Adonis Diaries

Archive for July 16th, 2009

Grab the Moment

 

Work hard.  Day-dream hard.

Study hard and sleep hard.

Enjoy the moment to the fullest.

What is done mildly is a waste of time.

If nothing for everything,

You did drink life to the hilt.

If something from nothing,

“Whatever is” is nothing.

“Fundamentals of controlled experimentation methods” (Article 39, April 1st, 2006)

An experiment is designed to study the behavior of the values/responses of a dependent variable (for example data collected) as the values/stimuli of an independent variable/factor are changed, manipulated, or presented randomly or in fixed manner.

Besides the independent variables, there are other factors that need to be controlled because they could have serious effects on the behavior of the selected dependent variable, and if the researcher fails to hold these factors constant or fixed by appropriate techniques, procedures, instructions, experimental setting, and environmental conditions, the study will most likely have confounding results.

Controlled experimentation methods are versions of current simulations methods, but are essentially more structured and physically controlled.  In a nut shell, an experimental method is a series of controlled observations undertaken in an artificial situation with the deliberate manipulation of variables in order to answer specific hypotheses.

In general, a scientist plans, controls and describes all the circumstances surrounding his tests in a way they can be repeated by anyone else, a condition that offer dependability for validation.

The requisite of repeatability encourages artificial settings that can be controlled, especially because:

1. The participants/subjects in the experiment are not usually involved or engrossed in their tasks,

2. and it enables a scientist to try combinations of conditions that have not yet occurred.

Controlled experiments are time-consuming, expensive, and require a staff of skilled researchers and investigators so that they are conducted for basic research, publishing scientific papers, and when sponsored by deep pocket private companies and well-funded public institutions.

            There are different types of experiments, some are designed to extract cause and effects among the variables and, especially their interactions in the performance of a system, and others are not so well structured and are intended to explore a phenomenon at an initial phase in order to comprehend the subject matter…

Experiments varies in their design purposes and levels of control:  there are experiments on inanimate objects, natural phenomena that follow fixed trends and do not change much with time, and experiments using human subjects to select the better performing system or product, and experiments intended to study the cognitive concepts of people such as attitudes, mental abilities, problem solving aptitudes, attention span and the like.

The next article entitled “Controlled experimentation: natural sciences versus people’s behavior sciences” is intended to compare the complexity, differences, and levels of difficulties among the various experiments.

This article is striving to establish the fundamental processes or necessary structured steps to conducting a controlled experiment. In the spectrum of complexity, innovation and difficulty, the experiments in natural sciences are the easiest, and psychology experiments the hardest. Within the human-targeted research, fall experiments in the disciplines of agriculture, econometrics, education, social sciences, and marketing.

Early researchers in the phenomenon of electricity had to experiment with simple methods of one dependent and one independent variable, rudimentary equipments, and to rely on an exploratory knowledge of how electricity works and what are the factors that cause definite change in the behavior of certain criteria.

For example, scientists observed that there are relationships among voltage/power, the intensity of the current and the material the current is flowing through, then a scientist set up an experiment to study how the voltage changes when the intensity of the current varies or when the resistance of a material changes.  By conducting several experiments, first by working with a specific conducting material, thus fixing the resistance, and varying the intensity of the current and repeating this simple experiment many times and, second by fixing the current at a certain level and working with different kinds of conducting materials, then the scientist managed to observe a steady mathematical relationship among these three variables. As the body of knowledge in electricity expanded and more experiments were undertaken, the physical science of electricity discovered many more factors that entered into the mathematical relationship with varying degrees of importance and consequences.

            Obviously, physical scientists can now enjoy more powerful, time-saving, and effective experimental designs that can employ several independent variables and several dependent variables in the same experiment, thanks to the development in statistical/mathematical modeling and the number crunching computers.

These developments in controlled experimentations allow observations of the interactions among the various variables simultaneously, if physical scientists deign to apply them!

Controlled experimentation methods have a set of requisite structured steps that are common to both natural and social studies. Usually, an investigator has to review the research papers on the topic to be investigated, sort out the articles that are scientifically valid and experimentally sound, consider the variables that have been satisfactorily examined and those that were controlled, or not even considered…

Or the researcher may explore the topic by systematic observation of the problem, then he has to propose a hypothesis that could be rejected but never accepted no matter how often it was not rejected, then has to conceive a design for the experiment such as the types, numbers of variables, their levels, and how to manipulate the trials, then he has to decide on the best method for selecting the subjects, the materials, or products to be tested, the setting conditions, the procedures, the operations or tasks to be performed, the instructions, the equipments, the appropriate statistical model, then conducting the experiment, running the data, analyzing the results, interpreting the results, and finally providing guidelines or practical suggestions to be applied in engineering projects.

The motors of statistical packages used to analyze data are mathematical models or sets of algebraic equations with as many equations as unknown variables and relying on the two main statistical concepts of means and variances among data.

The purpose of controlled experimentation methods is to strictly control systematic errors due to biases and then to sort out the errors that are due to differences among the independent variables and those introduced randomly by human variability.  Once the size of random errors is accounted for then it is possible to study the relationships among the independent variables and to claim that a hypothesis could or could not be rejected at a criterion level of statistical significance, set frequently at 5%.  This criterion level of 5% of statistical significance means that there is still a 5% chance that an amount of random error might be the cause in the differences of the results.

Types of errors and mistakes committed in controlled experimentations will be reviewed in article #45.  However, it is important to differentiate between evaluation/testing methods and strictly controlled experimentation.

In human factors discipline, evaluation methods are applied to compare the effectiveness of several products or systems by measuring end-users behaviors, like/dislike, acceptance/rejection, or satisfying rules and regulations with the purpose that management would be able to decide on the choice among the products offered within specifications.

Controlled experimental methods are mainly applied to study the cause and effects of the main factors on objective measurements that represents valid behaviors of representative samples of end-users with the purpose of reaching design guidelines for products or systems planned for productions.

“Thus Spoken J.C” (July 15, 2009)

          

“Rabbi (Master) how should I behave in life to get to Paradise?” asked a follower.  Jesus said “I am not teaching you what you don’t already know in the spirit of the Land. You carry the spirit of the Land; you have been following me to remind you of the soul and culture of the Land. Your mind has been obscured by the daily regulations of the Pharisee’ Laws out there in Jerusalem that codified your life and clipped your wings. My message is not a set of instructions delivered by a teacher.  If you badly need instructions in order to live then read the prophets who spoke in the wilderness and abide by the laws.  I tell stories and speak in parables (examples) of the Land.  If you want the light then follow the light. Unburden your shoulders; sell everything, follow me and don’t look back”

 

“Rabbi, how can I free my soul from earth attachments?”  Jesus replied “What you freely acquired from your environment and community is yours; it is your own responsibility for whatever you act upon. Don’t blame anyone or society for your behavior. Go to the wilderness and reflect on your soul.  Make sure the location has a large tree with umbrage.  Let the birds and the living creature share your habitat.  Do not overstay your loneliness.  You are not an isolated tree or a plant”

 

“Rabbi, I have been practicing the Ten Commandments of our prophet Moses. Is that good enough to salvage my soul?” asked a follower.  Jesus replied: “Following the Ten Commandments is a good practice to changing your behavior toward your neighbor. But no, if you never learn to love and show compassion to your neighbor then the doors of Heaven are closed to you.  The Commandments demand you to respect your family and neighbors; this is an excellent practical behavior to learn the hardest step of loving your neighbors. If your are slapped on the right cheek then turn the left”

 

“Rabbi, you are asking an impossible gesture toward my enemy that only utter cowards would follow; and certainly not because of love” said a disciple.  Jesus said: “You are quoting me out of context. I never mentioned the occupier enemies; that is not of my domain. How would you learn to respect your neighbor if you refuse to turn animosity into understanding of your neighbor’s behaviors?”

 

“Rabbi, are your parables the only truth and guidelines?” said a follower. Jesus went on:  “There are many versions to my parables but what I tell you are generated from the customs and traditions of the Land; you should have no difficulty comprehending them the appropriate way. People from other cultures may re-write them and edit them according to their fresh set of values. I am not to preach laziness of the mind but to nudge you to individual reflection.”

 

“Rabbi is there redemption?” asked a follower. Jesus said “The doors of the master of the house are opened as there is daylight.  Once the master goes to bed then the doors are closed for the night.  All the banging will not open the doors when you are late. I am the light and redemption. As long as you believe in my Father’s compassion there is always redemption.”

 

“Rabbi, I have the best intentions in the world; the harsh reality of life is not making it easy at all to show my good intentions” said a follower. Jesus said: “Good intentions are the first stepping stones.  Verily, verily, if you fail to nurture your good intentions into tangible acts of charity toward your neighbor then the doors of Heaven are locked to you” 

 

“Rabbi, are animal sacrifices acceptable to God for forgiveness of sins?” asked a follower. Jesus replied: “I have come to redeem humanity and liberate man of the superstition of Original Sin.  No sacrificial rituals of man, animal, or things are acceptable to God. You need to sacrifice your sinful tendencies by praying, reflecting, and changing your behavior toward your neighbor”

 

“Rabbi, the town is expecting your coming and it is preparing sacrificial lambs in your honor” Jesus replied” Do not imitate those hypocritical Pharisees who hide their sins behind external rituals of piety.  The only sacrifice agreeable to God is your individual conquest against sinful behaviors toward your neighbor. My Father never asked to sacrifice living creatures; this is a nasty habit that is not within the spirit of the Land”

 

“Son, what the neighbors would say about your wanderings with a bunch of friends?” said his mother.  Jesus replied “Woman, we are not at the same wave length.  You are always worried about the details for survival and society’s customs and traditions.  I have a message that you are not ready to comprehend.  Woman, leave it at that and stop harassing me”

 

“Rabbi, order Marie to help me out in the kitchen” said Martha.  Jesus replied “Martha, Martha, you are worrying about countless matters and you should work for the salvation of your soul.  Marie has poured expensive perfume over my feet and all she wants is to learn and follow my message”

 

“Rabbi, the Pharisees are parked in and around the temple in Jerusalem, selling and transacting usury” warned a followers. Jesus said: “As I arrive to Jerusalem I will chase out and away all the sacerdotal caste with a whip and turn over their tables. These hypocritical priests have been usurping the message of God of compassion and charity for profit.  The temple is for praying and not a location for the professional guild of priesthood.  Those serpents will humiliate me, put me to trial, bruise me, and then will put me to death because my message is to free the spirit and the mind”

 

“Rabbi, I don’t seem to get what I want” said a follower. Jesus said: “Knock on doors and it will be opened.  Keep knocking on doors; do not relent on asking for what you want. Keep applying and requesting. The birds have their lodging.  God will offer your “daily bread” as long as you confidently and feverishly ask for it.”

 

 

Night is a terrible period; people tended to sleep early. Night is synonymous to death in people’s mind. People tend to be more coward at night: all kinds of frightening ghost stories abound in the traditions of the Land. Jesus said about the surprise visit of death: “Stay awake and pray; you don’t know when the Master of the house will show up; in the evening, at midnight or the last crow of the coq”. Jesus said to Peter during the Last Supper “Peter, you will repudiate me three times before the second crow of the coq (at midnight)”.  (Implicitly, Jesus is telling Peter that he is already forgiven and that Peter’s Galilean accent will give him away).

 

Carrying the cross Jesus said “Sisters of Jerusalem, don’t cry over me.  Those who could manhandle moist branches what they wouldn’t do with the dry ones?”  (If the sacerdotal caste could sentence to death an innocent man then what you, sisters of Jerusalem, should expect them to do with you and your children?  You should be starting to cry over your coming miseries and injustices).

 

Handicapped persons have a hard life in the Levant; they are nicknamed according to their handicaps and up very recently they were hidden from the public.  A handicapped woman got her courage and dared to touch the robe of Jesus and was cured.  Jesus told her: “Woman, it is your faith and not my cloth that cured you. Go in peace” (Jesus was alluding to the custom that touching anything holy would cure or satisfy a want).


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2009
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