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Thanks for the answer.  Sad that you never get an answer, although this sort of thing (organizational/personnel changes at the client makes them drop your work / never give feedback) is not uncommon in tech in my experience.

I have the luxury of reading this years after it was posted (going through the D&D.Sci archives and this was linked there), so you may actually have an answer to this question: did the model work?  That is, did your client use it and save/ make money?

You're correct.  I wish we had any sort of tradition that let people with a minor dispute go before some neutral party without expense or bureaucracy - less in the sense of court of extremely small claims, and more that people should be more willing to say to a trusted friend, "hey, resolve this dispute for us and we'll buy you dinner."  Then again, this requires you to both trust the same person, and for neither person to be acting in such bad faith that they refuse the process.  If there's a default place people can go, with very low costs in time and no cost in money, refusing to even have an argument heard would be a pretty big strike against you in most situations, and as you said if the panel has multiple cases/ complaints against a person that's at least Bayesian evidence that they're doing something wrong.

I've seen a bit of this in some organizations I've been part of.  The most important part I see missing is enforcement powers.  If you have a group of excellent and sage judges who can impartially consider the facts but all they can do is issue advisory opinions, all you have is another social bloc taking one side or the other in an interpersonal debate.  You have gossip and the whisper network cosplaying a court of law.  You have nothing.

I have not the first clue how to handle this outside of a formal organization, but solving this in an organization with a real structure is at least a step forward.  Not naming names because I don't speak for them, but one organization I've seen do this well had a small elected committee that handled any complaints about members.  They did basic investigation, worked with both accuser and accused, and normally focused on repairing the harm and reintegrating both people into the community (the keyword here is restorative justice, if you want details).  Often this caught troublemakers early, and people have been accused of wrongdoing, gone through this process, and remained members of the organization with much drama.  This works because the committee also had a hammer: they could ban people from attending organization events temporarily while they put permanently removing the person from the organization to an organization wide vote.  While I was part of the organization, no one was removed by a vote, but people have been removed by vote before, and people have quit the org when it became clear that there would be consequences for the bad actions due to this process.

Importantly, the committee was explicitly held to far lower standards than a court of law.  They were expected to be impartial (and not handle a case if they couldn't be), but no one was spending hundreds of hours on a single case.  There are no lawyers, no rules of evidence.  The trade-off for the whole process being far less formal and less work - not just for the committee members but also for the accuser and accused - is the relatively lightness of the penalties.  Defendants in a criminal court need the full protection of formal systems of law because the court can take away your money, your freedom, or even your life.  The committee I'm talking about can at worst take away your membership in one organization, and even that has a safeguard.  The people who wrote the rules for the committee understood that not being a massive burden on everyone involved was worth the trade-off of less protections.  The focus on repairing and preventing harm over punishment also helped - the consequences of ruling the wrong way on something are minimized here, which helps smooth over any wrong decisions.

It's also worth making it explicit that when this sort of issue comes up, of how to handle accusations of wrongdoing in organizations or groups without involving the courts, it's almost always about rape.  The whisper networks or public accusations that these sorts of more formal structures try to avoid aren't about someone getting beat up or stolen from, they're almost always about rape, other sexual assault, or behavior that make people feel like they're in danger of being raped.  If someone beats you up or steals from you, you don't have to start a whisper campaign, you go to the police (or a lawyer in some cases).  Explicitly saying something I don't have proof of, epistemic status "confident but maybe you shouldn't be": this is because the (American) courts are bad at dealing with rape and sexual assault, and in the absence of formal systems of justice you get informal systems of justice, and those tend to suck for everyone, accuser included (public accusations and whisper campaigns aren't a great way to achieve justice, but if they're what you have, they're what you have).

I want to say that I don't play these, but I love reading them and reading other people play them.

Huh, cool.  Good to have at least one anecdote that you can de (re?) transition and it's just not a huge deal.

I wonder if a proper study of people who took hormones and transitioned socially but de-transitioned fully voluntarily - not because of a medical complication, outside pressure, running out of money etc. but could have fully chosen to continue hormones and didn't - would find this is common.  I wouldn't be surprised, "I tried something for a year or two and it didn't work out" is not uncommon in life.

Maybe the average design is bad, so good designs becoming worse after redesigns is just regression to the mean.  Bad design is not the exception - bad design is the norm, and good design is the exception.

I have had the chance to watch software get made up close at several jobs, and this seems to track.  Even designs that seem to be good normally aren't, and the having to add features normally makes the design worse (less usable, less clear) without a herculean effort against that tendency.

I'm about 40 pages in to Don Norman's The Design of Everyday Things, which seems to be the seminal text on this sort of thing, and even this early in the book it's clear that there's far more ways that a design can go wrong than ways than it can go right.  Design is hard.

I am deeply, truly envious that you are able to put "career" in the Yes column for "does it make me happy".  Most people can't. My chart looks more like 50% in important, happy and 40% in important, unhappy, merely by the necessity of making a living.
That 0% in the bottom right corner might be the most important part of the chart, though - getting that number down improves your life for no cost, and a lot of people seem to have numbers there in double digits.

Thanks for posting and explaining the code - that's an interesting, subtle bug.

I think we learn more from Petrov Day when the site goes down than we would if it stayed up, although nothing is ever going to beat the year someone tricked someone into pressing the button by saying they had to press the button to keep the site up.  That was great.

Good point - I'm not sure how to handle that off hand but people have been involved in business ventures where they have put in different amounts of capital for centuries, people could probably figure it out.

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