Monday, August 16, 2010

Problems Clearly Stated

"A problem clearly stated is half solved!" crowed my father, many times, as he analyzed yet another problem to death. Pull the props and crutches out of an issue, and the failings became apparent. The more he knew about a problem, the better a solution he could design.

Google and Wikipedia have been providing what I need to know to solve about 70% of the problems I have brought to them this year. Not so, last year. More data than ever before is out there every time I look.

Politicians who offer solutions to the electorate's problems need to know the data before they speak. Right-wing pols seem to have limited access to data. Perhaps if they had the same data the government has, they would come to the same conclusions about solutions. It would at least be harder for them to propose pre-packaged ideas that are already known not to work.

Proposals that are realistic will look increasingly better as more data becomes available over time.

Proposals that are spun from cow dung will look increasingly doubtful.

Ideas that look only slightly foolish today - like birtherism, the faith in a belief that President Obama was not born in the USA - will look absolutely idiotic ten years from now.

More data. More clarity.

Does available data double every two years, like computing power? Probably.

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