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Don Philip Faithful's Blog (144)

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

Standardized Performance Friendly to Big Data

Somebody once mentioned to me that there is a need for a standard method of performance evaluation that can be applied to all employees regardless of their exact duties: e.g. to compare a janitor to an accountant. In my jurisdiction, there is a regulatory requirement for "equal pay for work of equal value" that can affect companies with government contracts. I consider the concept of "equal value" complicated due to its subjective nature. Certainly two people handling exactly the same work…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on July 5, 2014 at 7:31am — No Comments

Causality, Closet Nazis, and the Metrics of Criteria

A few semesters into my undergraduate studies, I decided to move away from campus in order to escape the incessant party atmosphere. I chose to rent an old but roomy apartment in Kitchener, Ontario. I read somewhere that this city was formerly called New Munich. One day in the dead of morning, I heard loud banging and smashing downstairs. It seemed that neither I nor my cat could sleep, so I went to investigate. I saw the owner of the building at the front entrance of the apartment holding a…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on June 21, 2014 at 6:27am — No Comments

Thresholds, Butterflies, and the Metrics of Phenomena

My favourite explanation of the "butterfly effect" so far is as follows: Under particular conditions, even the tiniest movements of a butterfly can trigger storms and hurricanes. This principle is not limited to butterflies, of course. I think that many of us face pivotal moments in life that leave lasting effects. Perhaps no different than other students, I remember running out of cash during my undergraduate years. I consider this my personal butterfly moment. I had no money for food. I…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on June 7, 2014 at 7:33am — No Comments

Geography of Data - Restoring the Transpositional

Above is a distribution of price differentials for the Dow Jones Industrial Average from the 1930s. The image was generated by one of my programs called Storm. I posted a few images from the same application in other blogs. If I recall correctly, the more volatile differentials (closer to the action) are at top; the more stable differentials (further from the…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on May 24, 2014 at 6:51am — No Comments

Addition of Different Dimensions to Data

I was often the lone wolf among my peers in university because I supported a prominent place in society for corporations and an important social role for capital. I questioned whether the directors and executives of companies entered into boardrooms really intending to “oppress” people such as minorities and people with disabilities. Did they deliberately make bathrooms inaccessible to people in wheelchairs perhaps to advance their preconceptions of who gets to go to the bathroom, I pondered…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on May 10, 2014 at 9:44am — No Comments

Strategic Placement for Big Data in Organizations

I tend to examine the different roles played by data. For instance, when I work on computer code, I often ask myself what the presence of data is meant to accomplish. Sometimes the analysis is not at all straightforward or simple. In society and organizations, people exist and persist in the records as data. The data survives even as employees come and go. I therefore consider it important to regard the data and its environment as a system in itself, something that has a life all of its own.…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on May 3, 2014 at 6:30am — No Comments

The Algorithmic Man - Epic Battle Against Headless Apparitions

There was a television interview of a man who had to deal with severe breathing problems through much of his adult life.  He underwent various procedures although he found little relief.  In fact, the adverse impact to his body was long-lasting.  So he was surprised to discover how he was extremely allergic to his breakfast cereal, something that he ate almost without fail.  When he stopped eating the cereal, his breathing problems disappeared.  I am sure that many people would regard the…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on April 27, 2014 at 8:26am — No Comments

Data Embodiment – an Ecosystemic Approach

Embodiment is comparable to the idea of an “ecosystemic” or “holistic” approach. In an ecosystem, each thing affects everything else. In light of the interrelationship, a person would not attempt to correct a problem by considering only a single piece of the puzzle. Instead, there is a need to bring together many aspects of the body. To understand embodiment, it is necessary to recognize how “the body” separates an organism from its environment; in a manner of speaking, the body represents…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on April 19, 2014 at 7:30am — No Comments

Data Interaction in Organizational Systems

I have always had a great interest in how businesses organize in order to get things done.  Here I raise some discussion points intended to stimulate debate.

Principle of Systemic Domains 

Not that long ago, I was completing a graduate degree in “critical” disability studies.  The critical part deserves to be in quotations since it is probably subject to interpretation and all sorts of misinterpretation.  I am going to suggest that in critical…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on March 8, 2014 at 8:15am — No Comments

Risks Posed by Commodified Labour in Complex Fields

The commodification of labour coincides with technological advancements in production: it is perhaps most noticeable in relation to factories.  Factory processes replaced the labour once done by skilled tradespeople. It might not be obvious how this trend has continued to this day and is now affecting professionals in complex fields including those in the data sectors. I am talking about the "made to order" and "off the shelf" acquisition of labour commodities. What I describe as commodities…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on February 22, 2014 at 7:05am — No Comments

Searching for Intangibles - Data Embodiment Using Protocols

I often find myself following missing-persons cases. I am interested in the reasoning behind the use of resources. There can be major deployments of capital during investigations. I tend to wonder which scenarios trigger more spending than others. I also recognize the visceral side of missing-persons cases. There are publicly accessible databases of missing persons in Canada, the United States, and I am certain many other countries. I imagine that it can be difficult to regard such…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on January 1, 2014 at 7:12am — No Comments

Java Coding Samples for Online Data-mining

In this post, I discuss the basic characteristics of code that I have personally used to extract online data - in a process these days often called data-mining.  I intend to cover some general features.  Those that wish to do so can also compile the coding samples.

Over the years, I have programmed in a number of computer programming languages including Visual Basic, Perl, Python, and LISP (AutoLISP).  The coding samples on this blog are written in Java, my language of…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on November 24, 2013 at 7:00am — 3 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

Visualization - Trading Without Numbers

In this blog, I share some images from an application called Storm.  I wrote the program many years ago.  Storm has the ability to generate 3-dimensional plumes from a stream of data.  It also has an unusual feature that allows the user to trade based on the kinetics - effectively eliminating the need to know about pricing.  At this time, I would like to draw a clear distinction between trading and investing.  I should also point out that I used Storm for recreational…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on November 10, 2013 at 5:58pm — No Comments

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