what a buffoon. Did he run out of hookers to chase? Who thought it was a good idea to give him a microphone …so we can listen to his excellent and reasoned judgment
- credits Clinton with giving us a budget surplus;
- blames libertarian economics for the current budget disaster
- thinks the Asian tigers are using Keynesian policies to outgrow us
- favors spending more
go back to chasing hookers and apologizing
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remember that Hunt is writing his synthesis in 1996, and he comes from the leadership discipline, not education or cognitive neuroscience. He is good when it comes to synthesizing existing literature, but his excursions into the future of “what-if” are not very convincing.
There has been a lot of important work done on the very issues of rationality vs intuition, on (control & prediction) vs (emergence & adaptation), but it hasnt come from the land of leadership.
I have been doing a ton of research in this area, and in fact the limitations of rationality, and the implications for leaders, leadership skills, organizations and culture, strategic planning and operational execution are precisely the reason i started this program.
my mission is to figure out what leaders need to know, be, and do to manage problems & opportunities outside of the bounds of rationality and convention, and then design and deliver a teachable curriculum that prepares students and faculty for fuzzy situations and coalitions. where goals, cultures, standards, criteria, resources, time horizons are much closer to chaos than order, and with no interest among the stakeholders to move away from the apparent chaos.
I take Heifetz as representative of the state of leadership which has apparently spent the last 2 decades trying to micro-refine the individual models of leadership, and which in my opinion have been left behind by the nature of the challenges for organizations. Even seen as a consultants handbook, Heifetz is comfortably situated inside conventional, stable organizations trying to tweak their way to success.
Back to your point.
The rationality vs intuition debate is best developed from the world of decision-making and cognition. The essential and representative authors to read are Gerd Gigerenzer & Gary Klein, on intuition and heuristic decisionmaking. William Poundstone’s “Labyrinths of Reason” is an excellent introduction to the limitations of rationality. James March on decision-making systems is foundational. Mintzberg is pretty good on recognizing the implications Tversky & Kahneman’s Nobel prize winning work on cognitive biases and behavioral finance is the top level theory basis (spanning 40 years), and all of these guys connect back to the incomparable Herb Simon’s bounded rationality from the 1940s, and which still is some of the best writing and thinking in this area.
The most promising area of current research is found in the fields of emergence, chaos and complexity theory (including complex adaptive systems) but there are miles to go to connect these ideas to the leadership disciplines
So, i think Hunt was intuiting that something else was needed, but hadn’t connected to that body of work.
There is another whole discipline that’s waiting to be incorporated: education, especially adult education, and that’s where i seem to be centered: in the preparation of leaders for these new demands/considerations, while satisfying the constraints of an accreditation system which values certainty, objectivity and standardization.
it seems to me that education lags about 20-25 years behind the cutting edge, as accreditation’s fascination with certainty, objectivity and standardization reflects what was thought to be essential in business and commerce 2 decades ago. So education is just discovering that which the rest of the world is abandoning (or at least moving well beyond)
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It’s not “survival of the fittest” in the wild, it is extinction of the unfit & toleration of the “good enough” which promotes a broad gene pool. A broad gene pool gives us the adaptive flexibility to adjust to “black swan” events, (Taleb).
well, our educational system should seek to promote that kind of diversity in outreach, methods, programs etc and not just short-sidedly focus on how to efficiently pass the next round of standardized tests which are geared for the immediate environment, but which leave us uneducated for the possibilities of an infinitely rich future
there are many skills, habits, behaviors, attitudes which dont thrive in an individual, cut throat environment, but which may be needed for an environment that favors cooperation: such as living in a nuclear age.
I think it’s important to remember that “the failure” is in the system’s inability to provide a medium for the seed that is the person to flourish.
We know from “The Long Tail” that digitization and globalization allow for the creation of feasible 1:1 relationships. we are less constrained to find “economic” tradeoffs that satisfy the many and underserve the tails of the distribution.
We should, therefore be looking to expand the set of possible methods and resources to serve those further out on the tails of the distribution in order to broaden our “gene pool” of human potential.. See Axelrod on “The Evolution of Cooperation” for example
Good survival strategy for the a species, all species, for life itself, is to maximize biodiversity, because of the possibility of discontinuous “shock” events to the environment, for which prior specialization is unsuited.
The examples of Branson and Gates amply illustrate the rich rewards waiting for us on the untapped wide tails of the human distribution
It is arrogant of education to presume it can forecast the future and determine what can and should be precisely taught for “success”.
If education hasn’t learned that yet, then it should attend some of its classes in the sciences and arts to discover the limits of pure rationality and control
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there are some countries that are complaining about the motives that the impute to the US with respect to the military forces engaged in relief operations in Haiti. Most of those countries are not in a position to provide significant humanitarian relief to the area in that they are quite confident in denigrating the US efforts. No one likes the US, no one is in favor of our rampant consumerism, and no one would do it exactly the way we do it. Nevertheless, we are there with overwhelming support of a humanitarian nature with as much security as seem sensible and we can fully expect to be underappreciated except by the people whom we are supporting. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
We are still in capable of gaining the strategic communications message environment to our damage. I suppose it comes from a natural dislike for spin and nuance and a preference for direct action. I don’t know that that’s necessarily a bad thing.
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Thomas Kuhn’s influential book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” ignited a firestorm of debate and controversy in 1962 which continues unabated to this very day. Noted as the most widely cited book in the 20th century, Kuhn’s writing has penetrated the public consciousness to shape our collective language and thinking about science, truth and ethics. If anything, his work is timelier today than when it was originally written. His concepts and concerns are at the center of many important policy debates raging in the headlines of the popular press. I will review several of his important concepts, the immediate reaction of his peers, his connection to the history of the philosophy of science and describe how his ideas shape modern policy debate with several examples. I conclude by examining how his ideas have shaped my thoughts on the nature of the relationship of science to society.
Several important concepts:
Kuhn characterizes the conduct of science as occurring within three distinct phases: pre-paradigm, normal and revolutionary. In the pre-paradigm phase, groups of scientists begin inductively creating proto-theories from their observations. They offer tentative hypotheses about the nature of cause and effect and organizing principles within their domain of study. Until such time as a particular theory dominates all of the others in its field and offers a broad explanation that most practitioners can support, Kuhn describes scientists as operating within the pre-paradigm phase. (Kuhn, 1996; Pajares, 2004)
When scientists studying a particular domain merge their ideas into a comprehensive body of knowledge upon which they can all mostly agree, they have moved into the phase of normal science, with Kuhn’s term “paradigm” describing their consensus worldview of how the world works. The paradigm can be thought of as a meta-theory encompassing the broadest possible view of that scientific domain. It lays out the concepts, processes, terms of art, laws of cause and effect and offers insights into recommended areas for further research. The paradigm represents the body of commonly agreed professional knowledge that a scientist must master in order to be credentialed and therefore certified to work in a scientific domain. During the course of normal science, conducted within the boundaries of the governing paradigm, anomalies will naturally occur where observations contradict the predictions derived from the paradigm’s theory. During periods of normal science, these anomalies are reconciled routinely or explained away; they do not challenge the underlying validity of the paradigm in the minds of the scientists. When, however, a sufficient number of scientists interpret the anomalies as a challenge to the underlying paradigm itself and they begin to offer alternate, incommensurable paradigms then Kuhn says the scientists have entered the revolutionary phase of science. (Kuhn, 1996; Pajares, 2004).
The revolutionary phase of science, Kuhn says, consists of a battle of survival between competing paradigms which cannot be resolved until one paradigm dominates. The competing paradigms offer such dramatically different interpretations and understandings of the world that they cannot even share concepts. As an example, there is no synthesis or middle ground between the view of combustion as oxidation and the phlogiston theory of combustion. The paradigms are so complete and separate that you cannot hold both in your mind at once. This is what Kuhn means by incommensurability. The revolutionary phase of science is over when one paradigm dominates, which allows a return to the phase of normal science. (Kuhn, 1996; Pajares, 2004)
Kuhn observed that the history of science, obviously written with an eye towards the past, had taken the form of grand narrative. This means that the explanation of the evolution of scientific theory was written as if the dominant paradigms discovery and propagation was a matter of inevitable necessity, with scientists progressing inexorably along the path towards truth and knowledge. He believed, however that the actual development of scientific knowledge did not follow such a romantic, narrative tradition. Instead, he believed that science proceeded in non-linear leaps and bounds, shaped by social and political dynamics of groups of scientists and sponsors and not by the rational, logical development of inquiry, experiment and reflection. (Kuhn, 1996; Stanford encyclopedia, n.d.; Pajares, 2004)
Kuhn was directly concerned about the development of physical sciences, but his work was used by social scientists and critical philosophers to support their views on the nature of rationality and objectivity in ways that generally opposed the positivism. His work has become very influential in the worlds of business and popular culture to the point that the word paradigm has developed so many meanings as to be meaningless in a precise sense. (Goldman, 2008, Pajares, 2004))
Philosophers of science have observed that Kuhn’s work broke no new ground, with his central theory dating back to the debate between Plato and his Ideals and the ”earth gods” represented by Protagoras and his belief that man was the measure of all things. (Goldman, 2008; infed,n.d.). History abounds with examples where social, religious and political pressures have shaped the scientific consensus of the day. The debates of theoretical physics concerning the wave theory and particle theory of light, and the nature of space, time, mass and velocity in the early 20th century, contain many of the philosophical implications that Kuhn later developed. It is fair to say that Kuhn brought together these disparate strands of argumentation into an accessible and timely book which brought the debate to the forefront.
My summary of Kuhn’s key assertions, developed in our Moodle discussions (Long, 2009)
The book is an argument that science is not entitled to the claims that:
- science deserves special consideration as the most reliable means of creating knowledge of the world
- science and scientists deserve their reputation for objectivity and truth seeking
- science is a process driven by reason, rationality, logic and facts and which values Truth above all else
- scientists even understand their own profession
This is a book which has been taken seriously by world class scientists and philosophers on both sides of the question of the nature of science and its place in society for over 40 years, is one of the most cited books in academic circles in the 20th century, and has even penetrated the popular consciousness. Its central idea remains an important part of theoretical debate even today.
Kuhn’s use of paradigm was as a construct to describe the reasons why revolutions in science occur at critical times, as opposed to the tactical disputes that arise when particular elements of theory are in dispute, but which do not threaten the meta-theory held by the vast majority of the mainstream at a given time.
He argues that the method of making knowledge and deciding on what shall constitute the paradigm is not exclusively a rational process. He argues that there are times when paradigmatic crises occur that transcend the dialectic of normal science. He doesn’t argue against the scientific method at all; in fact as a scientist he favors its use; he is pointing out that scientists have not been true to the principles of the scientific method by allowing social dynamics to guide scientific consensus instead of using the scientific method. (New World Encyclopedia, n.d.)
Climategate is the popular name given to the revelation of decidedly unscientific practices of certain climate scientists that cast doubt on the validity of their research methods, data, conclusions, and reports. I think Kuhn would point at the Climategate news story as a validation of his central thesis. I look at Climategate as a serious indictment of certain scientists guilty of fraud on many levels if the worst allegations are substantiated. Look how far the field has come from the time of Galileo, who risked his life by confronting the powerbrokers of his time by standing up for the truth revealed by the scientific method, to the scientists of Climategate, who have allegedly perverted the search for truth by falsifying data, slandering skeptics, denying them access to peer reviewed journals, and very nearly committed politicians to supporting policies with billions of dollars which could be better spent on real issues. That’s a 180 degree turn. Their actions stand to cast all scientific claims into disrepute. I expect the event will be cited by extremists on both sides of the political aisle to justify disregarding scientific opinion in future policy debates.
Why Kuhn matters
We are facing the rise of mob-ocracy, schooled by television and Twitter; this is Socrates’ worst nightmare (he distrusted democracies for this very reason) (Hadot, 2002). Properly employed, the scientific method is supposed to have the checks and balances required to prevent exactly this kind of perversion of knowledge creation (SparkNotes, n.d. for a discussion on Descartes and ideal objective scientific method).
With science becoming more complex, it becomes harder for the public to judge the merits of specific scientific arguments in matters that affect public policy. At the same time, scientific policy decisions have global consequences. Bjorn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus (Lomborg, 2006) is an example of the real trade-off decisions facing public policy makers, and with scientists representing many sides of each individual policy position, it becomes problematic for non-scientists to evaluate the merits of the scientific claims. In Jefferson and Franklin’s era it was still possible for policy makers to be men of science who could evaluate claims on their own. The complexity of modern science has made that impractical. At a time when we need scientists to be honorable, objective and rational more than ever, an issue like Climategate serves to reinforce ever possible negative stereotype and cast all scientists as advocates instead of disinterested investigators.
In a recent edition of The American Thinker two articles ran side by side to demonstrate this point. Lisa Schiffren castigates journalists, businessmen and the public for cooperating with the false image of Tiger Woods public persona, and wonders why the public could not penetrate the charade (Schiffren, 2009). In the very next article, Charles Chantrill uses the same language and reasoning to castigate all scientists and their claims to objective knowledge and truth, not just those implicated in Climategate. (Chantrill, 2009). His recommendation is to treat science as simply another mode of making policy claims, co-equal to that of journalists, politicians and other advocates. This is a practical application of the theoretical position of radical philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend, who thought Kuhn didn’t go far enough in his deconstruction of post-positivistic science (wordIQ, 2004; Goldman, 2008).
My reflections on the meaning of Climategate and Kuhn
With policy issues requiring scientific assessment more prominent than ever before, we need a way to integrate scientific recommendations and assessments into our policy debates in a reliable manner. Issues of health care, beginning and ending or life, medical ethics, privacy concerns and national security, stem cell research, climate change, alternate energy, student centered education, intelligent design and public school curriculum are representative of the far reaching issues that need to be informed by scientists. We must be able to trust but verify the claims of scientists regardless of their funding sources. We must have transparency and a vigorous public debate with full access to all datasets, especially those that have been publicly funded. The public must be educated to understand the difference between vigorous and healthy public debate between scientists seeking the truth, and empty rhetoric. In an age of decreasing attention span and multi-media saturation with consumerist advertising, this could be our most important intellectual challenge. For better or worse, Climategate will drag scientists to the center of public scrutiny; their days as privileged guardians of the truth are over.
Chantrill, C. (2009). Climategate’s Bullyboy Scientists. The American Thinker. Retrieved Dec 08, 2009 from http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/climategates_bullyboy_scientis.html
Goldman, S. (2006) Course notes: Science wars: What scientists know and how they know it. The Teaching Company.
Hadot, P. (2002). What is Ancient Philosophy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Infed editors. (n.d.) michael polanyi and tacit knowledge. infed: the encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved Dec 02, 2009, from http://www.infed.org/thinkers/polanyi.htm
Kuhn, T. S. (1996). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions .Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Lomborg, Bjørn (ed.), How to Spend $50 Billion to Make the World a Better Place, Cambridge University Press, 2006.
MGM830 Moodle entry authors. (2009). Assorted. MGM830 Moodle discussions. Retrieved Dec 04, 2009, from http://www.instituteforadvancedstudies.net/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=27823
New World Encyclopedia editors. (n.d.) Kuhn, Thomas. New World Encyclopedia. Retrieved Dec 03, 2009, from http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Thomas_Kuhn
Pajares, K. (2004). Kuhn: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions; A Study Guide. Pajares’ Kuhn page at Emory University website. Retrieved Dec 01, 2009, from http://www.des.emory.edu/mfp/Kuhn.html
Schiffren, L. (2009). Tiger, Barack, and the Law of Transitivity. The American Thinker. Retrieved Dec 08, 2009 from http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/tiger_barrack_and_the_law_of_t.html
SparkNotes Editors. (n.d.). SparkNote on Descartes: Discourse on Method. Sparknotes. Retrieved Dec 02, 2009, from http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/discoursemethod/analysis.html
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy editors. (2004). Thomas Kuhn: The Structure of Scientific revolutions. The Stanford Encyclopedia on Philosophy (SEP). Retrieved Nov 30, 2009, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/thomas-kuhn/
WordIQ editors. (n.d.) Demarcation problem: Identification and overview. WordIQ dictionary and encyclopedia index. Retrieved Dec 01, 2009, from http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Demarcation_problem
Peter Checkland’s Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) describes the use of models to help us frame questions to ask of the world, and which help us become explicit about our world views, assumptions, frames of reference, theories of cause and effect, values, and desired outcomes.
Checkland, P. (2006) Learning for action: A short definitive account of soft systems methodology and its use for practitioners, teachers and students. Chichester, England, Oxford Press
We’ve developed a deceptively simple Force Mgt practical exercise in the form of a card game. The complete rule set is simple; takes 5 min to scan and understand.
Rapid rule summary:
1. Students buy forces (5 cards) from a production table (a limited deck) and in each of 5 rounds, deploy them into 5 regions to compete for Victory Points
2. Win: first one to 51 victory points OR most points after 5 rounds
3. Game: lasts up to 5 rounds
4. Each round has 5 hands , each hand is worth Victory Points (VP)
5. Hand 1 is worth 6 VP, hand 2 is worth 5 VP etc…
6. Player 1 buys from the red deck, player 2 from the blue deck)
7. After you buy your 5 cards, you place 1 card face down in each region (hand)
8. Once all cards are placed, cards are flipped over and you determine results
9. If your card wins the hand you get the victory points and keep you card; if you lose the hand, you get no victory points and lose your card. If it’s a tie, you keep your card and no one gets points.
10. Each player has an identical deck to buy from.
It turns out that the development of strategy and then fielding an appropriate force really matters, AND there are distinct choices that are meaningful, available and feasible.
If you are interested, we’d like you to review the rules, and :
- 1. Buy your first round of forces
- 2. Deploy them into the 5 regions for turn 1.
- 3. Send your “Round 1” move to email@example.com, along with a short description of your strategy
We are interested in examining the variety of forces and the strategy employed in round 1. Do you, for example:
1. Buy 4 ea 10s and a Joker to kill any enemy aces and retain max budget flexibility to see what he has remaining?
2. Buy aces early to get a lead on victory points and then protect them?
3. Buy Jacks to kill 10s while still preserving SOME budgetary flexibility?
4. How do you balance economy of force with winning victory points? (efficiency vs effectiveness)
And then tactically employing forces, do you:
1. Put aces against 6 and 5 victory point regions?
2. Put 10s against 6 and 5s to hunt aces?
3. Aim for maximum victory points each round?
4. Aim to capture 11 of the 20 available points each round? (ie bluff on 6 and 3, but try to win 5,4,2?)
In the actual play of the game we’ll look for adaptability and learning, and how strategies change after teams have played each other a couple times etc.
We’ve play tested it enough to know there is a rich source of insights available in the game and that it is simple to play. We’ll play it with decks of cards in the classroom
We prototyped the game in our Force Management elective and are satisfied that that we generate student interest and insight into broader questions of Army force management in an interesting way.
Here are some student insights gleaned from our playtesting:
1. Round 1 results dominate the rest of your strategic choices, so getting Round 1 is crucial.
2. Round 1 strategies are dominated by uncertainty because you have no information about your opponent’s strategy or adaptive style yet.
3. You have to decide when you want to buy strength: early and aim for quick wins, or later after you have seen pieces of the opponents forces and strategy.
4. Forecasting your opponents moves is problematic and make this more like poker than chess or bridge.
5. Aces are like the FCS: dominating until low-cost alternatives found the weakness. It wasn’t unit Aces were developed that the 10s became meaningful, so be alert to deep flaws in complex technologies.
6. Kings are costly but dominate the field; An opponent with Kings drives you to buy Aces but make you vulnerable to 10s.
6. Jacks (J) are a low cost success strategy against 10s, but can be incrementally be defeated by other mid-weight forces.
8. The costs of transforming cards between rounds is significant but manageable and may lead to strategic advantage. Scenario: You buy Aces on the first round and are successful, opponent buys 10s to kill your aces in the second round, but you trade down to Kings which dominate, and which remain difficult to defeat in subsequent rounds.
9. Deciding where (in what regions) to selectively deploy strength
10. Tactical results can overcome strategic insights and strategic failures. Tacrtics can be game changing.
11. What if the enemy has different victory conditions? Price points? Has different rules?
12. What if new cards are introduced after the first rule set is established?
13. How much would you pay to see the opponents’ hands?
14. What if there are partial wins? Or more than 2 teams playing?
15. Simple games can be powerful learning strategies
Conclusions: the game serves as a way to dramatize very clearly many of our force management challenges and is a useful way to create rapid, deep awareness of prime issues in this domain.
Here are some insights from a dedicated gamer and management game modeler:
I suspect that for most people’s first play they are strongly influenced by a form of Confirmation Bias: the As are priced higher, therefore new players conduct their analysis from the assumption that As are more valuable. Depending on the goals of your concrete experience, that may be the best argument for keeping the current price structure. However, an ace of spades loses to seven cards, including four cheap ones, where a KH loses to only four cards that are both expensive and vulnerable — the KH is easily the strongest card in the deck.
I assume trade-ins are secret — in fact that for all practical purposes players are operating behind a screen during their setup phase — because knowing whether your opponent has made any trade-ins is very valuable information. You may want to specify that in the rules.
Given the prevalence of 10s in everyone’s first turn strategies, it seems like the second-cheapest strategy is far more optimal than the cheapest — that is four tens and a jack of spades. That marginal $15 gives you a pretty good shot at a victory somewhere, and a decent chance of carrying more net capital forward.
Here are a selection of previously submitted moves for Round 1: (* = Joker)
|Region||Cards||Strategy: Cost: 102 Carry forward: 48|
|6||10h||I’m trying to kill aces while creating and deploying one, but putting it where it is unlikely to run into an ace-killer unless the other guys is trying an ace-killer strategy like mine. I’ve got cheap on the ace I bought, which is a risk that may not be worthwhile. I’m expecting to kill an ace in either 6 or 5, win 4 outright, and lose in 3 and 2. Expected results are thus 9.5 points to me, 10.5 points to the bad guys, I will lose approx $35 worth of cards and kill approx $70 worth. The enemy is expected to have spent rather more than me, so I will have more cash with which to restructure in light of what I find out. Cost: 102|
|Region||Cards||Strategy: Cost: 150 Carry forward: 0|
|6||10s||10 is the ace killer on 6, then we try to overpower each successive category on the way down. Assumes aces go to 6, which rapidly becomes a tail-chasing assumption.|
|Region||Cards||Strategy: Cost: 123 Carry forward: 27|
|6||Jh||Hunting the ace-killers, retaining some flexibility, winning early points|
|Region||Cards||Strategy: Cost: 150 Carry forward: 0|
|6||Ah||Maximum strength in every region|
|Region||Cards||Strategy: Cost: 145 Carry forward: 5|
|6||Ah||Maximum strength in main regions, try to hunt an ace and kill 10s; accept risk in small region|
|Region||Cards||Strategy: Cost: 149 Carry forward: 1|
|6||10s||Hunt aces and accept risk in regions 5,6, steal points with aces & J in regions 2,3,4|
Here is how modern economics is played. You need to know this so you know how to protect yourself.
Picture 4 groups: government, the middle class, the banks, and the speculators. 3 out of 4 groups have acted badly in the housing meltdown.
1. Speculators bought houses they couldn’t afford to try to make a quick buck in real estate. When they failed, they get bailed out, and in some cases get to stay in homes at a much reduced rate, on the backs of the middle class.
2. Banks (some) lent speculators money they didnt have to buy houses they couldnt afford. If you didnt make bad loans, you faced government censure. When the banks received bailout money they paid off bad loans, not the good loans.
3. the government: underwrote the bad loans, darn near required the bad loans to be made, then raised taxes on the middle class to cover the banks losses. Then the governmant allowed banks to write off the bad mortgages and keep the good ones paying.
4. The middle class pays for everything, but they didnt get their mortgages and credit card balances written off, even though they have demonstrated they are the bty far, the best stewards of money from among the 4 groups.
extra credit: if you were a good steward of your money and the planet you bought a car that gets good gas mileage. Now you get to pay for the morons who bought cars that get terrible mileage, who get a handout at your expense.
because the government is shocked…shocked! that people will lineup for free money, they are now throwing another couple of billion after the first billion in the cash for clunkers program.
Survival and reward for the most unfit. That’s how you get ahead in modern economics.
Rehearals are considered to be one of the highest payoff practices in the military planning process. It’s where units develop and reinforce the patterns of action and decision-making that make all the difference in combat. Rehearsals will improve your trading practice as well, if you understand how to do them well.
There are 4 main reasons why rehearsals can improve your trading practice:
1. Practice essential tasks. By identifying the critical tasks in your systems, you can focus on the ones that contribute the most to success or failure
2. Identify weaknesses or problems in the plan. You often will not discover gaps in your logic or problems with the concept until you have “driven the route ” from start to finish from the perspective of the operator. This is especially true if you have built your plan out of component pieces, each which are individually sound, but have not yet been linked together before.
3. Coordinate subordinate element actions. When you use a building block approach to trading system development, sometimes you will discover that the sum of the parts is different than the whole. This means that there are unknown or unintended consequences of piecing things together which are not revealed until you put the plan into operation, or better yet, have a decent rehearsal to test the seams.
4. Improve understanding of the concept of operations. Once you have driven the entire plan, you will develop a sense of completeness and appreciation for its qualities or problems areas from the top down. You will be able to see the seams, where pieces come together in utual support or in sequence.
By paying close attention to your rehearsals, and making them as realistic as possible, you will be able to dramatically improve your trading practice.
Taken together with effective After Action Reviews, rehersals are an important part of your preparation phase. Time spent here will add directly to your bottom line.
Like electricity, volatility can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. As a trader you must learn to use the power of volatility responsibly and effectively. Stay grounded and respect the power for your own good.