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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:41 pm 
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http://politicalcompass.org/facebook/pc ... &soc=-0.15

I'm such a right-wing nut job. :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:16 pm 
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Jason Rees wrote:


Wingnut! :P

By the way, I liked your blogs. You should share them. Very well written, and politically astute.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:12 am 
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Terminology quiz

I answered an even split: 5 one way, 5 the other.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:32 pm 
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Wow... I couldn't get past the first question. There was no box for "none of the above." The words were so obviously loaded that I chose not to take the bait. And why? Part of the answer is in the Nolan Chart. ;)

Good experiment though.

Recently I passed around copies of a Wall Street Journal article at work. The story was by a statistician who used pattern recognition techniques to identify the author of a particular sports story. He was able to do so with over 99 percent certainty by looking at the pattern of use of key adjectives. The adjectives chosen by the way were content neutral, making the exercise pretty amazing.

And why would you use such technology? It's sometimes used for instance to identify the author of a piece of literature or music which was discovered long after the author passed away. And it's also used to identify potential forgeries of such works. Some for instance have suggested that certain authors (e.g. Shakespeare) sometimes used ghost writers.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:58 pm 
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Hey, I'm 70% Republican according to this, if that's correct my dad will disown me for sure. :D
This quiz is not the same as analyzing patterns in written text, and while speechwriters may be particular in which words they use, giving word differences between Democrat and Republican politicians, I think in a quiz like this most of the public is going to choose whichever word they hear the most regardless of their political leanings.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:40 pm 
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I got a 5-5 "bipartisan" split and shared the general dislike for the either or style. But what can you do. It's not as if people didn't already know where they fell so this is mostly for fun.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:58 pm 
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In-between two of my previous jobs (Anthem/Wellpoint to Ingenix), I applied to Capital One for a position as statistician. It would have been distasteful, as they build models to predict who good customers are to get hooked on credit cards. That was a long way away from building predictive models to find next year's medical train wrecks who needed disease or case management. But WTF... it was money and Capital One was local. So I gave it a try.

Capital One has a rigorous, all-day testing process. The first thing they have you do is go through page after page of multiple financial plots, and answer stupid questions about them. What-ever... But then there was this strange "personality" test I was forced to take. It had you order about 8 or so approaches to "a problem." In virtually every case, it was a situation where obviously some moron let things get out of control, and was forced to make compromises. My solution to such situations? Fuking avoid them by doing your work early!!!! Not keeping up? Work nights and weekends. (I'm doing that now to make a splash.) But nooooo... they wanted me to order the distasteful approaches with things like hand it in late, fake the results, blame it on a co-worker, etc., etc. After a while, I just started putting random stuff down. And I didn't pursue that "opportunity" any further.

Highly intelligent, creative people find solutions in life that are "none of the above." Any place that makes you pick from a handful of "false choices" isn't a place I want to work. Few new and really significant problems get solved that way. Heck... Einstein invented a brand new branch of mathematics (tensor methods) just so he could finish up on his relativity work.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:33 pm 
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There is a balance at play here. A friend was rejected after a stellar interview because the survey she then had to take asked her to management response to a variety of hypotheticals at different jobs. She acted smartly, but they wanted "ask your supervisor" every time. Better for her NOT to get that job, probably.

There are plenty of places where frontline thinking is desired, as with the toyota mechanic who can stop the whole line if s/he spots a problem. But this can also be overdone.

Doctors, for one, are overtrained to individualize problems and create a new solution for each patient, which is not only less effective, it can't even be studied, because the responses vary way too much. When they are asked to organize and get consistent, things improve.

For example, they found that the responses to certain conditions in lung disease (doctors fiddling with the ventilator settings) not only varied highly doctor to doctor, but weren't consistent for any individual doctor either. After a protocol was written, consistent outcomes were tracked, and then the protocol could be improved, and now that protocol has been shown to reduce mortality and ventilator time and costs in a condition called ARDS. In other words, clever tinkering doctors were killing people and spending money to do it.

Law inforcement (I'm told) is another area where you don't want people over thinking stuff. I imagine similar logic applies in the army. In crisis situations you need confidant, consistent responses, and over thinking stuff leads to critical delays and disorganization.

The key thing is to train people to know where to follow the rules and where creativity is appropriate and desired (generally I favor the latter, and it's certainly nicer to get a customer service rep who was empowered to fix the problem rather than follow a strict protocol, but I see inappropriate tinkering everyday).

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:47 pm 
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Hmm... Yes and no to your thoughtful post.

You should read Rory Miller's book Meditations on Violence some time. Sure, sure... he's very much all about a LEO following the law, the force continuum, etc., etc. On the other hand, he points out situation after situation where "canned responses" learned from stupid teachers can lead someone down a dangerous (and sometimes deadly) path. I know, I know... Someone's going to come on here and quote Hick's law, yada yada yada. (As if they really understood how it actually applies in such a situation.) Meanwhile, Rory will tell you that a principles-based approach (like defanging the snake or unbalancing your opponent) is associated (in his experience) with a much better longevity in his line of work. He also loves to set people up for making the "canned" response in scenario training, and then point out how they missed out on so many obvious (and better) choices which an untrained person would have been more likely to make. In other words... You should work backwards from the desired solution to the appropriate tools rather than look forward from your tool or tools to how you'll make it work in every situation.

I'm all for developing evidence-based medical protocols, Ian. But I'm also reminded of a story where someone was taught in a hemorrhaging situation to put a tourniquet in-between the injury and the heart. So what does this moron do? He sees someone bleeding profusely from a head wound and chooses to put said tourniquet around the poor sap's neck. Sigh...

There's a time and a place for creative solutions. Mostly however we must remember in the OODA loop not to shut off the middle "OD" unless the stupid-simple, fast response is the best response.

Believe it or not, my college chemistry professor pleaded with me NOT to go to medical school. He said I may be stifled in medicine, and it may not be the best use of my creative talents. Hmm... Fair enough. ;)

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:37 am 
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Well, I'm merely informed that's what many desire out of LEO training. I'd defer to anyone who's done it. And I would add that yes, you have to train to do the right thing obviously, and if that's defanging the opponent, that's the response, rather than over processing the situation. I think the story teller was mostly concerned with people not thinking about making moral judgments or something like that rather than just dealing with situations.

As for the tourniquet on the neck, it sounds like a great story, but probably not much more than a story. Tourniquets are generally a bad idea anyway. Direct pressure is generally a better bet.

As for having your creativity stifled in medical school, well, you can ask Abraham Verghese or Atul Gawand about that. Or just expose that chem professor to the fact that you have to make judgments of some kind every day and nearly in every patient you meet. I have to guess he never went himself.

In all of these cases, you have to balance protocolized thinking against judgment. It's a question of where you draw the line. Generally, if you get taught the right thing to do, you should do it at least 85-90% of the time, and have a really good reason to deviate when you do. For example, a gut feeling that someone has a resistant pathogen is a stupid reason to deviate from guideline directed antibiotics for pneumonia. The degree of discomfort a person has from a sore throat associated with terrible nasal congestion is not a good reason to deviate from the rule that you don't give antibiotics for viral illnesses because the discomfort doesn't change the probability of viral infection. I watched a physician overrule my plan (as a student) not to treat such a person, and he was mistaking antibiotics for compassion. Give the guy some vicodin if you want, but being miserable doesn't make your virus antibiotic sensitive.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:16 am 
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All good points.

I would add however that a good deal of medicine is still "equivocal" at best. Some situations demand a canned, evidence-based response, and some are nothing more than a matter of practice or patient preference. And then there's the "bedside manner" part which is the secret sauce of medical practice.

As for the self-defense situations, it's a bit of the same. Some situations demand canned responses because there really is one best solution (e.g. don't go to the second crime scene), you don't have time to do anything but, or your lower brain is going to initiate the response anyhow. And then there's the rest of the self-defense domain where thoughtful approaches, personal preferences, and style points come into play.

And that's why they pay us the big bucks, no?

<balances checkbook... notes zero balance...>

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:12 pm 
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You would NEVER to the second crime scene? What if you were McGyver and you knew there was a paperclip and some duct tape there?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:08 am 
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IJ wrote:

What if you were McGyver and you knew there was a paperclip and some duct tape there?

What if J Lo left Marc Anthony and asked to have my baby? It could happen... :roll:

I never say never. But some things in life are safe to bet on.

- Bill


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