Adonis Diaries

Archive for December 22nd, 2020

An exercise: taxonomy of methods

Posted on: June 10, 2009

Article #14 in Human Factors

I am going to let you have a hand at classifying methods by providing a list of various methods that could be used in Industrial engineering, Human Factors, Ergonomics, and Industrial Psychology.

This first list of methods is organized in the sequence used to analyzing part of a system or a mission;

The second list is not necessarily randomized, though thrown in without much order; otherwise it will not be an excellent exercise.

First, let us agree that a method is a procedure or a set of step by step process that our forerunners of geniuses and scholars have tested, found it good, agreed on it on consensus basis and offered it for you to use for the benefit of progress and science.

Many of you will still try hard to find short cuts to anything, including methods, for the petty argument that the best criterion to discriminating among clever people is who waste time on methods and who are nerds.

Actually, the main reason I don’t try to teach many new methods in this course (Human Factors in Engineering) is that students might smack run into a real occupational stress, which they are Not immune of, especially that methods in human factors are complex and time consuming.

Here is this famous list of a few methods and you are to decide which ones are still in the conceptual phases and which have been “operationalized“.

The first list contains the following methods:

Operational analysis, activity analysis, critical incidents, function flow, decision/action, action/information analyses, functional allocation, task, fault tree, failure modes and effects analyses, timeline, link analyses, simulation, controlled experimentation,  operational sequence analysis, and workload assessment.

The second list is constituted of methods that human factors are trained to utilize if need be such as:

Verbal protocol, neural network, utility theory, preference judgments, psycho-physical methods, operational research, prototyping, information theory, cost/benefit methods, various statistical modeling packages, and expert systems.

Just wait, let me resume.

There are those that are intrinsic to artificial intelligence methodology such as:

Fuzzy logic, robotics, discrimination nets, pattern matching, knowledge representation, frames, schemata, semantic network, relational databases, searching methods, zero-sum games theory, logical reasoning methods, probabilistic reasoning, learning methods, natural language understanding, image formation and acquisition, connectedness, cellular logic, problem solving techniques, means-end analysis, geometric reasoning system, algebraic reasoning system.

If your education is multidisciplinary you may catalog the above methods according to specialty disciplines such as:

Artificial intelligence, robotics, econometrics, marketing, human factors, industrial engineering, other engineering majors, psychology or mathematics.

The most logical grouping is along the purpose, input, process/procedure, and output/product of the method. Otherwise, it would be impossible to define and understand any method.

Methods could be used to analyze systems, provide heuristic data about human performance, make predictions, generate subjective data, discover the cause and effects of the main factors, or evaluate the human-machine performance of products or systems.

The inputs could be qualitative or quantitative such as declarative data, categorical, or numerical and generated from structured observations, records, interviews, questionnaires, computer generated or outputs from prior methods.

The outputs could be point data, behavioral trends, graphical in nature, context specific, generic, or reduction in alternatives.

The process could be a creative graphical or pictorial model, logical hierarchy or in network alternative, operational, empirical, informal, or systematic.

You may also group these methods according to their mathematical branches such as algebraic, probabilistic, or geometric.

You may collect them as to their deterministic, statistical sampling methods and probabilistic characters.

You may differentiate the methods as belonging to categorical, ordinal, discrete or continuous measurements.

You may wish to investigate the methods as parametric, non parametric, distribution free population or normally distributed.

You may separate them on their representation forms such as verbal, graphical, pictorial, or in table.

You may discriminate them on heuristic, observational, or experimental scientific values.

You may bundle these methods on qualitative or quantitative values.

You may as well separate them on their historical values or modern techniques based on newer technologies.

You may select them as to their state of the art methods such as ancient methods that new information and new paradigms have refuted their validity or recently developed.

You may define the methods as those digitally or analytically amenable for solving problems.

You may choose to draw several lists of those methods that are economically sounds, esoteric, or just plainly fuzzy sounding.

You may opt to differentiate these methods on requiring high level of mathematical reasoning that are out of your capability and those that can be comprehended through persistent efforts.

You could as well sort them according to which ones fit nicely into the courses that you have already taken, but failed to recollect that they were indeed methods worth acquiring for your career.

You may use any of these taxonomies to answer an optional exam question with no guarantees that you might get a substantial grade.

It would be interesting to collect statistics on how often these methods are being used, by whom, for what rational and by which line of business and by which universities.

It would be interesting to translate these methods into Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Hindu, or Russian.

Assyrian and Sumerian myths and mythological stories transformed into other religious sects

The stories and myths in Assyrian and Sumerian mythologies were transformed into Jewish and Islamic sanctified stories.

These legends emerged in current Iraq (Assyria, Babylon and Ur) before 3500 BC or around 4000 years before the era of Islam.

The stories spread and moved into Jewish religious books, and deployed from Iraq to Palestine and then to Mecca,  Medinah, Yemen and the Mashreq (North Africa) countries, all the way to most Africa, Indonesia….

There was presence of many foreign immigrants in the Arabian Peninsula. For example, the young Iraqi from Mosul who served water and grapes to the Prophet Muhammad at Taif, as its inhabitants were stoning Muhammad, and the Persian Salman, Suhaib and Bilal the Abyssinian (Current Ethiopia)…

These are some of the myths of ancient Iraq and correspondence in Islam.

1. The legend of the flood:

In an Assyrian mythology the gods determined to annihilate mankind and they warned Uttonbshtm and his wife and sons. He was to build a great ship and put a couple of each kind of animal. In the Koran the same story and details with the one difference is that the hero is Nou7 (Noah).

Archaeological excavations uncovered that the flood covered 300 miles in the old city of Ur.

Details of the flood are identical between Iraqi and Jewish mythology, and in the  Islamic text the flood was intended to  punish humans who have rotted in the ground except a good man, his family and a number of animal-build ship and resort group are excluded from it.

Send birds to explore the Earth after the flood recedes.
The Prophet Abraham came from Ur old Iraqi city in the South and brought with him the story of the flood. (Given that Abraham actually ever existed)

2. Trip to heaven:  Gods Adaba corresponding story of ISRA3 and mi3raj.

3. Journey to the sky: Gods Etana, the bird Eagle offset in the Quran the Prophet Muhammad’s journey to the bright sky in Ascension.
4. The journey of Gilgamesh to paradise.

5. Paradise in the legends of Iraq in the Pharaonic monuments mentioned paradise and their descriptions. In both cases where the rivers and trees and eternal life, a garden of Eden.

Eden is a word derived from the word Sumerian Eden and means easy and flat ground and the location of the garden of Eden is in the South of Mesopotamia (the marshy lands?).

The idea of paradise appeared and was invented by the Sumerians in Iraq and then moved to the Canaanites, then the Pharaohs and then transferred to Jews and Muslims.

6. The underworld of floors:  in Islam the 7 earths.
7. Demons and goblins appeared in legends of the old Iraq as set out in the Qur’an and Hadith.

8. The story of the beginning of the creation of the universe (the sea was the first in the creation of the universe):  in the Qur’an (the throne over the water).
The journey to the underworld = Islam shake them down low.
Seven days seven nights – using the number seven is repeated seven earths skies in Islam, seven 7 days.

9. Expulsion from paradise and eternity: God’s wrath on the ethics for refusing his food and the expulsion of immortality to land. In Islam God expelled Adam from paradise for eating of the tree is the same story in Jewish books (Torah) before Islam and has the same meaning of the Qur’an.

10. Hell-the seven gates of the underworld.
Big doormen in the underworld: equivalent in Islam there is paradise Ranger Rizwan guard fire.
Eternity of God is only matched in the Qur’an God live and not die.
Gilgamesh is grappling with the divine bull that represents seven years lean-lean in the Qur’an in seven years.
Repetition in speech when the Assyrians – Kan Muhammad repeats certain phrases a lot.
Cleansing, washing the God Oruro = offset ablution in Islam.
The God Enki restored life to the goddess Inanna after death = ISA Hayat returned the dead.
The God Enki eat eight plants and fuck that befell it because of that = offset in Islam and Judaism the Adam ate from the tree and was cursed and the anger and the expulsion from paradise.
The God Enki became ill in his rib and Lady of the gods were invited to his recovery = corresponding create women’s rib.

11. The God Enlil sending plagues to kill humans in the story of Moses, = and in the Qur’an God take revenge from the people of Egypt sent a plague on them.

12.  Eternity is obedience to God = Islam to obey human beings to God their intervention paradise eternity.

13. Was thought in ancient Iraq that the kindness of God and satisfaction of human disease and saves lengthens age = and the same belief in Islam.

14. Babylonian goddess Ishtar. The Arabic versions were called. Female goddesses LAT and ‘ Uzza and Manat (warrior goddesses in the Arabian Peninsula).

15. The rise of the goddess Inanna of death. In Islam Jesus resurrects the dead and God limit people and then animates them.

16. The separation of the soul from the body = Islam out of the spirit of death.
17. Pad in legends of Assyria and Babylon = palette and fatalism in Islam.
18. The legend of ancient Iraqi culture similar to the story of Adam and Eve and take out them from paradise.
19. A person must die when the Assyrian gods decide so. In Islam God decides when a human dies.

Note 1: What the author mentions as Assyrian mythology is a direct hand me down transcript from one Empire to another in Iraq and Greater Syria that I call The Land (countries west of the Euphrates River and including south west Turkey, current Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan).

The Assyrian Empire is one of the latest that conquered other empires in the Land. These mythologies go as far back as 4,000 years before Christian calendar, and span the Empires of Akkad, Sumer, Babylon, Canaan…

Note 2: What the western countries label as the 3 monolithic religions are in fact a single one in 3 main versions.

The Old Testament or Bible was written in Alexandria two centuries before the coming of Christ. The New testament was written in several languages and there were several versions. The  Byzantine Empire selected only 4 Books that happened to be written in popular Greek (not the elite formal Greek).

All the many dozens versions of the Books were labelled Heretics, burned, discarded, and lost for lack of heretic Christian sects to transcribe and disseminate.

The Quran was written in many Arabic slang languages (which are derived from the Aramaic, the language of the people in the Land. The third caliph Ibn Affan decided to rewrite the Quran in the Mecca slang of the tribe of Quraish.

Note 3: Actually, besides the mythical or typical stories of the Land, the Old Testament is a description of the customs and traditions of The Land, and everything else is pure historical falsification, kind of extending a history to roaming tribes in current southern Palestine.

For over a century now, Israel and the Zionist movement couldn’t locate a single archaeological finding that prove the existence of the Kingdoms of David or Solomon or any Jewish artefact: The Jews remained mostly bedouin tribes in the land of Canaan (current Palestine and southern parts of Syria and Lebanon) and never reached the seashore at any moment in their existence in Palestine

Note 4: References: book flight to paradise and hell in the legends of the old Iraq – a Ministry of culture and information, 1998-book mythology in Mesopotamia-Baghdad 1984 book of Ishtar and Tammuz and tragedy book epic of Gilgamesh – Beirut and many Arabic and translated books on religion and mythology in ancient Iraq Sumer, Assyria and Babylon Sami dj_jigga civilized dialogue-number: 2354-7/26/2008

Note 5: The Arabic text posted on FB by Zahrat Al Mandella

Posted initially on December 30, 2014

Vaccines Don’t Mean We’ll See the Last of Covid, Experts Warn

Past immunization campaigns suggest the disease may never be fully eradicated

Why this prediction that the Covid virus will never be eradicated? Because there will always be a large proportion of susceptible population in the community who are Not vaccinated..

By John Lauerman and James Paton. December 20, 2020

In record speed, vaccines are here, and more are on their way. 

Less than a year since the coronavirus began ravaging the world, the first shots are raising hopes for wiping the Covid-19 pandemic from the face of the earth.

Today’s programs in the U.S. and the U.K. are precursors to immunization campaigns intended to reach the planet’s entire population — all 8 billion people in every corner of the globe.

Is there reason for optimism? 

Vaccines are the best way to eliminate infectious disease: Smallpox has been eradicated and polio is on the brink, with just two countries where transmission persists. (How about the countries succumbing to sanctions from receiving vaccines, basic medication and basic food? Like Yemen, Libya, Syria, Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank…?)

But global vaccine campaigns take time — usually decades — suggesting that even with the latest technologies, money and power behind the unprecedented global drive to knock out Covid-19, the disease is unlikely to be eliminated any time soon.

“I would be surprised to see an actual eradication of this virus now that it’s all over the world, I’d be shocked, given how contagious it is.” said Walter Orenstein, associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center in Atlanta and former head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s immunization program. “I’d be shocked, given how contagious it is.”

Snags in supply and distribution have already arisen in the opening days of the U.S. campaign, and the U.K., the first Western country to begin immunizing, vaccinated just 138,000 people in its first week. Meanwhile, Europe has yet to start inoculations, and probably won’t do so until after Christmas.

Concerns are growing over how long it will take to immunize vast swaths of the world beyond a group of wealthy countries that have snapped up early supplies.

A global program called Covax, which aims to deploy Covid vaccines around the globe, has secured deals with developers including Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca Plc.

But some of those supplies are expected to come from an experimental inoculation from Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline Plc that’s been delayed and may not be ready until late next year.

“It’s really, really complicated to make sure we get those vaccines produced and distributed in an equitable way globally, for both moral and economic reasons,” Mark Suzman, chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, told reporters on a Dec. 9 call.

Suzman pointed to research showing that broad access to vaccines could deliver significant economic benefits to all countries and save many lives.

Since wealthy nations will likely have more than enough doses to vaccinate their entire populations, they should consider the reallocation of some supplies to those most in need, he said.

Smallpox Vaccination - NYC outbreak 1947
People line up for smallpox vaccinations outside a hospital in the Bronx after an outbreak in New York City in 1947.Photographer: Bettmann/Getty Images

Mass vaccination has been one of the most successful public health interventions in the world and has played an important part raising U.S. life expectancy by more than 50% over the last century.

About a third of U.S. deaths in 1900 occurred in children under age 5, many of them from diseases like smallpox, measles and whooping cough that are now preventable by immunization.

Some new vaccines have also gained quick and widespread use, like shots that prevent pneumococcal infections that can cause severe illness in children and adults. Introduction of the shingles vaccination has offered prevention of the painful disease to millions of people over the past two decades.

A veteran of the World Health Organization effort to eradicate smallpox, Orenstein would often immunize himself in front of entire villages to assuage safety fears.

The agency resolved to try to eradicate the disease in 1959 when it still afflicted many developing countries, but the effort didn’t kick into high gear until 1967 when more funds and personnel were committed by the WHO and its members.

The smallpox effort initially targeted entire populations, but that turned out to be impractical, recalled William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University infectious-disease specialist who has advised the government on vaccination. The turnaround came when the strategy switched to identifying cases and then vaccinating everyone in proximity, sometimes hundreds of households.

This approach of creating a vaccination ring around cases was only possible, however, because smallpox can be a disfiguring disease, making it easy to identify, and spreads relatively slowly.

“It has this reputation of spreading rapidly but it actually spreads rather slowly,” Schaffner said. “You also need rather close contact for transmission to occur.”

Those features allowed vaccination teams to identify patients just as they were becoming infectious and close off all opportunities for transmission. Even so, it took two decades for the worldwide effort to contain the last outbreak in 1977.

A better comparison to Covid might be polio, an intestinal virus that sometimes causes permanent, severe disease. Polio is similar to Covid in that only a minority of infected people — about one in 100 — become extremely ill.

Sabin Sunday
Children and parents line up outside the Children’s Hospital to receive polio vaccines in Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 24, 1960.Photographer: Cincinnati Museum Center/Getty Images

That’s created one of the problems anticipated in widespread Covid vaccination: People who don’t believe they’re vulnerable to the disease may not want to be vaccinated, even though it may benefit others by keeping hospital intensive-care units free and possibly preventing transmission of the disease.

An important difference with polio, however, is that it can cause severe disease in young children, leaving them with lifelong paralysis, Orenstein said. That’s unlike Covid, which mainly strikes the elderly and chronically ill. That’s left some portions of the public indifferent.

“We’re getting more than a death a minute — on some days two deaths a minute,” he said. “It’s very disturbing to see the lack of concern in other people.”

Yet even with the specter of children paralyzed from polio and a vaccine available for some 65 years, global elimination of that disease still hasn’t been reached.

Two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, continue to have spread because of insufficient vaccination rates,  according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

The latest Covid updates Make sense of the headlines and the outbreak’s global response with the Coronavirus Daily.EmailBloomberg may send me offers and promotions.

To defeat Covid, “we’ve got to convince people to take the vaccine,” said Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. government infectious-disease specialist, in an interview.

If you have a highly effective vaccine and only 50% of the people take it, you’re not going to have the impact that you’d need to essentially bring a pandemic down to such a low level that it’s no longer threatening society. And that’s the goal of a vaccine, the same way we did with measles, the same way we did with polio, the same way the world did with smallpox.”

Most standard immunizations provide protection for years to decades.  We still don’t know how long Covid vaccines will last, Fauci pointed out.

And it isn’t clear whether they prevent transmission along with protection against symptoms, although studies may soon shed light on that.

The logistics and supply-chain challenge the world faces today is “more complicated than usual because for the first time in history we’ll be introducing multiple vaccines against the same target at the same time,Rajeev Venkayya, president of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s vaccines business, said in an interview.

That means countries will need databases to track the rollout and ensure people are getting the doses at the right times, as well as systems to monitor potential side effects and share the information with the public, he said.

Early on, countries plan to prioritize the most vulnerable people as well as health-care workers and other critical staff, which will reduce deaths and suffering considerably, said Venkayya, former special assistant for biodefense to U.S. President George W. Bush.

“But transmission won’t go down dramatically in the beginning. It’s going to take time to get to a sufficient level of vaccine-driven population immunity before we begin to dampen transmission.”

Potentially by the middle of next year countries such as the U.K. and U.S. will be able to see a “real dampening of transmission,” he said. “That timeline is going to be delayed in many other parts of the world that don’t have this kind of early access to vaccines.”

Unvaccinated populations always threaten to reintroduce disease into areas where herd immunity appears to have taken over.

Just last year, the annual number of worldwide, reported measles case rose more than six-fold to about 870,000, the most since 1996, as immunization rates flagged. 

The world is likely to see the same level of viral persistence from the coronavirus, said Klaus Stohr, a former Novartis AG vaccine executive and WHO official who championed efforts to prepare for pandemics.

“The prediction is pretty clear: The virus will never be eradicated. Why? Because there will always be a large proportion of susceptible population in the community.” said Klaus Stohr

— With assistance by Jason Gale




December 2020

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