Sunday, January 16, 2022

Introducing Dimension Analysis

Something I've been thinking about for a long while with every intention of exploring in blog format is what I term Dimension Analysis - an exploration into various concepts that can be placed upon a continuum or axis. 

It is somewhat simply a thought exercise limited to the topic or concept under consideration. But it can also be a more in-depth way of seeing things in a new light including combining distinct ideas and concepts.

I have a lot of things I would like to compare in this manner and have done a bit of this previously. Some ideas I expect to be covering would be:

Motives: Status versus Profit - What does one seek more of? When is one more dominant or influential than the other? Where are the tradeoffs?

Archivists versus Free Spirits - Sometimes we seek to record our lives into personal (if not public ledgers) while other times we are minimalistic nomads. To label people hoarders would be uncharitable and not the essence of what I'm driving at. Librarian isn't exactly correct either. On the other side think more live-for-today, focus on what is important rather than careless and thoughtless.

Editors versus Curators - One has the disposition of fixing through correction while the other seeks improvement by selection and promotion.

Puzzles versus Mysteries - The solvable realm compared to the unknowns and unknowables.

Engineers versus Epistemologists - Action upon theory versus theory for theory's sake. 

Philosophers versus Mechanics - Related to the prior, this was my first example I stumbled upon for this whole dimensions analysis thing. Shades of grey versus black and white. Two very different approaches or even definitions of problem solving.

Leaders: Managers versus Visionaries - Some are (or seek to be or need to be) great tacticians while some are (same caveat) great strategists. Plan execution versus plan design.

Sculptors versus Appraisers - Stolen from Caplan's The Case Against Education, both of these have the opportunity to raise or at least transform the value of a piece of stone. But they come at it from very different angles.

Honesty versus Pleasantry - Are you telling me what I need to hear or what I want to hear? Do I want to hear what I need to hear, or do I wish to hear what I'd like to hear? Best practices versus social desirability bias.

These are but a smidgeon of comparisons I would like to explore. My ambition has exceeded my ability to get to this topic so far. Perhaps getting it posted will spur me along. That inspires another dimension: Goals versus Desires. In all cases I hope to not draw upon distinctions without differences, but I'm sure there will be a degree of that error made.

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