I have encountered the word in the title of this post twice in the past week. It isn’t a word used often and the circumstances were so different that i decided to write about it.

The first occurrence was at work where I saw one person succeed with a simple and elegant solution to a problem while another person struggled significantly. From my perspective, they were using a multi-tool for a solution that only needed a hammer. They spent the majority of their time configuring the multi-tool while the person with the simple solution continuously refined their initial solution.

The problem was a categorization problem with a small dataset. Because the categories were known and there were only three, the multi-tool solution quickly showed it wasn’t the right way to tackle the problem because it got bogged down by the simplicity of the problem. It wasn’t applicable to the dataset. It was used because that was the only tool the person knew.

It seems the field of data science is so broad right now and I only know a few of the tools necessary to solve problems. I have encountered a few instances where I have defined what solution is necessary and told the person with the problem which person to talk to.

It is interesting to me that we are starting to reach a point where we have to solve every problem placed in front of us. Similarly, when did we have to have an opinion on every political situation in front of us?

There seems to be so many issues that I am being asked my position when it has no applicability to me.

By the way, when did the question become about my position rather than my opinion?

When I mention it has no applicability to me, I immediately get hit with the pronouncement that I have chosen the opposite side and my apathy will lead to the destruction of all we hold dear. I reject the existentialism that gets thrown at me. I do not think I have the power to exhibit that type of conclusion.

Take a breath. Find your center. See the other side.


Author: dmcnic

Educated as an economist, I now work as an Analytical Professional for a manufacturing firm. I have have a second job as a part-time lecturer at the University of Washington in Bothell. While all baseball interests me, the Mariners are my home town team. Married with one dog.

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