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Twitter Discussion with patio11

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patio11: A thing that keeps me up at night is that there is almost certainly, today, something which might not be shaped like penicillin but has a similar level of impact, and which is really sweating the next thousand dollars. https://twitter.com/jasoncrawford/status/1183833891209019392

patio11: And it’s not sitting in isolation; it is almost indistinguishable from 899 experiments which will go nowhere and 100 outright frauds which, after they lead the nightly news, will have your funding body of choice dutifully make sure that penicillin needs more paper for its grants.

patio11: I don’t know if I have a solution for this at the moment, other than not laughing when someone starts a conversation with “I think I am working on something bigger the penicillin.”

patio11: And, in the maybe 30% of lifetimes where I meet someone doing that, hopefully I immediately say “Good news, I have exactly one relevant professional skill. Here is all the money. Make progress on it and I can find you more.”

curi42: @patio11 I think I'm working on something bigger than penicillin. It's improved methodology for rational discussion and thinking. However, it's hard to monetize, hard to get anyone to listen or use it, and hard to use funding to help the project.

curi42: Also SENS (anti-aging research) is working on things that I think have a good chance to be bigger than penecilin. Their progress is being slowed dramatically by limited research budget. https://www.sens.org

patio11: @curi42 Most successful examples I can think of of popularizing "I simply think better than you" involve using single player mode to dominate valuable competitive environments until the entire world says "Oh eff me that parlour trick actually works." Sometimes this takes decades.

patio11: A corollary to this is that if one cannot dominate valuable competitive environments in single player mode, one should decrease one's estimate that one thinks better than everyone else. Examples from history: statistical process control in Japan, bond & options pricing, etc.

curi42: @patio11 SPC is massively underdeveloped today. Eg https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14783363.2015.1050181?journalCode=ctqm20 "Until now, there has been a lack of a sound, structured review analysing past publications and guiding future research on the implementation of SPC in the food industry context (Dora et al., 2013b; Grigg, 1998)."

curi42: And "The application of continuous improvement methods and techniques in the food industry are not as advanced as other industries and hence there are very few publications on Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma in the food industry"

curi42: SPC is not single player: "Employees’ high resistance and lack of statistical knowledge are the critical barriers faced by the food producers in adopting SPC." And even that review paper ignores Eli Goldratt's report about increasing bread sales 90% in The Choice.

curi42: Major SPC advancements as proof of concept of great thinking was tried by Eli Goldratt. He wanted to teach the world to think. Had charisma to get thru biz consulting social gates. Worked great as career but his SPC ideas, let alone rationality ideas, are neglected.


I like patio11 but I didn't expect him to actually want to discuss the matter. It's sad though. Comment below if you want to discuss it.


Elliot Temple on November 9, 2019

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