Thursday, August 5, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday, July 18, 2009
While everyone else was watching the clock, you were paying attention during math class, storing away square roots and factorials for a day where you could prove your mathematical prowess. Well, my geeky friend, that day has come. Pictured before you is a clock, where all the numerals have been rep...
Cool way to show off math geekiness!
Pros: Attractive Design, Striking original
Best Uses: Living room, Decoration, Kitchen
Describe Yourself: Budget Shopper
Primary use: Personal
I've hanged it up in the living room and just love the way friends and acquaintances do a double take the first time they see it (even if they are serious math geeks themselves). I'm seriously thinking of taking it to the office (or maybe buy another one to keep there -- this one was technically a gift to my wife, an even geekier geek than myself, so I guess I can't just take it to the office;-).
Monday, February 2, 2009
Saturday, December 20, 2008
It's a sharp, spot-on, well-reasoned, well-written analysis, and -- it finally explains to me why I've always gotten so much push-back when, as an expert in my field (software development, and the management thereof), I offer "customers" my forecasts in the right form.
By "customers", here, I mean stakeholders of any stripe, including most product managers, top managers, etc -- even other developers, when they look up to me as a manager, mentor, or "senior advisor" figure rather than sensibly interacting with me as a peer!
And, the right form of forecast is always going to be expressed something like "X plus or minus Y" (or equivalently "between Z and T", where Z=X-Y and T=X+Y), accurately and explicitly expressing the margin of error that always accompanies any prediction (you can take the "with 95% probability" proviso as implied in any such quantitative expression).
Here's why I invariably get vehement push-back against expressing forecasts in the only sensible ways: the "customers" don't want from me, the expert, my knowledge; rather, what they want is certainty -- fake, bogus, fraudulent certainty is so much better than the messy, error-margin-involving business that's inevitable when you reach towards knowledge of reality:-(.
Now, this important realization doesn't teach me how to force stakeholders to face reality, but it does help me frame and understand their mindset, and thus helps me predict (with some margin of error, to be sure;-) how well or badly various communication strategies will work...