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Don Philip Faithful's Blog (138)

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

Sensitivity Mapping of Document Databases

I rarely get to use a walkie-talkie during a course in school. As the snapshot of my desktop shows on the image below, I had both a multi-line telephone and portable radio. Just before the exam, I participated in a simulation. Our tabletop exercise contained an emergency scenario: a train derailment involving the evacuation of residents. I served as the Social Services Director. Although I didn't choose this role for myself, I thought it made sense given my graduate degree in the area of…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on May 3, 2015 at 6:04am — 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

Value-Liquidity Cycle

I made a recent discovery that I would like to share with the community. In my previous blog, I introduced a special algorithmic shell that distributes stocks based on their price movements (along the x-axis) and volume movements (y-axis). Using this shell, it is possible to visualize the trading behaviours of dozens of stocks simultaneously. I noticed one day that the stocks seemed to be lining up in formation. I decided to test the accuracy of my visual interpretation. Below I present the…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on March 22, 2015 at 5:22am — No Comments

Algorithmic Sensitivity to Social Phenomena Using Fractals

I took only a single biology course during my years in university. My environmental toxicology professor explained that when testing for the LD50 (the dose that kills 50 percent of a population) a certain percentage will probably die right away; on the other hand, some might be able to tolerate unusually high exposure levels. There is a distribution of responses. A related principle applies to stress. People respond differently to stress: some might flee from their stressors (avoid or evade)…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on March 7, 2015 at 6:34am — No Comments

Social Construction of Technical Trading Data

I heard an accountant once say that people in his profession are generally bad investors. I am uncertain if this is true. I never really bothered to confirm his assertion. He said that his reasons for believing so relate to the nature in which accountants interpret data, which he implied was rather literal. I personally almost always ignore "book value" - that is to say, the cost of acquisition. For me, the book value is similar to a figure of speech: the investment value never has to be…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on February 16, 2015 at 6:57am — No Comments

Structural Data Objects

In my previous blog on the Hopscotch and Robots simulation environment, I discussed the use of structural data extracted from hypothetical and real-life organizational events. In the current blog, I will be briefly covering conceptual issues more focused on the nature of the structural data itself including its theoretical significance.

Structural data holds information about the relationship between events.…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on January 18, 2015 at 8:10am — 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

History, Music, and the Depth of Data

Like many students about to finish their undergraduate degree, I decided to artificially inflate my grades by taking some "bird courses." These are not courses about birds. Other students assured me that the courses were designed to bolster my marks and to help me complete my program requirements. Considering the many bird courses available, I decided to take introductory music, which was essentially a history course focused on music. It required a lot of…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on December 6, 2014 at 8:52am — 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

Dark Art of Warping



The celebrity of Toronto's mayor has certainly drawn a lot of attention to the city in recent years. Several candidates are now running for Rob Ford's job. Since the mayor is currently undergoing treatment for cancer, he decided to withhold his candidacy in the upcoming municipal election. Being a longtime resident of Toronto, and being aware of the city's wealth and poverty, I'm always interested in how these competing needs play out when it is time to vote.  Consider the interesting…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on October 11, 2014 at 6:07am — No Comments

Data Instrumentalism

Being the son of a mechanic, I have spent many years handling power tools. I'm especially fond of a couple of hammer-drills in my possession. They can effortlessly drill holes through concrete. At least, this is what my father once claimed. He handed down his most treasured tools to me. I'm big on pliers and screwdrivers. This might be due to my vocational training as a technician. Even today - long after I completed my diploma and continued to further my education - I still carry a licence…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on September 27, 2014 at 7:39am — 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

The Awkward Road

This blog is about the peculiar nature in which software sometimes gets developed. I hope that many readers will recognize the relevance of data science in the examples taken from my own projects. I propose that development is the product of creativity more than accreditation. Creativity is something complicated that interacts with a person over his or her life circumstances. Many people know how to write . . . sentences and paragraphs. However, the ability to write well does not necessarily…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on August 30, 2014 at 8:59am — No 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

Origins of the Species

In this blog, I will explain how an approach to handle small amounts data can be reconstructed to handle much larger amounts. This reconstruction is the product of an anomalous perspective or mutation relating to the attribution of performance.

Fig. 1 - 6-fingered handprint spotted near my truck

Many businesses share certain common features.…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on August 1, 2014 at 6:21am — No Comments

Participation in Data and the Effectiveness of Intervention

The role of statistics in data science is often debated. Despite rapid developments in technology giving access to algorithmically sophisticated approaches, I feel that statistics can still provide many worthwhile insights. If I have a database of sales figures spanning many years, I feel that I can become more aware of historic trends and seasonal patterns through the use of statistics. Statistics offers a sense of state, direction, pace, and progress. Statistics can also enable estimation…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on July 19, 2014 at 7:57am — No Comments

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