Part2 : Magic numbers(1999/06).
G. A. Miller's most famous paper is Magic Number 7, Plus or Minus 2. I
think this title is with some favors of System of Profound knowledge ( SoPK).
In China's Great Jump Movement around 35 years ago, the purpose of
struggles or fights was to *beat* 5% of *bad* guys ( they are vital few
as barriers for new China).Imagine the impact of magnitude of 5% of 700 millions
people and their relationship network. What a tragedy. Later culture revolution is even much worse and terrible since it like nearly 100% screening and *burning-in* testing in quality and reliability engineering.
Most statistics students know so-called 5% level of significance testing.
I don't know any coincidence of patterns of thinking between above-mentioned two
5% ? (For many people, this association is too wild, I am sorry).
Both China and USA (and any other countries) have their magic numbers.
I was a little bit confused with Daniel J. Boorstin's description of a
society obsessed with *statistical evidences and predictions *( see his
Americans: The Democratic Experience and article Statistical
Expectations.) To know statistical figures is not enough. The superficial learning of statistics and the applications of predictions and actions based on them might be disastrous or dismal at least.
I like Deming's idea that for most people, they only know the price tags
of products and service (with very different modes of reactions).To learn
*quality* or SoPK thinking, it needs *mass education*( I also like his
criteria to make knowledge be understood by most general public) in
addition to best efforts.
I have only one achievement during last four years efforts. To make Deming
and some of his friends thinking available to Chinese. This is an
interesting and worthwhile experience. And most our readers might thank
the authors and many other contributors. Some of them are Denizens. I
believe the numbers of Deming's philosophy are growing fast. I hope they
will be the core team of our transformation.
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