheets; this seems much less likely today in light of the…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on July 2, 2016 at 7:07am — No Comments

Countering Quantitative Alienation with Geographic Codified Narrative

Codified narrative is the product of converting human-friendly narrative into computer-friendly code. In past blogs, I discussed my own approach towards this process of codification. Here, I will be covering the idea of spatial, temporal, and contextual distribution of codified narrative. I have never suggested that narrative can or should be used in place of quantitative data. However, I have reflected on how the quantitative regime has tended to dominate discourse; this has perhaps led to…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on April 2, 2016 at 8:15am — 2 Comments

BERLIN and Narratives

BERLIN stands for Behavioural Event Reconstruction Linguistic Interface for Narratives. I introduced BERLIN a few blogs ago - in my "final blog." Theoretically after one's final blog, no further blogs are forthcoming. However, I am now posting bonus blogs reflecting aspects of the same closing subject. Today, I will be elaborating on BERLIN's syntax and how its searches are facilitated. As a general rule, the objective of BERLIN is to convert human-friendly narrative into computer-friendly…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on March 5, 2016 at 10:12am — No Comments

The Ghost Response



I recently noticed a proliferation of websites from organizations in my area openly offering to investigate ghosts. I thought it would be interesting to share my peculiar data-oriented slant on the subject. It is possible to approach the issue of ghosts from different perspectives. I have been taught to accept the…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on October 24, 2015 at 6:44am — 2 Comments

The Perfect Cheer

I recall the first time I encountered the idea of "asset allocation" many years ago. As the argument goes, the perfect allocation of assets should lead to the greatest return possible in light of one's risk tolerance. Perhaps thousands of years ago, although I haven't studied this in any detail, somebody had the idea that dancing in just the right way might satisfy the spirits enough to cause it to rain. There is the similar notion of delivering the perfect incantation to invoke supernatural…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on September 13, 2015 at 6:06am — No Comments

Quality of Things



"Measurement owes its existence to Earth; estimation of quantity to measurement; calculation to estimation of quantity; balancing of chances to calculation; and victory to balancing of chances." - Sun Tzu, The Art of War (Translated by L. Giles)

The quote from Sun Tzu seems to suggest how a military leader gathers data; adapts to different situations; and makes decisions weighing the circumstances. It says that the balancing of chances depends on "calculation." I…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on April 18, 2015 at 6:20am — 4 Comments

True Freedom - Algorithmic Man Unplugged

Thermometers and scales to measure weight appeared in retail outlets long ago. Blood pressure monitors perhaps came later. Pedometers and heart-rate monitors seem more recent - possibly closer to my time. I saw several devices while doing this blog intended to electronically record among other things hours of sleep; these are designed to be worn on the body all the time. A couple of weeks ago, I bought something to give the heart rate and blood oxygen saturation level. I consider it a real…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on November 8, 2014 at 9:18am — No Comments

Universal Data Model - A Really Different Look at Data

The idea of environmental determinism once made a lot of sense. Hostile climates and habitats prevented the expansion of human populations. The conceptual opposite of determinism is called possibilism. These days, human populations can found living in many inhospitable habitats. This isn't because humans have physically evolved. But rather, we normally occupy built-environments. We exist through our technologies and advanced forms of social interaction: a person might not be able to build a…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on September 13, 2014 at 8:11am — 2 Comments

Hazards of Institutional Data

A prominent discrimination case in Canada involves a firefighter named Tawney Meiorin.  Meiorin had successfully performed her duties as a firefighter for many years.  She lost her job after the introduction of mandatory testing to determine her fitness for the position.  The testing measured aerobic capacity, and it was developed in a manner that many would regard as scientific; that is to say, it used a highly quantitative and analytic approach.  However,…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on November 23, 2013 at 4:43am — 1 Comment

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