Day 138: Garbage in, structure out

I’m a little confused today.  Possibly because I’ve been spending leisure time reading a novel by Bohumil Hrabal, Too Loud a Solitude, on the recommendation of a friend.  Effective novels always make me confused (maybe I use the wrong criteria…)  But also there seem to be a lot of things in my head, which makes the plight of the protagonist of said novel resonate with me. 

At work, I’ve been moved onto another project, for which I’m even less qualified than that I started on.  I say this online with impunity, not fearing that my bosses might read it, because I’ve told them this repeatedly myself.  OK, so technically the thing they want me to do now is still semiotic in the broad sense, but now it involves trying to decode information out of what’s essentially an extremely vague input. 

What bugs me is that I tell them they should get a combinatorialist onto the problem, because they need to predict how much of the complex structure in this input arises by chance.  They respond to this by telling me that they’re sure I’m up to the job.  That is, the response doesn’t address the actual problem, which is that they’re asking the wrong question, and they should get someone they would respect to explain this to them, because they won’t listen to me.  Curiously if they read this bit, they’ll think I’m just whining.  I should let them get on with it, really – I’m just a contractor, I do the job, I hedge the output around with the appropriate caveats, and if they ignore that more fool them.

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