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Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Quest for Truth........chapters 5 and 6

Chapter 5
As Rigour prepared to shoe the horse he thought of as Verisimilitude (who was in fact Bias) he picked up a piece of paper on the floor seemingly dropped by the scary stranger (who was in fact Confounded). He couldn’t help but read it and was delighted to read of the Quest for Truth and in that moment decided that he was the man for the Champion for King Quantit. As he went to return the paper to the saddle bag he accidently knocked out more papers that fell to the floor of the forge with a thud!
The big title “Data Set” was hard to miss! These were of course the documents stolen from the wizards. The Data set contained all the answers to all the questions ever asked in Probability. Before he could hastily put them back, Confounded entered the forge wondering what was taking so long. Luckily, even though Rigour knew nothing of stolen documents etc, his suspicion was aroused and he managed to hide the Data Set from view. He completed the task in record time, not wanting to spend any more time that absolutely necessary in the company of the stranger and his weird horse and excited to be on his way to the palace to propose himself as Champion (taking the Data Set with him).
Confounded and Bias were soon on their way – unaware that they were minus the Data Set. They too were heading to the palace with a plan to use the Data Set to cheat and find the Truth his way and thus gain the prize.
So, we leave this chapter with Holistic Perspective and his servant Dichotomous Data (who finally decided!), Rigour, Validity and Reliability (and Snowball of course) and Confounded Variable with Bias, all heading from the four corners of Probability towards the palace.

Chapter 6.
All were finally congregated in Chi-square immediately outside the A’Tives palace with a variant of a normally distributed population who had come to watch the contest – and indeed the spectacle of such a Quest.
Amongst the crowd was Data Dredging, a reporter from the Probability Daily Chronicle who was always on the lookout or links and associations without the need for reported facts! An ongoing liaison with Voluptuous Validity (no relation to our own heroine), who despite strong feminist principles and a need to challenge the public and private divisions of life was in fact a bit of a gossip, was a very fruitful source of material for Data’s by-lines.
Suddenly over the noise of the crowd, a fanfare could be heard, followed swiftly by our two Kings Qualit and Quantit. Beside the Kings stood their faithful servant Co-Variant , being the only entity who could vary and change his behaviour to suit each King’s needs without compromising his own personal qualities. In a loud voice, Co-Variant welcomed everyone to the palace on behalf of his masters and, unwinding a large scroll from his pocket he proceeded to announce the Champions and the tasks they were expected to perform.
This went on for some time, and a bit longer, and longer still. The crowd was restless and beginning to disperse when he finally came to the good bit.
Holistic Perspective was to be Champion for King Qualit and Rigour to be Champion for King Quantit (no surprises there then!). Cheers and jeers rang through the square as they were congratulated and the unsuccessful were laughed at. Validity and Reliability took the news with grace as would be expected. However, one person was less than happy! Confounded Variable was fuming, and as his horse, Bias, snorted derisively, he paced up and down deep in thought and hatching a cunning plan (for some reason he had still not checked his saddle bags and was unaware of the missing Data Set).
A hush was finally brought to the crowd as Co-Variant listed the tasks to be completed by each Champion in the Quest for Truth:
1.     To enter and traverse the Paradigm Forest. A place of anomaly and inconsitency that constantly shifted. Legend had it that if you survived the Forest then you emerged with a clear way of understanding and looking at the world around you.
2.     To travel the length of the River of Standard Deviation which turns, winds and often shape changes. It was slightly different to your average river – but nobody really knew why other than the fact that there were a lot of square roots along the way. However there was another twist to this task. The Champions had to travel the river on a Learning Log – very hard!
3.     The final task (if they survived the other two) was to climb a steep and treacherous outcrop known by all as Wittgenstein’s Ladder. Of course “climb” was not technically a true representation of what was involved, but a rather dumbing down of what was expected in order to simplify it for those involved.
We leave our Champions to take in the news of the tasks. At the moment they are a bit pale, but putting on a brave face and starting to plan their next move.
But what of the wizards?

1 comment:

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