Sunday, April 5, 2009

Trying to be like the CIA

  More good information from the CIA book:

There are several modes of analysis by which one might infer cause and effect. In more formal analysis, inferences are made through procedures that collectively comprise the scientific method. The scientist advances a hypothesis, then tests this hypothesis by the collection and statistical analysis of data on many instances of the phenomenon in question. Even then, causality cannot be proved beyond all possible doubt. The scientist seeks to disprove a hypothesis, not to confirm it. A hypothesis is accepted only when it cannot be rejected.

Essentially I need to become more like the CIA when I develop a hypothesis and check it.  Also consider that in my case I'm never going to be able to find absolute rules.  The situation and factors I am judging will always be obscured because I will never have all the information available, and the information I do have will always be gathered second-hand, through a media report.  Actually, if I watch video directly then I could.  Either watching games or you-tube clips of players.  

First-hand information and observations would definitely help.  If I watch the games myself and receive little second-hand information (filtered) then I could study my own patterns of observation and see what I bias.  

What I don't want to do is get into the business of constructing narratives.  Narratives, I'm learning, are the cause of many cognitive biases and much confusion of the part of people everywhere.  They assume causality and order in what is generally a chaotic world and unruly world.  I need to get more scientific in my research, my formulation of hypotheses, and my testing to look for significicance. 

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