Sloping in the Dark
Metaphorical Pun

Copyright 2004 by Paul Niquette, all rights reserved.


 
It is an exceptionally dark night.  You are approaching a remote airport.  All you can make out on the ground are the runway lights...
As you get closer, you notice that the most distant runway lights appear to be increasing in elevation.  If you make no corrections, at touch-down you expect that you will see... 
You quickly decide to make power adjustments and throughout the rest of the approach, you manage to keep the elevation of the most distant runway lights from changing... 

Will you be glad you did that?

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Metaphorical Pun

The title Sloping in the Dark owes its origin to the author's fascination with counter-intuitive difficulties faced by the futurist as exemplified in the book Groping in the Dark: The First Decade of Global Modelling by D. Meadows, John Wiley & Sons (1982), which collects the most significant work at that time in the field of large-scale computer modelling. As we saw in Sloping in the Dark, the runway lights provide information, for sure, but as with all forms of observations and opinions, data and statistics, it takes a model based ultimately on First Principles for meaningful interpretation -- and to avoid pitfalls.