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  • Security Theatre Thinking is Damaging the USA

    We need our watchman to care about our society. We need them to see themselves as servants of society. We don't need bullies. We need to stop accepting horrible practices from proponents of security theatre and we need to find watchmen in the vein of Sheriff Taylor not those that see SWAT teams as a sensible reaction thousands of times a year.

  • Theory of Knowledge: Can We Trust Our Memories?

    people may well overestimate their ability to predict. They therefore may under-appreciate the problems due to poor prediction. They may also not see that their predictions are not very accurate and therefore should call into question the theories upon which those predictions are based.

    Also this shows the importance of trying to cement the understanding of agreements. Sometimes people will think writing down what was decided in a meeting or in a discussion is not needed because we will remember. But memory is very malleable.

  • Effective Communication is Explicit

    Making communication explicit creates a process that is less likely to result in problems that stem from communication failures...

    Writing on a flip chart what was decided in a meeting along with all the action items (including who is responsible) is another example of a practice to make communication explicit.

  • Examining the Scientific Basis Around Exercise and Diet Claims

    As I have said before, scientific literacy is critical to allow us to make those judgements about what is credible evidence and what are outright lies, foolish claims or highly suspicious claims tainted by conflicts of interest.

  • Distorting the System, Distorting the Data or Improving the System

    In Fourth Generation Management (I highly recommend this book, by the way), Brian Joiner provided an excellent summary of the options to get better “results” (as measured by the data used).

    The options are to:

    • distort the system
    • distort the data
    • improve the system
  • But, That Won't Work Here

    George Box, a good friend (and a close colleague to my father), put the problem of getting new ideas adopted this way (from Management Matters by John Hunter):

    1. It won’t work
    2. It won’t work here
    3. I thought of it first
  • The Wonderful Coconut

    One of the treats of living in a tropical climate is drinking coconut water. I love drinking the water from fresh coconuts. This video provides insight into the many uses of all parts of the coconut tree.

  • 94% Belongs to the System

    I should estimate that in my experience most troubles and most possibilities for improvement add up to the proportions something like this: 94% belongs to the system (responsibility of management), 6% special.

    Page 315 of Out of the Crisis by Dr. W. Edwards Deming.

  • The Art of Discovery with George Box

    Great video of George Box on the process improvement process.

  • Good Journalism Aids Society by Shining the Light on Corruption

    That police departments cover up abuse by their own to the public is pitiful. So many good police officers serve these systems that are failing to stop criminal behavior against the public. It shouldn't fall to journalist to protect the public, but when the police perpetrate such bad practices journalists are a potential protection to the public. If we don't support real journalism we risk great damage to our society.

  • Asian Civilizations Museum in Singapore

    The image shows: Uma Parameshwari, bronze statue, India

    The Asian Civilisations Museum’s flagship at Empress Place opened in 2003. Occupying over 14,000 square metres at the newly-restored Empress Place Building, it houses 11 galleries which showcase over 1300 artefacts from the Museum’s growing collections on the civilisations of China, Southeast Asia, South Asia and West Asia/ Islamic.

  • Knowing How to Manage People Is the Single Most Important Part of Management

    The challenge with managing people is not that good sources on what is important don’t exist it is that far too often we make superficial application of management ideas and then give up and superficially try another management idea.

    Learning from the gemba is important. But superficially visiting the gemba and doesn’t work. Without an understanding of how the components of a management system fit together and a long term commitment to create a management system that focuses on respect for people the organization fails to capture most of the gains possible with better management of people.

  • Science and Engineering Macroeconomic Investment

    The United States has benefited tremendously from the decisions to fund the National Science Foundation (as well as other investments in science) for decades. Other countries have seen the wisdom in those investments and seem to be committing much more to those investments than the US lately. I think it is very wise of them and will serve the world well. But I fear the United States has already allowed itself to lose a great deal of the competitive advantage it built up in the middle of the last century.

    In the last couple decades we have been able to coast on the lead we had. We could have many of the best minds come to our colleges and then keep them here once they graduated with advanced degrees. However, the lead we had is rapidly being eliminated. This does not mean the US will immediately be uncompetitive. But it will mean one of the great advantages we had will be greatly reduced.

    The United States still has competitive advantages that will continue to serve us well in harnessing advanced technology for economic gain. But others have been making strategic decisions to gain some of those advantages for themselves. And the United States will almost certainly continue to see its scientific and engineering leadership in the world erode. And the economic consequences will be dramatic.

  • Design of Experiments in Advertising (2005)

    It is great to see the application of Designed Experiments increasing. I am reminded of an article by my father, William G. Hunter, from 1975: 101 Ways to Design an Experiment, or Some Ideas About Teaching Design of Experiments. Examples of the topics of the designed experiments his students performed:

    • taste of stewed chicken
    • toys child chose to sleep with
    • quality of ground malt for brewing beer
    • distance football was kicked
    • absorption characteristics of activated carbon used with municipal waste water
  • W. Edwards Deming’s Seven Deadly Diseases

    Seven Deadly Diseases

    1. Lack of constancy of purpose
    2. Emphasis on short term profits (Overreaction to short term variation is harmful to long term success. With such focus on relatively unimportant short term results focus on constancy of purpose is next to impossible.)
    3. Evaluation of performance, merit rating or annual review (see: Performance Without Appraisal: What to do Instead of Performance Appraisals by Peter Scholtes).
    4. Mobility of top management (too much turnover causes numerous problems)
    5. Managing by use of visible figures, with little of no consideration of figures that are unknown or unknowable.