Friday, March 04, 2005

Sitting in Judgement

I've been doing tests all week the whole day long - tests with people, which are part of my diploma thesis. I'm exhausted.

What I conducted was a 'comparative test'. Say you have a way of doing things, a method A, and a method B, which you want to compare. So you get teams of two and have them use method A or B, in equal numbers, and then see which one does better.

In our case, method A was ours, and so we have a vested interest in seeing it do better. We don't let that influence us.

Now there was this guy. From the moment we started, he rubbed me the wrong way. He wasn't taking this seriously at all. I mean, a little levity is OK, but he was just too much. He forgot the instructions as fast as I told them, didn't pay attention, and accordingly did horribly in the test.

I was really aggravated at the guy. I felt that he had treated me with extreme disrespect by botching it up so badly. Did I mention that he was assigned to method A? I imagined myself saying to him "next time we do this, I'll know better to assign you to the side of the test that's supposed to come out worse" and got even angrier.

A night's worth of tossing and turning later, I was driving to my university and as I thought about the day before I found myself imagining not telling him what I'd had in mind. And I felt better, because I found out that I had something far more sinister and more powerful than disrespect, or distractedness.

I had an opinion.

And nobody could take that away from me. With a warm fuzzy feeling I drove to my university, toward another day of watching people doing brilliantly on method B and like cave men on A.


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