Bond Reporting Standards

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

He says: If you have the data, show them. Instead of whining about “crash” and “upswing” and “slump” and “boom”. Otherwise, someone believes it is 70 % and someone else believes something else. So, the controllers may not copycat the newspapers. He says, they don’t have to: They have their data.

Matt says the same. Roughly. He has shown us a graphic. Sherman Kent drew it. 40 years ago. A secret agent from America. NATO officers were to estimate how much percent Sherman means when he says: something is “highly likely” or “probably” or “unlikely” or “highly unlikely” and so on.

Measuring Perceptions of Uncertainty
Source: Richards J. Heuer, Jr.: Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, Langley 1999, p. 155.

Ah. Quite dangerous. After all, this was about military stuff. If the CIA tells the President, the bad guys are coming “probably”. And the President understands, ok, well, maybe with a probability of 25 %. But the CIA had 75 % in mind: Phew.

Sherman said, that´s why there have to be standards for words in the reports of intelligence agencies:

Certain 100 %  
Almost certain 93 % +/- 6 %
Probable 75 % +/- 12 %
Chances about even 50 % +/- 10 %
Probably not 30 % +/- 10 %
Almost certainly not 7 % +/- 5 %
Impossible 0 %  

Maybe. Anyway: Rules are good. Whining is bad.

Stop? Digital!

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

One of my rules: Graphs must be good to read. Good means fast and clear. That applies to all measuring instruments. For watches, too.

Classical watches are beautiful because they are mechanical. They show all values with analog scales. Not good for readability. But nothing else worked. So far. This watch breaks the rules. The stop function looks digital but works with a mechanic drive. That’s new and difficult to produce. Grand complication. You need 800 individual parts and 4 barrels to build it.

Porsche Design Indicator

The Porsche Design INDICATOR (P’6910) with a mechanical digital stop function display –
click for movie

The stop function is much better readable. Better than with individual indicators for hours, minutes, seconds and tenths of seconds. I see: ANALOG WAS NOT THE CONSEQUENCE OF MISSING READABILITY BUT A CONSEQUENCE OF THE MECHANICS.

However, I like clocks with analog indicators. But not in controlling. There, indicators remain old and stupid.