Anyone for a learning crusade? Enron, KM, and OL LO28315

From: Fred Nickols (
Date: 04/25/02

Replying to LO28284 --

In LO28284, Chris Macrae writes of a white paper he has started:

>It starts with a mathematician's
>observation that arithmetic (ie operands on numbers) was never intended to
>represent the dynamics of things which grow because of their connectivity,
>ie rule number 1 of numbers is that your are dealing with stuff that

Hmm. I'm no mathematician so I won't quarrel with or support the
statement above. But, not being a mathematician, I need to ask some
questions of clarification.

Does "rule number 1 of numbers," namely that you "are dealing with stuff
that separates," tie somehow to what mathematicians call the interval
scale of measurement?

I'm curious because the next scale "up" the hierarchy of measurement, as I
understand it, is ratio, and that is where all manner of wonderful
calculations are performed, including rates of change (which have
something in common with growth). Said a little differently, I thought
calculus dealt with change (and growth is a form of that).

To be sure, at the bottom of the calculus there must be some valid
measurements along the interval scale or the calculations become
meaningless (sort of like when the ratings of 1 through 5 assigned to
people during performance appraisal are averaged).

Asked a little differently, are you saying quite definitely that rates of
growth cannot be calculated or that mathematics in general is useless in
relation to dynamics? (I'm betting not because that would toss out all
the math associated with aerodynamics and in system dynamics as well.)

Having kind of answered my own question, just what are you saying about
math and dynamics, Chris?

P.S. Yes, I would like a copy of the white paper. Please send it along
to the email address in my signature below.


Fred Nickols
"Assistance at a Distance"


Fred Nickols <>

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