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The Art of Being Wrong

Dave Rupert
October 27, 2015

The Art of Being Wrong

Closing Keynote delivered to CSS Dev Conf. An epic conference aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach California.

This talk is more or less the summation of 6 months worth of nights and evenings pondering web design and community.

I'll try to explain not-so-obvious things here:

BORG UX: What if we're the 1st Gen Borg. A connected species that can disseminate information (and mis-information) immediately? What does that mean when we posture our language with fake facts.

Alan Alda something something killed dinosaurs.

Hitler

The Donald Trump Effect: Why is it the loudest, most persistent, and most brazen voices are considered "correct"? This is actually something Hitler talked about.

The man pointing at the map is Robert McNamara. A very data-driven man. You can learn more about that in the documentary "The Fog of War" https://archive.org/details/TheFogOfWarElevenLessonsFromTheLifeOfRobertS.Mcnamara - He helped fight Nazis using data. He also was blinded by data during the Vietnam War, which led to a senseless loss of life.

My feelings on the Hurk-Jerk of Critical Path Rendering http://daverupert.com/2015/10/on-hurk-jerk/

Turds.

I heard Cap Watkins on Developer Tea say (paraphrasing) "My blog is a documentation of my thoughts." I really liked that. https://www.developertea.com/episodes/17553

Jeremy Keith isn't talking to Cap Watkins, he's quoting the Incredible Hulk.

"Well Actually..." was a slide where I talked about our Industry's insatiable desire to be right and how it affects gender diversity in our industry. Women speakers I know have been chastised after their talks about anything and everything. Even facts that they know to be true. It's a ridiculous unconscious bias.

It's okay to let people be wrong. Just let them be wrong. Try it out. Seriously. Let them. No big deal. Life will go on.

Let's have better discussions not pundit opinions.

THE END.

Dave Rupert

October 27, 2015
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Transcript

  1. Dave Rupert @davatron5000
    THE ART OF
    BEING WRONG

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  2. http://shoptalkshow.com

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  3. http://godaytrip.com

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  4. THE EXTRAORDINARY
    PRESSURE OF BEING RIGHT

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  5. HTML CSS
    JavaScript

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  6. HTML CSS JS Accessibility SVG
    Web
    Animation API
    CSS
    Animations
    SVG
    Animations
    Typography React Radium
    Pattern
    Libraries
    Web
    Components
    Container
    Queries
    RWD Fractals WebPerf
    Data
    Visualization
    Regression
    Testing
    CSS
    Architecture
    Level 4
    Selectors
    Bower Open Source SMACSS
    Sass Grunt GSAP
    Continuous
    Integration
    TDD Flexbox

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  7. …AND THAT’S JUST STUFF
    FROM THIS CONFERENCE

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  8. “I JUST WANT TO ADD TWO NUMBERS BUT I
    HAVE TO DEAL WITH ALL THESE TAPE REELS.”

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  9. What if we’re all
    connected to a giant
    shared source of
    knowledge and what if
    everything in that
    machine isn’t always
    correct?

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  10. “FACTS” &
    “MUST DOs”

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  11. THIS IDEA MUST DIE

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  12. “The idea that things are either true or false should
    possibly take a rest …. I wonder, and this is just a
    modest proposal, if scientific truth should be
    identified in a way that acknowledges that it's
    something we know and understand for now – and
    in a certain way.”
    - Alan Alda

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  13. THIS IDEA MUST DIE

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  14. Sometimes wrong is wrong

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  15. HUMANS ARE GOOD AT
    DETECTING BULLSHIT.
    93% ACCURACY.

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  16. THAT WAS A LIE.
    IT’S MORE LIKE 53%
    SAME AS A COIN TOSS.

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  17. The Donald Trump Effect

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  18. BALONEY DETECTION KIT

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  19. Baloney Detection Kit
    • Wherever possible there must be
    independent confirmation of the facts.
    • Encourage substantive debate on the
    evidence by knowledgeable proponents of
    all points of view.
    • Arguments from authority carry little
    weight.
    • Spin more than one hypothesis
    • Try not to get overly attached to a
    hypothesis just because it's yours.
    • Quantify, wherever possible.
    • If there is a chain of argument every link
    in the chain must work.
    • Occam's razor - if there are two
    hypotheses that explain the data equally
    well choose the simpler.
    • Ask whether the hypothesis can, at least
    in principle, be falsified. In other words, it
    is testable? Can others duplicate the
    experiment and get the same result?

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  20. Logical Fallacies
    • Ad hominem
    • Argument from "authority"
    • Argument from adverse consequences
    • Appeal to ignorance
    • Special pleading
    • Begging the question.
    • Observational selection.
    • Statistics of small numbers.
    • Misunderstanding the nature of
    statistics
    • Inconsistency
    • Non sequitur
    • Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    • Meaningless question
    • Excluded middle
    • Short-term v. long-term
    • Slippery slope
    • Confusion of correlation and causation
    • Caricaturing (or stereotyping) a position
    to make it easier to attack.
    • Suppressed evidence or half-truths.
    • Weasel words

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  21. WARNING:
    Playing in the role of In-Person Baloney Detection Kit at a party
    or online doesn’t make you a popular nor does it make you a
    person that people want to actually listen to or be around. Use
    judgement and “social tact” at all times.

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  22. “Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it's yours.
    It's only a way station in the pursuit of knowledge. Ask yourself why
    you like the idea. Compare it fairly with the alternatives. See if you
    can find reasons for rejecting it. If you don't, others will.”
    - Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit from “The Demon Haunted
    World”

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  23. How we become wrong

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  24. The
    #HOTDRAMA
    Trap

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  25. The
    #HOTDRAMA
    Trap

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  26. Have a really strong opinion
    about a really niche topic

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  27. vs PostCSS
    Sass
    vs SASS
    Sass
    vs SVG Sprites
    Icon Fonts
    vs React Inline Styles
    Cascading Style Sheets
    vs ???
    Hamburger Menus
    vs Any modern web
    development practice
    basically?
    Progressive Enhancement

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  28. Strong opinions are great,
    but they can create
    a blind spot

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  29. “Discussions are always worth having. Weighing options is
    always interesting. Demonstrating what has worked (and
    what hasn't) for you is always useful. There are ways to
    communicate that don't resort to dogmatism.”
    - Chris Coyier “The Gray Gray Ghost That I Call Home”

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  30. “The Gray”

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  31. What does the data say?

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  32. 1. Empathize with your enemy
    2. Rationality will not save us
    3. There's something beyond one's self
    4. Maximize efficiency
    5. Proportionality should be a guideline in war
    6. Get the data
    7. Belief and seeing are often both wrong
    8. Be prepared to re-examine your reasoning
    9. In order to do good, you may have to engage in evil
    10. Never say never
    11. You can't change human nature

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  33. McNamara’s Fallacy

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  34. The first step is to measure whatever can be easily measured. This is OK
    as far as it goes. The second step is to disregard that which can't be
    easily measured or to give it an arbitrary quantitative value. This is
    artificial and misleading. The third step is to presume that what can't be
    measured easily really isn't important. This is blindness. The fourth step
    is to say that what can't be easily measured really doesn't exist. This is
    suicide.
    — Daniel Yankelovich "Corporate Priorities: A continuing study of the
    new demands on business." (1972)

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  35. The first step is to measure whatever can be easily measured. This is OK
    as far as it goes. The second step is to disregard that which can't be
    easily measured or to give it an arbitrary quantitative value. This is
    artificial and misleading. The third step is to presume that what can't be
    measured easily really isn't important. This is blindness. The fourth step
    is to say that what can't be easily measured really doesn't exist. This is
    suicide.
    — Daniel Yankelovich "Corporate Priorities: A continuing study of the
    new demands on business." (1972)

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  36. The first step is to measure whatever can be easily measured. This is OK
    as far as it goes. The second step is to disregard that which can't be
    easily measured or to give it an arbitrary quantitative value. This is
    artificial and misleading. The third step is to presume that what can't be
    measured easily really isn't important. This is blindness. The fourth step
    is to say that what can't be easily measured really doesn't exist. This is
    suicide.
    — Daniel Yankelovich "Corporate Priorities: A continuing study of the
    new demands on business." (1972)

    View full-size slide

  37. The first step is to measure whatever can be easily measured. This is OK
    as far as it goes. The second step is to disregard that which can't be
    easily measured or to give it an arbitrary quantitative value. This is
    artificial and misleading. The third step is to presume that what can't be
    measured easily really isn't important. This is blindness. The fourth step
    is to say that what can't be easily measured really doesn't exist. This is
    suicide.
    — Daniel Yankelovich "Corporate Priorities: A continuing study of the
    new demands on business." (1972)

    View full-size slide

  38. The first step is to measure whatever can be easily measured. This is OK
    as far as it goes. The second step is to disregard that which can't be
    easily measured or to give it an arbitrary quantitative value. This is
    artificial and misleading. The third step is to presume that what can't be
    measured easily really isn't important. This is blindness. The fourth step
    is to say that what can't be easily measured really doesn't exist. This is
    suicide.
    — Daniel Yankelovich "Corporate Priorities: A continuing study of the
    new demands on business." (1972)

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  39. CHASING METRICS

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  40. BEHOLD THE PINNACLE OF
    MODERN DAY WEB DESIGN!

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  41. Good, but…

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  42. Compare two turds, user still gets a turd.

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  43. INCREASE CONVERSION
    RATE BY 22%

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  44. CONVERSION DOESN’T
    ALWAYS EQUAL GOOD

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  45. Allowing myself and
    others to be wrong

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  46. Yes… And…
    My new Open Source philosophy

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  47. Blogging
    The ancient art of expressing your feelings

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  48. 0
    5
    10
    15
    20
    25
    2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 DRAFTS
    DAVERUPERT.COM POSTS BY YEAR
    Posts

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  49. “That’s my secret, Cap – I’m always publishing.
    (Seriously though; treat your blog as your drafts folder)”
    - Jeremy Keith on Twitter

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  50. Well Actually…

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  51. Promote better
    discussions

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  52. Parallax is dumb.

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  53. I am of the opinion that parallax is dumb.

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  54. I am of the opinion that parallax is a waste of time
    and resources in order to achieve an effect that
    users are already immune to and has terrible
    scrolling performance in a multi-device world.

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  55. Now we can have a
    discussion!

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  56. Go forth and fight Nazis!

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  57. Thanks!
    Dave Rupert @davatron5000

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