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social, health, political imagery through the lens of George J Huba PhD © 2012-2017

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I always look forward to the release of many Apple app updates on Saturday morning with anticipation and fear. At times these updates (really bug-fixes of not-acknowledged problems that should have been initially discovered through enough testing before release) provide useful new methods. At times they introduce a whole new set of bugs to frustrate you, hone your work-around skills, and make you look forward to the next updates.

I guess developers who sell millions of copies of small apps that replicate all of the functionality of another developer’s apps do not feel the responsibility to release a bug-free product after a lot of beta testing. Perhaps this lack of regard for the customer is because a programmer who ignored doing sufficient beta testing therefore releasing buggy and bloated software that probably wasted a year of my professional life went on to become the richest person in the world and pretend that all he ever wanted to do was to solve those six world problems that are simple enough for him to understand.

The well publicized “generosity” of the Gates Foundation is really not that; Gates is simply repaying with no interest a few cents on each dollar taken from the world as excessive profits by a monopoly and the waste of the world’s resources in the loss of billions of hours. Bill Gates should be severely criticized, not lionized for his charitable work; it is a tiny distraction from a life of greed and shirking responsibility for the products you sell. I certainly hope the little guys who “only” make a few million dollars from simple apps will not look to Gates as a role model.

Software  Updates and  Bill Gates'  Legacy

The Program Evaluator's Tool Kit

Measure, Find Relationships, Communicate

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Ask the Big Questions and Study How the Answers Relate to One Anotherimage

Decode Events and Naturally Occurring Data

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Examine in Detail

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Listen
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Find Patterns
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This analysis, that analysis, yesterday’s analysis, tomorrow’s analysis, Uncle Izzy’s analysis … is there anything that is a not a form of analysis? Create your own bullshit anagram and bullshit detector. And then see how well it applies various politicians, political claims, the cable news stations, and others. You’re on your way to become a walking, human bullshit analyzer.

So without much further ado, a new form of analysis. And a make your own anagram template.

bullshit analysis

The Old …

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The Current …

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And the Ideal

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  • Click on images to zoom.
  • Note that both the placement of the circles AND the front to back placement are significant and intentional.

This is the first of a series of posts I am making about program-organizational (and individual) evaluation. Much of what I will discuss is not in the mainstream of traditional program evaluation methodology.

My approach is different. It works.

In this first section the point is — obviously — that evaluation is iterative and nonlinear. This led to my first model that EVALUATION IS DETECTIVE WORK several decades ago. [Perhaps that explains my current obsession with all versions of Sherlock Holmes, whether in the original, present London, present New York, or by Iron Man.] At any rate, it seems ELEMENTARY to me that instead of thinking of program evaluation as a linear research experiment with a fixed design (a metaphor that works at best imperfectly), it is more important to treat evaluation as detective work where good rules of evidence must be followed and the evaluator is at fault if all outcomes are not found.

My initial development of the Detective Model in 1992 came from my observation that in much traditional program evaluation the evaluator applies a flawed “research” experimental model and the insensitivity of this approach means that a program looks worse than it is because the evaluation methodology is in error. Who pays for this problem? The program, of course, since the evaluator walks away saying that the “program sucks” and not that the evaluator screwed up. In the Detective Model, applied iteratively and nonlinearly, the evaluator and the program are partners, and it is clear what the responsibilities and level of success each has.

Seems ELEMENTARY to me.

As usual click on the image to zoom.

Evaluation is an Iterative, Non-linear Process

+ high-res version

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Technical note: this mind map was prepared with an iPad app (in iMindMap). I judge the quality of the map to be about as good as the Mac version used to create most of the other mind maps on this site. The iPad and iPhone iMindMap apps are highly recommended.

I was 10 years old when the Berlin Wall went up. 11 when JFK butchered the German language. 38 when the wall came down. 39 when they started selling the pieces. 62 when I finally saw some of the panels in person.

berlin wall time map

In person the panels proclaim desperation, depression, denial of freedom, hope, strength of the human spirit, persistence, creativity, and victory. Kind of puts most of my life in context. ACT UP.

The panels are part of the permanent collection at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Individual panels are 12 feet high and weigh several tons. The collection is the largest held by a public institution outside of Germany.

And, yes, the painted sides were on the western side. The backs are unpainted, blemished gray concrete.

Berlin Wall panels 355Berlin Wall panels 357Berlin Wall panels 358Berlin Wall panels 359Berlin Wall panels 361

When I was a child we used to have the drills you have seen in those odd videos where kids dove under their desks when the nuclear alarm sounded. The Berlin Wall made the fears of the time much worse. My elementary school also had a basement with a sign on the stairs that said fall-out shelter and had the big radioactive sign that led you to believe that the basement would protect you against direct radiation and fall-out. Good thing there were no nuclear attacks and the public at large never realized that a desk or basement was not going to protect you at all. [At the time, my own father was one of the first nuclear engineers in the USA and never told us or anyone else that it was a big government scam; it probably was a result of his high-level security clearance for reactor design.] And in case you wonder about profits from the fake bomb shelters, the US  government subsidized the peanut farmers and put hundreds of gallons of peanut butter in large cans inside of the bomb shelters. When they did tile ceiling tile repairs in my office at UCLA in the early 1980s, the maintenance crew used the peanut butter as glue, and apparently that was a common construction practice at the time! Who knows what else the owners of the buildings with the fake bomb shelters did with this stuff as it passed its expiration date. The 40-year “Cold” War was a pretty nasty one that scared me until the day the Wall came down. The end to the Cold War was a singular achievement of the Reagan Administration, the UK, and our European allies who proved to the Soviet Union that they could not keep up with the western coalition in sustained military spending without totally pissing off their citizens by making them accept sub-standard lifestyles.

And yes, later President Jimmy Carter benefited from both ends of the Cold War radiation industry serving in the navy as a very early nuclear officer [at the time my father was designing submarine reactors and training nuclear officers] on a submarine and later selling subsidized peanuts. Perhaps this has something to do with Carter’s ascendance as a peace advocate after his presidency.

Every day, the Newseum in Washington, DC, receives electronic copies of many of the world’s newspapers. They print them and post at least one from each US state/territory and many from throughout the world.

The next day they start all over again.

It is amazing to see all of these front pages for one day adjacent to one another. The common and the local; the political and the social-entertainment.

3.16.2013. A smattering of those available inside and outside the museum.

Click on images to zoom.

March 16 2013  350 March 16 2013  349 March 16 2013  348 March 16 2013  347 March 16 2013  346 March 16 2013  345 March 16 2013  344 March 16 2013  343 March 16 2013  342 March 16 2013  341 March 16 2013  338 March 16 2013  337 March 16 2013  336 March 16 2013  335 March 16 2013  334 March 16 2013  333 March 16 2013  332March 16 2013  351

On exhibit at the Newseum in Washington, DC — hundreds of front pages from the world’s newspapers.

The reaction of the world after 9.11.2001 says it all.

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The central exhibit is the twisted remains of the television-radio broadcasting antenna at the top of one of the towers.

We have sequestration and a US Congress that refuses to develop a realistic compromise US federal budget and long-term economic plan. Never one at loss for ideas, I propose that the US Congress initiate the following silent auction. As absurd as my proposal is, it seems no more absurd than the ideas expressed on cable news each night by our “striking” employees (the US Congress). Before starting this auction, I prefer that the Members of Congress and POTUS sit down once and for all and do their jobs in managing the economic future of the USA. Otherwise, they are going to have to conduct something like this auction (currently going on in a limited and inefficient manner through lobbyists and Cabinet Level administrators).

Click image to expand.

USA Auction

My lack of admiration for the inability of the US Congress and the President to resolve budget issues in a way that will preserve the economic recovery, provide needed services, and balance the budget should be fairly obvious.

What the current sequestration comes down to is that 535 individuals in Congress who make between $180,000 and $240,000 per year, have exceptional health and pension plans, and have $4,000,000 (tax-free) expense accounts that can be used as needed without audit, are simply not giving the tax payer a very going return for their generous salaries and perks.

This needs to stop. If these folks cannot do their job and pass a compromise budget that meets the goals of long-term economic recovery, high priority services, and debt reduction, we should fire and replace them in 2014. After all, the fact that discussions seem to have ended means that 535 well-compensated public employees have decided to thumb their nose as those who employ them and spend their energy appearing on cable news channels or working on their memoirs or using their expense accounts to get into trouble. No business would tolerate such behavior.

If Congress refuses to work on a compromise they should feel the pain. After all, 10s of millions of Americans are currently feeling it. Every day.

sequestration pain

Over 35 years I facilitated hundreds of professional groups from 6 to 200 in size.

Here’s a few things I learned. [I did not put “have a thick skin” in the formal presentation.]

Click diagram to expand.

facilitating professional groups

Why would 536 (POTUS + Congress) people (mostly white men) play Russian Roulette with world’s health-education-welfare-economy? [circle all that apply]

a) they are arrogant (specify “they” ____________)

b) they are stoopid (specify “they” ____________)

c) they are mean (specify “they” ____________)

d) they have no ability to imagine a harmonious future (specify “they” ____________)

e) they love their face time on cable TV news (specify “they” ____________)

f) John Boehner made them do it (specify “them” ____________)

g) POTUS made them do it (specify “them” ____________)

h) Palpatine made them do it (specify “them” ____________)

g) all of the above

h) what is sequestration?

i) other comments:___________________________________________________

*****

Or as Yoda would say — Jedi not are they

Palpatine

Look around at the restaurant or on the subway or on airplanes or at bicycle riders (yup, see it a lot around here) or at store workers or person in the car next to you at the red light or in television shows and at businesspeople, teens, tweens, older adults, hospital patients, hospital doctors,  athletes, the disabled, those wearing the most trendy clothes and those dressed in all black with black hats/scarves. Data is streaming into all of their lives: email, texts, videos, music, e-magazines and e-newspapers, web sites world wide, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the local restaurant’s menu. Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Prime, your bank, your doctor, your pharmacy, your local fast food purveyor, extra news and feeds from the sporting event you are attending, the latest Kardashian kamikazi komedy.

The video game is the work of the Devil.

With the exception of an increasingly small percentage of individuals with unlimited data because they were early adopters and have not changed their cellular plans, most of us are paying by the gigabyte. Those with free plans are throttled so that they really cannot use an unlimited amount of data for a fixed price so the fixed prices will go away soon.

Drop data prices, streaming will expand exponentially, the phone companies will make even more money, you will never see your friends in the flesh anymore, family dinners as we knew them in 1960 or even 1980 will be dead and replaced by family members sitting at the same table eating junk food and each watching their own data stream, and no one will want to go to the movie theater or red box anymore. Even the Columbian cocaine lords may go out of business.

Data overload will lead to data addiction and probably result in humanity evolving into the Borg Collective.

Borg

We need to make some changes before Skynet and the Terminators become inevitable.

skynet


terminators

I think the human race has no more than 30 years to evolve before the bytes take over. It will make the “War on Drugs” seem like the good old days and war with the Cylons inevitable. If you thought Big Pharma was going to control your life by promising the end to pain and disease, think again. Big Wireless will be even more insidious and the way Big Pharma has increased healthcare costs significantly will turn out to have been smaller than wireless when the historians look back in 100 years. Wireless data streaming is already starting to become the crack of the next decades.

Turn the Devil’s toys off when you: go home, go to dinner, watch TV, are in a meeting, are in a class, are in a place of religious observances, go on vacation, go to bed, take a shower, go into the bathroom (yup, your screaming boss may be in a toilet stall at DFW or ORD), or go to a friend’s home. Get out of the habit of pulling your cell phone out to take a picture of your family and then checking your email or Twitter account while you are at it. And stop modeling the “cellular data comes before everything else” lifestyle to your kids.

Even Spock turned the data stream off sometimes. Do so and “Live Long and Prosper.”

The annotations on the mind map below listing my contact information were made with Napkin for the Mac. a fairly inexpensive app quickly mastered. Easy to make just about any image (graph, chart, pdf, photograph) — whether created by you or another individual — communicate more effectively. After all, who hasn’t drawn on a napkin or the back of an envelope or a photograph or an illustration in a book? [I’m trying to help you refrain from marking up the expensive original of one of those Ed Tufte books or create some new content suitable for presenting or posting.]

Click on the image to zoom.

Napkin 4