Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Modes and protocols

We are about three months into a new world. A young guy, weeks ago and before the reality really set in, mused that our world had changed, in ways that we could not yet see. Since then, in that milieu, protocols have been put into place that are somewhat onerous.

Like everything human, 'knee jerk' comes into play. Lots of this really is just the effect of that old mode of playing against the average. So, there cannot be smoothness until things are ground down like peanut butter which then can spread everywhere in equally. Except, that would be the 'smooth' type, whereas the nutty type would have its lumps. But, we don't handle those well.

Look closely, and you'll see that the higher order, say medicine, might put people through the paces in terms of the gauntlet needed for access and completion, yet, day to day, it's peanut butter.

Want an example? I was put under the 'scope' today in terms of the new mode's emphasis on one's temperature for rating go or no go. Too high, go away; within the limit, go forward. So, I score almost 2 degrees (F, of course, we're talking this side of the pond with celebration of independence coming up soon) higher than my normal which is still above normal but below the upper threshold.

As an aside, if we take some number as the average, there will be those who are above and below this number. How the spread goes is of importance. People argue these points; unfortunately, with the computer's prowess, one sees 'knee jerk' adoptions of modes, where a deeper look might suggest caution. Want a parallel here? Two things: Bayes and genealogy, Benjamin Peirce (consider his son, Charles Sanders Peirce - about whom we will hear more in the future).

So, we have the notion that there is an average about which we can make decisions; the most recent example of this is the quick assessment of people with respect to their being under the influence of some viral infection while making decisions that could have impacts beyond those seen by the 'mode' definers.

Okay, was there some decision today that was deleterious? Nope. The contributing factor was my having waited outside an office (new protocol) in heat approaching three digits (in the shade). I said, let's wait a few minutes. Retest. The number was a couple of digits lower which is the norm for myself and others that I know. Cool cats? At the same time, I pointed to another spot and said, measure there. A digit higher. Yes. The forehead was picked for various reasons, mostly due to  maximizing operational ease. However, what of those whose temperatures are above normal, by nature?

And, remove the attention from the screening now being done and consider all of those types of things from which decisions are made. We've made a mess, actually. But, those things will be discussed, in time. Just like, I might add, we will be back to Olson (see Diversion, Gloucester -- Charles Olson).

More immediately, if one surveys all that goes on under the name of genealogy and history, one can see lots of areas where further discussion might just be warranted. On a search, I saw one paper that brought Bayes to the fore. There will be more. But, professionals, are you really doing all that you can and ought to? BTW, vanity genealogy  might be making some people some money, however we definitely need to rise above that age-old dynamic.

We, at the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc., want to see these types of things discussed. Computing (and its muddy cloud) are more than a mess. The future will necessitate that these issues be regularly addressed.

Remarks: Modified: 06/03/2020

06/03/2020 --

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