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Don Philip Faithful's Blog (133)

Conceptual Attribution

"Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.  Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another's speech."  (Genesis 11-6,7)  On the distance between expression, meaning, and action resulting from growth of populations and…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on October 31, 2015 at 6:20am — 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

Social Determinants of Disease

I routinely ask people who have degrees the following question: "So what did you do your thesis on?" Since I routinely encounter problems outside my domain, I like to be aware of the resources around me. I have been reminded that a student doesn't necessarily have to complete a major research paper to earn a degree. A student can just "do the program." As a person who has always chosen to do the research paper, I can say that this normally takes a fair amount of collaboration. There is a…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on October 17, 2015 at 4:57am — No Comments

From Survey to Database

I find that different types of surveys represent a large source of data for many organizations: client questionnaires; recruitment interviews; incident debriefings; interrogations; borehole drilling surveys; quality control checks; marketing surveys; security and patrol logs; and inventory audits. I believe that for many people, the idea of collecting information using surveys makes sense; and they recognize the need for the data. Problems arise in relation to the transition from survey to…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on October 10, 2015 at 6:09am — No Comments

Inferential Modeling and Application of Analogs

When discussing the use of algorithms, the issue of durability or portability has to be considered. For example, a stock trading algorithm might be used in a missile guidance system. The algorithm would have to operate on an abstract kinetic level rather than for a specific application. I have written in the past about using the same algorithm to study stocks, earthquakes, hurricanes, electro-cardiograms, and attempts at evasion - using my mouse in a game environment. Wouldn't an abstraction…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on October 4, 2015 at 7:17am — No Comments

The Decision Frame

There are a number of movies that I consider much more suitable for television than theatre: Alien Versus Predator; Doom; Snakes on a Plane; The Cave; The Colony. The stories of these movies play out in environmentally-limited sometimes enclosed settings. In the theatre, I considered Alien Versus Predator the worst movie I ever had to sit through in my entire life, second perhaps only to the original Tron. But at home on a 36-inch display, it has become one of my all-time favourites. On the…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on September 28, 2015 at 6:24am — No 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

Phenomenalism and Unexplained Phenomena

Phenomenalism is sometimes described as a type of reductionism. Information about a complex object might be reduced to simple sensory details. For example, ignoring the many interesting features of the ice cream…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on September 5, 2015 at 6:19am — No Comments

Revisiting Mass Data Assignments

Last year, I wrote a blog on "mass data assignments." For readers that lack a prototype or application to handle data using mass data assignments, the topic probably seems a bit evasive. In this blog, I will be reinforcing and developing…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on August 29, 2015 at 5:46am — No Comments

Seasonality

I have never been formally trained on how to deal with seasonality. But I wanted to take a moment to share my perspective based on experience, which I hope readers will find fairly straightforward. Some people use sales revenues in order to evaluate seasonal differences. I find it more desirable to analyze units sold if possible. A price increase resulting in slightly higher revenues does not in itself represent increased demand. Nor should discounted prices leading to reduced revenues…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on August 23, 2015 at 5:19am — No Comments

Overcoming Aspects of Social Disablement in Data

When the performance of an employee is evaluated, ideally there are no externalities to complicate the analysis. If the employee has a computer that is constantly freezing up - or the servers in the company frequently operate slowly - the employee's performance data will reflect the functionality and effectiveness of these systems. If the company occupies a highly competitive market, declining sales data is attributable at least in part to competition rather than the behaviours of employees.…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on July 25, 2015 at 5:44am — No 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

Structural Relationships in Data

The first computer program that I encountered mimicking or emulating human interaction through language was called "Eliza." The version that I knew ran on the Commodore PET. It communicated in English. Eliza made comments that made some sense but which indicated lack of understanding of the conversation. If a person mentions "mother," Eliza might…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on June 20, 2015 at 5:06am — No Comments

Ontology for Data Science

When I returned to university to do a graduate degree, I was interested to discover how certain terms are subject to "intellectual interpretation." A word that I was asked to explain during one of my earliest classes was "ontology." Since this term was absent from my dictionary, I originally confused it with "oncology." I faintly recall that oncology involves the study of tumors. After consulting a few sources, I said that ontology is the study of how things come to exist or into being. I…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on May 30, 2015 at 6:17am — No Comments

Virtual Org and Behaviour by Transaction

In Java programming, there is the idea of a "virtual machine." A virtual machine is a computer system that doesn't exist in real life. Yet programs can be written for it. The code is interpreted by a runtime environment. Through this arrangement, Java programs can operate on different operating systems rather than one exclusively. Depending on one's background, the concept of a "…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on May 23, 2015 at 6:31am — 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

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

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