Saturday, May 30, 2015

Experimentation and Evidence Based Decision Making is Missing in Washington DC

Comments on: Solution-Jumping in the 21st Century

I found in Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-first Century... a lack of a clear problem statement, a lack of thorough problem breakdown, no clear target, at best tenuous links between root cause analysis and proposed solutions, and a lack of consensus-building effort around the preferred countermeasure. To be fair, Piketty never intended this book to be a practical problem solving primer. The topic he is addressing, of building a more fair and stable society through greater wealth for a larger number of people, is vitally important for our future. It deserves the best minds and the best approaches to problem solving. However, I am grateful both for the information and ideas presented in the book and for its problem solving flaws, as these flaws serve as a teaching tool for lean learners on how not to do practical problem solving.

I agree with much of what Jon said. One of the big problems with our current government and leadership of our governments is the lack of policies based on evidence. Policies should be experimented with and effective ones expanded and ineffective ones changed or abandoned.

There is a possibility for more of that within essentially our current political and government system. But there are big limits without some serious changes in that system. My guess is they would not have to be legal, but they would have to be huge. Fundamentally politicians and the political parties would have to put the well being of the country ahead of their own pursuit of power and cash.

It is hard to see that as likely given the current parties. And we don't seem to have any desire to vote out those people and put in people that put the well being of the country first. There are lots of ways the system encourages that behavior, still honorable people could stand up to pressures to be corrupted (however relying on that honorable nature of leaders has not proven very effective in human history).

In order to start moving to a more evidence based decision making system fairly fundamental changes are required in who is given power within the system. The current system gives power to those who can gain and wield influence and power. Those who can effectively improve the well being of the country don't gain much say in the current system. Until that dynamic is changed I am skeptical practical improvement methods will gain much sway.

There is a huge amount of room for improvement that has nearly no political ideology behind it. Granted in the current system everything has the political ideology angle emphasized to the hilt. There may well be political disagreements about the methods used but doing things like

- educating our kids
- paving our roads
- we can get medical care that is safe and effective (drug are reliable, experts are knowledgeable, hospitals are operated safely...)
- policing our streets
- providing health care to veterans
- operating our national parks
- ensuring the food we eat is safe (from things like e-coli)
- etc.

are things 90+% of the population agree we should do well. If we could use evidence based methods to have our government help be sure our society was having our needs met we would be better off. The political decisions about methods are going to get messy in some contentious areas. But we would be much better off if primarily we operated to produce the best results and only allowed politics to take the primary focus when it was really a contentious debate. Now we default to crony capitalism style political maneuvering and only rarely let evidence based methods seek to provide the best results for us.

Related: The estate tax is the tax most aligned with capitalism - The Aim of Modern Day Political Parties is To Scare Donors Into Giving Cash - USA Congress Further Aids Those Giving Them Cash – Risks Economic Calamity Again - "Bring Me Solutions Not Problems (“Having no problems is the biggest problem of all.” – Taiichi Ohno)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Ants and Traffic Jams

I have read numerous items discussing how ants avoid traffic jams. I don't recall those items discussing the fact that ants run into each other in head on collisions all the time. That the system ("vehicles", drivers, roads) seemingly suffer no ill effects (other than having to slow down to a stop each time this happens) from these "accidents" isn't something I hear people talking about in how we should adapt to learn from the ants successful methods.

Russell Ackoff actually touched on this a bit with designing the entire system so all vehicles had bumpers at exactly the same height. But this is far from completely crash-tollerant design.

There are tiny ants all over SE Asia that run amazingly fast. I can see why this is a big advantage. They cover lots of ground. When they find some yummy thing they get back home and tons of buddies follow them to the reward. It is amazing how fast they ram into each other.

These ants are pretty amazing example of evolution. But you also can see how a pretty simple tweak of trying to lay out "lanes" for travel could help. The ones I watch don't seem to use lanes at all, so they are constantly bashing into ants going the other direction. Which they seem to cope with perfectly fine, but it has to slow them down and waste energy.

Evolution is amazing but it does often also end up with designs that have bits you could intelligently tweak to seemingly great advantage.

Related: Why Don’t All Ant Species Replace Queens in the Colony, Since Some Do - Traffic Congestion and a Non-Solution - Symbiotic relationship between ants and bacteria - Amazonian Ant Species is All Female, Reproduces By Cloning

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Moz Page Authority and MozRank History for Some of My Web Sites (May 2015)

MozRank has stepped into the gap created by Google no longer publishing meaningful pageranks.

MozRank compares to Google's pagerank (a measure of the pages linking to the page, with greater value given to links from high ranking pages). Moz Page Authority is meant to more closely measure the importance of links by considering not just the number but also the quality of the links. This is oversimplified but essentially can be seen as if a page had a high number of links (even from other pages with high numbers of links to them) but those links were not deemed to be high quality the Moz Page Authority would be lower. So things like having links from trusted authority sites would pass on that trusted authority (a bit) to the linked site. And things that are seen as lower quality (could be lots of different things: poor links from that page, text that seems spammy or not of high quality, lots of pages without much content, slow loading site or things like Moz detailed in the Spam Flag Score, etc.) would harm the Moz Page Authority number.

Therefore, I would give priority to the Moz Page Authority number as more valuable. Note while Moz reports page authority as 0 to 100 I divide that number by 10 just to compare it to all the others which are between 0 and 10.

SiteMay 2015Aug 2014 (MozRank)Dec 2013
Feb 2013Oct 2011 Dec 2010
MozPA > 5
The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog6.4 (5.6)5.2 (6.0)5.5 [5]5.2 [4]--
John Hunter5.9 (5.2)4.8 (6.1)5.0 [5]5.3 [5]5.4 [4][4]
Curious Cat Management Blog5.8 (5.3)5.9 (6.0)6.1 [5]6.3 [5] 5.5 [5] [4]
Curious Cat Engineering and Science Blog5.7 (5.1)5.5 (6.0)5.8 [5]6.1 55.3 [6]4
Curious Cat Investing and Economics Blog5.5 (5.2)5.5 (6.1)4 [5.7]5.9 [4]5.3 [4][3]
@CuriousCat_com5.3 (3.5)5.8 (4.6)
Living in Malaysia5.0 (5.0)3.9 (5.8)4.0 [4]4.2 [4]4.1 [3]
MozPA > 4
My Kiva page4.9 (4.0)5.6 (4.7)5.8 [-]6.2 [-]4.0 [-][3]
Curious Cat Travel Photo Blog4.9 (5.0)5.0 (5.9)4 [5.0]4 [5.1]3 [4.9]-
Living in Singapore4.8 (5.0)4.0 (5.7)4 [4.1]4 [4.3]3 [4.0]
CSS 4 Free4.7 (5.4)4.4 (5.4)4.7 [5]4.9 [4]5.4 [4][4]
Curiouscat.com4.7 (5.2)5.0 (6.0)**5.4 [4]5.6 [4][3]
Curious Cat Code (programming)4.7 (5.0)3.8 (5.5)4.1 [4]4.3 [4]4.2 [4]--
Curious Cat Gadgets4.7 (4.9)3.9 (5.5)4.1 [4]4 [4.3]
Six Sigma Management Resources*4.5 (5.0)4.7 (5.6)4.9 [**]5.0 [4][4]
Architecture and home design inspiration4.4 (4.9)3.9 (5.5)4.0 [3]4.2 [4]--
Curious Cat Management Improvement Connections*4.4 (4.8)4.6 (5.6)3.3 [**]5.4 [4]5.5 [5][4]
Multi Site PageRank Checker4.0 (4.9)4.1 (4.9)4.1 [4]4.1 [3]4.7 [3][2]

SiteMay 2015 (MozRank)Aug 2014 (MozRank)Dec 2013
Feb 2013Oct 2011 Dec 2010
MozPA > 3.5
Investment Dictionary*3.9 (5.0)4.6 (5.9)4.8 [**]5.0 [4]5.2 [4]
Economic Strength Through Technology Leadership3.9 (4.8)4.1 [5.8]4.2 [-]4.5 [-]4.7 [4][4]
Curious Cat Management Comments3.9 (4.8)4.1 (5.0)3.9 [3]4.3 [4]4.5 [3]
The Future is Engineering*3.9 (4.3)4.3 (5.7)4.3 [4]4.6 [4]
Management Articles*3.8 (5.0)4.1 (5.5)3.9 [3]4.3 [4]
Good Process Improvement Practices*3.8 (4.8)4.2 (5.2)4.0 [3]4.1 [3]4.1 [3]
Management Matters (my book)*3.8 (4.7)3.5 (4.6)3.8 (5.4)3.8 [4]3.5 [4]---
Life and Legacy of William Hunter3.7 (4.9)3.7 (5.5)4.0 [4]4.1 [4]4.5 [4][4]
Curious Cat Travel Blog3.7 (4.9)New
Curious Cat Comments (this blog)3.7 (4.8)3.8 (5.1)3.9 [3]4.0 [3]3.8 [-][3]
Management and Leadership Quotes3.6 (4.8)3.6 (5.7)3.7 [4]4.0 [4]5.2 [2][2]
Freelance Lifestyle, Finance and Entrepreneurship Blog3.6 (4.3)new
Statistics for Experimenters3.5 (5.0)3.7 (5.7)3.9 [4]3.9 [4]4.5 [3][3]
Management Dictionary*3.5 (4.6)4.0 (5.4)2.6 [**]5.2 [5]5.4 [5][4]
MozPA > 3
Curious Cat Travel Destinations3.3 (4.9)3.4 (5.7)3.4 [3]3.2 [3]-
Justin Hunter (my brother)3.3 (4.9)3.3 (4.8)3.4 [-]3.4 [-]2.9 [2][2]
CuriousCat Wordpress3.3 (3.9)3.4 (3.8)3.5 [1]3.6 [-][-]
The Engineer That Made Your Cat a Photographer*3.1 (4.3)3.9 (5.7)4.1 [3]4.4 [4]4.7 [4][4]
Improving Your Search Engine Ranking Blog3.1 (4.1)New
MozPA < 3
Management Improvement Resources2.9 (4.8)3.0 (4.7)3.1 [3]3.4 [3]3.8 [3][3]

Curious Cat Travel Photos2.9 (4.0)New
Curious Cat Web Directory2.7 (4.2)3.1 (5.0)3.3 [2]3.6 [4]4.7 [4][3]
Deming's Management Method*2.5 (3.7)4.7 (5.3)4.9 [**]5.0 [3]4.5 [4][4]
Curious Cat Travel Destinations: Marina Bay Sands (Singapore)2.5 (4.1)2.9 (5.3)2.9 [2]3.0 [2]--
Johor Bahru Real Estate2.9 (4.2)2.8 (5.3)3.0 [2]3.2 [2]-
Hexawise.tv2.4 (4.9)2.8 (4.9)2.8 [2]2.9 [2]-
Public Sector Continuous Improvement Site*2.3 (3.6)4.8 (5.4)5.0 [**]5.1 [4]5.0 [5][4]
Curious Cat Travel Destinations: Australia11 (?.)1.5 (4.9)1.3 [-]1.8 [-][-]
Curious Cat Travel Destinations: France1.4 (3.6)1.4 (5.1)1.3 [-]1.9 [-][-]

* internal pages
** new url or old url forwarded (so Google losses track of the page rank for awhile)
- didn't exist yet or google didn't rank it for some reason
[blank] I don't know what the pagerank was, sometimes the site didn't exist yet.

Moz Page Authority is the measure that is equivalent to Google PageRank. So in the chart below the MozRank is shown inside ( ) for Aug 2014. [] indicate Google PageRank measures. Those without parenthesis are Moz Page Authority divided by 10 (because SEO Moz also decided to scale MozPA up to 100 while Google PageRank tops out at 10 and I already been listing the data listed in the 10 scale the last few years).

Related: Moz Page Authority for Various Sites (August 2014) - Historic PageRank and MozPageAuthority for Various Sites (December 2013) - Using Twitter Data to Improve Search Results

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Letting People Know You Appreciate Them

Thoughts on: Some Things Are Better Off Left Unsaid Or Unwritten

I think there are many things that we are all better off went unsaid. But there are times that people are too reluctant to speak.

I wrote about what happened after my father died on one of my blogs: I was constantly being told how thankful people were for how he treated them and what he did for them. This didn't happen for 1 or 2 months or even 1 or 2 years it went on for a long time.

It is true he was special but I also think many of those people didn't speak up directly to him (though some certainly did). We often are reluctant to directly tell people how thankfully we are for what they did. We would all benefit from people sharing those thoughts more readily.

Related: Acting Considerately - Helping Employees Improve - Appeasing Rude Selfish People Just Makes them Behave Even More Selfishly - Practicing Respect for People Requires Understanding Psychology