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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #159: posts longa, morsels breva

A company that provides communications tools for major litigation. For the Defense, Aug. 2011 at 75, has an ad for TrialWorks. It promotes its case management software and promotes its connectivity services, including skype, iChat, video teleconferencing, instant message, text, email, webinar, fax, and phone. The site does not call out any law department clients, but they must exist.

Another way to cluster companies for benchmark comparisons. An article I just read used the four-digit GICS code “because it has been shown to explain many financial results better than SIC codes and NAICS codes” (See my post of Dec. 27, 2010: use codes to create finer distinctions than “industry”.).

It is not possible to define numbers formally. This axiom-based inability has no bearing on the importance of metrics, but it fascinates me that “providing a univocal formal definition of what we call numbers is essentially impossible: the concept of number is primitive and undefinable,” as explained more fully in Stanislas Dehaene, The Number Sense: how the mind creates mathematics (Oxford 2d ed. 2011) at 224-225 (emphasis in original). Fortunately, our calculating minds don’t rely on axiomatic definitions.

A rule of thumb for the accuracy of metrics – look at the right-most zero. “The rule is that a number’s accuracy is given by its last non-zero digit starting from the right.” This useful tidbit comes from Stanislas Dehaene, The Number Sense: how the mind creates mathematics (Oxford 2d ed. 2011) at 95. I have taken to task false precision in survey results (See my post of Aug. 30, 2006: metrics with false precision.).

More Twitter followers and referrals. I note a steady increase in the number of readers who come here from Twitter, amounting to 5-10 a day. I can’t tell how they see my posts, or the Twitterized form of the posts, but they arrive. To try to figure it out, I looked at my followers and was surprised to find that there are 536. Nine months ago there were 344 so I may come close to doubling the number in a year (See my post of Feb. 3, 2011 #3: on 25 Twitter group lists and 344 followers.).