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There are unknown knowns?

The peak-to-trough part of the business cycle is an outlier. Carnot would have died laughing.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 7th, 2009 at 02:48:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tons of them.

Data analysis is about finding unknown knowns: You have all the data, but you don't understand it. That is probably what is so satisfying about it. (See, that was another unknown known: I knew the Orwell quib, I knew the way data analysis works and I knew that both are satisfying. But I had never put them together before...)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 7th, 2009 at 03:03:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Orwell's nugget of truth (more than a quip, imo), is that the books people put down with a feeling that they have read something exceptional that they will not forget (but life plays tricks...), are those that reveal something to the reader in an "Of course!" moment. Akin to the dot-connecting you mention above.

(The tricks life plays are that we can learn things, then forget them again. And in modern developed economies, an entire marketing, advertising, and communications industry is there to help us.)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Aug 7th, 2009 at 03:29:22 AM EST
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Only problem is that humans see patterns even where there are none, and tend to connect dots which don't have anything to do with each other.

("Ah, so they've invaded Afghanistan because of the Transafghan pipeline, that sounds just like those Big Oil Bush administration people, and Cheney was even CEO of Halliburton!")

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Aug 7th, 2009 at 04:58:45 AM EST
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A good sanity check is that a model that attempts to be comprehensive should demolish some of your previously held beliefs.

In the case of me and Galbraith, the notion that there is a strong difference between the regulated private company and the public service got a rather heavy dose of salt.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 7th, 2009 at 07:18:39 AM EST
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Puts "nationalisation" and "privatisation" in an entirely new light.

The peak-to-trough part of the business cycle is an outlier. Carnot would have died laughing.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 7th, 2009 at 07:20:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep. What matters isn't public or private, but the internal dynamics of the firm and how it relates to other firms and governments.

Of course, there is still a difference, in that the private sector is steeped in a number of cultural myths that are less strongly present in the public sector.

And, of course, there is still outrage when a public official pays himself a million € a year. Which tends to weed out one particular type of narcissistic sociopath.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 7th, 2009 at 11:18:35 AM EST
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