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meatpie
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:56 pm
Location: London ON

Post by meatpie » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:55 am

Lollia wrote:stop deducting points when a Duster makes a mistake
That's not very scientific and if it happens I will leave.
A loss of data is bad, but creating fake data is unacceptable.

I'm sure you were joking, Lollia.
:?
"Look in the mirror, and don't be tempted to equate transient domination with either intrinsic superiority or prospects for an extended survival." (SJG)

DTF
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:47 pm
Location: USA

Post by DTF » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:06 am

meatpie wrote:
Lollia wrote:stop deducting points when a Duster makes a mistake
That's not very scientific and if it happens I will leave.
A loss of data is bad, but creating fake data is unacceptable.

I'm sure you were joking, Lollia.
:?
What is scientific about deducting points for mistakes (and why would it cause you to leave)? The current system is similar to a 100 question test, in which, if you answered every question incorrectly would result in a negative 100 for the test. If it were a typical test, then you would simply receive a zero on the test. If you answered every question and missed two of them, the current method would grade you at 96 (98 correct minus 2 incorrect), rather than a 98 correct score. I see no reason for your comment that Lollia is joking or that it would be "creating fake data" but then I would invite you to explain it to me if you think you are correct in your assertion.

jsmaje
Posts: 616
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:39 am
Location: Manchester UK

Post by jsmaje » Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:09 pm

What is scientific about deducting points for mistakes?

I guess what concerns meatpie is that this is a real scientific experiment, not an exercise for students where a few mistakes can be forgiven. You need only think of the surgeon who takes out the wrong kidney (it happens), and NASA's own preventable Columbia disaster for example.
Real life is the first and only performance, not a dress-rehearsal!

Points and ranking are understandably of particularly concern to some (not all) dusters given the way that the SD@H project was set up, and something that future distributed-experiment projects modelled on it will do well to consider to be advantageous or not. To my mind, this particular psychological aspect of the project is almost as valuable as whether or not we eventually find any verifiable bits of IS dust.

John

DTF
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:47 pm
Location: USA

Post by DTF » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:52 pm

Well, deducting a point for incorrect answers neither makes this a more scientific method nor does it increase the value to the level of the Columbia disaster or a surgeon making an error.

I did have a couple of teachers in public school and college that used this method to grade tests and what I was encouraged to do on such tests was to avoid answering questions that I did not feel at least somewhat convinced of the correctness of my answer, since an incorrect answer would, in effect, wipe out a correct answer. Thus, I can agree with you that there is a psychological factor invoked with this methodology, although I'm not convinced that most of the participants in this Stardust exercise avoid making a decision on a particular movie simply because they are unsure of that decision like they might be on an actual test for a grade in a classroom situation.

I am also a bit troubled by your comment about "real life" and what it has to do with scoring methods. While your statement is no doubt true, I think it irrelevant in this context.

DTF
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:47 pm
Location: USA

Post by DTF » Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:33 am

John,

In addition to the comments I made above, I think labeling this as a “scientific experiment,” rather than a judgment call toward a practical approach to locate likely tracks and possibly locate interstellar dust, is incorrect. It may well be of value to you as a scientific experiment, but that is a value you have determined for yourself and not of the intentions of those who chose it.

I also think that presuming that the result of the last unfortunate flight of the Columbia was “preventable” is somewhat disingenuous, since it is with hindsight and not foresight and ignores the practical considerations that were in operation at that time. The brave men and women who choose to undergo the rigors of training to become astronauts, cosmonauts, or whatever label a country gives to their own space oriented adventurers are aware that they are placing themselves at very great risk, much more so than the average driver and passengers of private vehicles or the users of public transportation are aware of the risks they take. Almost every accident of any nature is preventable when the facts are examined and known after the fact. If we used the label of “preventable” as known after the fact as the determination of whether to adventure out into space or onto a sidewalk, street, ocean, or sky, then men and women would never make any adventures or learn anything of much value. Instead, we would either die as ignorant and bored old people or from an accident in our own homes. And I also think that the use of the term “preventable” is disingenuous toward the people who did not directly take these risks, but designed, assembled, managed, etc., all the processes necessary to make, launch, achieve the goals of the mission, and land Columbia successfully. I personally believe, although I could be wrong, that essentially none of these people wanted or thought that what they did in their contribution to the project would have resulted in such a catastrophe. I think that many of them also knew that there were risks that had to be somewhat counter-balanced with practical considerations of a time, budgetary, and political nature.

Whether or not meatpie cared in the least how a couple of students might interact here is very questionable and, I think, of very little importance even if true. I am willing to venture here that meatpie cared little about anyone here, student or otherwise, being held to some higher level of vigilance due to the method of how the score is calculated.

jsmaje
Posts: 616
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:39 am
Location: Manchester UK

Post by jsmaje » Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:53 pm

Sorry DTF that you considered my remarks disingenuous or crass. This is not the place to have a debate about the shuttle disasters, but the Columbia AIB report was severely critical of NASA with regard to violating its own safety regulations concerning foam tile dislogements, and ignoring their engineer's warnings and advice (the prime lesson supposed to have been learned from Challenger). Preventable? - I think so; there was plenty of foresight there which was sadly not taken seriously enough.

My simple point - admittedly clumsily made - was that errors can have consequences and, though lives aren't at risk, Stardust is also an expensive and important NASA project, and that the SD@H 'make-a-mistake / lose-a-point' testing system is a justifiable way of encouraging us dusters to be as careful as possible, not least so that the small scientific (? + Red) team aren't overwhelmed by hits on any-old black dot or circle.

Whether the current CM tracks are appropriate test material is of course another matter...

John

DTF
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:47 pm
Location: USA

Post by DTF » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:48 pm

Okay, thanks for your additional comments John. And you're right, this is not the place to debate the shuttle disasters.

I couldn't agree with you more about questioning the value of the current CM's. I was, and remain to be, so confused about what is considered a track worthy of targeting, that I quit trying early on during phase II. I suspect many others made the same choice. I have to note that there have been a smaller number of very active and successful (with regard to scoring at least) participants in this current phase. If that was one of the intentions used to determine the CM's used, then we would have to regard them (the CM's) as highly successful in achieving that goal.

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