Re: Response to "Position Statement to the Dunc-Tanc "experiment""
"Roberto C. Sanchez" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 27, 2006 at 03:21:10PM +0200, Thibaut VARENE wrote:
> > On 10/27/06, Anthony Towns <email@example.com> wrote:
> > >An "experiment" is successful as long as it provides useful information.
> > What the **** is this definition of "successful"??!
> First, foul language is not necessary. Second, it is the academic
> definition. See, an experiment is performed to confirm or dispel a
> hypothesis. If it does either, and you can explain way or draw some
> other useful conclusion from it, then it is a success. [...]
References, please! The dictionaries cited so far have been oblique
justification at best.
Personally, I'd call an experiment that provides worthwhile information
"useful", "worthwhile" or "valuable", but I'd not describe an experiment
that fails to achieve a desired outcome as a successful experiment -
that would be unnecessarily confusing.
I feel that that the problem at the core of this subthread remains: what
hypothesis can Dunc-Tank confirm or dispel? What other useful
conclusion could be drawn?
Only one measurement for success/failure is obvious - whether etch
releases on the date forecast at the start - but Dunc-Tank is not the
only influence on that, and Dunc-Tank's fillers have not agreed any
measurements, or ways to measure them. I predict that we are going to
get to the end of this trial and everyone is going to put forward
personal opinions and anecdotes to justify whether this trial succeeded
or failed, according to their prejudices. Dunc-Tank will provide little
The structure of experiments is taught to teenagers as, roughly:
1. phrase your research question;
2. pick your outcome measure(s);
3. determine/select your resources and design the trial;
4. take your measurements while running the trial;
5. analyse the measurements;
6. suggest conclusions and/or further research.
As far as I can tell, Dunc-Tank now is no experiment worth the name.
"What is critical /is/ that the design be described in sufficient detail
that it can be properly evaluated. [...] Any study that is deficient in
its design will rarely be able to settle the question that prompted the
research, but it may be able to provide valuable information
nonetheless." -- Gerard E. Dallal, Some Aspects of Study Design, in The
Little Handbook of Statistical Practice, www.statisticalpractice.com
Does anyone care enough to rescue the deficient Dunc-Tank design enough
to provide valuable information? Can people even agree what information
would be valuable?
MJ Ray - see/vidu http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html
Somerset, England. Work/Laborejo: http://www.ttllp.co.uk/
IRC/Jabber/SIP: on request/peteble