Monday, August 31, 2015

Hairy Points Out Another Commonly Ignored Third Factor

[medbot retreats, flashing green LEDs in a pattern indicating wellness] --of COURSE I'm all right! I've been carrying on e-convos for three days now! Shelob!


Turn the blog function on!

Herr D and I have been chatting on and off about this problem. He gave me permission to quote a bit of his words:

--pletely ignored. I know that the math is harder with three influences, but ignoring a third factor will always throw off the results measured for the other two.

That's even more simplified than I would have put it. Shelob HAS cautioned me to avoid putting any math on here, stating that our audience is small enough without me depleting them. What's great is that he typed generically enough to cover more than just today's topic.

--others. Everyone I knew in Roanoke who watched the news would have been horrified at me saying that the individual won out. But he did. He accomplished exactly what he wanted to accomplish. The environment, postmodern lone wolf terrorist acts being more commonplace, would suggest that his actions, despite being reprehensible, would be relatively unnoticeable compared to other multiple homicides. But he made his actions noticed. Most people say that environment & heredity both work against suicide, and he succeeded at that, too. All because of his individually twisted way of dealing with things. When people so twisted that they must have mental illness succeed in making a plan, carrying it out, and foiling any resistance, you know that individuality is a force to be reckoned with. Normally the most danger from mentally ill people is their unpredictability and tendency to fail.

That's a very specific summation, but it DOES cover the real problem I'm addressing. Researchers, scientists, etc. frequently fall into the binary thinking trap and argue--

Nature Vs. Nurture
Heredity vs Environment

Ridiculous, isn't it? A guy can have the genetic dice loaded (cardiovascular health issues on both sides of the family for eight generations) and have the family life dice loaded (too poor to run away from his foster parents who feed him nothing but cheeseburgers and won't pay sports fees for him, just give him an old game boy.) That sounds bad, but does he take up free tai chi at the library and swap some of his lunches for salads with the school kids or does he jump off a building in despair?

Herr D has described some of the people he's known. One of them was a guy with a strong family history of diabetes. He worked out, maintained his sugar-insulin balance with diet despite a stressful job for more than two decades. Another one was a guy who misunderstood the differences in law from one state to the other and got his car impounded after driving with a rejection sticker for about six months. The whole time, he could have afforded to fix the car but thought he couldn't. Then he couldn't afford the impound fee. Not enough research.

I want to see this improve. I want to see:

DNA vs Desert Island vs Determination
Heredity vs Environment vs Personality
Nature vs Nurture vs Nevermore or Nation's Best

This IS the era of the individual, when there are more 'successfully multiple homicidal' lone wolf attacks per year than active terrorist organizations. Obviously popular science has ignored mathematical measure of individual possibility to its own detriment. Herr D's been rather sour on that recently--he says he'd have a much better job if his actual potential had been measured somehow. I don't know that I agree with that. The businesses I've run across seem to prefer less valuable employees? I realize they can be paid less, but it looks like a way to guarantee future business failures.

Who'd care to share an important real-life example or a cool-sounding three-way fight name?

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