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Uncertainty and E-Learning

Uncertainty and E-Learning Abstract Uncertainty about the future constitutes the most difficult, but also by far the most important issue mankind is facing. The current state, which is characterized by the global warming, finance crisis and terror illustrates the fact that during the last centuries the future physical and social consequences of decisions for the whole global system have never been checked. One reason is that uncertainty is neglected in science and as a consequence has never been included in a rational way in the decision making processes. Contrary, science teaches that to be “rational”, human beings have to behave like a “homo oeconomicus” who acts to obtain the highest possible well-being for himself. In other words, only the consequences on an individual basis are considered in a shortsighted basis. As a result of the “individual” strategies, all vital systems exhibit an ever increasing instability that endangers individuals, nations and in fact the entire mankind. Dealing and handling appropriately uncertainty is therefore of utmost importance. Unfortunately, contemporary science cannot cope with the complexity of uncertainty because the reduction of complexity by assuming cause-effect relations constitute its foundation. There is only one established, but minor branch of science that pretends to deal with uncertainty namely statistics. Statistics however is an extremely ambiguous branch of science which can be seen from the fact that the question “What is statistics?” has not been answered so far in a satisfactory way (see for instance (Brown, Kass, The American Statistician 63: 105-123, 2009)). During the last two decades a new approach to model, handle and analyze uncertainty has been developed. This approach has been named “Bernoulli Stochastics”, and it represents a well-defined alternative to both traditional sciences such as physics based on determinism and statistics based on a probabilistic approach. Besides the problem of an appropriate approach there is the equally important problem of teaching how to handle uncertainty which raises the question whether or not there are sufficiently qualified teachers available to establish a comprehensive teaching system in the field of uncertainty. As to the newly developed Bernoulli Stochastics the answer must be definitely “no”! However, also for statistics the answer is not at all “yes” as can be seen from the doubtful question posed in a recent article written by a prominent statistician (Meng, The American Statistician 63: 202-210, 2009): “Do we, as a discipline, even have a clear consensus on what constitutes qualifications for being the first quantitative trainers of future generations of scientists, engineers, policy makers, etc.?”. Fortunately, the advances of modern information technology have diminished the problem of lack of qualified teachers by the possibility of web-based E-Learning programs that can be accessed worldwide. This paper is devoted to E-Learning programs in statistics and Bernoulli Stochastics. Firstly, statistics and Bernoulli Stochastics are briefly introduced and subsequently some relevant E-Learning programs are described and compared in order to facilitate the choice for those who are interested in handling, controlling and reducing uncertainty. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Economic Quality Control de Gruyter

Uncertainty and E-Learning

Economic Quality Control , Volume 24 (2) – Oct 1, 2009

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by the
ISSN
1869-6147
eISSN
1869-6147
DOI
10.1515/EQC.2009.157
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract Uncertainty about the future constitutes the most difficult, but also by far the most important issue mankind is facing. The current state, which is characterized by the global warming, finance crisis and terror illustrates the fact that during the last centuries the future physical and social consequences of decisions for the whole global system have never been checked. One reason is that uncertainty is neglected in science and as a consequence has never been included in a rational way in the decision making processes. Contrary, science teaches that to be “rational”, human beings have to behave like a “homo oeconomicus” who acts to obtain the highest possible well-being for himself. In other words, only the consequences on an individual basis are considered in a shortsighted basis. As a result of the “individual” strategies, all vital systems exhibit an ever increasing instability that endangers individuals, nations and in fact the entire mankind. Dealing and handling appropriately uncertainty is therefore of utmost importance. Unfortunately, contemporary science cannot cope with the complexity of uncertainty because the reduction of complexity by assuming cause-effect relations constitute its foundation. There is only one established, but minor branch of science that pretends to deal with uncertainty namely statistics. Statistics however is an extremely ambiguous branch of science which can be seen from the fact that the question “What is statistics?” has not been answered so far in a satisfactory way (see for instance (Brown, Kass, The American Statistician 63: 105-123, 2009)). During the last two decades a new approach to model, handle and analyze uncertainty has been developed. This approach has been named “Bernoulli Stochastics”, and it represents a well-defined alternative to both traditional sciences such as physics based on determinism and statistics based on a probabilistic approach. Besides the problem of an appropriate approach there is the equally important problem of teaching how to handle uncertainty which raises the question whether or not there are sufficiently qualified teachers available to establish a comprehensive teaching system in the field of uncertainty. As to the newly developed Bernoulli Stochastics the answer must be definitely “no”! However, also for statistics the answer is not at all “yes” as can be seen from the doubtful question posed in a recent article written by a prominent statistician (Meng, The American Statistician 63: 202-210, 2009): “Do we, as a discipline, even have a clear consensus on what constitutes qualifications for being the first quantitative trainers of future generations of scientists, engineers, policy makers, etc.?”. Fortunately, the advances of modern information technology have diminished the problem of lack of qualified teachers by the possibility of web-based E-Learning programs that can be accessed worldwide. This paper is devoted to E-Learning programs in statistics and Bernoulli Stochastics. Firstly, statistics and Bernoulli Stochastics are briefly introduced and subsequently some relevant E-Learning programs are described and compared in order to facilitate the choice for those who are interested in handling, controlling and reducing uncertainty.

Journal

Economic Quality Controlde Gruyter

Published: Oct 1, 2009

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