Validation is always good..

From Flowing Data:

“The lesson here isn’t about global warming. It’s that you shouldn’t take data lightly. When you’re dealing with data, you have to look past the numbers.”

I feel like this has been my mantra since I started my current job (November 2004), which it seems surprises more people than it should. From my blog, written in September 2005 (emphasis added):

“As I sit and ponder this confluence of things fibery, specifically knitting, though I imagine the same would hold for weaving as well, and number crunching, there’s a certain .. something that connects the two. I’ll try to explain, at least how it works in my head, but it might get tangled. Essentially, when I look at data, I’m trying to draw out the pattern, or the story, the data tells. Another way of thinking of this is trying to create the picture of what’s happening by finding the strands and threads that weave the whole together. A single data item, like a single strand of fiber, may be beautiful, but is rarely complex. Only by combining it with others and teasing out the patterns does the larger picture, in all its glory, become clear. Sometimes, like when working a delicate lace motif in a fuzzy mohair, the pattern stays diffuse and difficult to perceive until you set it off against some contrasting background. Sometimes, like when working cables in 100% cotton, you have to exert a fair amount of effort and a not-insignificant amount of force to bring the pattern out, but once it’s there, you can’t miss it. And sometimes, like when working with hand-dyed variegated yarn, you start out expecting a certain pattern only to find a completely different one emerging as you go. Of course, there are also the times, like when working with a luscious and soft wool in stockinette, when the pattern comes out exactly as you expected without an undue amount of effort. So, when I think about it that way, it makes a certain sense that data geeks are also commonly fiber geeks. It is, after all, sometimes easier to just follow the pattern than it is to find it.”

It’s nice to have some external validation of this approach, especially lately. My life has been consumed by work this summer.. sorry for the radio silence, but sometimes that’s just how things go. Major data systems conversions will do that to you (but I can now add the development and delivery of a two day training workshop on PeopleSoft Query to my resume). *shrug*

My garden is growing; I ate my first peas yesterday (yes, they’re very late) and have several squash and cukes and tomatoes and even a  pepper, and more onions than I’ll know what to do with (not really) happily ripening. I think the watermelon vine has bit the proverbial dust, however, and the birds are eating all the strawberries and not leaving any for me, but for now I can deal with that.

I’m also knitting some, but you’ll have to wait until I replace my camera to get updated pictures, which will have to wait until someone more knowledgeable about cameras can accompany me to a store to check some out. I finished the back of Celtic Icon, though, and the right front. So that just means the right front, the two sides, the two sleeves, and the hood and seaming.. *sigh* Baby steps for now. (Though I’d love to have this one done by fall.)

I’ve also been reading and listening to books (always am really). I’m about an hour and a half from finishing listening to the third book in Karl Schroeder‘s Virga series, which has been amazing, though I have to admit I’d expected him to follow different characters for the second and third books than he did.

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2 thoughts on “Validation is always good..

  1. Sara says:

    how true – though sometimes fiber geeks also like to create the pattern 😉 Me not so much these days – most of my UFOs which require brain cells are presently in the “not now” pile.

  2. Janice W says:

    Sign me up for the camera shopping trip if you’d like. Although, I’d suggest two and or one plus an online adventure both preceded by a discussion on your purposes and use.

    I’m not an expert, but I can probably get you pointed in the right direction and then help you figure out what your needs might be.

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