not a spreadsheet kind of guy (part II)

By JohnnyZ on April 25, 2013//Leave a comment

Getting back to my post about how the economies of the Western world almost slid into oblivion based on an Excel coding error:


Paul Krugman led off his excellent piece with the following paragraph:


“In this age of information, math errors can lead to disaster. NASA’s Mars Orbiter crashed because engineers forgot to convert to metric measurements; JPMorgan Chase’s “London Whale” venture went bad in part because modelers divided by a sum instead of an average.

So, did an Excel coding error destroy the economies of the Western world?” [italics — and glee — added]


You bet your sweet bippy, it did!


Now, back I go thinking of irritating but fun interruptions for my staff.


— Mr. Pointy-Haired Boss

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  1. Edgar Hamilton

    Did you know the space shuttle is off course 98% of the time yet has never failed to reach its destination? There is a metaphor for life somewhere in that.

    • JohnnyZ

      Edgar – I love your metaphor. Let’s analyze: we are always just a little bit off-course…we are shuttling to nowhere…we will never get where we think we want to go…space the final frontier…our mission to go where no man has gone before…to seek out new…oh well, getting carried away now. Thanks for commenting!

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