Be Resilient, Part III: How to Measure Resiliency

Resilience measures the degree of shock needed to cause a perturbation. Agility measures avoidance of perturbation. Resiliency measures recovery from perturbation.

“Resiliency” has been similarly defined by

Resiliency is the ability to spring back from and successfully adapt to adversity.

Resiliency is a function of perturbation and is measured in production-factors and time. That is, the concept of “resiliency” only makes sense in the context of the set-back or disaster. So for example, New Orleans may have had very high resiliency against category four hurricanes, but very little resiliency against Katrina-class hurricanes.

Resiliency is a two-dimensional (or co-ordinational) number, with one ordinate measuring time to recovery and the other measuring the amount of labor, capital, and land needed to recover. For instance, say your house burns down and you are cash-rich but uninsured— your resiliency factor may be very good in time but very bad in resources (you can buy a new house in cash, but it will take a significant portion of your resources). Alternatively, take another person who may be cash-poor but well insured. His resiliency would be poor on the time-axis (because he would have to wait for the insurance check to arrive) but very good on the resources side (if the house is insured for replacement value, he may actually earn on the disaster).

Green has gone time-resiliency but Red has more resource-resiliency. How can we tell who has more resiliency?

A draw-back of a two-dimensional measure of resiliency is that it is hard to say which person would have more or less “resiliency.” Because different people will have different indifferent curves. For instance, under depending on indifferent curves used, each of these people may have greater resiliency!

Both Green and Red are on the good side of their private resiliency curves, but how can we tell who has more resiliency?

A single, objective measure of resiliency can be gained by determining a resiliency-value along each point from the resource-intercept (which is determined by how much time-resiliency someone has if he has zero resource-resiliency) and the time-intercept (which is determined by how much resource-resiliency someone has if he has zero-time resiliency). Then, take the area, and you have someone’s (or some organization’s) resiliency number. While one’s resiliency preference may be different from another, a researcher can now measures someone’s total resiliency.

Similarly, when Enterra CEO Stephen DeAngelis discusses “degrees of resiliency” among Muslim charities, the above definition of resiliency gives us a straight-forward way to objectively compare resiliency among Islamic responders.

Of course, why resiliency should be measured is a question for another time…

Be Resilient, a tdaxp series
1. How to Measure Resilience
2. How to Measure Agility
3. How to Measure Resiliency
4. The Importance of Measurement

Another Reason to Despise the Republican Congress

House Votes to Outlaw Horse Slaughter,” by Libby Quaid, Associated Press, 7 September 2006, (from Democratic Underground).

The United States is the world’s oldest and most successful multinational economic and political union in the world” – “50 members strong.” The founding fathers gave us the wonderful system of federalism, which allows Massachusetts to experiment with Left-wing governance, South Dakota to experiment with Right-wing governance, and everyone else to judge the success or failure for themselves. Federalism rejects the failed notion of Modernity — the idea that there is One Right Way For Everyone Best Decided By Experts — and instead returns decision making to distributed and (informally as possible) networked centers of control.

But if you’re a House Republican, you don’t care about what those old fogeys thought, do you?

The House brushed aside objections from horse doctors and the White House and voted Thursday to outlaw slaughtering horses for people to eat.

“It is one of the most inhumane, brutal, shady practices going on in the U.S. today,” said Rep. John Sweeney, R-N.Y., a sponsor of the ban.

Sweeney argued that the slaughter of horses is different from the slaughter of cattle and chickens because horses, such as Mr. Ed, Secretariat and Silver, are American icons.

Mr. Ed Could Not Really Talk. The Show Was a Sitcom, Not a Documentary

In case that didn’t make you want to kill yourself, the House Republicans tried even more:

Added Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn.: “The way a society treats its animals, particularly horses, speaks to the core values and morals of its citizens.”

The administration had the backing of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the biggest horse doctors’ group. The American Quarter Horse Association also supports the practice.

It is hard to conceive of any action that more clearly ignores the 10th Amendment to the Constitution

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Did the Congress, aware that horse-butchery was not an issue which Jefferson, Madison, & Co. were unprepared to trust the wisdom of distant federal officials, stay out of the matter, allowing the People in the several States to act?
Did the Congress, aware that horse-butchery was not an issue which Jefferson, Madison, & Co. were unprepared to trust the wisdom of distant federal officials, stay out of the matter, allowing the People to directly act, supporting horse-butchery or not as was their conscious?

For that matter, did Congress realize that a literalist interpretation of Mr. Ed may lead to spurious laws?

Nope. Instead a worthless, nanny-state law of the worst sort.

Don’t Vote Republican. Vote Democrat.

A September 10th Mindset

Tortured screams ring out as Iraqis take over Abu Ghraib,” by Ali Saber and Gethin Chamberlain, Telegraph, 10 September 2006,

Mediators in Kosovo: ‘Serbs are guilty as nation’,” Regnum, 11 September 2006,

If George Walker Bush had meant “Mission Accomplished” when he said it, we would be living in a better world.

If George Walker Bush had meant “Democracy for Iraq” when he said it, we would be living in a better world.

Instead, George Walker Bush meant accomplishment and democracy in Clintonian terms. George Bush has a September 11th mindset. His foreign policy, a near-clone of Clinton’s, prepared for a Kosovarization of Iraq. The will of a majority would be postponed indefinitely, and a multinational force would indefinitely occupy the country to protect the remnants of the Master-Class of a once slave society.

Bush’s post-“Victory” goal in Iraq was the same as Clinton’s post-“Victory” goal in Kosovo: the prevention of a limited genocide Clinton and Bush pulled out the thorns that annoyed our nation since the dawning of a New World Order — the wolves of Milosevic and Hussein, who snarled at their cages and used their imprisoned claws to spread misery to their neighbors.

It didn’t work for Clinton

[The UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Kosovo Marti Ahtisaari] said that a group of experts will visit Belgrade shortly and he hopes that they in Belgrade will show a positive attitude to these proposals. During the press conference, Ahtisaari dismissed the charges of the Serbian delegation that during his Aug 8 with them he told them that “the Serbs are guilty as a nation.” Particularly, Ahtisaari said that the Belgrade authorities should understand that the Milosevic policy (“historical legacy”) should be “taken into consideration” during the determination of Kosovo status and that “each nation in the world has its guilt and must pay for it.” The Serbian side responded to this by severe criticism of Ahtisaari’s mediation. They said that, in fact, this position predetermines the possible decision on Kosovo status and expressed indignation at the fact that the Serbian delegation’s Aug 10 official protest was left unanswered.


It didn’t work for Bush

An independent witness who went into Abu Ghraib this week told The Sunday Telegraph that screams were coming from the cell blocks housing the terrorist suspects. Prisoners released from the jail this week spoke of routine torture of terrorism suspects and on Wednesday, 27 prisoners were hanged in the first mass execution since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Conditions in the rest of the jail were grim, with an overwhelming stench of excrement, prisoners crammed into cells for all but 20 minutes a day, food rations cut to just rice and water and no air conditioning.

Some of the small number of prisoners who remained in the jail after the Americans left said they had pleaded to go with their departing captors, rather than be left in the hands of Iraqi guards.

The Americans were better than the Iraqis. They treated us better,” said Khalid Alaani, who was held on suspicion of involvement in Sunni terrorism.


As Tom Barnett recently quipped, we will apply the “Yugoslav Solution Set” to Iraq. The Solution Set ends with the dismemberment of a State along ethnic lines, which is good. The Solution Set bogs down for years before this, however, pretending one can export a liberla society to an illiberal land.

If there is hope in this, it is that the world’s ears are deaf to the Orthodox Serb and Sunni Arab victims of their compatriots. We take so much grief to the criminal exuberance of a very few — think Abu Ghraib and Haditha — but the easy war for winning insurgencies against minorities — let the locals do it — happens anyway.

As American troops come home from Iraq — and our Qaedaist and Baathist enemies lose — we must not forget those who are our friends. Not because we, or they, pretend to be kind. But because we and they are going in the same direction. And we must think, as we plan if not as they act, of the wonders those locals can do.

Our enemies and the states who harbor them — the Baathists of Syria, the Qaedist-spawning despotisms of Egypt and Saudiyya — can be washed away by the Muslim Brothers and the Shia.

Islam, now more than ever, is the answer.

That’s the September 11th mindset.