Friday, July 26, 2019

Limits of Knowledge

Maura returned home last night with a guest who will be helping us on our current project. Meanwhile, WICO reacted to widespread skepticism over the value of using subregions, similar what I shared in yesterday’s post about yesterday with Al.

In a written statement, Ambassador Lazlo emphasized that all of WICO’s education efforts include guidance for a variety of ecosystem types (biomes), specifically in the general introduction to guidance for each region. She added, “People moving to a new subregion will be furnished with the specific guidance they need from local extinction response units, which also have training available. Real-time observation of conditions is being used to update all guidance where appropriate, and can be shared with anyone in the world.”

Maura had her own reaction. “For now. That will be a luxury half-way through the transition, maybe sooner.” I asked her if she thought Al had a point. “Al always has a point,” she said approvingly. “He also has the benefit of lots more training and experience than most people, which is a big source of bias.”

“Do you think it’s sufficient?” She’d seen most of the training, and directly tested a lot more than me.

“They did a thorough job,” she said, not quite answering the question. “Though Al’s right to worry that changes can happen too fast for useful updates, even now. It will be even more problematic as technology quality and access degrades, even with significant improvement to conditions.”

“People will be learning in the process, though,” I suggested, “especially those who move a lot. They can share what they learn more effectively anyway, right?”

She thought about it. “That will work locally, more so over time, and any necessary global coordination will suffer. I’m sure Sally’s already factored that into her models. I’ve seen hints of it in the strategy.”

“What about Sally?” I asked. “She’ll be degrading too.” I wondered if she had taken any action on her plan to inhabit a mobile shell, which I imagined would look and act human.

“You’ll have to ask her,” Maura replied, “not that it’s anyone’s business but hers.” I had to agree. 

“So, one lesson is to make print books wherever we can.”

“Without killing too many trees,” she added.

Reality Check

The issues discussed are basic ones that would affect any strategy like that adopted here. “Will” knows that they were built into the strategy, but is revisiting them anyway just in case he missed something - or someone else did.

For background on Maura’s project, see today’s entry in Will Jackson’s Personal Log.

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