Re: [SystemSafety] Does "reliable" mean "safe" and or "secure" or neither?

From: C. Michael Holloway < >
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2016 14:33:21 -0400


I read this list regularly, but comment only rarely, and usually regret it when I do (for a wide variety of reasons, which are not relevant to enumerate here). But this long, mostly tiresome thread has prompted me to write a short response, which will simply take the form of X propositions. I believe each of the propositions is true, but will not provide any arguments to support my belief because I don't have the time to do so.

P1: The association within certain communities of the word "reliability" to mean exclusively "statistical/probabilistic assessment/prediction" has significantly hindered communication with the public at large, and with other communities.

P2: When one person (call him Jack) hears another person (call her Jill) use a word W, Jack nearly always assumes that Jill's intended definition of W is the same definition that he would intend in the same sentence.

P3: Quite often the practical effect of P2 is that Jack and Jill end up in a quarrel, with each convinced the other is wrong / stupid / ignorant / uninformed / pig-headed / ... . (Rather than cooperating to fetch a pail of water, Jack and Jill throw water on one another.)

P4: Forcing another person to adopt your own personal style of argumentation, rather than adopting your style to match the other person's style, is probably rightly called a form of intellectual bullying. Or at the very least, it is rightly called a lack of social skills.

cMh [ C. Michael Holloway | Senior Research Engineer | NASA Langley 
Research Center, MS 130, Hampton VA USA | Tel: +1.757.864.1701 ]

The words in this message are mine alone; neither blame nor credit NASA 
for them.

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Received on Sun Apr 24 2016 - 20:37:00 CEST

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