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social, health, political imagery through the lens of George J Huba PhD © 2012-2019

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Early Friday morning Hurricane Florence is going right over my house. The predicted storm center path this for Category 4 hurricane (150 mph) is directly over my town near Raleigh, North Carolina. Expected rainfall is between 10 and 20 inches. Some areas will get 48 inches.

About one year ago, Hurricane Maria went over Puerto Rico, a part of the United States. All the lights went out. All of them. Most of the island was destroyed. And there was no fresh, safe water.

A few days after the storm President Trump announced that 65 people had died. The US government and especially President Trump still cites that number as evidence he does “the best job in the history of the United States” in disaster relief.

Independent studies by two major university Departments of Public Health have shown that 3,000 US citizens in Puerto Rico died. One year later (an hour ago), President Trump continues to tweet that his relief efforts in Puerto Rico were about perfect. The statistics of that relief effort shows that the aftermath of Hurricane Maria was one of the most incompetent relief efforts in USA history.

Just watch the video. And consider that parts of Puerto Rico do not have drinkable water or electricity after a year. And people were drinking drain water from a nuclear waste site for months in Puerto Rico.

I know I will be OK. President Trump says so.

[This morning, the computer predicted path models for the eye of the storm have been revised. The hurricane might go somewhat south of my home, although the path is still quite unpredictable. But there is no victory in that. The new predicted path has the storm going over two major US cities: Atlanta, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Death tolls could be event high if the path changes.]

I know I will be OK. President Trump says so.

Trump

I know I will be OK. President Trump says so.

Trump

 

Data fly across the TV screen all day since I keep it tuned pretty much all of the time to cable news (with the exception of Star Trek Discovery, of course).

To all of the politicians (and Donald Trump is by far the worst), pseudo scientists, analysts for TV networks who know little about analysis, doctors pushing natural products not proven to be helpful, athletes and other endorsers, and lobbyists paid or pro-bono, I want to scream SHOW ME THE DATA. I would be willing to bet that only about 33% of all statistics cited on TV, especially by the President, have any data behind the speakers’ claims.

A lot of what is called Fake News or Junk Science may be intentionally lying or it might just reflect on a speaker who is too lazy to look up the actual data and facts before going on TV and spouting off. Either way, it is not acceptable.

Click on the image to expand it.

Show Me the Data

 

Nothing in this blog post is intended as medical or psychological advice. Should you wish to understand the issues in cognitive training as they pertain to you, consult with your doctor, psychologist, or another licensed healthcare provider. I am neither suggesting that you use cognitive (brain) training or alternate methods of thinking although I have made such a choice for myself. The intent of this post is that you understand the issues with these methods should you be making a choice. 

In the past three decades, methods of cognitive training have been developed by many companies. Services are offered by online companies, individual healthcare professionals, and some psychological testing companies.

The developers-owners of cognitive training methods make many claims about how these methods can improve or maintain GENERAL cognitive (brain) functioning for typical adults, those starting cognitive decline, and those entering the faster decline of dementia.

In most cases, costs associated with receiving cognitive training — especially under the supervision of a licensed professional — can be quite high.

As the term is used, cognitive training consists of repeatedly taking cognitive tests developed usually in psychology research studies and typically presented on a computer. Look at a complex picture flashed on the screen rapidly and say where a selected object (thing, person) was shown on the screen. Look for sequences of numbers and letters. Ignore distracting stimuli when looking at the computer screen. In many cases, these tests look like “old time” computer games like Tetris.

These cognitive training procedures are supposed to make you better at thinking by training your brain in certain types of ways that then improve the ability to do a very general and large set of tasks in attention, judgment, planning, and other cognitive processes. It is assumed that learning to perform well ON THESE SPECIFIC TASKS will help you think better in a general way. Unfortunately, it appears after decades of studying cognitive training, it is found that the training on a test will help you get somewhat (and it is a small somewhat) better at taking THAT TEST ONLY and not in similar cognitive tasks more related to day-to-day activities. Yes, you might get better at identifying flashing letters when they appear on the screen, but there is little, if any, replicable evidence that becoming good at the test generalizes into being good at exercising attention in real world situations.

Just what you always think when you think about psychology. Psychologists study “dumb” tasks that look little like real world situations and then claim that getting good at those tasks will change your life. You usually laughed when you read this stuff in news outlet stories. Nonetheless, cognitive training continues to sell and expand and advertise. Money can be made selling cognitive training to individuals concerned with their current and future ability to think well and remember and maintain independence. Many claims are made that the methods work and the glossy, high-priced advertising is convincing, but the statistics are not. And yes, the companies that sell cognitive testing products claim that the training works if THEY conduct the experiments and evaluate their own products. However, ongoing INDEPENDENT RESEARCH suggests this is NOT the case.

Did you really expect the ethics of cognitive training companies to exceed those of pharmaceutical companies? The false claims to be less? Big money, big pressure to prove that these things work.

Independent psychologists who evaluate the effectiveness of programs and assertions of others do not find much if any, effect of cognitive training on improving general cognitive functioning, thinking, and performance in real-life situations faced by aging adults.

The most important INDEPENDENT EVALUATION appears in a journal of the Association for Psychological Science of which I am a Fellow. APS is one of the two major psychological associations in the USA and designation as a Fellow comes only after a thorough peer evaluation of competence.

Click here to see a short summary of the research that examines all of the research over several decades on cognitive training. The full report is 83 pages. I still understand most of the mumbo-jumbo in the full report. You will have to pay to purchase the full report if you are not a member of APS. My judgment is that the summary is very accurate in presenting the results of this research through what is called a meta-analysis and I doubt that most people need read more than the 1-page summary.

OK then, so cognitive training probably will not turn out to be the big fix for what ails your thinking as you age or you have a neurodegenerative (neurological) disease. Maybe improvements will be made in future decades but right now the effects appear to be tiny at best.

What’s the alternative?

I have argued for a number years that learning alternate ways of thinking and expanding the types of information your brain can effectively process can be very useful throughout your life. While learning such strategies in childhood is best, you can keep learning new ways to think up until the day you die and expect to get some significant return for your work.

What kinds of activities have been shown to increase brain function? Learning additional languages, studying a musical instrument, learning math, creating art or stories, and many others to which we all have access, typically with a minimum expense. These are real-world activities and many are a lot of fun.

As I progressed through cognitive decline and dementia I have come to believe that learning what are called visual thinking methods — arranging information into pictures that organize major ideas and show the “big picture” — can help you in many ways I have documented throughout this blog (Hubaisms.com). Of course, my findings are based only my own observations of myself and not on formal studies. I note, however, that sometimes observations are better sources of information than research studies, especially from individuals touting products they have invested millions of dollars in developing.

I think that the fuzzy research on cognitive training and the fact that mind mapping is seen as effective at most Fortune 500 corporations, many universities worldwide and by millions of users worldwide at this time suggests that learning alternate WAYS TO THINK probably is much more effective than cognitive training (akin to playing a 1980s computer game).

My suggestion is that if you are concerned that your ability to think will decline or you are already experiencing cognitive decline, you take some time (1-8 hours will help you evaluate this) and determine if visual thinking is useful for you. You can read my work on this blog or work created by Buzan when he popularized mind mapping in business and education or look at many other authors who write on this topic such as Nast. Major summaries and videos are available online. If you would like to see someone with dementia use mind mapping, you can click here to watch a number of short videos of my mind mapping process in a new window.

Alternate visual thinking methods that I find useful are SKETCHNOTES, doodles, cartoons, and graphs.

You can try mind maps, sketchnotes, doodles, cartoons, and graphics with a few pencils or pens you already own and a piece of paper (A4 or 8.5×11 in landscape mode).

Later you can buy computer apps to make the visual thinking look better if you want but you need not do so.

Look at the image below to show the way I think about the information in this post visually using a mind map.

If you want me to understand something or remember it, DRAW ME A PICTURE. I’m a lot smarter than you might think if you just talk to me. Oh, and you need not be artistic at all to use the techniques in visual thinking so don’t use the excuse that you have no “talent.”

Click on the image to expand it.

 

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The focus of the blog is on the issues shown below. If you click on the image, it will expand.

hubaisms

Click Links Below for Selected Posts

Dementia

Healthcare

Healthcare Reform

Mind Maps/Mapping/Models

Huba’s Integrated Theory of Mind Modeling/Mapping

Writing in Mind Map

Case Management

Self Care

Caregiving

Mental Health

Visual Thinking

Computer Program Reviews

Frontotemporal Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease

Cognitive Decline

“Normal” (Typical) Aging

HIV/AIDS

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Statistics

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Universal Human Rights

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Hubaisms Blog – WHY?

ALL

Biggerplate.com is a repository of mind maps created by most of the major mind mapping programs. The maps may downloaded without cost for study of the technical issues in making the map and its content.

Biggerplate.com is an important  and often-used “library” of mind maps used by the world wide community of mind maps and related tools for visual thinking. It is a potentially a wonderful opportunity to learn more about mind maps.

So how valid is the information? Is it a fact that 32% of all UK residents do X while 39% of all USA residents do Y valid? Are the brain diseases listed correctly in the usual way? Are explicit and implied facts correct? Was the map developed by an expert in using the method of mind mapping to enhance visual thinking? Is the author/developer an expert in the content of the map such as a professor or a recognized expert?

Can you answer any of my questions in the previous paragraph from information presented on Biggerplate.com? ABSOLUTELY NOT. There is no review of the content validity of the maps nor any review of whether the purported mind map meets the standards of an effective use of a tool to improve visual thinking.

Peer review is the gold standard of assessing the quality of intellectual property. In this case peer review is probably not required for 95% of the mind maps on Biggerplate.com where the content is typically commonsense or is information available in accepted textbooks. On the other hand, some information like that in medicine or science or legal opinions or statistics begs out for peer review.

The mind model (aka mind map) below suggests at least a minimally acceptable solution in the cases where peer review is probably not needed. At this time we do not know if a mind map author/developer sees herself as an expert or novice in both the theory of mind mapping and visual thinking as well as content of the map. We should at least ask the author to provide information about his qualifications using self ratings. While not a great solution it is a simple and quick one that would help improve the use of the information archived on the extremely useful website Biggerplate.com.

Click the image to expand the mind model.

the-quality-problems-with-biggerplate-com

 

 

So you have dementia or cognitive impairment. Instructions are confusing. You don’t always hear correctly or understand what people are saying to you. Instructions for putting together a young child’s toys at the holidays or a birthday drive you crazy. You cannot figure out how to get from where you are now to where you want to be by bus, foot, car, or plane.

There are a few phrases you should know and not be embarrassed to use. Some require you disclose your health problems, others do not. There are some dangers in disclosing your health status (increased probability of being scammed or ignored or victimized or stigmatized) so before using alternatives that require disclosure think about the pros and cons quite carefully and also discuss this with your doctor, caregivers, and family members. I AM NOT RECOMMENDING YOU DISCLOSE YOUR HEALTH STATUS AND I THINK THAT THIS MIGHT BE AN EXTREMELY POOR CHOICE FOR MANY MUCH OF THE TIME. If you do feel that you need to disclose your health status to get the help you need, a doctor or nurse or law enforcement officer might be a better choice than a random stranger.

dementia-phrases-to-know-for-a-better-life-2017
Ask for help. Don’t let your embarrassment put a wall between you and those would be more than willing to help you. Remember that if 1 person is too busy or not otherwise inclined to help you, there are 7.3 billion others on the planet to ask. And virtually all will make whatever efforts they can to help you.

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I have received help in Jerusalem at the Kotel (Western or “Wailing” Wall) from a rabbi who helped me get a taxi at midnight, an Imam on Temple Mount who discussed with our family the Dome of the Rock and gave an introduction to Temple Mount, his son who was the Chair of Islamic Studies at UCLA, American college basketball, and coming to the USA to play golf in Arizona. Many in France, Spain, and Israel have endured my inability now to be able to learn and remember even the most simple and common of the words in their languages and struggled with English for my sake in order to help me. Many in more US states than I can remember have run after me with items I have left behind, and watching television my son endures my repeated questions about rules, statistics, and players I once knew as well as he does now.

Ask for help when you need it and when you can, provide it to others.

lab mouse

Most people carry around a lot of assumptions about what other people should be able to do.

We typically assume that if you can write a blog post you can tie your shoes or feed yourself ice cream.

Or that if you cannot remember names or understand a simple conversation you cannot mind map. Or that if you can mind map you must obviously be able to make a decision about what clothes to pack for a two night trip.

Well … I can do a pretty complicated — and I think fairly creative — mind map in an hour or two that illustrates a pretty good conceptual understanding of scientific, psychological, or emotional material. I takes me two FULL days of high anxiety to pack a suitcase for a short trip and I often arrive with clothing unsuited for the intent of the trip or the weather. I remember a lot of multivariate statistics and probably could still analyze a complicated BIG DATA set, but have had times when I had to do Google searches to spell arithmetic correctly.

Doesn’t make any sense except to a skilled neurologist. And every person with dementia is different and every disease that results in dementia is different. And sometimes you can do things in the mornings that you cannot do later in the day.

Don’t let your perceptions and assumptions stereotype people with dementia. We can — depending upon the specific person — do a lot of things you believe we cannot do because we leave a shirt buttoned and pull it on over the head since buttons are too frustrating. And just because I can make a mind map does not mean I can button my shirt or make it clear to a server what I want for lunch.

Go figure.

I can however remember how to eat ice cream with a spoon. And I am pretty sure I will never lose that knowledge. But I am writing complete instructions for myself just in case I cannot figure it out in the future. Some things are too important to leave to chance.

Click on the image to expand it.

DO NOT ASSUME

Part 1

Part 2

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

This mind map took about 22 minutes to develop. The video shows the development. Time is compressed so that 8 minutes are shown as 1 minute. I did not practice the mind map and it was not drafted before I set down at the computer. This is my thinking and mind map development process. I guess I developed this mind map so rapidly this morning because I love to trash the EMR design guys for presenting the database output like we used to do in 1982 when we were still programming FORTRAN and COBOL [for those of you old enough to remember FORTRAN and COBOL].

Here is the final mind map in a static form.

Put Automated  Mind Maps  into EMRs

To answer the question posed in the title …

The data are there. That’s what electronic medical records do.

All I get are these stupid little printed reports or screens in 6 point fonts I have little chance of reading. Even less if you consider my medical diagnosis.

At their simplest level, mind maps can be generated inexpensively from EMR data. Most EMR data are reported in table-like outlines. Some expert system computer interpretation rules would need to be developed but more are already hidden in the EMR as formulae for physicians to use.

In 1985 I developed some of the first commercial, automated, expert systems for the interpretation of psychological tests. Psychological and medical tests are now regularly run through such programs and the information appears in the doctor’s version of the EMR. [My internist once commented that I understood the underlying statistics and methods better than she did so she just handed me the computer screen.]

There is no reason EMR data should not be converted to visual form both providers and patients can understand more intuitively and quickly and with less interpretation error. They are inexpensive to produce and will save a lot of money over what is being done now. AND, they facilitate effective patient-centered care with providers and patients acting as partners.

Shit, no way. The US Healthcare system is still arguing if it is going ever going to implement the same diagnostic codes as the rest of the world. Ways of presenting EMR information that patients can understand? Yeah sure. After all, when IT standards, program developers, accountants, and managed care cost-cutters design the EMRs, they don’t give a damn if anyone can understand the numbers and codes in the computer so long as they allow the managed care companies to make more money.

Do we need to draw them a map? Obviously they can’t (or more accurately, won’t) do it for themselves and us.

Since the beginning of this blog in 2012, I have consistently — with each new version — concluded (from dozens of comparisons with other programs) that iMindMap is the single best program for developing mind maps. Period.

With version 8.0, iMindMap is no longer the world’s best mind mapping program. Rather, it is the world’s best mind mapping program PLUS additional features that make it the world’s best visual thinking environment (or VITHEN using my coined term). Period.

What makes iMindMap 8.0 so valuable as an overall mind mapping and visual thinking tool is that it encourages you to use iterative, hierarchical, nonlinear, big-picture, creative ways of generating ideas, communicating those ideas, and integrating the ideas with the data of images and statistics. There is no tool I know of that is better for these overall tasks and the building of creative models.

I use iMindMap between 3 and 10 hours per day on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone 6 Plus.

Version 8 exceeds Version 7 in that the program has been significantly speeded up both for computer processing and in general usability of all of its advanced formatting features. The increased speed with which advanced formatting can be done encourages more precise and creative visual thinking.

Did I mention it has a very good (becoming excellent) 3 dimensional display mode and provides a much better presentation tool than the PowerPoint standard? The new Brainstorming Mode (file cards on a corkboard metaphor) allows those who like to see words rather than images to brainstorm in the mode most natural to them. I’ll never use the mode but I project many will embrace it.

The iMindMap program has been the best tool I have had to allow me deal with a neurocognitive neurodegenerative disorder and continue to be productive over the past five years. The program permits me to think at a very high level which I cannot do nearly as well with other techniques or other mind mapping programs.

All seven maps shown here are identical except for their format.

[I intentionally did not use any clipart because I did not want distract from the basic creative thinking and model development-presentation functions of iMindMap that are the real core of the program. With any of the variations of this map, if you spend 10 minutes adding selected included clipart or icons, the map will be even more visual.]

The remainder of my review is — appropriately — presented as a mind map.

Click images to expand.

Three styles provided with the iMindMap program.

1iMindMap 8.02iMindMap 8.03iMindMap 8.0




4 Custom Styles I Use in My Own Work and 4 Variations on the Same 3D Mind Map

gh1Imindmap 8.0gh2Imindmap 8.0gh3Imindmap 8.0gh4Imindmap 8.0

Imindmap 8.0 3D4Imindmap 8.0 3D3Imindmap 8.0 3d2Imindmap 8.0 3D

 










bolero cover 3 parts FINAL

 

Yesterday I worked on my post about John Tukey and his contributions to statistics, data analysis, and my cell phone addiction.

As I did research to supplement my personal knowledge about Dr Turkey— near the end of his life, a good friend did work with him and one of my grad school professors (Bob Abelson) was one of his most influential students — I noticed the brevity of the bio in Wikipedia about him (less than a half a window on my computer) and contrasted this to the large number of screens of information available on the Kardashians, Justin Bieber, Rodrigo Borgia, Al Capone, and Richard Nixon. Even R2D2 has a much longer biographical entry.

screen_0091 screen_0092

At many times the Internet is like ancient Rome (bread and circuses) or an episode of (un)reality television.

I dread to think how the aliens in the next galaxy are going to react when the television waves hit their planets. The two likely responses I forecast will be to either classify humans as a lower life form or to be delighted they have all the episodes of the Kardashians. I am betting on the latter (or probably both).

It makes me sad.

 

It you go back a few posts you will see that I have been pretty sure recently that creative visualization (through drawing, sketching, doodling, painting, finger painting, etc.) has a strong link to creative organic (Buzan-style) mind mapping.

Scan2014  33

I don’t consider myself “artistic” in the traditional sense although I have been drawing a bunch of inky squiggle marks, cartoons, and emphases in my notes for as long as I can remember (back to elementary school 55 years ago). When I was in college I sometimes felt overwhelmed by the “pictures” I had doodled on my notes in my math and science courses and recopied the notes so that others would not see the open pages of my notebook with the doodled smiling faces, arrows, “middle fingers,” large letter expletives,” dollar signs, Greek letter shortcuts (in my profession I have an affinity for the Greek letter psi 𝚿 used as psychology, and the Greek letter sigma 𝝨 used in statistics to signify the sum of numbers and in my notes next to summations I make), traffic lights, stop signs, and lots of different kinds of squiggles and arrows. I also draw lots of cartoon faces that look nothing like anyone I know.

On a typical page of my notes two-thirds of the page is usually covered with cartoony figures and symbols and I begrudging print in some of an outline of what is being said along with color annotations. My typical notes use at least three colors.

Yeah, but my artistic ability still stinks. Can’t even draw my dog so that she will look like my dog but I do know that any cartoon figures in my notes that look anything at all like a black dog are my beloved Newfie.

2014_05_27_21_09_01

Deborah Putnoi’s book The Drawing Mind shares much with the organic mind mapping theory of Tony Buzan. There is an emphasis on coding information in multiple channels (as in her exercises in drawing scents and sounds), using visual thinking methods, employing emotionally meaningful symbols, and not worrying about “photographic” drawing.

Putnoi’s approach is on meaningful, creative, visual coding of information. She emphasizes the process of coding information that may not be visual into visual symbols and grouping those symbols (“marks”) together to create visual meaning. This type of encoding is an important part of visual thinking.

If you like organic mind mapping and want to explore extensions that can go far beyond adding some clipart to a computer generated mind map, this book is extremely useful. I see a great degree of complementarity between Buzan’s radiant thinking theory and Putnoi’s theory of coding information into a visual form. Historically, Buzan’s theory has incorporated “hand drawn” (that is creative, personally meaningful) elements since it’s earliest development.

And, the subtitle on Putnoi’s book — Silence You Inner Critic and Release Your Creative Spirit — gets a “four thumbs up” (actually two thumbs and two big toes, visualize signaling that) rating for its significance to both her work on drawing and Buzan’s theory of mind mapping.

Highly recommended. And bring your pencil as that is needed to read the book.

It is my personal belief that Putnoi-type symbolizations may be very useful those in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia as a way to code and save visual information and potentially express this information to others. But that is my hypothesis, and whether it is true or not, Ms Putnoi’s book is an exceptional one that teaches some critical skills in visual thinking through a series of “exercises” or studies of process..

Available at major Internet book sellers.

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3

Health and other research does NOT PROVE or SHOW anything.

In a world of “statistically-based confirmation” of research hypotheses, a “significant” result that shows or proves something does not exist. A study — absent from methodological flaws, the wrong statistical tests, a small sample, and poor validity and reliability measurement — can SUGGEST or moderately suggest or weakly suggest that a preliminary theory MAY be supported.

Write or report on TV that a study “suggests” or “mildly suggests” a finding of interest to the public and you will be doing the public and science a huge favor, make your reporting more accurate, and help avoid false expectations or a skepticism that researchers have “proven” the obvious.

I know that you probably did not hear this in a statistics class in such a straight forward way. Scientists rarely do either.

Change one word and the public is better informed. SUGGESTS, not proves or shows.

Change that one word to “suggests it may be possible that” and you will be even more correct.

As of last week, iMindMap 6.2 was the best mind mapping program available from any vendor. As of this week iMindMap 7.0 has blown 6.2 away, making a huge leap forward. The gap between iMindMap and the other mind mapping programs on the market has widened considerably.

iMindMap 7 is much more than a mind mapping program but rather a visual thinking/teaching tool and environment, within which mind maps are a large, but certainly not the only, component. In addition to the best mind maps available, the program can produce flow diagrams, path diagrams, concept maps, visual notes (like sketch notes), and combinations of all of the above.

iMindMap 7 is a visual thinking tool for a complete visual thinking environment. The app expands upon the mind mapping theory of Buzan and presents a much more elaborated environment for visual thinking and visual concept development than has been available before. And, just as importantly, to use apply this theory and use the tools of iMindMap 7 you need not be a “computer wizard,” “a professional mind mapper,” or a long time user of earlier programs and visual thinking theories.

I see the release of this program as the beginning of a period in which visual thinking and visual communication becomes even more important and used. Tony Buzan and Chris Griffiths have done a spectacular job in getting the theory and implementation so far along this path already. I hope they release a new book shortly.

Click the image below to expand and see my formal review. Note that I probably used less than 60 percent of the features of the program in the review map, and there is a lot more to explore in subsequent posts with differing types of information.

iMindMap 7  initial review final

Oh, did I mention that iMindMap has a “presentation mode” which makes PowerPoint obsolete. Here is a video of the review above running in an automatic kiosk mode. There are a number of options for the presentations that can be applied depending upon the type of audience and the map content. And it can be presented in 3D which I chose to do. [For this example, a tiny file size with low resolution optimized for the web was used because the intent is simply to illustrate the feature, not crash the server. Note also that the low resolution does de-emphasize the 3D effect; 3D looks extremely good at HD resolutions. I also included a HD version which may give some servers trouble. Both presentations have the same content.] Click below to start the video (about 3 minutes).

low resolution

high resolution

If you don’t like the timing of the slides or the type of transition or the order, you can easily change these settings and reload the video.

[Footnote: I started programming mathematical algorithms in FORTRAN in 1970, published my first of several computer programs in peer-reviewed journals in 1973, and published an early mathematical algorithm and FORTRAN program in 1984 that was a precursor of what are now called concept maps (under the rubric in statistics of “path diagram” or “structural equations model”). Between 1977 and 1984 I published a large series of “visual mathematical models” of drug abuse etiologies and consequences using the LISREL programming environment. In comparison to all of my former experience with computer usage in real-world applications, this is the finest software application I have used in the 40+ years of my career. I am delighted I have the opportunity to use this app to explain some of my ideas and create new ones.]

I like to tell random stories under the assumption that at the end the lessons can all be tied together (after all I am telling all of the stories).

Here is a summary in visual form which is mainly how I think these days ..

Thoughts A Few Watts at a Time

reformatted June 2014 in iMindMap 7.1

THOUGHTS  A FEW WATTS  AT A TIME

Annually I used to give a presentation to graduate students in clinical psychology (the “I hate data, I hate statistics” crowd) at a famous psychology professional school about how to research and write a doctoral dissertation. The number one question everyone had was (nnoooo, not how to do good research or how to pick an important topic) how long it takes to write a doctoral dissertation. All of the dissertation advisors in the room with their students would wince and make rude sounds. I would respond “I know the exact answer and it is 1200 hours (30 hours a week for 40 weeks).” And the students would all have relieved smiles. Then I would say, “but you cannot count the hours you spend kvetching, bitching, whining, going out for coffee with your friends, or on the phone talking about your dissertation blues.” (This was in the days before Twitter and Facebook or I would have included those too.) I think this applies to all writing and other creative work; the “kvetch factor” determines how successful you are. Control kvetching and it is pretty easy.

People in most work situations often waste a lot of time going out for coffee and kvetching. In the company I owned, I purchased an $1800 “grind and freshly brew every cup of coffee machine,” unlimited bags of gourmet coffee, expensive tea bags, a small refrigerator stocked with every kind of soda available, a designer water cooler,  a microwave oven, unlimited popcorn to nuke, and fresh fruit on occasion when somebody complained that all theew was to eat was popcorn. All were available at no cost to the employees. The designer coffee machine paid for itself in a few weeks. Happier folks, more conversations among employees (good, they eventually lead to collaboration and creativity), more team building, more cross-fertilization of ideas and skills. Of course, you could still go out to Starbucks if you wanted to. Almost nobody did since we had all the Starbuck’s coffee you could drink in the office for free (the machine also made expresso, lattes, and all of the other trendy coffee drinks). Visiting clients liked the break room a lot too.

When employees, collaborators, clients, and others would call, email, or show up unannounced at my office door in a state of high agitation, anxiety, or general “lost in spaceness,” I found that reminding them that we were just social scientists and were not “building a nuclear weapon” almost immediately relieved tension and worry. Sadly, some folks are building and using weapons of mass destruction this week.

In the past 30 years, folks have always talked about innovation and creativity as coming from software and hardware. I always found that real advances  come from people-ware (which initially surprised a hi-tech guy like me). Social media is good, telephone calls are better, face-to-face meetings of stakeholders are best. And lots of time needs to be provided for a nonlinear process to occur, re-occur, and grow. Instead of teaching students and new employees how to better avoid people with technology reducing interactions and directives by email never checked to make sure it WAS actually received, we should be teaching them how to work effectively with other creative people by actually sitting down together and hammering out differences and developing new strategies for cooperation. It’s so retro 1960s that it could be the next trend.

Most people work hard to develop products that are so new and fancy that they are “bleeding edge” or so advanced they scary ordinary people. In our company, I never sought to be at the bleeding edge. Rather, any time new bleeding edge methods were developed, I would immediately try to develop the “12 months after the bleeding edge” products that people could use now and understand because of my explicit assumption that there is not an awful lot of use for methods that nobody can use! There is a lot of use for methods that somebody with a reputable track record had simplified (but NOT dumbed-down) and explained. Being at the bleeding edge often means your fingers get cut; simplification and training make the use of the tool a way to discover and communicate.

Office toys are a great thing. Over the years in my company we had a huge blow up clown you could kick when everything was not going perfectly (expressing verbally what had gone wrong and encouraging those within ear shot to suggest solutions). Games (the weekly contest on how many blue m&ms were in the packages being taken from the company chocolate stash; yes we had free chocolate some days, too) helped build communication. There was a talking and rockin’ parrot toy in my office often turned on during meetings.

We weren’t developing thermonuclear devices by email; we were counting and enjoying blue m&ms.

I believe that college and grad students are not encouraged to take enough control over their own destiny. To help address that issue, I have periodically presented a mind map for a paradigm that would produce graduates who can and will take more responsibility for their own careers and probably have stronger analytic skills.

That map, in its fourth draft, is presented at the end of this post.

I never really thought about my own college and grad school experiences as “seizing responsibility” until recently but in fact they were. Here are some personal stories from the years 1968-1976. Such options are probably more available today than they were for me, but to be honest, it was NEVER especially hard for me to “get away” with this stuff.  And should you think all of this was possible because because I was the person at your high school or college who got the highest SAT and GRE scores you are wrong; I always scored high middling or low high. None of the opportunities I had were offered to me because I had 800s on tests.

When I was a first year in high school, I read about a reaction of the US government to the fear of the “Sputnik” experience (the USSR beat the USA into space and would nuke us to death) in funding a pilot program at 10 colleges to admit students after their junior year of high school. I marched into my high school counselor’s office and announced that I was going to college after my junior year. Fortunately the guy I spoke to (before announcing this to my parents) said “OK” but we have to change your classes. To convince my parents that I could graduate from high school, he worked out a deal with the local high school administrators to grant me a high school degree, counting my first year of college as my fourth year of high school if I made it through that year. My parents reluctantly said try and I started my junior year classes in my sophomore year, taking both 2nd and 3rd year math simultaneously and jumping into 3rd year English. In my junior year I skipped chemistry and jumped into physics,  4th year math, and an experimental social science class. For no reason other than the fact that I was fascinated by the 1968 election, I asked my social science teacher if I could do a survey of student attitudes, and he helped me get access to all his classes and taught me how to hand calculate cross-tabs. An extremely dedicated Latin teacher had me in her Latin 3 class and then stayed after school to individually teach me Latin 4 so I could get credit for four years of language study. And I applied to the University of Massachusetts (15 miles from home), Yale (65 miles away), and Lafayette College (150 miles away), the closest three of the 10 experimental programs. UMass recruited me heavily, Lafayette said OK, and the Yale alumni rep who interviewed me decided I needed to apply the next year after graduating from high school and was rather discouraging about the likelihood that I would ever be admitted to Yale.

In the fall of 1968, I started college as as a math/physics major and took a required social science class (I chose intro psychology). I immediately became a psych major when I found out that the first year class was a self-paced one in which you read the text yourself, monthly lectures were optional, did a couple of rat learning experiments yourself, and took 20 module tests whenever you felt like it to establish competency. Wahoo. Never looked back from psych. I did not really know what it meant to commit yourself to a field that requires a PhD as the entry level degree as I had no idea what a PhD was.

In 1969, transferred into Fordham in the Bronx, NY, because my new wife was in the the US Navy stationed in Queens, NY (long and separate story there). In spring 1970, I did an outrageous thing. Faced with the mandatory Intro Stat course in college, I went to the professor after the second class and informed him that the textbook was so easy that I could take his final exam any time and use his class time to do something else rthat would teach me something new. He told me OK, but only if I would agree to accept the final score as my grade and if I flunked to retake the entire course at a later time (no safety net). So we set an exam date of about a week later, and I got an A in the class and an invitation to be a research assistant in a PhD dissertation on single ganglion learning in cockroaches (lots of stories here I will omit) under his direction. Unbeknownst to me he started telling other faculty about my outrageous behavior (in a very supportive way) and hooked me up with another professor (Bill Lawlor who was also a Jesuit priest) who had arranged a tiny program of  “a psychology year abroad” in the New York State Psychiatric Institute (one of the premier psychiatric research instituions in the world at the time) — 50% first semester of junior year, 100%  second semester of junior year, 50% of first semester of junior year. Wahoo.

I worked with two of the pioneering psychiatrists in the use of lithium carbonate in bipolar disease and the genetics of the disease, and convinced them to let me and the unit psychologist submit an article to a peer-reviewed psychiatric journal. I ended up as the second author of an accepted article by the end of my junior year.  And then convinced them to support me in the summers after my junior and senior college years with the promise I would do it again. By the end of my senior year, I was the first author on another peer-reviewed article and two MDs and two PhDs had made my career with their generosity in permitting me to be the first author on a paper. Wahoo again.

Yale liked the idea of a new grad student with two papers in press and so admitted me to their PhD program after my initial failure at geting to their undergrad program. Wahoo.

My first semester of grad school, I told the Director of Graduate Studies that I did not need to take the required first course in statistics that he taught. He had an emotional reaction and wrote me off as another arrogant hippie (yes, when I started grad school my hair came all the way down to my belt and there are some VERY interesting stories from that era I will NEVER tell). The second semester I aced Bob Abelson’s stat and experimental design course, and he became one my two most important teachers over the remaining year of grad school.

In the first semester of my second year of grad school (1973), I took a very unusual combination of three courses (Individual Differences in Cognition taught by a cognitive psychologist, Dynamics of Psychopathology taught by a psychoanalyst, and Imagery and Daydreaming taught by the breakthrough psychologist Jerry Singer who became my most important teacher). Hhmmm, how would the three courses go together. Could there be different types of cognitive styles that would partially determine how individuals experienced the world and developed pathological and highly successful strategies for dealing with day-to-day life. Empirical research by Garner, Jackson, Messick, and Witkin on cognitive styles, Shapiro’s theory of neurotic styles, and the first generation of computer models in psychology were of huge interest to me. So, I went to all three professors and asked if I could combine to their three required term papers into a single paper. Drs Day, Mahl, and Singer agreed and I came up with the idea of a computer model (actually implemented in Fortran) of cognitive styles in “normal” and “abnormal” personality functioning with the computer model used to validate the theory by determining whether it could reproduce the empirical research of Garner, Jackson, Messick, and Witkin. Each professor gave me an Honors grade and incredible feedback. I modeled the book length manuscript on the pioneering conceptions of Day on communicating (teaching) others how to use psychology who also served as the day-to-day advisor on the project.

All gutsy moves. Each was individually possible only because innovative faculty members were flexible, open to innovation, and supportive. Risky? Extremely. Worth it? Yes for me. I thank each and everyone who helped me in such major ways.

Was I smarter than everyone else? Not at all. Was I willing to take more risks? Yes. Could it have been done without supportive teachers willing to accept creative models of learning, training, and self development. Absolutely not. Was I willing to fail? Yes, but I was arrogant enough to think that was unlikely. Should you do it? I have absolutely no idea.

What worked for me? The answer is proposing innovative ways of learning APPLICABLE TO ME to highly supportive and qualified teachers and taking responsibility for making the models work.

Here is what I would do 35 years later. My model also incorporates many important ideas from Buzan on brainstorming and integrating information that I have learned in the last three years and many recent technologies.

Click on the image twice to fully expand it.

Student Research Papers2013

A few thoughts about the importance of knowing the theories and prior studies in the content area of the modeling and data collection and data analysis and generation of conclusions.

You can’t model data without knowing what the data mean.

Click on mind map to expand.

Data Scientist

We have had many data science fields in the past 50 years. Among others, the fields include applied statistics, biostatistics, psychometrics, quantitative psychology, econometrics, sociometrics, epidemiology, and many others. The new emphasis on data science ignores content knowledge about the data and their limitations and the permissible conclusions.

We do not need to replace a round wheel with a square one.

See also previous post on Big Data/Data Science adopting the mistakes of Big Pharma.

a HubaMap™ by g j huba phd

Dec 13 2013: I have been experimenting with some formatting. This is the same map content as above, but using iMindMap 7 which was recently released.

Data Scientist sketch

Lawley and Maxwell’s book on factor analysis legitimized the psychometric development of factor analysis as a “real” statistical model. Although most now praise them for their breakthrough in deriving maximum likelihood estimators for the model parameters, I think the following sequence of photos shows Lawley and Maxwell’s great insight and most important contribution, received at the time as general heresy by the high priests of factor analysis.

I read this book around 1975. The paragraph I underlined and typed on the cover is one that significantly altered my career: I learned then, and further in the early 1980s, that statistical theories of psychological processes, at their very best, are only weak approximations to reality. At the time lots of psychometricians were giving their professional lives to determine if one blindly empirical factor rotation method was better than another since after all they were different by 3 percent and everyone had just “discovered” Joreskog and Sorbom’s work on structural equation modeling. I never spent more than 50 percent of my research time between 1977 and 1984 on psychometrics and statistics — the rest of the time went into modeling adolescent drug abuse behaviors and their precursors. In 1984 it was time to move on to 90 percent of my work being devoted to real psychological and social issues.

As for statistical-psychology theories, the fact that

  • it’s new
  • it’s hot
  • you can publish it a lot

does not sway me anymore.

Please click on the pictures to zoom.

Image

lawley maxwell 3

NOT

mantra of the  failed  academic researcher

BIG Data is coming (or has already come) to healthcare. [It is supposed to usher in new eras of research, economic responsibility, quality and access to healthcare, and better patient outcomes, but that is a subject for another post because it is putting the carriage before the horse to discuss it here.]

What is a data scientist? A new form of bug, a content expert who also knows data issues, an active researcher, someone trained in data analysis and statistics, someone who is acutely aware of relevant laws and ethical concerns in mining health data, a blind empiricist?

This is a tough one because it also touches on how many $$$$$ (€€€€€. ¥¥¥¥¥ , £££££, ﷼﷼﷼﷼﷼, ₩₩₩₩₩, ₱₱₱₱₱) individuals and corporations can make off the carcass of a dying healthcare system.

Never one to back away from a big issue and in search of those who value good healthcare for all over the almighty $ € ¥ £ ₨ ﷼ ₩ ₱, here are some of my thoughts on this issue.

Click image to zoom.

who is a health data scientist

Content knowledge by a well-trained, ethical individual who respects privacy concerns is Queen. Now and forever.

Keyword Board

topics and subtopics: who is a “health” data scientist? trained in healthcare? methodology research databases management information systems psychology? psychometrics other public health? epidemiology other medicine? nursing? social work? education? biostatistics? medical informatics? applied mathematics? engineering? theoretical mathematics? theoretical-academic statistics? information technology? computer science? other? conclusions must know content 70% methods 30% must honor ethics 100% laws practice privacy criminal civil federal state other greatest concerns correctness of results conclusions ethical standards meaningfulness validity reliability privacy utility expert in content field data analysis data systems ethics and privacy other member? association with ethics standards licensed? physician nurse psychologist social worker other regulated? federal hipaa state other insured? professional liability errors and omissions continuing education requirements? ethics renewal of licensure regulatory standards insurer commonsense laws go away if not well trained content field data analysis not statistics committed clean data meaningfulness subject privacy peer review openness ethics ethics ethics are arrogant narrow-minded purely commercial primarily motivated $$$$$ blind number cruncher atheoretical © 2013 g j huba

When you look at the web sites of mind mapping experts, you tend to see the beautiful maps they have drawn… about this thing and that thing and the other thing the expert six web sites away is saying today.

Information visualizations (mind maps, concept maps, Aunt Tildy’s homemade maps) are about presenting CONTENT in a way that makes it easier to understand.

Real information that is believed by content experts? Information that is reliable and valid? Information provided by credible sources (not Cousin Herbert after a frat party) such as well known polls and surveys, peer-reviewed journal articles, official government statistics, the web site of the guy who watchdogs all of the government statistics, and other credible sources speaking on or off the record?

Content is Queen.

Part 1 of many posts on this topic.

IdealMindMappingScenario

This page is intended to be a sampler of mind maps in various blog posts. This is not an inclusive list and there are far more mind maps in the blog posts than just the ones included on this page.

I am in the process of updating the page so that each image is linked to the blog post from which it was copied. At this time the process is not complete; the images are being linked in order from top to bottom of the page, but the process is incomplete at this time.

my  mind  maps

IMPROVING GOVERNMENT INFORMATIONAL WEB SITES

mind maps  may help  cognitively  impaired ...

SEg

SEf

SEd

possible  side effects

possible  side effects SIMPLEPIC

possible  side effects simple

Some Things to Document as You Age

Digital Silence

Reminder  [optional use of name]

Goals Meeting

Key Mac Apps for  Day-to-Day Use

kids2

A MM 1

Learn to Learn

XM Evaluating Mind Maps with %22Expert Content%22

who is a health data scientist

Huba Mac Recommendations  2012

Beliefs Part 1  George J Huba

Universal Human Rights

Observations Social Media

[Baker's Dozen of] Ways to Improve Mind Maps Purported to Present Expert Professional ContentDon't Believe a Psychology (Self Help) Mind Map Unless it Tells YouIrv Oiicopyright patent my lifemantra of the  failed  academic researcherObservations Social Mediain praise of little dataSoftware  Rankings  Visual LinksA Life in Hatsfacilitating professional groupsELIMINATING AIDS FROM THE PLANET  G J HUBA PHD  JULY 2012Evaluating Mind Maps with Expert ContentShould Mind Maps  Be Reviewed FINALPatent  Human  Geneswant

What  I've Learned  About  TwitteR  Networks

Beliefs Part 1  George J Huba

copyright my life

[Baker's Dozen of] Ways to Improve Mind Maps Purported to Present Expert Professional Content

Don't Believe a Psychology (Self Help) Mind Map Unless it Tells You

Software  Updates and  Bill Gates'  Legacy

Example of Hybrid Mind Map and Flow Chart

How I amuse myself and others on Twitter 140 characters at a time.

Spent a lot of time in grad school at the Dunkin Donuts shop next to the Yale Book Store.

Duh.

I published a statistical model of adolescent drug use in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 1981. It influenced many including those writing the drug prevention curriculum for the State of California. The graphic made it understandable.

How I spent my summer vacation.

You really can use real (and complex) statistical models to develop mind maps. And mind maps can present the results more clearly than traditional statistical tables. Some methods that are probably best for developing maps.

Tag Map for Web Site of UNC Athletics (9/16/12 – changes daily)

Tag Map for Web Site of the American Medical Association

Tag Map for Web Site of Yale University

Tag Map for Web Site of the American Psychological Association

In response to a discussion on Twitter about college-grad school term/research papers, I proposed my model for what works in 2011. Update slightly here.

What if the residents of the zoo had to hold a scientific consensus panel on their healthcare. Always gets a lot of laughs. Professional groups know this is really about Bethesda and Capitol Hill.

Inspiration Map — this example is a variant on a mind map.

Inspiration Map — this example is a variation on a concept map.

Mind map generated in XMIND.

The really important functional professional bio.

veni vidi didici

I came, I saw, I learned (except when I was too bleeping arrogant to listen).

 

Click on the mind map to expand it.

 

george huba  the summary


Click to open a window with my Curriculum Vitae in the standard form that is supposed to strike fear into the hearts of all who would compete against me for grant funding. A former co-worker (editor) said upon looking at my CV and those of other PhDs in the office … “I guess it means you know how to write.”

The following is a short professional bio that I have put into hundreds of scientific grant proposals and marketing materials. Kind of boring.

George J. Huba, PhD, President of The Measurement Group LLC, is a 1977 graduate of the Psychology Program at Yale University and is a Fellow of Divisions 5 (Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics) and 50 (Addictive Behaviors) of the American Psychological Association; he is also a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. Dr. Huba has held faculty appointments at the University of Minnesota and UCLA and has over 300 publications on methodology, program evaluation, and psychological testing, especially related to health care, social services, substance abuse, mental health, and HIV/AIDS services. Dr. Huba was the Vice President at Western Psychological Services, a major psychological test publisher, and in that role developed both paper-and-pencil and computerized tests. While Dr. Huba has published in the areas of quantitative psychology, measurement, and program evaluation for 30 years, his research has expanded in the past decade to include significant work on qualitative analysis methodologies in program evaluation and he has published a number of papers using such methods or mixed-method evaluations in conjunction with converging quantitative indicators. Dr. Huba is also expert in conducting in-depth interviews with service providers and service administrators (having interviewed several thousand such individuals working in more than 400 agencies in the past 10 years) and documenting strengths and weaknesses of different service models. Most recently Dr. Huba has turned his attention to better ways of disseminating knowledge including organic mind mapping, data visualization, short videos, and social networks. Dr. Huba has served recently as the lead evaluator on The Measurement Group’s evaluations of projects serving older adults and on TMG cross-cutting evaluations.

Or you could say the following about me.

Heck the picture above was taken for a “professionally written and photographed” report for a big foundation. This is the only hour of my life I looked like that and I used the photo from 2003 until 2011 when I retired. What you see is not what you got. On the other hand, I do look a lot like that egg cartoon above. Always have, although in the old days I had hair that came down to the middle of my back and a beard that covered the shirt collar.

 

Who influenced me over the years? Below are lists of those influenced me from close and personally and those who influenced me through their work. Buddies and folks who took the time to teach me how to see and learn. Most of these folks were close and supportive friends; some aggravated the hell out of me; some did both …

  • Vivian Brown, CEO, PROTOTYPES of Los Angeles
  • Claire Fagin, Former President and Dean of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania
  • Jerry Singer, Psychology Professor, Yale
  • Mathy Mezey, Nursing Professor, New York University
  • Bill Lawlor, Psychology Professor, Fordham
  • Frank Stallone, Research Psychologist, New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Ron Fieve, Psychiatry Professor and Clinical Trials on Lithium Chief, New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Bernie Segal, Psychology Professor, University of Alaska
  • Pete Bentler, Psychology Professor, UCLA
  • Geoff Maruyama, Education Professor and Vice Provost, University of Minnesota
  • Abigail Panter, University of North Carolina
  • Doug Jackson, Psychology Professor, University of Western Ontario
  • Michael Browne, Psychology and Statistics Professor, Ohio State University
  • Joe Prevratil, CEO, Archstone Foundation, Long Beach
  • Jeff Tanaka, Psychology Professor, New York University
  • Bob Abelson, Psychology Professor, Yale
  • Trudy Larson, Dean and Infectious Disease Professor, University of Nevada School of Medicine
  • Don Quinlan, Psychology Professor, Yale
  • Lisa Harlow, Psychology Professor, University of Rhode Island
  • Pat Archbold, Nursing Professor, Oregon State Healthcare University
  • Doug Anglin, Research Psychologist, UCLA
  • Lisa Melchior, President, The Measurement Group

 Influencers from afar through their publications and other work, conversations, emails, or Internet interactions. I don’t agree with everything most of them said, I agree with nothing a few said, and all pushed me to think by their own hard work …

  • Stan Mulaik, Psychology Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • John Tukey, Statistics Professor, Princeton
  • Roy Grubb, IT Consultant, Hong Kong
  • Susan Whitbourne, Psychology Professor, University of Massachusetts
  • Lyle Jones, Psychology Professor and Provost, UNC
  • Barbara Aranda Naranjo, Administrator of HIV/AIDS Programs, Health Resources and Services Administration, Rockville
  • Tony Buzan, Originator of Modern Mind Mapping and Management Consultant, London
  • Karl Joreskog, Statistics Professor, Upsalla
  • Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of European Forces WWII and US President
  • Elizabeth Woods, Professor of Adolescent Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Boston & Harvard
  • Ira Manson, President, Western Psychological Services
  • Gloria Weissman, Health Resources and Services Administration, Rockville
  • Paul Krugman, Economics Professor and Nobel Prize Winner and NY Times Columnist, Princeton

Within categories, the names above are in random order.