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Plausibility Project
"Plausibility is a contested term in the scenarios and foresight literature. It is often used in juxtaposition to probability and used to distinguish more qualitatively led work. However, what plausibility actually (and symbolically) means, how it matters for practice, and why it is important for the contemporary coping with uncertainty is unclear. This multi-year obsession seeks to unravel these mysteries. In 2009, I co-organized (with Arnim Wiek, in cooperation with the Institute for Science, Society and Innovation at the University of Oxford), a 2-day International Workshop on Plausibility to: * identify the ‘state of the art’ (concepts, empirical studies) * account for research and knowledge gaps * develop a coordinated research agenda. In preparation for the workshop, the participating internationally recognized scholars and practitioners developed initial thoughts on plausibility in their Portraits of Plausibility. Additionally, we created a Bibliography which presents a cursory collection of the scholarly literature relevant to plausibility. "
futures  plausibility  philosophy  methodology 
march 2018 by tsuomela
The Great Statistical Schism | Quillette
Some comparisons between Bayesian and frequentist statistics. Favoring the Bayesian side.
statistics  bayes  bayesian  frequentist  probability  plausibility  pvalues 
november 2015 by drmeme
On plausible television and implausible history
But then there are some shows that go completely beyond the pale of enjoyability, until they become nothing more than overwritten collections of tropes impossible to watch without groaning. ¶ I think the worst offender here is the History Channel and all their programs on the so-called "World War II".
history  satire  TV  plausibility  SpeculativeFiction  via:CharlieStross 
october 2015 by owenblacker
Towards Fantastic Ethnography and Speculative Design | Ethnography Matters
"So how do I teach ethnography to design students? First, I tell them that if they’ve ever wondered why people do things, or how things got to be the way they are, then they’re already part ethnographer. I say that my job is to help them get better at asking and answering social and cultural questions, because understanding and building entire worlds is a huge challenge that no single discipline can accomplish on its own. And I tell them that I believe the best designers are those who understand that what they’re doing is cultural innovation, which requires them to move beyond both personal impression and expression, as well as any self-righteous desire to ‘fix’ the world. My approach to design ethnography binds us to others, and I place a lot of emphasis on the need to develop a social ethics, rather than relying solely on personal interests and beliefs.

Over the years I’ve observed that design students often have much better observation and documentation skills than sociology and anthropology students do, but they appear to struggle greatly with how to interpret the information and represent this knowledge to other people. On the other hand, anthropology and sociology students often have superior analytical skills but are terribly limited in their desire or ability to communicate in anything other than the written word—even when their topic is visual or material culture. Consequently, I’ve come to think that ethnography makes design better as much as design makes ethnography better, and in that sense I believe we can serve each other equally.

Design ethnography, in the context of our classroom, is about trying to understand how people use words, images and objects to build worlds—and creating new combinations of words, images and objects that help us, and others, understand these worlds in different ways. All of our projects involve empirical fieldwork and analysis, along with the production of creative works that critically engage the subject of fieldwork. Because so many students attempt to do the creative work first, and use their ethnographic work to justify their ‘solution’ to a perceived (but rarely demonstrated!) ‘problem,’ I tend to be a bit more dogmatic about doing the ethnographic work first than I would otherwise advocate. The important thing I’ve learned, though, is that the best work always treats design and ethnography as complementary activities that are done in an iterative fashion that actually makes them difficult to separate in the end.

In teaching design courses, particular ethnographic methods became unappealing to me. Take auto-ethnography, for example: at its best the students continued to privilege their own thoughts and experiences; at worst it became a self-serving exercise in psychoanalysis or confession. And although performance ethnography can be interesting, I lack the expertise to assess it and worried that the students would again turn design into a form of privileged self-expression that could be difficult for others to understand. I needed something more accessible, that could more effectively trouble the opposition between subjective experience and objective fact—and I found it in fiction, which I think is rather beautifully both and neither."

"I think that the research environment for exploring these ideas has been crucial to their development. For the past few years, I’ve been working on a project that re-imagines NZ merino sheep in the (imagined) context of an Internet of Things. Note that I’ve not been tasked with designing possible software applications, but rather to imagine how different technologies could shift relations between livestock production and animal-product consumption. For this research I’ve combined traditional ethnographic methods of participant observation and qualitative interviews, with speculative design practices including fictional object and image-making—and I’ve given them both ‘life’ through creative writing. We’re about to launch these design scenarios, and will spend the next six months following up with more participant observation, interviews and online surveys to see how different audiences interact—or do not interact—with them.

For me, creating ethnographic fiction and speculative design has most often been a matter of material choice: both literally and figuratively. When the research subject matter is wool and meat-producing livestock, it was easy to start by imagining weird and wonderful things made of wool and meat! All the contexts for these fictional things (a government ministry and public programme, a host of consumer products and services) are plausible because they’ve been based on ethnographic research of people’s actual interests and concerns—but none of them are possible or even particularly realistic. To be honest, I really felt I was on the right track when I started talking about getting inspiration from contemporary urban fantasy novels—especially favourites by Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs—and both my design and ethnography colleagues just laughed. (It was like Joanna Russ had never written How To Suppress Women’s Writing!) But the important bit is that I came to understand that although fantastic ethnography and speculative design don’t have to derive their plausibility from realism or rationality, they should move people—because the space of the fantastic and the speculative is, after all, affective space, or the space of potential."

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annegalloway  2013  ethnography  designethnography  fiction  designfiction  writing  speculativedesign  design  ursulaleguin  margaretatwood  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  ilonaandrews  patriciabriggs  plausibility  rationality  realism  research  speculativefiction  worldbuilding  imagery  words  images  objects  fieldwork  noticing  observation  listening  wondering  ethics  documentation  interpretation  autoethnography 
september 2013 by robertogreco
[cs/9808007] Plausibility Measures and Default Reasoning
We introduce a new approach to modeling uncertainty based on plausibility measures. This approach is easily seen to generalize other approaches to modeling uncertainty, such as probability measures, belief functions, and possibility measures. We focus on one application of plausibility measures in this paper: default reasoning. In recent years, a number of different semantics for defaults have been proposed, such as preferential structures, $\epsilon$-semantics, possibilistic structures, and $\kappa$-rankings, that have been shown to be characterized by the same set of axioms, known as the KLM properties. While this was viewed as a surprise, we show here that it is almost inevitable. In the framework of plausibility measures, we can give a necessary condition for the KLM axioms to be sound, and an additional condition necessary and sufficient to ensure that the KLM axioms are complete. This additional condition is so weak that it is almost always met whenever the axioms are sound. In particular, it is easily seen to hold for all the proposals made in the literature.
papers  plausibility  reasoning  default-logic  belief-functions 
june 2013 by arsyed
Plausibility Measures: A User's Guide
We examine a new approach to modeling uncertainty based on plausibility measures, where a plausibility measure just associates with an event its plausibility, an element is some partially ordered set. This approach is easily seen to generalize other approaches to modeling uncertainty, such as probability measures, belief functions, and possibility measures. The lack of structure in a plausibility measure makes it easy for us to add structure on an "as needed" basis, letting us examine what is required to ensure that a plausibility measure has certain properties of interest. This gives us insight into the essential features of the properties in question, while allowing us to prove general results that apply to many approaches to reasoning about uncertainty. Plausibility measures have already proved useful in analyzing default reasoning. In this paper, we examine their "algebraic properties", analogues to the use of + and \Theta in probability theory. An understanding of such properties ...
papers  plausibility  measure  probability  uncertainty  belief-functions  probabilistic-logic 
june 2013 by arsyed
Crossing Epistemological Boundaries
Max Boisot et al: It is possible to identify two distinct yet complementary epistemological paths to
knowledge development. The first one is holistic and field dependent, and builds on the
concept of plausibility, and we associate this path with an entrepreneurial mindset. The
second is object-oriented and builds on the concept of probability; this path can be
associated with the managerial mindset. We believe that both managerial and knowledge
management practices have emphasized the second path at the expense of the first. To
restore the balance, knowledge management needs to develop processes and tools e
associated with scenarios and real options e that will allow it to operate credibly in
possible and plausible worlds, so as to extract value from them. We propose a systems
framework for thinking through the nature of such tools.
probability  possibility  plausibility 
october 2011 by ironick
The text presented here describes the processes and methods for the creation of alternative scenarios and the use of the Cone of Plausibility (described in Creating Strategic Visions, Taylor, 1990) to project the scenarios 10 to 30 years or more into the
plausibility  cone-of-plausibility  war  future  futurism  planning  army  nwo 
august 2007 by vielmetti

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