Tag: expert witness

This story will makes two important points about technical reasoning that in the heat of combat, disasters, disputes, commerce, parenting or politics often get overlooked.

 

They are:

 

1.If your starting data is flawed, the rest of your argument becomes inherently flawed

2.Just because one thing looks like the other, it does not mean that they are comparable.

 

The problem is that it is so easy to hide these issues in clever packaging. Only when somebody carefully analyzes the argument and looks at the underlying data, will it become apparent that it is fatally flawed.

The example I will use is a TED lecture by Malcolm Gladwell. Malcolm Gladwell is the author of "Blink, the Power of Thinking without Thinking" and other popular observational works and TED is an organization that organizes symposia where smart people listen to other smart people who discuss unusual discoveries or insights. A TED lecture is about 15 minutes and there are some truly incredibly useful lectures such as the Hans Rosling lectures, but not all TED lectures rise to that level.

 

So that is the setting; here is the story..... read more »

(Updated 31 November 2016)

 

M&O loves training new consultants. We look for people who are smart, with great basic training and, most of all, people who are inherently inquisitive and will ask the questions that lead to new knowledge for all of us.

 

So, we are in the middle of dealing with a heavy fuel oil claim and our most recent newbie asks: Why are ships not supplied with pre-purified fuel oil?

 

That stopped us old ones in our tracks, and elicited the immediate standard defensive response: “Good Question?!”

 

And then one begins to think......

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A recent bit in the news announced that the "Exxon Valdez" in its present incarnation as the "Oriental Nicety" is bound for the scrap yard.

 

It is easy to think of the "Exxon Valdez" as some villainous symbol in the drama of the oil spill in Alaska, but, as Paul Harvey used to say, then there is the rest of the story.

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