Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Planning Primate's Primer

Some comments from Resource Insights:

--The analogy I like to use here is to pretend that you've jumped off a 100-story building. Falling past the first 99 floors causes no harm at all, but you'd obviously be wrong to assume that the [bottom] is going to be the same. 8:02 AM

Step Back said...

Calling ourselves planning animals is somewhat naive and self congratulatory.

The human brain is full models. Models that try to emulate the external world.

If I consider myself an "empathic" person it is probably because I have a model of you, of what you are like, running inside my head. I can step into that model and pretend that I am feeling what you are feeling. Then I have a sense of "empathy" for your situation.

I have other models running in my head that try to emulate the world. What is it like? What makes it go round and tick the way it does?

Perhaps my world model includes an Invisible Hand and a Market that mysteriously comes around to make everything right in the end. Perhaps my internally-kept model includes a section for Peak Oil, population overshoot, Global warming; or none of the above. It's different for every human being.

With a model, I can race it forward in time and see what happens. That's called predictive modeling. I can also test the validity of my predictive model by waiting to see what actually happens. For more insight on predictive models, see Kalman Filters.

4:55 AM

Step Back said...

So just a little more on predictive modeling and validation.

Say I am running a Cornucopian model inside my head. In other words, the Market always provides and "technology" (whatever that is) is forever progressing forward.

So say I'm not a technical person but I know how to step into a technology store, like a Circuit City or a Radio Shack or what have you.

One day I step in and they are selling vacuum tube color TV's. Wow this technology is cool! The next decade, I step into the store and "they" have created transistorized TV's with remote controls ... and computers. Skip forward to modern day and they are showcasing the iPhone.

All this validates my Cornucopian internal model. Floor 33, and so far not only so good, but it seems to be getting better! What are those Gloom & Doom others talking about? I think I'm going to continue modeling them as being lunatics. My everyday validation tests show they are lunatics. No need to waste time listening to their rants. My internal models prove themselves to be always correct.

5:07 AM Step Back said... P.S. A validating find for my BS model about validation is here.
Over the past month, I have been to the following stores: Public
Target (TGT)
Home Depot (HD)
Lowes (LOW)
Best Buy (BBY)
Circuit City (CC) ...
5:17 AM