Taking a break from daily posts

I’ll post here when there’s industry or Standards news to circulate, but otherwise I’m taking a break from daily posts here for a little while (until I can find my next posting gimmick to keep me motivated….).

On that note:  AS2885.5 Field Pressure Testing is OPEN FOR PUBLIC COMMENT, closing on Thursday April 23.


AS 3862 – 2020 Revision Published

The latest edition of AS 3862 – External fusion-bonded epoxy coating for steel pipes, has been published.

It’s available from Standards Australia distributors – SAI Global, and TechStreet.



(As at the time of writing this, on the official publish date of 9-April-2020, the Standards Australia website takes you to TechStreet, which only had the 2002 version available.  Going directly to SAI Global Infostore (the previous exclusive distributor, prior to 2018), they provide the latest 2020 version.  Oops on TechStreet.  Possibly that’s been fixed by the time you read this and need to buy it.  Anyway, same price.  Hopefully you can access the 2020 version through a company subscription).




The Simplicity Cycle

This is the book description for a book I heard about just today, “The Simplicity Cycle”.  I wanted to remember to put it on my booklist to read, and thought that posting it here might help to remind me to do that.  The concept sounds really applicable to a lot of things (like, writing Standards, maybe?)


Humans make things every day, whether it’s composing an e-mail, cooking a meal, or constructing the Mars Rover. While complexity is often necessary in the development process, unnecessary complexity adds complications. The Simplicity Cycle provides the secret to striking the proper balance. Dan Ward shines a light on how complexity affects the things we make for good or ill, taking us on a journey through the process of making things, with a particular focus on identifying and avoiding complexity-related pitfalls.

The standard development process involves increasing complexity to improve the outcome, Ward explains. The problem comes when the complexity starts getting in the way—but often we don’t know where that point is until we pass it. He suggests a number of techniques for identifying the problem and fixing it, including how to overcome several types of wrongheaded thinking—such as the idea that complexity and quality are the same. In clear, compelling language, and using his trademark mix of examples from research, personal experience, and pop culture, Ward offers a universal concept, visually described with a single, evolving diagram.

Ideal for business leaders and technologists, The Simplicity Cycle is helpful for anyone looking to simplify and improve everything we do, whether we work in an office, at home, or at the Pentagon.






“I learned photography through a variety of methods. … But, most of all, I learned through one simple method:  I took over 100,000 photos that first year.  I never enrolled in a photography class.  I didn’t read books on how to become a better photographer.  I just committed to relentless experimentation.  This “learning by doing” approach embodies … the third principle of ultralearning:  directness.

Directness is the practice of learning by directly doing the thing you want to learn.  Basically, it’s improvement through active practice rather than through passive learning.  The phrases learning something new and practicing something new may seem similar, but these two methods can produce profoundly different results.  Passive learning creates knowledge.  Active practice creates skill.

  • From pg xi, Ultralearning by Scott H. Young.


Also:  “We learn who we are in practise, not in theory.”  H. Barnes (couldn’t verify this), also by David Epstein, in “Range”.

“Purpose” vs “Passion”


You’re Not Meant to Do What You Love – You’re meant to do what you’re good at

We’re doing people an incredible disservice by telling them they should seek, and pursue, what they love.  People usually can’t differentiate what they really love and what they love the idea of.  But more importantly, you are not meant to do what you love.  You are meant to do what you’re skilled at.

Imagine an aspiring doctor with a low IQ but a lot of “passion.” That person rightly wouldn’t make it through medical school, and you wouldn’t want them to. And if that person didn’t know better, an inferiority complex would ensue, prompting a lifetime of bitterness and feeling like a failure.

Premeditating what we think we’d love to do without actually being in the thick of it is the beginning of the problem, and having too much ego to scrap it and start over is the end. When we try to anticipate what we’d love, we’re running on a projection, an assumption. Almost everybody believes they have the talent to succeed at the thing they really love. Needless to say, not everybody is correct.

If everybody did what they thought they loved, the important things wouldn’t get done. To function as a society, there are labors that are necessary. Someone has to do them. Is that person robbed of a life of passion, because they had to choose a life of skill and purpose? No, of course not.

You can choose what you love to do, simply by how you think of it and what you focus on.  Everything is work.  Everything is work.  Everything is work.  There are few jobs that are fundamentally “easier” than others, whether by virtue of manual labor or brainpower.  There is only finding a job that suits you enough that the work doesn’t feel excruciating.  There is only finding what you are skilled at, and then learning to be thankful.


By Brianna Wiest on Medium, 26/07/2016


AS2885.5 Pressure Testing – PC 23/04

Out for public comment now is AS 2885.5 Field Pressure Testing.

Public commenting for Part 5 closes on Thursday April 23.

(If you’d still like to make comments on Part 3, and it’s before April 15th that you read this, please get in touch and we’ll make a plan.)


#notmywords:  from Public Comment Draft of AS2885.5:

This Standard was prepared by the Australian members of the joint Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand Committee ME-038, Petroleum Pipelines, to supersede AS/NZS 2885.5:2012, Pipelines—Gas and liquid petroleum, Part 5: Field pressure testing.

After consultation with stakeholders in both countries, Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand decided to develop this Standard as an Australian Standard rather than an Australian/New Zealand Standard.

The inclusion of roles and responsibilities in this Standard was approved by the Standards Development and Accreditation Committee on 1 May 2015, as a one-off exemption to the directives of Standardization Guide 009: Preparation of Standards for Legislative Adoption.

The objective of this Standard is to set out methods for the determination of the strength and the leak tightness of a pipeline test section. This Standard forms part of the AS(/NZS) 2885 series and as such refers to text in other parts of this series.

Definitions used in this Standard and throughout the series are now listed in AS 2885.0.

The major changes in this revision are as follows:
(a) Alignment with AS/NZS 2885.1.
(b) Revision of definitions.
(c) Amplification of Strength test Type 2.
(d) Amendment of the reporting requirements.
(e) Relocation of Appendix P, Test section analysis using engineering software, to Part 1 of this series ( AS/NZS 2885.1).
(f) Revision of Appendix N, Safety in Pressure Testing, including the method of determining exclusion zones.
(g) Deletion of the supplementary leak test method.
(h) Clarification of the requirements for measuring instruments.

Small caps have been used throughout this document to indicate terms that are defined in Clause 1.3 and in AS 2885.0:2018 (e.g. calibration).

Although “may”, “should” and “shall” are defined terms, they do not appear in small caps. FULL CAPS have been used throughout this document to indicate abbreviations listed in Clause 1.5.

The terms “normative” and “informative” are used in Standards to define the application of the appendices to which they apply. A “normative” appendix is an integral part of a Standard, whereas an “informative” appendix is only for information and guidance.




Here’s some commentary from W Hughson, #notmywords:

“I watched an episode of The Big Bang Theory last night and one of the lines not only made me laugh out loud but also put me in mind of one of your recent  posts (Software Black Boxes, Jan-30);

The Big Bang Theory Season 11, Episode 8:

Howard: I guess it was pretty smart using our quantum technology as the basis for a communication system.
Leonard: Be even better if he swapped out the helium for xenon.
Howard: Ooh. So instead of having to keep it at negative 271 degrees, you’d only have to keep it at negative 108. It would be way more efficient.
Leonard: And xenon has a bigger nucleus, so coherence would make it an easier signal to see.
Howard: You’re brilliant!
Leonard: We should tell Sheldon.
Howard: You’re an idiot! We don’t tell Sheldon. We go to the military behind his back and we screw him like he screwed us.
Leonard: All right, you’re right, you’re right, we don’t need him. We can do this all on our own.
Howard: Do you think you can do the math?
Leonard: No. But if someone else does it, I can double check the crap out of it.”



SYSK: The Scientific Method

One of the podcasts I listen to is “Stuff You Should Know” (SYSK).  A couple of guys cover many many interesting things on that podcast, and sometimes it’s not interesting things.  And sometimes their banter is tiring, but anyway, there are also many gems.

The January 25, 2020 edition was a replay from 2015, covering the Scientific Method. And it just got me thinking that we probably should remind ourselves about it, and perhaps even use it more often than maybe we do.

The scientific method is beautiful and elegant and simple.

But, these days, we might wonder whether it is being used properly or, is it being misused, and have we lost the formality of it in communicating information, facts, and, well, science.

Science is a practical endeavour, encompassing observation, and experimentation.

It’s about discovery, and asking questions.

As a reminder, the core steps of the scientific method are (the below is from the Khan Academy website):

The scientific method has five basic steps, plus one feedback step:
    1. Make an observation.
    2. Ask a question.
    3. Form a hypothesis, or testable explanation.
    4. Make a prediction based on the hypothesis.
    5. Test the prediction.
    6. Iterate: use the results to make new hypotheses or predictions.

The results of a test (Step 5) may either support or contradict—oppose—a hypothesis. Results that support a hypothesis can’t conclusively prove that it’s correct, but they do mean it’s likely to be correct. On the other hand, if results contradict a hypothesis, that hypothesis is probably not correct. Unless there was a flaw in the test—a possibility we should always consider—a contradictory result means that we can discard the hypothesis and look for a new one.

You cannot however PROVE conclusively a hypothesis or theory. Every theory and hypothesis is simply “not disproven” There is no such thing as a proven anything in science. The scientific method is a process developed to provide explanation for observable facts. Over time facts have become more definable because of the method, i.e.: old question, “Why is the sky blue?”, new question, “Why does the atmosphere appear blue to the observer?”

This is a systematic, methodical, repeatable ‘agreed way of working’: you have your idea, you pose a question, put a hypothesis out there, and then go about trying to prove or disproving it.  It’s the prove/disproving step that separates the “scientific method” from simple scientific enquiry.

And I found this, in the associated “How Stuff Works” website, with the heading “Limitations of the Scientific Method“:

Clearly, the scientific method is a powerful tool, but it does have its limitations. These limitations are based on the fact that a hypothesis must be testable and falsifiable and that experiments and observations be repeatable. This places certain topics beyond the reach of the scientific method. Science cannot prove or refute the existence of God or any other supernatural entity. Sometimes, scientific principles are used to try to lend credibility to certain nonscientific ideas, such as intelligent design. Intelligent design is the assertion that certain aspects of the origin of the universe and life can be explained only in the context of an intelligent, divine power. Proponents of intelligent design try to pass this concept off as a scientific theory to make it more palatable to developers of public school curriculums. But intelligent design is not science because the existence of a divine being cannot be tested with an experiment.

Science is also incapable of making value judgments. It cannot say global warming is bad, for example. It can study the causes and effects of global warming and report on those results, but it cannot assert that driving SUVs is wrong or that people who haven’t replaced their regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs are irresponsible. Occasionally, certain organizations use scientific data to advance their causes. This blurs the line between science and morality and encourages the creation of “pseudo-science,” which tries to legitimize a product or idea with a claim that has not been subjected to rigorous testing.