All entries for February 2012
February 29, 2012
How often do we assess someone's decisions? It happens all the time, especially in politics. We always blame them for bad decisions and never seem to see any good things they've done (I'm not saying there are any like that!).
One of the things my nation keeps blaming the politicians for is the way they opened our market in early 1990s. These days we believe that any valuable companies in very profitable industries (i.e. mining, shipyards etc) had been sold for nothing and now after 20 years all profits were exploited and we're left with nothing.
What we never think of, is why they did that. Was it really the case they didn't care for the country? Or maybe they did, and they thought that it was the right thing to do - but why did they think so, based on what? Did they know something we didn't (and still don't) know? If I could olny know that... maybe they weren't wrong, maybe it's just a fact that it's impossible to foresee all inputs when making a decision?
February 28, 2012
A couple of thoughts to some of the examples from the class:
session 3, p. 11 (print-out) - Ad Hominem example. The point is that you can't say that someone had been wrong plenty of times before, so he must be wrong again. I agree with that. But can we say because he was wrong in the past, there IS a PROBABILITY that he might be wrong again? That could still affect the audience (the way we want) but would be true :)
session 3, p. 12 (print-out) - hasty generalisation. The example was: few bad cars don't mean the brand is of poor quality. I agree with that, fair enough. However, I believe that the example is miising one key thing - it didn't mention the sample size. I know that most of us would argue that this goes without a saying, and a sample of 500k+ cars was assumed (volumes of big car manufacturers). But if the sample was 5k and 1000 cars were not good then 'few bad car, really mean poor quality.
session 3, p. 13 (print-out) - circular reasoning made me think of people who when trying to come up with a definition of a particular word, use the word (they are trying to define!) in the definition. That's unacceptable...
February 27, 2012
Writing about web page /akshaykothari/entry/teen_patti_a/
Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view
Having read the article mentioned above, I wanted to share with you with a song (for a change).
The song helps me with my ADD ;) Enjoy
P.S. Forgot to paste the link for the first time - hopeless case!
On our first day of RDM, we had a go at 'judgement quiz'. Somehow, it was one of the most difficult tests over the last 5 years or so, but that's not the point.
There were two questions that caught my attention:
2. Estimate the percentage of word in the English language that begin with the letter ''a''.
3. Estimate the percentage of words in English language that have the letter ''a'' as their third letter.
To estimate the first value, I thought that there are roughly 24 letters in the alphabet - then there should be 4% of all words beginning with ''a''. However, if anyone used a dictionary in the past one will know that some letters are more and some less popular. If I remember right, there were quite a few pages for ''a'' words so I had a guess it's 7%.
Then for the next question, I tried to come up with some words meeting criteria and I found only 1... This is not the case of English not being my native language - I had a go in Polish and the result was the same! However, I somehow felt there might be more of them, but since 7% above was high and I lack knowledge I went for 2%. It turned out that the answer was 9% so my feeling was true!
The problem is that I lacked proof, and had more data about the second question hence the results. What was wrong with my thinking? Would my answer be correct if i.e. in the past I had seen a list of words with ''a'' being 3rd letter (as I had a change with ''a'' being the first)? At the end of the day, all decision will be made on what we know. Here, I knew I lack information so my way was based on what I knew better - I know it's a risky approach, but at least I could base my decision on some data from the past. On the other hand, I could have questioned if my estimate for the second question was right - but then would you question all the knowledge you have? You must make up your mind based on something, otherwise next time I will be questioning if 2+2 = 4 - maybe I'm wrong?