Statistical methods do not prevent mistakes, faulty reasoning, incorrect conclusions, inaccuracies, or faulty use of statistics…
clever little comic in Prince George Free Press this week. Apparently, I’m not the only one with Enbridge marketing burnout… it’s everywhere, online, on CBC Radio One and Two… and it’s exhausting… and… well… laced with some pretty heavy BS-bitumen.
This 2nd is a small 6×6 piece that I did yesterday as a challenge from my significant other for an upcoming local art show that will be all 6×6 pieces…
I’ve commented on this before – Orwell’s commentary on English language from his 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language”. In that essay he states:
Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
I recently came across an excellent new tool that can be employed by anyone in large organizations (or small). It was originally written up by Lew Gloin in a 1989 issue of Saturday Magazine produced by the Toronto Star. It’s called the “Systematic Buzz Word Generator”.
Take 30 carefully chosen bumpf-words, which may be employed at any moment to fluff up a report, memo, policy, or otherwise. Put the 30 words into three separate lists of ten words numbered 0 to 9. Then randomly choose any three digit number and select the corresponding bumpf-words to form a phrase.
Or, even 555 “responsive logistical concept” – probably pulled right from some government department strategic plan…
This is great stuff – and closely connected to the Bullshit Bumpf-word Bingo cards I produced on this site a few years ago.
From an article on the Tyee website:
On Feb. 21, 2014, Federal Judge Leonard Mandamin ruled in favour of the injunction, noting that DFO’s decision to reopen the areas at a total allowable catch of 10 per cent instead of 20 per cent was, in his view: “fudging the numbers.”
“It is not science-based, but in effect a statement ‘there is a conservation concern here, but if the fishery is to be opened, take less,’” he wrote, noting that the DFO’s approach was used to sidestep the conservation assessment.
“It seems to me once the minister and the DFO depart from science-based assessments the integrity of fisheries management system is harmed,” the judge wrote.
This relates to a decision by the Federal Minister of Fisheries to set an arbitrary total allowable catch for herring on the west coast of Vancouver Island – this despite the fact that the areas have been closed for herring fishing since 2006 due to serious herring population concerns in those areas.
From another article on the Tyee website referring to Minister Shea’s ‘political’ decision, over a ‘science-based’ decision.
This was revealed in an internal DFO document released yesterday during a court hearing of five Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations’ injunction against DFO’s proposal to reopen the west coast of Vancouver Island to commercial herring roe fisheries in 2014.
In a memorandum addressed to the minister on Dec. 9 2013, DFO scientists recommend maintaining the closure of the areas around the west coast of Vancouver Island, the central coast and Haida Gwaii for the 2014 fishing season.
Despite the advice, [Minister] Shea announced on Dec. 23, 2013 that the three areas would be reopened to commercial herring roe fisheries at a harvest rate of 10 per cent in 2014
Any surprise that that announcement was made a mere few days before one of the biggest holiday times of the year? (hmmmm).
This set of DFO decisions coming in light of the absolute failure to institute any of the changes recommended by the $25 million Cohen Commission investigating Fraser River sockeye populations.
Managerium – the heaviest element known to science.
This element has no protons or electrons, but has a nucleus composed of 1 Neutron, 2 Vice-Neutrons, 5 Jr. Vice-Neutrons, 25 Asst. Vice-Neutrons, and 125 Jr. Asst. Vice-Neutrons all going round in circles.
Managerium has a half-life of three years, at which time it does not decay but institutes a series of reviews leading to reorganization. Its molecules are held together by means of the exchange of tiny particles known as morons.
from: Management? It’s not what you think! – Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Ashland, and Joseph Lampel (2010).
Yesterday I attended a presentation at the University of Northern BC on the B.C. Government’s proposed “Cumulative Effects Assessment Framework”. Apparently this ‘framework’ has been in the works for quite some time… In a quick online search I found reference to a document from the BC Oil and Gas commission from 2003 discussing development of a similar ‘framework’.
Unfortunately, like so many of these government-created ‘frameworks’ this one’s about as big a pile of BS as any other ‘environmental monitoring’ ‘framework’.
Here’s a fine image of how the best interests of Moose (for example) will be looked after:
Look somewhat like the new Managerium element?
Or an Org Chart for the Ministry of Environment?
This new proposed ‘framework’ does front a ‘definition’ of cumulative effects:
And apparently, here’s all the things (e.g. “Values”) that this ‘framework’ is going to ‘measure’ or ‘assess’ or consider in assessing “cumulative” effects:
And here’s the “Drivers” for the ‘framework’…
That first one oddly resembles parenting… ‘managing for desired outcomes’… and most parents probably recognize how that goes…
_ _ _ _ _ _
And, saving the best for last… the joy of the Matrix… here’s how “decision making” will occur in this fantastic “risk management approach” (hmmm, I think i’ve heard this before… sub-prime mortgage, anyone?)
A stringent “Management Approach” will be lead by “Government & Industry”?… hmmmm?!?!
And more Matrix: the “Values Screen”…
Apparently, all those things in the “Values” table above will be reduced to “Low” “Moderate” and “High” risks, with simple arrows indicating the ‘trend’:
… which includes (apparently): “Community Well-being”… and the phrase that is inherently full of bias: “Economic Development”… what about no ‘development’ as a potential option…? as in those ‘wilderness’ values that are at the bottom of the “values” list. (note: bottom of list).
A few basic questions for the BC Gov and developers of this framework:
1. what about Federal Gov. managed thingees…? (like salmon, endangered species, or… Pipelines)
2. Where’s the ‘baseline’ for these ‘values’? Who determined the baseline? How do we know if the arrow should be going up or down on the trend (or north, or south), or diagonally (like a good Scottish rain: “straight sideways”).
3. Which community values? – the urban, or the rural? east or west? AB or BC? Who determines ‘community well-being’?
4 . Who determines “resource capability” (e.g. from table of “initial values” above)? Do the trees, or do the foresters, or do the harvesters of ‘non-timber forest products’?
Unfortunately, this is an exercise in ‘waffle words’… ‘bafflegab’… or my favorite:
Nothing more than BUREAUCRATIC BUMPF. With the general public as the ‘morons’ as the tiny particles holding it together (e.g. from the opening quote and illustration).
The government presenter yesterday justified development of this ‘framework’ saying that it overwhelmingly came about as a result of the “general public demanding something that assesses cumulative impacts”…
not sure this is what Ms. or Mr. or Dr. general public had in mind… if one was to buy that line anywyays…
Well, Joe O. we might have a problem in BC… says Steve-o…
In early December, Doug Eyford, the federally appointed “Special Federal Representative on West Coast Energy Infrastructure” released his report: Forging Partnerships, Building Relationships: Aboriginal Canadians and Energy Development.
In the 7-8 months that it took for Eyford to pull the report together, he suggests he: “travelled across Alberta and British Columbia to meet representatives of Aboriginal communities and organizations, industry, and provincial and local governments.” And the he “met with over 80 groups.”
Three main themes are highlighted in his report: Building Trust, Fostering Inclusion, and Advancing Reconciliation. His final theme is “Taking Action”.
Oddly enough, this quote stands out near the beginning…