LINGUIST List 7.1060

Mon Jul 22 1996

Misc: Research

Editor for this issue: Ljuba Veselinova <lveselinemunix.emich.edu>


Directory

  1. alan harris, ALAD: Re: Research (fwd)

Message 1: ALAD: Re: Research (fwd)

Date: Thu, 18 Jul 1996 15:00:36 PDT
From: alan harris <vcspc005dewey.csun.edu>
Subject: ALAD: Re: Research (fwd)
ALAD = A LAUGH A DAY! Smile! It gets worse. . . 
cheers, ach

Thanks to N. Stambolis for this:
 ===============================================================
 Alan C. Harris, Ph. D. TELNOS: main off: 818-677-2853
 Professor, Communication/Linguistics direct off: 818-677-2874
 Speech Communication Department
 California State University, Northridge home: 818-366-3165
 SPCH CSUN FAX: 818-677-2663 
 Northridge, CA 91330-8257 INTERNET email: ALAN.HARRISCSUN.EDU 
 WWW homepage: http://www.csun.edu/~vcspc005
 ===============================================================
To: nickie stambolis <hfspc001dewey.csun.edu>

6.1 RULES FOR RESEARCH:
___________________________________________________________________________
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but
in practice there is a great deal of difference.
___________________________________________________________________________
Unnamed Law: If it happens, it must be possible.
___________________________________________________________________________
 FINAGLE'S LAWS:

1. If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.
2.1 No matter what result is anticipated, there is always someone willing
 to fake it.
2.2 No matter what the result, there is always someone eager to
 misinterpret it.
2.3 No matter what happens, there is always someone who believes it
 happened according to his pet theory.
3. In any collection of data, the figure most obviously correct, beyond
 all need of checking, is the mistake.
4. Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it only makes it
 worse.
___________________________________________________________________________
 FINAGLE'S CREED
 Science is Truth; don't be misled by facts.
___________________________________________________________________________
 THE FINAGLE FACTOR
(Sometimes called the SWAG(Scientific Wild-Assed Guess) Constant)

That quantity which, when multiplied by, divided by, added to, or
subtracted from the answer which you got, yields the answer you
should have gotten.

[note] Items such as 'Finagle's Constant' and the more subtle 'Bougerre
 Factor' are loosely grouped, in mathematics, under constant
 variables, or, if you prefer, variable constants.

Finagle's Constant, a multiplier of the zero-order term, may be
characterized as changing the universe to fit the equation.

The Bougerre (pronounced 'bugger') Factor is characterized as changing the
equation to fit the universe. It is also known as the 'Soothing Factor';
mathematically similar to the damping factor, it has the characteristic
of dropping the subject under discussion to zero importance.

A combination of the two, the Diddle Coefficient, is characterized as
changing things so that universe and equation appear to fit without
requiring a change in either.
___________________________________________________________________________
 FINAGLE'S COROLLARY
On a seasonally adjusted basis, there are only six months in a year.

If mathematically you end up with the wrong answer, try multiplying by
the page number.
___________________________________________________________________________
 IGGY'S RULE OF SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES
All scientific discoveries are first recorded on napkins or tablecloths.
Engineering advances are drawn inside matchbook covers. Keep supplies
of them handy at all times.
___________________________________________________________________________
 RULES OF THE LAB
1. When you don't know what you're doing, do it neatly.
2. Experiments must be reproduceable, they should fail the same way
 each time.
3. First draw your curves, then plot your data.
4. Experience is directly proportional to equipment ruined.
5. A record of data is essential, it shows you were working.
6. To study a subject best, understand it thoroughly before you start.
7. To do a lab really well, have your report done well in advance.
8. If you can't get the answer in the usual manner, start at the answer
and
 derive the question.
9. If that doesn't work, start at both ends and try to find a common
middle.
10. In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.
11. Do not believe in miracles---rely on them.
12. Team work is essential. It allows you to blame someone else.
13. All unmarked beakers contain fast-acting, extremely toxic poisons.
14. Any delicate and expensive piece of glassware will break before any
use
 can be made of it.(Law of Spontaneous Fission)
___________________________________________________________________________
 RULE OF ACCURACY
When working toward the solution of a problem, it always helps if you know
the answer
___________________________________________________________________________
 RULE OF FAILURE
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you have tried.
___________________________________________________________________________
 RULE OF REASON
If nobody uses it, there's a reason.
___________________________________________________________________________
 ARNOLD'S LAWS OF DOCUMENTATION

1. If it should exist, it doesn't.
2. If it does exist, it's out of date.
3. Only useless documentation transcends the first two laws.
___________________________________________________________________________
From: hargroveaustin.asc.slb.com (Jim Hargrove)
Documentation is like sex: when it is good, it is very, very good, and
when
it is bad it's still better than nothing.
___________________________________________________________________________
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF STATISTICAL INFERENCE
1. Thou shalt not hunt statistical inference with a shotgun.
2. Thou shalt not enter the valley of the methods of inference without an
 experimental design.
3. Thou shalt not make statistical inference in the absence of a model.
4. Thou shalt honour the assumptions of thy model.
5. Thy shalt not adulterate thy model to obtain significant results.
6. Thy shalt not covet thy colleagues' data.
7. Thy shalt not bear false witness against thy control group.
8. Thou shalt not worship the 0.05 significance level.
9. Thy shalt not apply large sample approximation in vain.
10. Thou shalt not infer causal relationships from statistical
 significance.
___________________________________________________________________________
From: c1prasadwatson.ibm.com (prasad)
Never replicate a successful experiment -Fett's law. [cf CF]
___________________________________________________________________________
From: Koos.denOudstenphil.ruu.nl
Discovery: A couple of months in the laboratory can frequently save a
couple of hours in the library.
___________________________________________________________________________
 WEINER'S LAW OF LIBRARIES
There are no answers, only cross references.
___________________________________________________________________________
From: joeshmoeworld.std.com (Jascha Franklin-Hodge) (List of Taglines)
A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation.
Always draw your curves, then plot the data.
An ounce of application is worth a ton of abstraction.
An ounce of emotion is equal to a ton of facts.
Always proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
Dangerous exercise: Jumping to conclusions.
Discoveries are made by not following instructions.
___________________________________________________________________________
 FURTHER HINTS ON WRITE-UPS:
1. In any collection of data, the figures that most closely confirm the
 theory are wrong.
2. No one you ask for help will see the mistakes either.
3. Any nagging intruder who stops by with unsought advice will see them
 immediately.
4. If an experiment works, you must be using the wrong equipment.
5. An experiment may be considered successful if no more than half the
data
 must be discarded to agree with the theory.
6. No experiment is ever a complete failure. It can serve as a bad
example.
7. Always leave room, when writing a report, to add an explanation if it
 doesn't work (Rule of the Way Out).
___________________________________________________________________________
From: jacds8.scri.fsu.edu (Jim Carr)
Raw data is like raw sewage, it requires some processing before it can
be spread around. The opposite is true of theories.
___________________________________________________________________________
Murphy's law of research: Enough research will tend to support you theory.
___________________________________________________________________________
 WETHERN'S LAW
Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups.
___________________________________________________________________________
 WYSZOWSKI'S LAWS
1. No experiment is reproducible
2. Anything can be made to work if you fiddle with it long enough.
_________________________________________________________________________
From: jejanesmtu.edu (Jeff E. Janes)
I believe there is a scientific method, or at least a method that
serves me well.

Jeff's scientific method:
play with it until--
 1) you break it
 2) it breaks you
 3) you figure it out
 4) your mom/boss/TA/Prof catches you
 5) you discover something more interesting to play with.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++




Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue