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Don Philip Faithful's Blog Posts Tagged 'systems' (28)

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

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

Being an Ontologist

I am sometimes asked whether I am working on the stats, whether I am making progress on the stats, and what I do with all of the stats.  People are also prone to hyperbole.  I am told that I sure work on a lot of stats, I am always keeping myself busy doing stats, and I am the person to go to for stats.  I suppose my real job is more mysterious than the one others imagine that I do.  I first want to explain that for everyday people, the term “stats” or “statistics” often means historical…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on March 11, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

Dealing with Unstructured Input

It isn’t too unusual for surveys to contain open-ended questions:  respondents would be free to enter their comments in any manner.  More on an operational basis, not surveys but rather client systems might hold such comments; and not the respondents themselves but customer service agents would be responsible for entering the information.  These same agents would likely classify the nature of the exchange or comments maybe using drop-down menu choices, radials, and check-boxes.  One approach…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on February 25, 2017 at 10:47am — No Comments

Paranormal Side of Data Science

The diagram above was produced by my father in an effort to predict lotto numbers.  Usually in a given year, I read at least a few blogs on using data science to help improve a person’s odds gambling.  Gambling might include casino games, lottery tickets, and perhaps even stocks.  On the other hand - and I admit that I might be an oddball in this area - I feel…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on January 1, 2017 at 8:30am — 8 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

Make It So, Number One

I found some leftover hamburgers in the fridge. I decided to stack a couple of them together to form a colossal “super-burger.” At the time, I didn’t appreciate how doing so would make it almost impossible to physically fit the burger in my mouth. I squished and squeezed the burger until it was flat enough to eat. Such are the problems of physics that become…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on October 2, 2016 at 6:00am — No Comments

Ableism in the Numbers - Social Metrification

Ableism (able + ism) is apparent in many interactions between people. While driving on a road having a posted limit of 60 KPH, I was traveling slower since I expected a red light to soon appear ahead of me. The driver behind me - at that point stopped due to the red light - hollered that no car should be driving less than the posted limit. I explained, "60 is the maximum speed. You shouldn't do more than the…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on July 16, 2016 at 6:27am — No Comments

Embodiment from Codified Narrative

For a number of months, I have been generating codified narrative from films, fairytales, paintings, court cases, and news events. Codified narrative might be described as a tokenized rendition of the underlying content. There are many ways to do a rendering. Imagine asking 100,000 people to write a story based on the same general details such as scenery, major events, and specific outcomes. To the extent there are commonalities in the resulting storylines, I would say that "social…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on June 11, 2016 at 10:22am — No Comments

Formulating the Metrics of Phenomena

In recent blogs, I have been distinguishing between quantitative data and narrative data. I believe that I separated the two forms relatively well. Although I originally focused on the differences in data in order to give narrative "its own space," actually there can be a symbiotic relationship between the two types of data. In my last blog, I said that quantitative data can be incorporated into narrative data. In my submission today, I will be discussing how the narrative can be used to…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on May 7, 2016 at 6:39am — 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

5 Types of Data in Feedback

In this blog, I will be discussing some distinct types of data involved in feedback. The types that I will be covering are as follows: 1) structural; 2) event; 3) quantitative; 4) contextual; and 5) systemic. In 2014, I recall reading a number of blogs about three types of data: prescriptive, descriptive, and predictive. There was a data scientist apparently on tour lecturing extensively about these three types. I don't recall the individual's name. Well, prescription, description, and…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on July 5, 2015 at 4:56am — No Comments

The Institutional Response



When I talk about "the institutional response," I am referring to an increasingly common occurrence: a standardized or large-scale approach is supported, promoted, and applied by a particular institution - sometimes governmental in nature - premised on its apparent suitability or superiority to achieve desirable outcomes. I suspect that in recent years, there has been a push to get citizens to file their income tax returns electronically. I know that in Canada, it has become difficult…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on May 16, 2015 at 8:48am — No Comments

Development as Art - Hopscotch and Robots

When I read a blog, I often find myself in deep thought as I approach the end, trying to determine if the author has said anything that I might be able to use. A blog doesn't have to say anything. Nor does it have to be useful to me specifically. It might simply offer a personal reflection on life. As a person who also writes blogs, I…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on January 3, 2015 at 8:16am — No Comments

Fallacy of Rational Prerequisite & My Fruitless Existence

Before elaborating on my fruitless existence - about my decision to avoid fruit - I want to emphasize how this blog is actually about something that I call the "Fallacy of Rational Prerequisite." There will be some misunderstanding about this term even after my prolonged explanation. I just want to state plainly at the outset that I am not proposing that people become irrational. If they are already so, I am not suggesting that they further the situation.…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on December 20, 2014 at 8:21am — No Comments

Variable Metrics Formats for Mass Data Assignments



I created this blog to further discuss the issue of mass data assignments, a methodology that allows qualitative data events to be incorporated into metrics such as performance indicators. These assignments are routine for me now after having developed a prototype. However, I am unaware of the prevalence of this or similar techniques in the broader community. So I periodically work the topic into my blogs to help stimulate discussion. When quantitative data exists, it means that we had…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on November 22, 2014 at 8:18am — No 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

Qualitative Engine for Organizational Simulations

Given the nature of the community, presumably many visitors already have a strong understanding of the nature of quantitative data. Perhaps more mysterious is the idea of qualitative data especially since it can sometimes be expressed in quantitative terms. For instance, "stress" as an internal response to an externality differs from person to person; yet it would be possible to canvas a large number of people and express stress levels as an aggregate based on a perceptual gradient: minimal,…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on October 25, 2014 at 6:37am — 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

Systemic Intelligence - Prelude to a Universal Data Model

Many years ago, I attended a vocational college to learn skilled trade. I was taught about the behaviour of systems. I learned that after renovations to a house, the furnace might cycle on and off more frequently; this can leave some parts of the house too cold. A wood-burning stove or fireplace should be treated as a part of a system. Open doors and windows in the dwelling can cause exhaust from such appliances to enter living spaces. I realize that these particular examples of systems…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on August 16, 2014 at 8:31am — No Comments

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