Archive for the ‘Behaviour’ Category

Pareto’s 80/20 rule is ubiquitous

June 11, 2018

I first came across and learned to use the Pareto principle in the 70s as a young engineer. It was the starting point for fault analysis of any kind.  Root cause analysis always started with a “Pareto diagram”. It was an extremely powerful tool not only for fault analysis but also then in all quality improvement actions.

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causesWikipedia

Pareto showed in 1896 that 80% of land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population and thus was born the 80/20 rule. It has now become almost a cliche in all business processes and in financial and economic analysis to describe the relationship where a minority of causes lead to a majority of the result.

The 80-20 rule is a business rule of thumb that states that 80% of outcomes can be attributed to 20% of all causes for a given event. In business, the 80-20 rule is often used to point out that 80% of a company’s revenue is generated by 20% of its total customers. Therefore, the rule is used to help managers identify and determine which operating factors are most important and should receive the most attention based on an efficient use of resources.Investopedia

The 80/20 rule seems to apply in almost all fields. It applies in wealth distribution, in personal and public finance, in all kinds of manufacturing, in quality control, in experimentation and in disease control.

It is not perhaps so surprising.

Wherever a phenomenon is subject to a power-law probability distribution, the 80/20 rule will apply, and a power-law probability distribution is perhaps the most common form of probability distribution that occurs in nature and in man-made processes. Put differently it is not at all surprising.

Of all the possible causes of an observed effect, a minority of the possible causes are usually responsible for a majority of the observed effect.

Perhaps we should be surprised only if the 80/20 “rule” does not apply. The “20%” and the “80%” should be taken as symbols for a “minority” and a “majority” respectively and then the 80/20 rule is ubiquitous.


 

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Murderous numbers

June 10, 2018

Globally the annual homicide rate is between 6 and 7 per 100,000 of population and this varies from less than 1/100,000 in many countries but up to 80/100,000 in El Salvador. In the US it is 4-5/100,000 and over 12 in Russia and around 20 in Mexico. There are therefore around 450,000 intentional homicides committed every year. To put this into some perspective, road fatalities globally are around 18/100,000 (1.26 million deaths). Around 56 million people die every year so as a cause of death, murders make up less than 1% of all deaths (and traffic related deaths are about 2%).

Assuming conservatively that each murderer commits less than 1.1 homicides, the world produces around 410,000 “new” murderers every year. While murderers come in all shapes and sizes and genders and ages, it is not unreasonable to assume that every murderer lives, on for around 35 years after committing his/her murder(s).

There are therefore over 14 million murderers living among the world’s 7 billion people. 

 


 

 

Behaviour, not form, defines a person

May 18, 2018

Within a decade or two we will need criteria to determine if an artificial intelligence has achieved consciousness. (I take consciousness without consciousness of self to be impossible). The criteria will have to be consistent and applicable both to life forms and to non-living entities. Within a few more decades, and certainly within one hundred years I think, we will need to be able to determine if an autonomous, intelligent, conscious entity meets the requirements for person-hood. At the same time it will become necessary to create criteria for judging what constitutes a person and what is meant by “mankind” (or person-kind).

Our use of the concept of “mankind” or “humanity”  or “humankind” is both concrete and abstract. It is used variously to mean:

  1. the 7+billion people alive today,
  2. the 110 billion modern humans who have ever lived (starting arbitrarily from about 200,000 years ago),
  3. all the people who have ever lived and all their works and all their dreams,
  4. an abstract vision of those who exhibit some ideal behaviour.

My own view is that it is behaviour which determines. To look like a human or to have the physical form of a human is not enough. It is the exhibition of “human behaviour” which determines who qualifies to be a human. “Mankind” or “humanity” or “personkind” then consists of those who exhibit or have exhibited and met some standard of human behaviour.  It also follows that any intelligent, autonomous, conscious creature or entity which exhibits these qualifying standards of behaviour is then a member of “mankind” (or of person-kind if language needs a new word). Genetics would then be involved only insofar as genetics determines behaviour.

“Human rights” as used today is a false concept precisely because it is divorced from behaviour. It is ethically and logically unsupportable. It is focused on the physical form of “being human” and not on the behaviour which makes a human. As used today, “human rights” is about form rather than substance, and about sanctimony rather than reality. When being a person is defined in terms of behaviour it then follows, naturally, logically and inevitably, that privileges for a person are also determined by behaviour.


It would then be perfectly logical to consider the privileges of personhood to be enjoyed by every entity qualifying as a person. And then it would not be necessary to consider privileges for members of IS or MS13 or Anders Behring Breivik or for an Adolf Hitler when he next appears.


 

 

Swedish Academy is wallowing in the gutter – of its own volition

April 28, 2018

It would be a travesty if a Literature Nobel was awarded this year. It would a greater travesty if any of the present members of the Swedish Academy are allowed to remain in their posts. The Nobel brand is being tarnished by the Academy. It is time for the Nobel Foundation to put its foot down – and very heavily.

Svenska Dagbladet writes (with spelling errors corrected):

The man at the centre of the Nobel scandal is being accused of having harrassed Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Three people have told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet that they witnessed Jean-Claude Arnault, a major cultural figure, touching the Crown Princess on her behind at an event in Stockholm.

The Swedish Academy, which has awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature since 1901, is embroiled in the worst scandal since it was founded more than two centuries ago.

At the centre of the scandal is 71-year-old Jean-Claude Arnault – a French native who has close ties to the academy since he’s married to one of its lifelong members, and a close friend of the man who used to head the academy.

Inspired by the #metoo movement eighteen women last year accused Mr. Arnault of having sexually assaulted and harassed them. Some of the events allegedly took place at properties owned by the Swedish Academy in Stockholm and in Paris.

Other incidents allegedly happened at a prestigious private cultural club that Mr. Arnault ran together with his wife, Katarina Frostenson, who is one of Sweden’s most famous poets.

Mr. Arnault has also been accused of leaking the names of Noble prize winners. He and his wife have also been criticized for receiving money from the academy for their club’s activities.

Svenska Dagbladet can now reveal that three people within or with close ties to the academy have witnessed how Mr. Arnault sexually harassed Crown Princess Victoria by putting his hand on her behind. The incident allegedly took place at a gathering at the academy’s villa Bergsgården on the picturesque island of Djurgården in central Stockholm.

Additionally, according to two independent sources, the former head of the academy, Horace Engdahl, was told to “take measures” to make sure that the Crown Princess and Mr. Arnault did not end up “alone together” at the reception following a formal gathering of the academy in late 2006.

Horace Engdahl who seems to have been one of the staunchest protectors of Arnault has much to answer for.


 

Swedish Academy is proving to be a bunch of skunks

April 17, 2018


 

Arnaultgate: The Swedish Academy is revelling in its own excrement

April 12, 2018

Not that a body which awards a Literature Nobel to Dylan has any credibility left, but they are currently excelling in covering themselves with excrement.

Alfred Nobel would be spinning in his grave.

The Nobel brand is being soiled by a bunch of privileged, self-admiring brats.


Of Interest.

How Sohlman and 3 white Russian stallions ensured the establishment of the Nobel prizes


 

Without Hitler, Israel would probably not exist

April 8, 2018

History is causal.

Above all, it is existential.

“What would have been if …..?” can never be more than a thought experiment. Wishing away horrific events in the past is not just pointless, it is a form of denial of “what is”.  Being proud of past generations or apologising for their actions are both equally inane.

  • Without prophets, gods would not exist
  • Without the rise of the Roman Empire, we wouldn’t have highways
  • Without the fall of the Roman Empire, we wouldn’t have Ferraris today
  • Without the European colonisation of the Americas, native Americans would still be primitive hunter gatherers
  • Without the European colonisation of the Americas, Asian cuisine (horror of horrors) would not include chillies
  • Without the colonisation of Australia, the aborigines would be either extinct or speaking Chinese,
  • Without British colonisation, the Indian sub-continent would be a mishmash of little warring kingdoms,
  • Without Hitler, Israel would probably not exist today.

Apologising for what previous generations or your ancestors may have done makes no sense.

If you must apologise, apologise for what your children and your descendants may do.


 

Europe is on its way to widespread euthanasia for the elderly

April 5, 2018

Legalising voluntary and “semi-voluntary” euthanasia is increasingly being seen as a way to alleviate the increasing cost of caring for the elderly.

Even if active euthanasia has only been legalised in a few countries, I suspect it is only a matter of time before most of Europe introduces some form of legal euthanasia for the critically ill and for the aged and the senile. It is already the accepted norm that children have no special or moral or economic obligation for the care of their aged parents. That obligation has already passed to the state. For millennials the care of the aged is entirely a matter for the state. There is a growing sense among the younger in Europe that the elderly and infirm have outstayed their time and are primarily a burden on society. For the state, the elderly are an unwelcome but unavoidable demographic. The compassionate society requires them to be assisted to take care of themselves in their own homes for as long as the costs are not unacceptable. Thereafter they are placed in “homes” for  the elderly where they are largely out of sight and where they are expected to “go quietly”. State run homes always have budget constraints and the level of care gradually deteriorates. Where homes operated by care companies but financed by the state, there is an incentive for the care companies to maximise “turnover”. And “turnover” means exactly what it sounds like. Completely private care apartments or homes probably provide the best care to those who can afford it.

I can see no moral objection to voluntary euthanasia. In the case of dementia, “voluntary” may not be entirely feasible. But what all states and all care homes know very well is that Euthanasia is both profitable and cost effective

In Sweden there have been many articles recently about the increasing cost of caring for the elderly with dementia. It is all just part of the campaign to get a wide moral and political acceptance for euthanasia being introduced  across the EU. The risk is that it will not be just voluntary euthanasia but will also include involuntary euthanasia of the unwanted. The introduction of legalised euthanasia in Belgium has not been without its problems.

Belgian Euthanasia Corruption Exposed

Euthanasia in Belgium has gone completely out of the control — including as just two examples —doctors killing the mentally ill and conjoining the death procedure with voluntary organ harvesting, as well as joint euthanasia deaths of elderly couples who ask to die for fear of future widowhood.

Now, a death bureaucrat named Dr. Ludo Vanopdenbosch has turned whistleblower as he resigned from the euthanasia-review commission. Vanopdenbosch charges his former colleagues with covering up violations of the euthanasia law that, he worries, could discredit euthanasia and reduce its support among the public.

He describes a doctor euthanizing a dementia patient who had not asked to be killed at the request of her family. ……

 ……… people have accepted the premise that killing is an acceptable answer to human suffering. 

Two of my friends have utilised the services of Dignitas. So, for whatever reasons it may come, I do hope that voluntary euthanasia is available to me when my time comes.


 

Another fundamental human right?

March 26, 2018

This could be added as the 31st Article in the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights but would probably need to be placed between the current Articles 18 and 19.

Freedom of identity choice:

Everyone has the right to freedom of choice of identity regarding race, colour or gender regardless of actual race, colour or gender. This right includes the freedom to change his/her/its identity of choice and the freedom to manifest his/her/its chosen identity in all his/her/its actions, behaviour, thought and observance.

A new fundamental human right?


 

Real rights are dependent upon behaviour (part 4)

March 20, 2018

My behaviour strongly influences the behaviour of others towards me.

Any “right” I may have can only exist if the behaviour of others is, at worst, not opposed to my exercise of the right.

Therefore,

Any “rights” I may have are dependent upon my behaviour.


 


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