Friday, February 17, 2012

What is Expanding Variability?.....

“Expanding Variability,” merely acknowledges the very real conundrum, that the MORE information/data we have, the MORE new (or previously unseen) variables/unknowns we find ourselves faced with. In other words, problems become more complex the closer we look at them.

More data uncovers more variables/unknowns. It DOESN'T create or generate new variables/unknowns, it merely brings into light variables/unknowns that were previously unseen or unconsidered.

This is why so many "experts" are wrong so often.

Most experts were good students and as students (especially in math and physics) we are often given problems that "assume a perfect vacuum," precisely to sidestep the thorny problems that an increasing number of unknowns poses.

UNFORTUNATELY, many such good students take such practices with them into the real world, where unknowns cannot simply be ignored.

But even when we look to take into account as many variables as we're aware of, the more data we input, the more new information we glean, the more variables/unknowns we come across.

it is this "Expanding Variability" that often presents us with the greatest obstacle to solving our problems. It inevitably leads to over-simplification and "sloppy thinking."

I will devote this blog to highlighting instances where expanding variability has stymied some of our "best and brightest" who've operated earnestly and out of "the best of intentions.

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