Reviewed The Wisdom of Crowds, Surowiecki, 2004. Groups outperform experts when there is a right answer. They cooperate & work together more than would be expected. Buyers and sellers find eachother and trade. This does not require consensus, and it can tolerate disagreement and conflict. It does not work when diverse opinions are squelched, or when people worry about what others think. Groups can be inside and/or outside an organizationi. The right conditions are diverse, independent, decentralized & there is a way of summarizing opinions. Things that require a skill, such as flying a plane, are not appropriate. Prediction markets are able to accurately guess election outcomes. Supports Eli Lilly who used internal stock markets & hypothetical pharmaceutical candidates to predict FDA approval. Groupthink makes dissent seem improbable, diversity lets individuals say what they think. Final chapter is on democracy. Missed having an index at the end so there may be an advantage to having a digital version for search. Notes are 21 ½ pages fine-print. Book site.
Archive for September, 2007
Posted by cadsmith on September 29, 2007
Posted by cadsmith on September 27, 2007
Hobbes 1640 may not be everyone’s favorite design for the metro space. There are some new developments. For example, see Emergence, Johnson, 2001 which discusses how bottom-up intelligence is beginning to replace quality management in US. Also location-based reporting allows news readers to submit their own stories, blog posts, reviews and favorites on sites such as outside.in and povo. General commentary can be added in a wiki. This ability to reinforce the paths that work for people may lead to better infrastructure overall. (Adding the zip code as a tag for location to this entry allowed it to be automatically picked up by outside.in.)
Posted by cadsmith on September 21, 2007
Reviewed The Black Swan, Taleb, 2007. This narrative presents a rule changer. It defines a black swan as either a very improbable event that occurs, or a very probable one that doesn’t. This is a new type of uncertainty having three features: rarity, impact, & retrospective probability. It is illustrated topologically as two regions. Mediocristan has a large sample which is impervious to the effects of events. Extremistan is where a single event changes the whole. The theme is about the problem of induction in four parts, the preference for anecdotal knowledge over empirical, the limits of prediction, generalizations from many rare events, & a proposal that the reader is a black swan. There is a derivation of fractal randomness described as gray swans. Added wiki reader notes.
Posted by cadsmith on September 18, 2007
While investigating more of the services that might be of use to testers, was able to create a youtest wiki. This allows people interested in testing to discuss topics, add entries & comment on them. It also has a Glossary page where terms can be added & edited. Anyone can join & post user-generated content. Some of the issues that may be of benefit include:
- how test results might be added to searchable index along with metadata fields & values;
- scripts to aggregate sets from metadata, e.g. tests for a product
- spreadsheet-like macros, e.g. % completion, % passing
- search for defect list entries, problem, solution details, approvals;
- test results allow reader commentary & discussion, index of recent page activities,
- test mash: docs, calendar (tests, resource availability & usage), discussions, emails, engineering specs, s/w, user commentary perhaps wiki,
- production space (problem space) might be navigable & include test data
- other needs & possibilities that might occur during this process
Posted by cadsmith on September 16, 2007
Posted by cadsmith on September 13, 2007
Reviewed Brave New War, Robb, 2007. Discusses empirical methods of global network development and security. Had previously read the author in the book “WorldChanging”. This text discusses fundamental change in security that leads to decentralization of energy, communication & market systems, e.g. an internet of trade. Uses many networking analogies to illustrate a philosophy of resilience. Provides coverage of topics such as effects-based operations, cascades of failure, “systempunk” blitzkrieg definition, open-source warfare, & delves into phishing, swarming, & stigmergic systems. Warns again hindsite bias since risks may be immeasurable ahead of time. Good source of information for security consultants.
Posted by cadsmith on September 12, 2007
FYI: In the category of tools for automatic testing where actual results are hard to measure, this article reports a 2-year development effort in the semiconductor packaging industry using a proprietary application of C++, .NET, Java & XML. “Testing object-oriented industrial software without precise oracles or results”, by Tse & others, Comm of the ACM, 2007.
Posted by cadsmith on September 11, 2007
Reviewed Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, by Tapscott and Williams, 2006. Title refers to shift in economy of scale. There is a page full of alternate subtitles which indicate that it is a snapshot of a morphing environment (p5). This book looks at some of the major innovations driven by the internet & their present & future significance. It has a model based on 7 features which are the chapter title buzzwords. The “agora”, Greek for marketplace, of ideas invites individuals & groups to be creative & reduces the barriers to change. There is a strategy to apply that involves awareness of emergent trends which will become the next motive forces. The notes discuss large countries such as China having a talent shortage or India succeeding in pharma while still looking for cures (p 301). The individual is empowered by this, yet large multinationals & joint ventures are in a strong position. Scientific tenure & promotion curiously still depend on paper-based journals (p 307).