Saturday, April 17, 2010

Myron Tribus "Perversity Principle":

"If you try to improve the performance of a system of people, machines, and procedures by setting numerical goals for the improvement of individual parts of the system, the system will defeat your efforts and you will pay a price where you least expect it."

"Knowledge without know-how is sterile. We use the word 'academic' in a pejorative sense to identify this limitation."

Dr. Tribus taught me thermodynamics and I had the pleasure of meeting him later when I was working in the White House and he was an advisor. He was a memorable person and may have had a wildly disproportionate influence on my career. He was the first person I knew who spoke about operations research, a career I later followed for a decade.

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