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I was just talking to a group of people. (Shocking) No one in this group was a scientist. Not a one. Not even an engineer. Quite honestly, none of us were even exceptionally smart. I would like to think that since I was there in a consultative capacity, that those in the group thought highly of, at the very least, my skills, if not my intelligence.

I will say that there was no doubt as to the groups opinion of their collective intelligence.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH they thought they were smart. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHH they thought they were sophisticated. OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH they thought that they were witty and clever.

One of them even said that "The average American nowadays can't tell the difference between science and magic." To lots of guffaws and self satisfied grunts of masturbatory pleasure.

I let it go.

I know that "science" to the average American is exactly what they learned it was in school. You take a hypothesis, and through observation and experimentation, you prove it wrong or right. But what it comes down to is simple. Science isn't "guessing".

To the decidedly un-average Americans in my conversational group, "science" is guessing. A credentialed "scientist" reports a study that supports a theory that gets reported on the news. That theory is proved. SCIENCE! An acquaintance relates an anecdote... PROOF! The first paragraph of an article reports results of a judgment sampled survey. Those results are extrapolated to the entire population.

Statistics and surveys aren't science. Science is observable fact and repeatable results. Gaming, modeling and estimates are interesting and fun. They can even lead to "science". But until they are proved, they are not and never will be settled science.

You can believe some of these theories and anecdotes and studies to be true, I know I do. But they aren't settled science.

Anyway. It was a long meeting and eventually I had to tell them that the report they gave me (based on a sample of documents from a single repository) was not accurate because, while the whole number of items they reported was a pretty close approximation, he failed to take into consideration what type of user was using each repository and the type of files those users would put into said repository. That's why their shit don't work. In other words, close is for horseshoes and hand grenades assholes. You want results? Count. Read.



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Blogger Adam said...


9:57 AM


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