For members, useful insights

I’d suggest making this available widely; beyond membership only. Because it ties in so well with, e.g., this and many other issues at this.

Yes, I may be biased; just like everyone if only for having been member of this. Which (subject) plays a much more prominent role in your lives than you think, certainly in the nearest of futures. Beware.

And be aware of:
[Your ethics reasoning: All corners, leading nowhere, abandoned; Fabrique Utrecht]

Move; to Canadaya ..?

While discussing the options for those in developed countries that would not necessarily agree with the outcomes of recent or pending elections, of course Canada was on the table. Not quite in the Tim Horton / Hudson’s Bay / Blue Jays style, but rather as evac site. Not the Thinking Class leaving, but the retreat of the Others [needless to say, the 1%-and-up aren’t anywhere anymore already; they escape no matter which way the wind blows] is what we have seen with/before/at the Elections in this case; back into the countryside as if the cities aren’t the major country elements these days (‘states’ and electoral colleges as artifacts, makeshift solutions to early-days haphazard nationwide (then, more height than width) comms).

Or still, nevertheless, this here old (Spring) post may provide an option.
Which is perfectly possible; aren’t they where they’d retreat in the first place? But that would bring the ‘risk’ [ P(X)=1 ] that it turns out that the ones not retreating into the billyhills, can perfectly do without the retreaters [many letters in common with traitors], or even fare better.
Calling into question whether the pres that will ‘represent’ all, does, for all or doesn’t, for a majority (!) thus undermining the very idea of validity of the representer in that position and the systems/schemata of elections that brought him there despite the majority not wanting him.


May still bring the near-(sic) Yucatan arrangement closer.

Oh well, plus:
[Defensible against those so utterly bluntly lied to, but also my next / client offices; Breda]

First Rule of Risk

First rule of risk: Never underestimate risk. Even when you follow this rule, and even when your estimates seem ‘proper’.
Where of course, the propriety of your estimates is in grave doubt, either on the “This has never happened to us so / Come on, get real, [we’re not a target because we’re of no interest to anyone] what are the odds!? / Ho hum, there’s the boy cried wolf again”,
or on the “I’ve been reading this thing about CYBER! Arrrgh! In the Inquirer so why aren’t all staff hiding under their desk and we didn’t yet have the Marines take over and destroy the office to defend it ..?” FUD-side.
[Side note: You did have ‘consultants’ over (office (culture, motivation) destroyed, seems like a preventative measure?), but be aware that’s the opposite of Oorah]

Because when every nanosecond brings the possibility of an ‘event’ (how’s the repeat of sampling with (! … is it?) replacement over so many draws working out in your frequency estimations..!?), one can be sure that a 99% chance of something not happening, will result not in the virtually certainly not happening every time, but in the certainty that the 1% will strike, repeatedly, and a strike will endure much, much, much longer that the inception of it. The ‘event’ isn’t measured in nanoseconds, but in days, weeks, months and sometimes even years (think the, near-certain, reputational damage). So, your estimates are too low, all too low.

But since the detractors are always downplaying your estimates due to their other-directed agendas, do follow the First Rule of Risk …

[Your in-house security gurus are quite like that, yes, being the absolute rookies at the BlahBlah Seat At The Board Table — probably available only when the Board is out — or any level they’re relegated to]

Lament / Where have ‘Expert Systems’ gone ..?

Those were the days, when knowledge elicitation specialists had their hard time extracting the rules needed as feed for systems programming (sic; where the rules were turned into data, onto which data was let loose or the other way around — quite the Turing tape…), based on known and half-known, half-understood use cases avant la lettre.
Now are the days of Watson-class [aren’t Navy ships not named after the first of the class ..?] total(itarian) big data processing and slurping up the rules into neural net abstract systems somewhere out there in clouds of sorts. Yes these won out in the end; maybe not in the neuron simulation way but more like the expert system production rules and especially axioms of old. And take account of everything, from the mundane all the way to the deeply-buried and extremely-outlying exceptions. Everything.
Which wasn’t what experts were able to produce.

But, let’s check the wiki and reassure ourselves we have all that (functionality) covered in “the ‘new’ type of systems”, then mourn over the depth of research that was done in the Golden Years gone by. How much was achieved! How far back do we have to look to see the origins, in post-WWII earliest developments of ‘computers’, to see how much was already achieved with so unimaginable little! (esp. so little computing power and science-so-far)

Yes we do need to ensure many more science museums tell the story of early Lisp and page swapping. Explain the hardships endured by the pioneers, explorers of the unknown, of the Here Be Dragons of science (hard-core), of Mind. Maybe similar to the Dormouse. But certainly, we must lament the glory of past (human) performance.

[Is it old, or (still) new ..? Whatever, it’s prime quality. Spui, Amsterdam]

My daughter in law can't even develop a coherent model that unifies all fundamental theories

Trudy Helps

November 2, 2016 by Trudy

Dear Trudy,
My daughter in law is a lovely girl, but she can’t manage to develop a coherent, exact model that unifies the theory of general relativity with quantum mechanics. This bothers me enormously, e.g. at birthday parties with the family. How can I make clear that I would love to see het own string theory without hurting her feelings ..?

You b…, what are you doing? It will definitely destroy your relation with your daughter in law if you try to meddle with the way she likes to integrate scientific phenomena. If you want to have a shot at ever seeing that unification theory during childhood, you better distance yourself a little from her efforts.

[Original, in Dutch, on the Speld; translated with permission]

The Risk of Human Existence

Where Risk should be in the ‘first’ line of any defense, and subsequent lines are mere (subsumed …!) support, as in the line of reasoning where Risk or rather Uncertainty [don’t start me on the semantics pure kindergarten discussions per definitional differences] is essential to do business; nay is essential to any organisation’s ‘business’ even when as non-exposed to market conditions as e.g., government departments.
Which, and this is the title reference, of course hinges on: all human endeavour seeks to eliminate uncertainty as uncertainty in the state of bare survival that humankind still is (sic; on average, and in the near future thanks to global warming [no thanks, global warming!]), would mean deterioration i.e. extinction.

Against which we (well, I; uncertain about you dear reader) have developed these whimsy precious things called brains (i.e., including the prefrontal cortex) to enable us to not only cope with the most complex of things including paradoxes, infinity et al., but also with uncertainty. Through induction and Big Data-like pattern extraction, sometimes taken to the levels at which most current Big Data analysis stands (turning spurious correlations however weak, into causation theorillets and/or rites), sometimes actually achieving something — models that ‘work’ to sufficiently accurately predict some aspects of the future (i.e., behaviour of predators) to enhance survival by staying away from the most unsurvivable situations.
Now that a precious few (??) have managed to ward off the evils of existential threats, such death scare of death has turned into a death scare of anything that doesn’t go according to our plan of doing the least possible to do nothing but eat ourselves into obesity.

Meaning, not accepting that now all reasonable threats, uncertainty, has been reduced by extreme CYA everywhere, at the same time we (not I) accept less and less that bad things just happen, and will ever more fanatically look for someone(s) to blame.

Solve the latter by ‘solving’ the former. Fight CYA!

[What’s our love … but the Art of Glass; Blondie for no apparent reason, Dordrecht]

When it comes to Risk, Appetite is Tolerance

Previously, with many others I believed that Risk Appetite would have to be the starting point of discussion for anything Risk within organisatons. The appetite, following from discussions on Strategy being the choices of directions and subsequent steps that would need to be taken to achieve strategic objectives, i.e., where one sees the organisation ending up in the future. Very clearly elucidated here. Backtracking, one will find the risks associated with these possibly multiple directions and steps — in qualitative terms, as NO valid data exists (logically necessarily, since these concern the future and hence are determined by all information in the universe which, logically, cannot be captured in any model since then, the model would have to be part of itself, incurring circularities ad infinitum and already, the organisational actions will impact the context and vice versa, in as yet (for the same reason) unpredictable ways.
And then … This risk appetite, automatically equated with the risk tolerance by the Board for risks incurred bottom-up by the mundane actions of all the underlings (i.e., including ‘managers’, see yesterday’s post), then suddenly would have to be in quantitative terms… [Yes, bypassing tolerance-as-organisational-resilience-capacity]
As all that goes around in organisations, through the first 99.9% of Operational / Operations Risk, and then some 10% industry-specific risks (e.g., market- and credit- for the finanical industry), not measured but guesstimated by hitherto outstandingly some that have least clue and experience [otherwise, they would have been much better employed in the first line of business themselves… The picture changes favorably (!) where we see some organisations shift to first-line do-it-yourself risk management… finally!] with what the chance and impact figures would be. As if those were the two only quantities to be estimated per ‘event’… As if any data from anywhere would be sufficiently reliable benchmarking material — If you believe that nevertheless, you should be locked up in a treatment facility… Yes sometimes it’s taken to be this moronic… No need to flame bigger here, as that was already done here.

But wait where was I. Oh, yeah, with the bypassing of tolerance defined as what the organisation could bear. The bare fact being, that no-one can establish a reliable figure for that. What the Board can and want to bear … Considering that the Board would have to be all-in, i.e., not only all of their bonuses since ever under clawback threat, but also all of their earned income incl salaries and personal wealth — if any of the Board would not want to risk all they ever had and have, bugger off this is what you signed up to. Considering also that strategic decisions are about wagering the existence of the company on choosing right or else, this wagering the well-being and wealth of all employees however unable to bear loss by mere fact of never had the ability to create some reserves, the previous consideration isn’t exaggerated. You wager others’ very existence, you wager your own ‘first’.

Summa summarum:
Risk Appetite is what the Board lets happen as Risk Tolerated Already.

[And away goes your grand hallway down the drain; [non-related] Haarzuilens, Utrecht]

Positive Performance Plans — Done That, part I

Regarding the latest spat on dumping personal performance plans, P-KPIs et al.

Which one shouldn’t. Even at the most negative end of What Gets Measured Gets Done, there is some truth like, some grains. Where no measurement and reward (sic I) for performance, may not entice too many to be worth their salt (sic II). In today’s total-information society, it’s the free riders, the freeloaders, that escape unharmed with their booty. ‘Hedge fund manager’ like. Possibly to be villified by history as the worst atrocities of humanity ever, but that remains to be seen as history commnly is written by the winners and forward-looking one is not (can not be) sure who that will be.

But change is in the wngs, and is needed indeed. Too many are still driven by assembly line (i.e., geriatric) target setting and (micro)management. Don’t get me started on the latter or I spam you into oblivion with bold 80 point [Expletive starting with an F] You’s.

From the Other Side, there’s renewed talk of personal development through not To Do lists but Have Done lists.

Now, can these be deployed to structure human activities’ objectives ..? Having biweekly open discussions about ‘production’ even when the employee is somewhat free to decide what to work on as long as it’s slightly related to a long-term organisational goal that everyone shares — the Original idea why people banded together in companies, taking that label from the military where already it denoted comradeship and protection towards a common achievement.
Even where proxies are needed, as e.g., project-style work with deliverables only after some time, at milestones and deadlines. Even where managers’ understanding needs to be raised through the (their) roof to capture the content innovation and disruption of the Knowledge Workers doing the creation of work/deliverables/-content and actually understanding how that ties into the total achievement – / required. Even when those ‘managers’ need to grasp the idea that much time is spent very maybe not being worth the salt, to in a blink of an eye arrive at some final nugget worth all the salary previously invested (‘thrown overboard on useless loafing’ which is required for the nugget to materialise). Enabling work at home for many; much more efficiently and with the very same productivity if not much more in the end (when all have become accustomed to the idea(s as here before)).

Yes, this leaves overall performance to ‘managers’, to integrate and achieve, and to report, and to translate downwards to personalised (individualised and adapted to individuals’ personal capabilities and development goals) general work directions. No more forty hours sitting in a cubicle — brains dying of boredom all around but “you don’t get paid for not being bodily present less than forty hours (plus/plusplus) even if you aren’t in the least productive overall”. Such is life. The organisation doesn’t give a [expletive starting with an s] about how you get [same] done, as long as your group delivers… Managers are of the work force, not above it ..!

I’ll work on this topic later, to develop the organisational structures to support this…
Oh, and:
[Where Museum is splendid form and function; Teylers’ Haarlem]

Top 2000-and-counting of 2016, already

Because all sorts of hoi polloi pundits are out there, ‘polling’ (quod non, just repeating the meh mediocrity) for the Top 2000 of 2016 on the ray-the-ohw and elsewhere, herewith the real deal Top 2000.
Which of course isn’t; it’s the Top 2268 for one thing and Definitive is slightly understating it. If you hadn’t guessed, #14 is about me.
And yes, it is downloadable in plain Excel, for your own tinker and play, in this file; checked and clean (no subversive content).
Next, a few little notes (repeated from last year):

  • “That’s odd! The usual numbers 1 to 50 aren’t where they’re ‘supposed’ to be by common standards!” Correct. Because I‘m ‘Rekt. The list is mine; why put the Mehhh songs high up there? They’re in there somewhere, but its my list, my preferences..! yes I do like some almost-forgotten songs better, sometimes much, much better, than the expired old hands.
  • Especially.. see the notes, when the clip (much) enhances the song(s). Wouldn’t that mean the song in itself isn’t fully complete ..? No, it means in (since) the age of video, songs with clips (‘integrated’) can much surpass mere songs by themselves, for a cubed sensory experience.
  • There’s more than 2000 yes. Because, already after the first 500 or so, determining the relative rankings becomes awkward. Hence, the cut-off would be random …! (why not 2048, that would make more sense in this digital (i.e., binary) age). The result is quite random in the end, too, indeed; some of the last songs ‘should’ be up much higher…
  • If you would still have some (preferably wacky) songs you miss, please do comment them to me. I’ll see whether I’d want to include them still, or not. Hey, it’s my list so I decide, geddid?
  • The actual end result order is far from definitive (sic). It depends heavily on one’s momentary temper and the memories that spring to mind like Proustian madeleines. And on one’s ability to hear quality. Such is life.
  • When dabbling with the Excel file yourself, feel free to play around with the ranking mechanism. What worked for me, was to first split the songs into bins of about 250 size (designate some song to be in the first bin that will end up being ranks 1-250, another song to bin 5, which is around the 1000-1250 mark, etc.), then sizing down bin 1 etc. to 8 smaller bins. Then, numbers 1-50 get a personal treatment one by one to their end rank, the rest gets (got) a random allocation within their bracket. After this, sort and re-apply number 1-whatever. Through this, actual intermediate bin sizes aren’t too important.

Then, as a long, very long list. With a Moar tag otherwise it would be ridiculous… [i.e., for the complete list in the post, follow the link:]

1 Hustle Vann McCoy Yes, the original
2 Easy Livin’ Uriah Heep To power it up
3 Heart Of Gold Neil Young Hits the heart
4 Hide and Seek Howard Jones Same, if you listen well
5 Peter Gunn Emerson Lake & Palmer Just for the intro alone
6 She Elvis Costello Personal nostaliga
7 White Room Cream Nicely powerful, doesn’t wear out too easily
8 74-’75 (+Video) Connells The video sublimates the message
9 Windowlicker (+Video) Aphex Twins Incomplete, as a work of art, without the video
10 Nice ‘n Slow Jesse Green Calm down again
11 One Of These Days Pink Floyd Hidden pearl
12 Smoke On The Water Deep Purple Of course
13 The Man With One Red Shoe (+Video) Laurent Garnier Incomplete, as a work of art, without the video
14 You’re So Vain Carly Simon I think this song is about me!
15 Dancing Barefoot Patti Smith Hidden treasure
16 Right Here Right Now Fatboy Slim Oft forgotten, defined an era
17 The Great Gig In The Sky Pink Floyd Appealing complexity
18 All I Need Air Mindfulness in musical form
19 Dream On Aerosmith Heartburn
20 You Got To Fight For Your Right to Party Beastie Boys Appealing. Simply that.

More below, like #21-#2268

Commoditised exploits

What was first; the exploits or the use of them ..?
When now, we have this kind of reasoning, aptly, there already was this, too.

So, … What now ..?

[This being the state of (the best of … ;-[ ) Duts design nowadays. Yes the rest is worse, much worse. Law of handicap of head start; Zuid-As]