In the News

“Theory development is really about discovering patterns, recognizing similarities in things that appear dissimilar to others, i.e., making unexpected connections.” – Henry Mintzberg


The newest post is at the end of this page.


By Edward Ortiz

The Sacramento Bee

Ran in the Bakersfield Californian on November 20, 2013

SACRAMENTO — Scientists at NASA say they have identified a rare weather pattern that will help forecasters predict when California will experience periods of intense and potentially prolonged wet weather.

The new findings will help officials assess the possibility of floods, mudslides, and levee failures, and will prove critical to regions where rivers are a big part of the landscape – like the Sacramento region, where the American and Sacramento rivers converge. The rivers absorb runoff and melting snowpack from the Sierra Nevada, where storms typically deposit much of the state’s precipitation.

“We have found a strong connection between certain phases of the two systems and frequency of winter storms in California,” said Bin Guan, an earth sciences researcher and UCLA and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

 THE CONNECTION?  Mr. GUAN has discovered Theory!


We are affected by patterns on a day-by-day basis. Traffic patterns can affect our ability to get to work on time, or impede emergency vehicles. Weather patterns cause drought, flood and icy conditions. We follow a pattern everyday when we drive to work. Our pattern helps us predict how long it will take us to get to work in a timely manner. If we change our pattern, we impact our original prediction. Voting patterns are used to predict election outcomes; weather patterns can predict hurricanes and tornados; and traffic patterns can predict traffic jams. The analysis of patterns can lead to prediction and the avoidance of potential problems.

Abraham Kaplan put it this way in  his book, The Conduct of Inquiry

“According to the pattern model something is explained when it is so related to a set of other elements that together they constitute a unified system. We   understand     something by identifying it as a specific part in an organized system. The perception of a pattern is what gives the “click of relation” spoken of in connection with the norms of coherence for the validation of a theory. The pattern is not constituted by our seeing it, but has its focus in a network of objective relations.”


While perusing the 50th edition of Flesch and Lass’s, The Classic Guide to Better Writing, I came across the following bit of “news” that was written for The New Yorker in 1943, by E.B. White.

E. B. White (July 11, 1899 – October 1, 1985) was an American writer. He was a contributor to The New Yorker magazine and a co-author of the English language style guide, The Elements of Style. You may have used this book. This classic style manual, now in its fourth edition, conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers.


By E.B. White

We received a letter from the Writers’ War Board the other day asking for a statement on “The Meaning of Democracy.” It presumably IS our duty to comply with such a request, and it IS certainly our pleasure.

Surely the board knows what democracy IS. It IS the line that forms on the right.  It IS the don’t in don’t shove.  It IS the hole in the stuffed shirt through which the sawdust slowly trickles; it IS the dent in the high hat.  Democracy IS the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time. It IS the feeling of privacy in the voting booths, the feeling of communion in the libraries, the feeling of vitality everywhere.  Democracy IS a letter to the editor.  Democracy IS the score at the beginning of the ninth.  It IS an idea that hasn’t been disproved yet, a song the words of which have not gone bad.  It’s the mustard on the hot dog and cream in the rationed coffee. Democracy IS a request from a War Board, in the middle of a morning, in the middle of a war, wanting to know what democracy IS.

I capitalized and bolded the word ”IS” every time White used it to express the meaning of democracy.

Quality IS


4 High Paying Jobs That Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago

By Catherine Conlan

Monster Contributing Writer

Ran in Bakersfield Californian – Sunday April 17, 2014

Job Number Two

User Experience Director $111,700

Incorporating experience in marketing, design, communications and customer service, the user experience director oversees the way a brand interacts with its customers.

“As a user experience director at a marketing communications agency, I help untangle my clients requirements and merge them with customer needs into experiences that satisfy (and hopefully delight) both, says John Romano at Capstrat. “This usually means overseeing UXs as they perform primary user research, information architecture, interaction design, prototyping, and usability testing.”

“In the marketing communications industry there are so many business requirements and so many voices at the planning table, it’s easy to lose sight of the people we’re designing for.  I like being an advocate for those people and represent their interests.”

Not a good idea, just another function and another department, more barriers for managers to deal with, and functions that all managers should be involved in already. However, all managers must  own the voice of the process and the voice of the customer to be effective in delighting the customer while still making a profit.

Chapter Twenty-Four

Quality IS…value – a subject aspect.

Value is the key ingredient for customer loyalty.



By Stephen Ceasar – Los Angeles Times

Ran in the Bakersfield Californian on Sunday May 31, 2014

California officials announced Friday the recipients of $250 million in grants from a program to help students connect their academic learning to career opportunities, the largest such effort in the country.

The program aims to forge connections between schools, community colleges, and employers in order to provide students with industry-related knowledge, skills and pathways toward careers.

The funding is to be used to launch programs linking academics, technical career knowledge and job experience to train students as future workers in fast-growing fields, state officials said.

This is an excellent start!  John Franklin Bobbitt would be pleased – 1918.

See Chapter Eleven – Curriculum

Quality IS…scientific technique not shared knowledge.

Why should curriculum be based on the needs of potential employers – not on the shared knowledge and paradigms of individuals and institutions?


Police Departments using Algorithms for Predicting Crime

By Nate Berg in Los Angeles – The Guardian – Wednesday 25 June 2014 05.19 EDT

As the ability to collect, store and analyze data becomes cheaper and easier, law enforcement agencies all over the world are adopting techniques that harness the potential of technology to provide more and better information. They are using an algorithm to predict where and when crime is most likely to occur, not who will commit it.

The prediction algorithm is constantly reacting to crime reports in these cities predicting where crime may move at any moment. Officers in the divisions using are required to spend a certain amount of time in those predicted areas on every patrol, they’re not just blindly following the orders of the crime map. “The officer still has a lot of discretion. It’s not just the algorithm,” Captain John Romero says. “The officer still has to know the area well enough to know when to adjust and go back into manual.”

The algorithm at play is performing what’s commonly referred to as predictive policing. Using years – and sometimes decades – worth of crime reports, the algorithm analyses the data to identify areas with high probabilities of crime.

See the entire piece at:

An algorithm can crunch more data in a microsecond than a human can crunch in hours laboriously analyzing crime reports. Algorithms can be used effectively and efficiently to predict quality levels, compliance to requirements and failures in the system.

See Chapter Twenty – Algorithms

Quality IS…an effective procedure for creating information from data.

Why is an algorithm a logical sequence of steps for solving a problem or carrying out a procedure and may contain embedded experience, expertise and knowledge?



February 22, 2015

“Get ready for the most sweeping business change since the Industrial revolution.”                                                                                 -Ram Charan


From the February 2015 issue of Fortune by Ram Charan – “The Algorithmic CEO”

  • The advancement of mathematical algorithms and their related sophisticated software are creating major uncertainties for an ever-growing universe of companies.
  • The companies that have the new mathematical capabilities possess huge advantage over those who don’t.
  • Based on its mathematical intellectual property, General Electric has a 250 billion dollar backlog.
  • Algorithms speed the decision making process and in some cases allows leaders to flatten the organization, sometimes by as much as half.
  • The use of algorithms will have to become as much a part of tomorrows management vocabulary as say, profit margins and the supply chain are today.


Prediction from Patrick – In the latter half of the 21st century management direction will come from the output of multiple algorithms. Algorithm specialists with highly focused training and education, that are very effective at what they do, will continuously verify the efficacy of all outputs. A new curriculum will be needed. Every employee will be feeding algorithms, including management and the CEO.

However: Algorithms need data that is reliable and predictable. Not all algorithms are mathematical. See my post – Chapter 20 Algorithms posted on March 3, 2014. The chapter will be expanded in my traditionally published book.

March 15, 2015

Why Finland won’t be teaching math and history anymore. Written by Alexender LaCasse with the Christian Science Monitor – and I quote.

Finland is looking to overhaul the education system and will now focus more on “topics” and less on subjects according to The Independent.

Pasi Silander, Helsinki’s city manager, told The Independent, “What we need now is a different kind of education to prepare people for working life”. We therefore have to make changes in education that are necessary for industry and modern society.”

The Finns are calling this ”phenomena” teaching.  The Independent cites an example of a student enrolling in vocational courses who may choose to take lessons in “cafeteria services.”  In this example, the adolescent student would study math elements and languages – for serving foreign customers – while working on writing and communication capabilities.

Students who are more on an academic track might take a course in European Union, which would combine elements of history, economics, and foreign languages.

Early signs indicate that this new method is benefiting student outcomes.

Finland has served as a model for other countries looking to improve their education systems.

Once again John Franklin Bobbitt would be happy!

In chapter eleven I introduced the reader to two types of curriculum theory.  I contrasted the curriculum theory that predominates in K12 and in our colleges and universities, today, with that of John Franklin Bobbitt.

Bobbitt was an American educationist, a university professor and a writer; he specialized in the field of the curriculum and wrote a book entitled The Curriculum in 1918. The following principles are from his book.

  • Educators must determine the needs of society (terminal objectives) and the product that fulfills those needs (curriculum).
  • The discovery and clear specification of terminal objectives is the first task educators undertake.
  • Knowledge is a skill or a capability for action identifiable as the successful performance of a class of tasks.
  • Human life consists of the performance of specific activities; a curriculum that prepares for life is one that prepares for those activities.



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