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[Towertalk] Models and real world --oops

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Subject: [Towertalk] Models and real world --oops
From: (Jim White)
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 12:52:55 -0400
sounds like I am back on the South (Non MIT side) of the Charles River....

KNOWING that doing iterations over and over again on a model and seeing the
results tell you that this what you want without knowing that the answer is
a reasonable one is suicidal!  If you get an output from some software that
tells you a 20 meter dipole is to be cut 49 foot long and you do not have
the experimental experience to know this just ain't right you are one of
those that has become too dependent on your machine as do all know all - and
you are not as valuable as the guy who knows that he cuts a twenty meter
dipole 65 or some odd feet long since he done it at Field Day for years!

You put his blue collar knowledge together with computer savvy and you get
someone who knows when not to waste his time on a given set of
iterations....if it ain't close to being right it is (here is the key word)
obviously wrong!

I am not poo poo ing the computer by any means believe me it is a great
tool - but as the early users found it is only as good as what you put into
it - it is not "all knowing" - we still need those AMATEUR radio guys in
times of emergency now don't we - amazing how they can "rough" it and get
damned close and with a little adjustment nail it - without even a

Experiment coupled with theoretical models is what is the best combination -
think that is why you must, for example, learn to draw with a t-square or
parallel arm and a pencil and eraser before you can truly KNOW what you got
in a CADD program!

Real world guys with two tone collars (white and blue) are the heroes, they
are the entrepreneurs and the legends in my book!

Can you believe what we hear from wall street - the people in control, CEO's
and Financial managers who say they didn't realize what was going on - what
were they looking at printouts without a column that said "this can't be
friggin' right" on it!

Bring on the mentors and the elmers!


Jim, K4OJ

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Keane, K1MK" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>; <>
Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2002 11:49 AM
Subject: Re: [Towertalk] Models and real world --oops

> On Thu, 11 July 2002, "Jim White" wrote:
> > 8JI said
> >
> > "I am concerned an over-reliance on computer models that we assume are
> > "absolute" has collectively given us the impression that we can
> > predict the real world, and we are as a group losing touch with
> > understanding how to make valid comparisons between systems. "
> >
> > a ham has a signature line on his e-mail with the following quote that
> says
> > it all
> >
> > "experience trumps theory. Dave Leeson, W6NL)
> >
> > AMEN!
> Dr. Leeson wrote "... EXPERIMENT always trumps theory."
> There be a vast world of difference between experience and experiment,
> which is neatly summed up in Hume's rule: "Extraordinary claims require
> extraordinary proof."
> The methods we collectively employ for comparison seldom rise to the
> level of calibrated observations never mind controlled experiments. Our
> experiences typically provide neither the precision nor the accuracy
> necessary to invalidate the predictions of a individual models, let
> alone begin to constitute a basis for refuting the underlying theory.
> Extremism in the advocacy of empiricism is no virtue; moderation in the
> defense of a theoretical understanding is no vice.
> 73,
> Mike K1MK
> Michael Keane K1MK
> ________________________________________________
> PeoplePC:  It's for people. And it's just smart.

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