I hate mergers!



  • So we are in the middle of the 2nd cycle of testing for our 2nd merger in the last few months...

     Each conference call for the end of the day has steadily gotten worse. Today we were each asked to name something that could be done to help speed up and improve the quality of testing...

     My suggestion: For the issues IT had been receiving:

    ISSUE - FormA is not working properly    EXPECTATION: FormA should work properly

    I suggested that we get more detail such as "We are getting X for Volume, Y for Price and Z for Charge and should be getting A, B and C"

    I got a few agreements until our head tester chimed in...

    LEAD TESTER: "But we do not have those numbers for you"

    LEAD OF MERGER: "Ummm... then how do you know they are wrong"

    LEAD TESTER: "Because they do not match what we have from the old system"

    LEAD OF MERGER: "So... you have the numbers from that then? Those would be what they need"

    LEAD TESTER: "But we do not have the numbers..."

    Can you figure out where the problem with the merger testing is coming from? Sometimes I wonder why I even get up in the morning.



  • Hey buddy, you have to deal with those type of people.  You may not like it , but they sure make the average person look brilliant.

     GREAT JOB keep up the GREAT work.



  • It's even worse when they give you half the information they need.  I remember the time I got:

    Account status page does not work properly.  According to requirements the following values must be shown:
        - Total mailbox storage size
        - Current mailbox size
        - Free space remaining
        - Number of messages
        - about 10 other things. (the entire list of things to display on that page)
    But many of them are not shown


    After several weeks of back and forth with me trying to get the customer to say which specific items weren't there, I finally get a coherent response: "Oh, all we see is '404, File not Found'."  Thanks guys.

    / For the record, they had a typo in their configuration.



  • @vt_mruhlin said:

    After several weeks of back and forth with me trying to get the customer to say which specific items weren't there, I finally get a coherent response: "Oh, all we see is '404, File not Found'."

    The depressing part about this is that it's so believable. Incomprehensible, but believable. It defies belief how many people have no reading comprehension or vague semblance of brain activity with computers.

    I wrote a Macintosh CGI application to extend the functionality of a rather old and particularly lame Macintosh Web server. It functioned by replacing the server's default error page, which was called "error.html". So I called the program binary "error.acgi". My own (now defunct) site's directory listing template had the error acgi version in the footer, so you'd get a line like "error acgi 1.2.5 on firetrack.no-ip.org" at the end of the page.

    Surprisingly enough, I did have one person report that as an error with my site. I don't know whether it's more worrying that someone reported it as an error, or that no-one else ever thought it was a problem or bothered to report it.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    @vt_mruhlin said:

    After several weeks of back and forth with me trying to get the customer to say which specific items weren't there, I finally get a coherent response: "Oh, all we see is '404, File not Found'."

    The depressing part about this is that it's so believable. Incomprehensible, but believable. It defies belief how many people have no reading comprehension or vague semblance of brain activity with computers.

    Never forget that the literacy rate in the US hovers around 45-50%. If you are looking at an American who isn't in a specialised job, there is a slightly better than 1/2 chance that they just can't read. Curiously, a significant number of them are unaware of this - they think they can read, but they're actually just figuring out a few simple words and then guessing; when they can't figure anything out, they blame the person who wrote it for making it "too complicated".

    It does not help that the US government effectively lies about this - they claim a literacy rate of around 99%. The trick is that they use mailed forms to sample this data, so people who are illiterate just don't ever return them.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    @vt_mruhlin said:

    After several weeks of back and forth with me trying to get the customer to say which specific items weren't there, I finally get a coherent response: "Oh, all we see is '404, File not Found'."

    The depressing part about this is that it's so believable. Incomprehensible, but believable. It defies belief how many people have no reading comprehension or vague semblance of brain activity with computers.

    Almost exactly the same thing happened to a coworker of mine once, only instead of 404, they actually went into a page full of measurable features. It wasn't the right page, so they said there were too many unwanted features (besides having none of the wanted ones). They also complained that the title of the page was wrong...



  • [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]@Daniel Beardsmore said:

    @vt_mruhlin said:

    After several weeks of back and forth with me trying to get the customer to say which specific items weren't there, I finally get a coherent response: "Oh, all we see is '404, File not Found'."

    The depressing part about this is that it's so believable. Incomprehensible, but believable. It defies belief how many people have no reading comprehension or vague semblance of brain activity with computers.

    Almost exactly the same thing happened to a coworker of mine once, only instead of 404, they actually went into a page full of measurable features. It wasn't the right page, so they said there were too many unwanted features (besides having none of the wanted ones). They also complained that the title of the page was wrong...

    [/quote]

    This seems to be a general phenomena among computer-unskilled people. If they encounter an error message of any kind, they seem to drop into a kind of "panic mode". In this state, they will do and try absolutely everything to make it go away - except to read the message...


  • A surprisingly large number of people seem to use the computer this
    way: They know a certain exact sequence of steps (either memorized or
    written on a piece of paper) that they have to do. And if any one of
    those steps for some reason, can't be done, they will either

    a) continue with the next step (this includes clicking buttons on a window that is obviously blocked by a modal dialog)

    b) perform a randomly selected "retreat/undo" maneuver (clicking the next "X" button they can find, clicking the next "undo" button they can find, shutting down the computer, etc)

    c) panic

    So basically, they're acting like badly written shell scripts with sloppy error handling. I always thought people were supposed to command computers and not vice versa... but I may be wrong...



  • @PSWorx said:

    I always thought people were supposed to command computers and not vice versa... but I may be wrong...

    Most of these people would have difficulty commanding a door. 



  • I have seen so many bad bug descriptions from testers in the past, but last month I saw what became the ultimate in lack of information..

     Type : Bug

    Priority : Low

    Description : "!"

    needless to say was rapidly set to "please provide more information"....



  • @belialNZ said:

     Type : Bug

    Priority : Low

    Description : "!"

    Looks to me like a requisition for a new keyboard. He or she has spilt soda in the keyboard. I remember seeing a PC at university with what looked like Tango (orange soda) in the keyboard. If you pressed any key down, four or more other keys would move down with it.

    Here, shift is permanetly depressed and the only non-meta key still standing is 1, which will now produce nothing but "!".

    The priority is set to low because he doesn't really want a new keyboard, as then he'd have to do some work.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    @belialNZ said:

     Type : Bug

    Priority : Low

    Description : "!"

    Looks to me like a requisition for a new keyboard. He or she has spilt soda in the keyboard. I remember seeing a PC at university with what looked like Tango (orange soda) in the keyboard. If you pressed any key down, four or more other keys would move down with it.

    Here, shift is permanetly depressed and the only non-meta key still standing is 1, which will now produce nothing but "!".

    The priority is set to low because he doesn't really want a new keyboard, as then he'd have to do some work.

    Well, at least it weren't his G and U keys... 



  • perhaps they had this really fancy AJAX/XML/XSLT/XAML/HTML/DOCBOOK/SGML/TCP/IP/UDP bug tracking form, with a WYSIWYG editor.

    So the user keen to report a bug, started typing before all the client side crap got loaded and in the process lost all of his brilliantly formulated bug report, and ended up only with a exclametion mark. Of course, knowingly he knew that he just typed the whole story, so it must just be a visual bug that his entire story consists of a single character, and presses enter while feeling warm and fuzzy for doing a good deed like filling a bug.



  • @stratos said:

    perhaps they had this really fancy AJAX/XML/XSLT/XAML/HTML/DOCBOOK/SGML/TCP/IP/UDP bug tracking form, with a WYSIWYG editor.

    So the user keen to report a bug, started typing before all the client side crap got loaded and in the process lost all of his brilliantly formulated bug report, and ended up only with a exclametion mark. Of course, knowingly he knew that he just typed the whole story, so it must just be a visual bug that his entire story consists of a single character, and presses enter while feeling warm and fuzzy for doing a good deed like filling a bug.

    This system your describe.

    It vaguely reminds me of one.

    Hmmm.

    What could it be.

     



  • @dhromed said:

    @stratos said:

    perhaps they had this really fancy AJAX/XML/XSLT/XAML/HTML/DOCBOOK/SGML/TCP/IP/UDP bug tracking form, with a WYSIWYG editor.

    So the user keen to report a bug, started typing before all the client side crap got loaded and in the process lost all of his brilliantly formulated bug report, and ended up only with a exclametion mark. Of course, knowingly he knew that he just typed the whole story, so it must just be a visual bug that his entire story consists of a single character, and presses enter while feeling warm and fuzzy for doing a good deed like filling a bug.

    This system your describe.

    It vaguely reminds me of one.

    Hmmm.

    What could it be.



  • Oh!, Think someone needs a new keyboard ;)



  • @asuffield said:

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:
    @vt_mruhlin said:

    After several weeks of back and forth with me trying to get the customer to say which specific items weren't there, I finally get a coherent response: "Oh, all we see is '404, File not Found'."

    The depressing part about this is that it's so believable. Incomprehensible, but believable. It defies belief how many people have no reading comprehension or vague semblance of brain activity with computers.

    Never forget that the literacy rate in the US hovers around 45-50%. If you are looking at an American who isn't in a specialised job, there is a slightly better than 1/2 chance that they just can't read. Curiously, a significant number of them are unaware of this - they think they can read, but they're actually just figuring out a few simple words and then guessing; when they can't figure anything out, they blame the person who wrote it for making it "too complicated".

    It does not help that the US government effectively lies about this - they claim a literacy rate of around 99%. The trick is that they use mailed forms to sample this data, so people who are illiterate just don't ever return them.

    So-- where's your data?

    Let's not ignore the absurdity of suggesting that someone must be illiterate because they have poor reading comprehension.  If they were illiterate, they really couldn't be doing data entry or typing up problem reports, could they?

    The census also does verbal interviews, so I call B.S.
     



  • @operagost said:

    @asuffield said:
    @Daniel Beardsmore said:
    @vt_mruhlin said:

    After several weeks of back and forth with me trying to get the customer to say which specific items weren't there, I finally get a coherent response: "Oh, all we see is '404, File not Found'."

    The depressing part about this is that it's so believable. Incomprehensible, but believable. It defies belief how many people have no reading comprehension or vague semblance of brain activity with computers.

    Never forget that the literacy rate in the US hovers around 45-50%. If you are looking at an American who isn't in a specialised job, there is a slightly better than 1/2 chance that they just can't read. Curiously, a significant number of them are unaware of this - they think they can read, but they're actually just figuring out a few simple words and then guessing; when they can't figure anything out, they blame the person who wrote it for making it "too complicated".

    It does not help that the US government effectively lies about this - they claim a literacy rate of around 99%. The trick is that they use mailed forms to sample this data, so people who are illiterate just don't ever return them.

    So-- where's your data?

    The US National Adult Literacy Survey (1993) and the followup National Assessment of Adult Literacy (2003).

     

    Let's not ignore the absurdity of suggesting that someone must be illiterate because they have poor reading comprehension.

    Literacy is defined as the ability to read and write. I am puzzled as to what you think it might be, if not reading comprehension.

     

    If they were illiterate, they really couldn't be doing data entry or typing up problem reports, could they?

    I can only assume that you have never had any dealings with US corporations. Errors in data entry are pretty much the norm, not the exception. Semi-comprehensible text is also common in internal documents. Spelling and grammar checkers tend to paint over some of the gaps.


    The census also does verbal interviews, so I call B.S.

    Didn't your mother tell you never to call when you aren't holding any cards? Pay up.

    Here's a hint: betting against the stupidity of US citizens is never a good idea. So is betting against the existence of studies that attracted widespread media attention when they were first published.



  • asuffield> To go along with your arguments, I could use a dos computer to play games before I could read/write.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @asuffield said:

    Here's a hint: betting against the stupidity of US citizens is never a good idea.

    [prior reply snipped]

    I was about to mention something about the last election until I saw the word 'against' in the above quote negated what I was going to say.

    I'm sorry.
     



  • Literacy is defined as the ability to read and write. I am puzzled as to what you think it might be, if not reading comprehension.

    According to the document you referenced, it's not the ability to read or write:

    <FONT face=MyriadMM_400_600_ color=#231f20 size=2>

    "The knowledge and skills needed to perform prose tasks (i.e., to search, comprehend, and use information from continuous texts)."
    "<FONT face=MyriadMM_400_600_ color=#231f20 size=2>The knowledge and skills needed to perform document tasks (i.e., to search, comprehend, and use information from noncontinuous texts in various formats)."
    "<FONT face=MyriadMM_400_600_ color=#231f20 size=2>The knowledge and skills required to perform quantitative tasks (i.e., to identify and perform computations, either alone or sequentially, using numbers embedded in printed materials)."</FONT></FONT>

    <FONT face=MyriadMM_400_600_ color=#231f20 size=2><FONT face=MyriadMM_400_600_ color=#231f20 size=2>So it depends on what you mean by "literate" because those guys quite specifically define it.</FONT></FONT>

    <FONT face=MyriadMM_400_600_ color=#231f20 size=2><FONT face=MyriadMM_400_600_ color=#231f20 size=2>

    Never forget that the literacy rate in the US hovers around 45-50%. If you are looking at an American who isn't in a specialised job, there is a slightly better than 1/2 chance that they just can't read. Curiously, a significant number of them are unaware of this - they think they can read, but they're actually just figuring out a few simple words and then guessing; when they can't figure anything out, they blame the person who wrote it for making it "too complicated".
    </FONT></FONT>

    <FONT face=MyriadMM_400_600_ color=#231f20 size=2><FONT face=MyriadMM_400_600_ color=#231f20 size=2>I can't find anywhere that states that the literacy rate in the US is anywhere near 45 - 50%.  In fact, based on their results, 74% of all adults answered their sample question correctly.  Further, the minimal calculation I did showed a literacy rate around 80%+ (basic understanding).</FONT></FONT>

    <FONT face=MyriadMM_400_600_ color=#231f20 size=2><FONT face=MyriadMM_400_600_ color=#231f20 size=2></FONT></FONT><FONT face=MyriadMM_400_600_ color=#231f20 size=2><FONT face=MyriadMM_400_600_ color=#231f20 size=2>Maybe i missed it?

    </FONT></FONT></FONT>


  • @ShadowWolf said:

    Literacy is defined as the ability to read and write. I am puzzled as to what you think it might be, if not reading comprehension.

    According to the document you referenced, it's not the ability to read or write:

    <font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2">

    "The knowledge and skills needed to perform prose tasks (i.e., to search, comprehend, and use information from continuous texts)."
    "<font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2">The knowledge and skills needed to perform document tasks (i.e., to search, comprehend, and use information from noncontinuous texts in various formats)."
    "<font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2">The knowledge and skills required to perform quantitative tasks (i.e., to identify and perform computations, either alone or sequentially, using numbers embedded in printed materials)."</font></font>

    <font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2"><font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2">So it depends on what you mean by "literate" because those guys quite specifically define it.</font></font>

    Rather than defining the term, they are simply specifying what they were investigating. For a definition of the word 'literacy', consult a dictionary. Here's the wordnet one: "the ability to read and write".


    <font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2"><font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2">

    Never forget that the literacy rate in the US hovers around 45-50%. If you are looking at an American who isn't in a specialised job, there is a slightly better than 1/2 chance that they just can't read. Curiously, a significant number of them are unaware of this - they think they can read, but they're actually just figuring out a few simple words and then guessing; when they can't figure anything out, they blame the person who wrote it for making it "too complicated".
    </font></font>

    <font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2"><font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2">I can't find anywhere that states that the literacy rate in the US is anywhere near 45 - 50%.  In fact, based on their results, 74% of all adults answered their sample question correctly.  Further, the minimal calculation I did showed a literacy rate around 80%+ (basic understanding).</font></font>

    <font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2"><font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2"></font></font><font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2"><font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2">Maybe i missed it?</font></font>

    <font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2"><font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2"></font></font></font>

    You're using an extremely generous definition of 'literacy'; for most purposes, we would use that term only for those people who can manage level 3 or higher on the scale used in the first study (consult the section which explains what the various levels mean). Levels 1 (roughly: little or no comprehension, literate enough to read street signs) and 2 (roughly: comprehension only of short, simple text) accounted for about 25% of the US population each. The general consensus is that people below level 3 are largely useless for any employable task that requires literacy. It is worth noting that somebody with a university education would be quite unimpressed by the literacy of somebody at level 3 - that's about the level of your typical teenage web forum loser. You would not employ such a person as a secretary.



  • Rather than defining the term, they are simply specifying what they were investigating. For a definition of the word 'literacy', consult a dictionary. Here's the wordnet one: "the ability to read and write".

    No, they were defining the term as it meant in the document.  They explicitly state: "<FONT face=MyriadMM_400_600_ color=#231f20 size=2>The assessment defines literacy as “using printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.” which is quite clearly a definition.  Your dictionary definition would be considered common-use, but is not the only possibility.  Further, your concern is obviously not the definition of literacy as your second paragraph goes on to indicate that you are concerned with measuring literacy more than the absolute definition.  You additionally state opinion as fact.  You clearly stated that the literacy rate was around 45 - 50%.  Also, consider that a number of those surveyed were outside the age realm where they'd be helpful for any employable task.  So even following your own definition, you're ignoring the numbers.

    </FONT>

    You're using an extremely generous definition of 'literacy'; for most purposes, we would use that term only for those people who can manage level 3 or higher on the scale used in the first study (consult the section which explains what the various levels mean). Levels 1 (roughly: little or no comprehension, literate enough to read street signs) and 2 (roughly: comprehension only of short, simple text) accounted for about 25% of the US population each. The general consensus is that people below level 3 are largely useless for any employable task that requires literacy. It is worth noting that somebody with a university education would be quite unimpressed by the literacy of somebody at level 3 - that's about the level of your typical teenage web forum loser. You would not employ such a person as a secretary.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @ShadowWolf said:

    <font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2">

    <font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2"><font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2">I can't find anywhere that states that the literacy rate in the US is anywhere near 45 - 50%.  In fact, based on their results, 74% of all adults answered their sample question correctly.  </font></font>

    </font>
    I can't help thinking... Was the test the last election over there?



  • @ShadowWolf said:

    Rather than defining the term, they are simply specifying what they were investigating. For a definition of the word 'literacy', consult a dictionary. Here's the wordnet one: "the ability to read and write".

    No, they were defining the term as it meant in the document.

    Which is a study into literacy levels, not the definition of the word "literacy". QED. 

    Can't find any particular point that you may be trying to make here. 

     

    <font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2">You additionally state opinion as fact.  You clearly stated that the literacy rate was around 45 - 50%.</font>

    That is the consensus interpretation of the studies among relevant researchers. It is obviously impossible to precisely measure (like pretty much everything else that is measured in the social sciences) so any reasonably intelligent reader would interpret that statement in terms of "generally considered accurate" rather than "measured fact".



  • @asuffield said:

    Never forget that the literacy rate in the US hovers around 45-50%. If you are looking at an American who isn't in a specialised job, there is a slightly better than 1/2 chance that they just can't read. Curiously, a significant number of them are unaware of this - they think they can read, but they're actually just figuring out a few simple words and then guessing; when they can't figure anything out, they blame the person who wrote it for making it "too complicated".

    /snip 

    The US National Adult Literacy Survey (1993) and the followup National Assessment of Adult Literacy (2003).

    asuffield, the 1993 citation is so old as to be idiotic, and the followup citation doesn't support your 45-50% number. I think it's you who shouldn't call when you're not holding any cards. In fact, in the 2003 citation, the first  paragraph of page 5 says "In 2003, 14 percent of American adults (defined as people age 16 and older living in households or prisons) had Below Basic prose literacy (figure 2)." Hmmm... 100% - 14% is a little higher than "45-50%", isn't it? Perhaps you should study some basic mathematics.

    I don't see any indication in your post of where you're from, and you have no locality information in your profile (other than 0 GMT for a timezone). I suspect, however, that you're not from the US and that you have some reason you think is valid to be bashing the intellect of those of us who are; I don't think you realize, however, what a stupid ass your comments make you seem. But most cowards aren't very smart, I suppose.

    If you weren't so busy hiding your own location, we could probably find lots of information about literacy (or the lack thereof) and education (or again, the lack thereof) in wherever you call home. We could probably find actual facts to support statements we made, however, instead of using 15 year old articles. (And your math skills are an indication of something, I believe, as are your reading comprehension skills.)



  • @asuffield said:

    You're using an extremely generous definition of 'literacy'; for most purposes, we would use that term only for those people who can manage level 3 or higher on the scale used in the first study (consult the section which explains what the various levels mean). Levels 1 (roughly: little or no comprehension, literate enough to read street signs) and 2 (roughly: comprehension only of short, simple text) accounted for about 25% of the US population each. The general consensus is that people below level 3 are largely useless for any employable task that requires literacy. It is worth noting that somebody with a university education would be quite unimpressed by the literacy of somebody at level 3 - that's about the level of your typical teenage web forum loser. You would not employ such a person as a secretary.

    And yet again, you base your whole argument on a nearly 15-year old study and not the latest, which does not support your position. I would not employ you as a janitor; you don't appear to have the logical or comprehensive skills necessary for the challenges of that job.

    I'd suggest some basic level reading comprehension courses at your nearest learning facility soon, before you show yourself to be an even bigger dolt. 



  • @asuffield said:

    Can't find any particular point that you may be trying to make here. 

     

    <font color="#231f20" face="MyriadMM_400_600_" size="2">You additionally state opinion as fact.  You clearly stated that the literacy rate was around 45 - 50%.</font>

    That is the consensus interpretation of the studies among relevant researchers. It is obviously impossible to precisely measure (like pretty much everything else that is measured in the social sciences) so any reasonably intelligent reader would interpret that statement in terms of "generally considered accurate" rather than "measured fact".

    But your original post said:

    @asuffield said:

    Never forget that the literacy rate in the US hovers around 45-50%.

    That sounds a lot like a statement of fact (even though it clearly isn't factual). So any reasonably intelligent reader should have understood the material he was trying to use to prove his position didn't say anything close to what he said it did. And since your own citation proved that your statement not only wasn't "measured fact", but also wasn't even "generally considered accurate". It was simply wrong.

    Gee, I wish I'd gotten here sooner. Maybe you would have read some of my (and ShadowWolf's) posts sooner and saved yourself some embarasment. 



  • @KenW said:

    @asuffield said:

    You're using an extremely generous definition of 'literacy'; for most purposes, we would use that term only for those people who can manage level 3 or higher on the scale used in the first study (consult the section which explains what the various levels mean). Levels 1 (roughly: little or no comprehension, literate enough to read street signs) and 2 (roughly: comprehension only of short, simple text) accounted for about 25% of the US population each. The general consensus is that people below level 3 are largely useless for any employable task that requires literacy. It is worth noting that somebody with a university education would be quite unimpressed by the literacy of somebody at level 3 - that's about the level of your typical teenage web forum loser. You would not employ such a person as a secretary.

    And yet again, you base your whole argument on a nearly 15-year old study and not the latest, which does not support your position.

    The newer study says pretty much the same as the first. I have revised my hypothesis: you're a troll.



  • @asuffield said:

    @KenW said:
    @asuffield said:

    You're using an extremely generous definition of 'literacy'; for most purposes, we would use that term only for those people who can manage level 3 or higher on the scale used in the first study (consult the section which explains what the various levels mean). Levels 1 (roughly: little or no comprehension, literate enough to read street signs) and 2 (roughly: comprehension only of short, simple text) accounted for about 25% of the US population each. The general consensus is that people below level 3 are largely useless for any employable task that requires literacy. It is worth noting that somebody with a university education would be quite unimpressed by the literacy of somebody at level 3 - that's about the level of your typical teenage web forum loser. You would not employ such a person as a secretary.


    And yet again, you base your whole argument on a nearly 15-year old study and not the latest, which does not support your position.

    The newer study says pretty much the same as the first. I have revised my hypothesis: you're a troll.

    I'm afraid it seems you demonstrate document literacy below Intermediate level, because you've certainly failed in your inferences about the information.  I refer you to "A First Look at the Literacy of America's Adults in the 21st Century", page 4, Figure 2.  Here, you'll find that in document literacy, for example, the results are as follows: 12% Below Basic, 22% Basic, 53% Intermediate, 13% Proficient.  So we're talking about 66% scoring Intermediate or better.  For prose it's 57%, for quantitative, it's 46% (the only area within your claims).  Further, if you examine Figure 11 on page 10, you'll discover that the scores drop off significantly at 65+, which puts a lot of low scorers in retirement.  So the work force will demonstrate even better average scores.



  • @asuffield said:

    The newer study says pretty much the same as the first. I have revised my hypothesis: you're a troll.

    And I refer you to my previous reply (http://forums.worsethanfailure.com/forums/permalink/129503/129909/ShowThread.aspx#129909) in this same thread, where I quoted the specific text from the latter study that specifically said you're wrong.

    I can't be the troll, but you can be the moronic fool, I guess. You really should look into some basic reading comprehension classes at whatever educational facility exists near you; it's obvious your earlier education has failed you.



  • Damnit, I'm putting way too much time in this which is detracting from my time spent as a large black man running around in a 3D car- and crime-based simulation of the USA west coast.

    But it's fun!

    And you can say a lot about the older report, but by god at least they knew how to layout a document. That green junk is a friggin' dance festival flyer.

    =====================

    Further, if you examine Figure 11 on page 10, you'll discover that the scores drop off significantly at 65+, which puts a lot of low scorers in retirement. So the work force will demonstrate even better average scores.


    Good data for any other practical situation, but it's not what we're talking about.

    We're looking at Asuffield's interestingly catch-all claim that slighty under half of the US populace is illiterate. We're not debating whether it is a problem, and one shouldn't include anything tangential which might mitigate the percentage or cloud the issue.

    ======================

    The older study, done in 1992 (!), easily supports Asuffield's 45% illiteracy, what with Level 1 and Level 2 as defined in the report as being incapable of properly divining information from long texts. Level 1 and 2 skill sets would be fairly miniscule compared to any of ours. Any of us here would be quicker to label someone illiterate and would view reports on the subject with a more liberal definition of illiteracy.

    All graphs in the older report which relate average scores to the 5 levels display a strong bias towards the lower end of literacy. While it is debatable what makes up the top end of literacy (how literate are those that performed the survey? What is perfect literacy?), the bottom end (not being able to accomplish even the simplest textual tasks) is quite clear, and it's a little unnerving to see a big fat bar atop the label "Level 1".

    Incidentally, the reports illustrate the effect of "incompetent and unaware" (page 20), a topic discussed here some time ago.

    And yet again, you base your whole argument on a nearly 15-year old study and not the latest, which does not support your position.


    It does, mostly.

    The egregious green study displays, most clearly in Figure 11 on page 10, that nothing much has changed except that people of age 50+ have taken their literacy with them since 1992 when they were 40+.

    The egregious green and grey lines overlap at first glance, and at second glance the newer, egregiously greener line is below the grey one, suggesting a slight decay in literacy -- except in Quantitative literacy. So people count better but read slightly worse.

    The same minute difference can be observed from Fig 1, Fig 2, Fig 12 and Fig 13. Other Figures are not interesting because they split the date into groups irrelevant to our little chat.

    It supports Asuffield's position within an acceptable margin of error.

    Here, you'll find that in document literacy, for example, the results are as follows: 12% Below Basic, 22% Basic, 53% Intermediate, 13% Proficient.  So we're talking about 66% scoring Intermediate or better.


    While I don't dispute that bit of math nor the conclusion that this literacy class has "improved" since 1992, you've chosen to single out a class, one which happens to have the "best" performance. I say "best" and "improved" because the significant increase in Document-Intermediate has partially come out of the Proficient group. The other two classes also show no increase in Proficient, so literacy overall has basically become "more average". Good thing? I don't know.

    Averaging Basic Or Lower percentages of all three classes, you get a big number, 44%, despite the 34% Basic Or Lower from Document Literacy. This is a somewhat lower rate of illiteracy than Asuffield's 45-50%. He had probably better specified "40-45%".

    The older document finally describes the classifications used, and the percentages of people that fell in each Level per class. The averages of the three classes when Level 1 and 2 are added comes to a whopping 49% -- but there may be rounding errors compounded in that figure.

    in the 2003 citation, the first  paragraph of page 5 says "In 2003, 14 percent of American adults (defined as people age 16 and older living in households or prisons) had Below Basic prose literacy (figure 2)." Hmmm... 100% - 14% is a little higher than "45-50%",


    At least 40% illiteracy is supported by the old report, and the new ugly report lowers that by only a little bit. The only way to come out significantly lower than that is to exclude Level 2 from the illiterate group which I'd find a strange choice to make, as Level 2 reading is still largely useless.

    we could probably find lots of information about literacy (or the lack thereof) and education (or again, the lack thereof) in wherever you call home. We could probably find actual facts to support statements we made


    Google. International studies and local studies were done. Understand, though, that wielding that data here could inspire a pointless forum war because my country beats up your country etc. And I dislike nationalism, so I'm not going to mingle in that.



  • @dhromed said:

    Damnit, I'm putting way too much time in this which is detracting from my time spent as a large black man running around in a 3D car- and crime-based simulation of the USA west coast.

    But it's fun!

    And you can say a lot about the older report, but by god at least they knew how to layout a document. That green junk is a friggin' dance festival flyer.

    =====================

    Further, if you examine Figure 11 on page 10, you'll discover that the scores drop off significantly at 65+, which puts a lot of low scorers in retirement. So the work force will demonstrate even better average scores.


    Good data for any other practical situation, but it's not what we're talking about.

    We're looking at Asuffield's interestingly catch-all claim that slighty under half of the US populace is illiterate. We're not debating whether it is a problem, and one shouldn't include anything tangential which might mitigate the percentage or cloud the issue.

    Except that asuffield says:

    I can only assume that you have never had any dealings with US
    corporations. Errors in data entry are pretty much the norm, not the
    exception. Semi-comprehensible text is also common in internal
    documents. Spelling and grammar checkers tend to paint over some of the
    gaps.

    and

    The general consensus is that people below level 3 are largely useless for any employable task that requires literacy.

    which both deal quite plainly with employment.


    The older study, done in 1992 (!), easily supports Asuffield's 45% illiteracy...

    And now you demonstrate your illiteracy*.  Asuffield claimed 45-50% literacy, not illiteracy.  Behold:

    Never forget that the literacy rate in the US hovers around 45-50%.
    (Emphasis mine).

    Here, you'll find that in document literacy, for example, the results are as follows: 12% Below Basic, 22% Basic, 53% Intermediate, 13% Proficient.  So we're talking about 66% scoring Intermediate or better.


    While I don't dispute that bit of math nor the conclusion that this literacy class has "improved" since 1992, you've chosen to single out a class, one which happens to have the "best" performance. I say "best" and "improved" because the significant increase in Document-Intermediate has partially come out of the Proficient group. The other two classes also show no increase in Proficient, so literacy overall has basically become "more average". Good thing? I don't know.

    I say nothing of improvement.   Simply that 66% is a far cry from the 45-50% asuffield claims.  I did, in fact, follow this up with the similar rates for prose and quantitative.  Only quantitative falls into the range asuffield claims.

    Averaging Basic Or Lower percentages of all three classes, you get a big number, 44%, despite the 34% Basic Or Lower from Document Literacy. This is a somewhat lower rate of illiteracy than Asuffield's 45-50%. He had probably better specified "40-45%".

    Again, asuffield claims 45-50% literacy, which is 50-55% illiteracy.  What he should have claimed was "46-66%, depending on the type of literacy in question, and upon a specific definition of what qualifies as literate."  But that's not very snappy or inflammatory, is it?

    Also, am I the only one who has typed "literacy" so many times it doesn't look right now? 

    EDIT:
    * For the record, when I call you and asuffield illiterate, I do so in jest.  It's quite easy to misread something, and I don't claim to be free of such mistakes. I don't want to turn this into a flame war, because ultimately, it's just another meaningless debate on a board loaded with them.



  • I have to note that the report indicates an extreme level of illiteracy among Hispanics.  This is likely due to the emerging Hispanic culture which has allowed immigrants from Mexico and Central America (both illegal and legal) to come to the United States and not learn English at all.  Obviously these people would probably fall in the illiterate category.  One thing to note from the survey though is that if the customer your were emailing back and forth was white, your chances of them being literate actually increased from 1992 to 2003.

     

    As far as were Assuffield is from, judging from past posts I believe that he does live in the United States.  If he doesn't he must pay close attention to the news.  

     PS.  give the guy a break on the numbers.  Fine, the report indicates 46-66%.  I don't think he went and looked up the numbers before he posted them (just as you likely don't look up every statistic you know before posting about it) and 45-50 is amazingly close to 46-66, especially considering the report is 4 years old.  Furthermore, at the alarming rate of illegal immigration as well as the growth of the Hispanic culture that I have alluded to, It is likely that those numbers have been pushed significantly lower in the past 4 years. 



  • @tster said:

    As far as were Assuffield is from, judging from past posts I believe that he does live in the United States.  If he doesn't he must pay close attention to the news.

    Just type "asuffield" in Google: Andrew Suffield, Computer Scientist, Imperial College, London, UK; winner of several computing awards, debian contributor, socialist, human encyclopedia, good sense of humor and a talent for pissing people off



  • @bstorer said:

    And now you demonstrate your illiteracy*.  Asuffield claimed 45-50% literacy, not illiteracy.

    One doesn't need to be very literate to read my face right now.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.