Registered: Sep, 2005
Re: experiments & dogma
Posted: Jul 12, 2006 9:38 AM
> > Yes but, as I am sure you are aware, you can't allow
> > yourself to be frozen by your inability to 'prove' a
> > course of action is better. Sometimes you have to go
> > your gut. Now that I write that, I recall reading
> > something about how certain individuals are able to
> > suprisingly good 'gut decisions' and the hypothesis
> > this is one of the characteristics of a great leader.
> I first learned about the "do nothing" option in
> engineering school. It's often more efficient to stay the
> course than try unproven solutions.
Doing nothing is, in this context, a course of action. And like many others it's usually not possible to prove it is the best choice.
> As far as 'gut decisions" are concerned, the problem is
> that not everyone's guts say the same things.
That's why not all leaders succeed.
> definition of a leader is a person who thinks their guts
> are better than everybody elses and is aggressive enough
> to persuade the powerful to go along.
That person may be a leader but I would call that leader 'great'.
> > Right. My point is that we cannot just stick our heads
> > the sand and say "where's the data?" The decision
> > requires assesments that will be based on things that
> > not strictly empirical. I'm really arguing against the
> > idea that "if it isn't measureable, it doesn't matter"
> > that's one of the 'really bad ideas' introduced into
> > organizations in recent times. Some of the dumbest
> > I see in my current job are the direct result of this
> The problem is that there has to be some objective
> criteria if the goal is to make the best decision.
> Otherwise it's like arguing about God: How can I select
> one religion over another when they all claim they're
I'm not sure if you are religious (I am not) but people do this all the time.
Let's make sure we are talking about the same thing. Suppose you are leading a platoon of men in battle. You approach an area that is a great place for an ambush. You do not detect an enemy in the area.
According to the logic of the "not measureable -> doesn't matter" mantra, you should not waste time making sure the area is clear. You can't measure the risk in this situation.
It's pretty clear to me that that line of reasoning is pure crap. The vast majority of information available for a making a choice is not quantifiable. Some of the things that are quantifiable are not siginificant and/or are not accurate.
> In my view we asking the wrong question: What methodology
> should we make everyone use no matter who they are or what
> the project is? As working programmers we don't need to
> know what is best in all situations, we only need to know
> what's best for our own.
> Why can't we take advantage of what we know about a
> project and the people working on it rather than relying
> on the dead hand of people who don't know anything about
Ding-ding-ding! You, sir, are a winner!
> If a couple of programmers work really well together why
> not let them do pair programming? If others work best on
> their own, why not let them? Let's not get dogged by the