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Don Philip Faithful's Blog (128)

Embedding Narrative Sense into Web Documents

I was joking when I entered on Google, “Where was my coworker yesterday?”  After reviewing the responses that appeared from the search engine, I continued, “What did she eat for breakfast?”  Sometimes the responses to my everyday questions seem insightful - on a certain level, interesting and intriguing.  Usually the quality of the responses is quite poor.  I assume therefore that the algorithms operating in the background don’t “understand” the sense of what I am asking.  If I were to ask,…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on April 1, 2017 at 9:30am — No Comments

Running Calculations on Separate Threads

In order to prevent my programs from freezing up while running long calculations, I generally run the calculations on separate threads.  In Java, this process can be accomplished by separating the GUI from processing.  In the code below, a thread for an instance of MyProcessing would be invoked using start(): e.g. “(new MyProcessing()).start();” would run indefinitely until T is made null.  T can be made null by calling stop() or by directly making T null.  Often when the GUI is closing, I…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on March 25, 2017 at 9:42am — No Comments

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

Ecology of Truth

It’s possible I haven’t shared my story of being asked whether people can leap over lampposts.  The question was posed by a university professor although I don’t recall the exact context.  In response, I asked if the people are on this planet.  He hissed at me, “Of course they are on this planet!”  Some planets have low gravitational fields that make it possible for humans to leap great heights.  At the time it didn’t seem like an oratorical question; and so I made an effort to answer it. …

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on March 4, 2017 at 8:54am — 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

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

Externalizing to Structural Capital

I recall somebody mentioning that the former definition for insanity is doing an action repeatedly while expecting different results.  Among the interests that I have in organizations is how at times many organizations make the same mistakes; or how sometimes the same mistake might be made by a particular organization repetitively.  So it is fascinating indeed when an airline facing an ice storm encounters much the same complaints from customers after a similar storm the previous year.  I…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on February 11, 2017 at 9:42am — No Comments

The Weak Karate of Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a quantitative approach to problem solving - to solve certain types of problems. At the root of Six Sigma is an improvement methodology that can be described by the acronym DMAIC: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control [1]. Those interested in reading up on Six Sigma might consider the book for dummies, which I found fairly succinct. Those wondering what I mean by "certain types of problems" should consider how to apply the approach to their own business circumstances. I…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on February 5, 2017 at 7:40am — 4 Comments

Differential Spectrum - the Articulated Event Horizon

I periodically use charts containing a crosswave “differential spectrum” or “event horizon.”  In this blog, I will explain the nature of the spectrum and the relevance of any apparent bias.

I once mentioned purchasing a machine designed to monitor and reduce sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing while sleeping.  During a sleep study, I was found to have moderate sleep apnea.  Apart from its medical implications, sleep apnea is also a metric.  The machine…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on January 28, 2017 at 10:27am — 2 Comments

Organizational Distress - Cumulative Differential from Spliced Data

I routinely study differences in production between years by charting the data on the same graph. I consider this a popular approach. It makes sense since there is often interest on how the year is shaping up compared to previous years. Moreover, seasonality would be less relevant given that the same seasons are compared between years (assuming the seasons reoccur at around the same time). Below I present some real data from an organization in 1983 comparing production to 1982. I think many…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on January 28, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

Adapting an Algorithm to Real-time Applications

Below are some images generated by an algorithm that I originally created to study stocks. The stock in this case is Yahoo! in the early 2000s. I realize that none of these images resemble conventional stock market patterns. Keep in mind that algorithms by nature interact with the data. They don't simply restate the numbers in graphical form. An algorithm designed to deal with historical stock trading data can be modified to deal with the data in real-time. However, there is no inherent…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on January 21, 2017 at 8:48am — 4 Comments

Crosswave Differential Event Model

I have been writing about the Crosswave Differential Algorithm for a number of years. I described in previous blogs how the algorithm emerged almost by accident while I was attempting to write an application intended to support quality control. In this blog I will be discussing the event model that powers the…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on January 14, 2017 at 5:27am — No Comments

Gaining the Context from the Deconstruction of Metrics

I find myself habitually using the term "metrics." When I first started blogging, I normally used this term only in reference to performance metrics. These are not ordinary "readings" but rather criteria-driven amounts - the criteria being performance. Over the years I have come to recognize that data-gathering is normally premised on some type of criteria. When compiling revenue data, it should be noted that analysts are seeking out data pertaining to revenues. The quest is predefined. The…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on January 7, 2017 at 7:02am — 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…

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

Risk as a Narrative Construct



I had some magical moments in my life. Perhaps the most magical was the summer I went to work wearing shorts and running shoes. Captain C. said to me, as I sat in our shared office, “If you want to work during the weekend, you can borrow the keys to the building.” It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. I had already borrowed a military vehicle that, as per Captain C., I could park anywhere in Canada without receiving a parking ticket. So I borrowed the keys to the building. I went…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on December 25, 2016 at 8:00am — 2 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

Objectification of Incidents

Probably like most people, I tend to recognize data as a stream of values. Notice that I use the term values rather than numbers although in practice I guess that values are usually numerical. A data-logger gathering one type of data would result in data all of a particular type. Perhaps the concept of “big data” surrounds this preconception of data of type except that there are much larger amounts. Consider an element of value in symbolic terms, which I present below: there is an index such…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on December 10, 2016 at 9:30am — No 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

Common Coding Situations in Java

 This blog contains some snippets of code that I tend to use in Java.  I acknowledge that somebody else writing this blog might include different code.  Except for a short course at Sun Educational Services, most of my Java programming skills are self-taught.  I’m unsure if people with formal backgrounds in computer science might have different styles and conventions.  Mine have been shaped primarily by my needs.

 

Creating a Graphical User Interface…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on November 6, 2016 at 8:00am — No Comments

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