[trustable-software] Exploring the "Hypothesis for software to be trustable"

Paul Sherwood paul.sherwood at codethink.co.uk
Wed Jan 3 12:15:37 GMT 2018



On 2018-01-03 11:20, trustable at panic.fluff.org wrote:
> On Wed, 3 Jan 2018, Paul Sherwood wrote:
> 
>> Edmund - so far I haven't concluded that we need to be able to measure 
>> everything. If you believe that we *do* need to measure something like 
>> this, can you justify why?
>> 
>> br
>> Paul
>> 
>   So I believe that without the ability to measure we are unable
> evaluate change and so we cannot assess risk or uncertainty.

Not true, IMO. Animals have been assessing risk/uncertainty 
instinctively for millennia, without 'the ability to measure'.

A surprising amount of crucial decisions need to be taken based on 
instinct.

> To quote a conversation elsewhere discussing the following volume
>   [https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00INUYS2U]
> 
> " 1. Management cares about measurements because measurements inform
>      uncertain decisions.

Measurements can inform. Often they misinform.
> 
>   2. For any decision or set of decisions, there are a large 
> combination
>      of things to measure and ways to measure them but perfect 
> certainty
>      is rarely a realistic option.

Agreed.

>  3. Therefore, management needs a method to analyze options for 
> reducing
>     uncertainty about decisions. "

OK, but it doesn't work for everything, and IME management cannot reply 
entirely on any 'method'. We have to make decisions in the presence of 
uncertainty.

> I'd make the point that though designing experiments which allow us to
> measure things can sometimes be complex, without being able to do this
> we are unable to confirm our findings and verify that the cause of
> aberrant behaviour in the systems or the construction of the systems.

If you're holding to the line that we have to measure everything, I'm 
disagreeing.

br
Paul



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