Information Overload

I was just listening to Vermont Public Radio. They were discussing the brain and one thing the guest said was that too much information can be a bad thing; it can slow us down and interfere with decision making. 

While that may seem counter-intuitive, it agrees with what Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his book, Blink. 

In one of his chapters he discusses the challenge of a hospital in the poor area of Chicago. This hospital by the way was the model for the tv show, ER. 

Anyway, the problem was how to correctly identify patients with chest pain who were actually having a heart attack; many symptoms are similar to anxiety for example. 

At the time, the standard procedure was to do a heart test, ask a bunch of questions, and keep the patient for observation, which was expensive, took a lot of time, and was not very accurate. 

It turns out, one doctor named Goldman, had devised a procedure where a heart test is administered and a few simple questions are asked. 

Many doctors thought this was ridiculous. How could doctors ignore such serious conditions as age and stress related situations, for example.

It turns out the Goldman Index, as the test was called, was simpler, faster, and more accurate than previous tests, because of the data it ignored! See Goldman Index

I am interested in this research because it agrees with the approach I use to tune a piano aurally. 

I have devised a temperament sequence I call Bisecting Beat Speed Windows, BBSW. In this sequence, there are objective tests that are used to set each pitch. But for each note, there is only one test. Mathematically, we can have very many different tests for each note, especially as we have more and more notes tuned. But with this method, only one test is needed for each note. 

What’s more is that after the temperament is finished, most tuners will use a multitude of tests and checks to find and correct notes that need correcting. Learning all these tests takes quite a long time, and it takes a long time to administer them. 

With the BBSW method, only one test is used to set a note, and if that note needs correcting after the whole temperament is tuned, I only use that one test to retune that note. 

The method is clear, objective, and concise. There are far less tests to learn and administer, and the result is a faster, simpler temperament sequence that is more accurate than many popular sequences; I often finish a sequence and have no refinements to do. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Bisecting Beat Speed Windiw temperament sequence, please contact me using the contact link above. 

Thanks for reading. 

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