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Thread: The Human Condition

  1. #1 The Human Condition 
    Forum Junior Kolt's Avatar
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    I've recently obtained a book entitled "Quantitative Management" by Kenneth C. Schnieder and C. Randall Byers. Copyright 1979. On the cover it shows a picture of casualy seated but professional looking corporate execs, four men and one woman, who appear to be experiencing the effective results of what the book seems to be offering. A smooth orderly work environment. No doubt this book perfectly represents the signature trademark of corporate america that became so fashionable in the late 70's and all through out the 80's.

    Yet I find the books concepts to be utterly enlightening and, at the same time, hopelessly naive. Breakeven analysis, probability, decision theory, bayesian analysis, linear programming, queuing/simulation models, graphs, data charts, calculated risk managements ect ect... I can see how these theories and principles of mathematics can be used by a company to better understand it's business materials, import-exports and finacial profits. Stucture and order. Sure, that makes sense. But there are parts of the book in which the same mathematical approach is overlayed into the actual real life work-office invironment.

    A more effecient enteraction between employees by enforcing office policies based on mathematic scenarios. In other words, coursing the behavior of your staff by having them fallow certaint individual procedures that allow each worker and their ideas to better synergize with their fellow coworkers.

    Is this possible? Can we actually devise a mathematical formula that would alleviate the, what I always considerd to be inherent, unpredictabilites of human behavior?

    Or is all just ..smoke and mirrors?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor river_rat's Avatar
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    Even though a persons behavior may be totally unpredictable (it is not entirely but lets assume it is) it does not imply that a group's behavior is unpredictable. A good case could be made that a group's dynamic is quite predictable and primitive.


    As is often the case with technical subjects we are presented with an unfortunate choice: an explanation that is accurate but incomprehensible, or comprehensible but wrong.
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  4. #3  
    Forum Junior Kolt's Avatar
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    Stars and beetles?......Im not quite sure understand..
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    Forum Professor river_rat's Avatar
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    What, my signature?
    As is often the case with technical subjects we are presented with an unfortunate choice: an explanation that is accurate but incomprehensible, or comprehensible but wrong.
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