Scott, you have an amazing insight into what has been termed "Traditional Reliability Engineering". For the past several decades, "reliability engineers" in electronics believe they can use fundamentally flawed data, to give a failure rate which has no connection with why electronics fail or physical cause, and come up with a meaningless "MTBF" (Mean Time Between Failure) number. This delusional thinking dominates today, and cost electronic companies significant dollars in the "hidden factory" of rework and redesign after a product is in production. Someday these companies may realize they could test to find the weaknesses early and make a robust product with sometimes a small low cost change, instead of having a product failures or a recall later. Of course the "traditional reliability engineer" has his advantages, he can make up any number he likes, using what ever "hallucinated assumptions" prediction method (MIL HNDBK 217 and their progeny), and 3-5 years from now, when the failures start to show up in the field, no one will question the prediction. I have been fighting this absurd thinking for decades, but management still "kinda does" want to keep the delusion going.
You hit the nail on the head. Best strip you have ever created! Keep up the great work!
Quote from a higher up: "I don't care if the figures are wrong, as long as they are consistently so. I don't like hick-ups." The other one I like was: "Take some of the projected figures from April and move them to March. That way we'll have met our quota for the FY. April we can explain away."
"Hallucinated assumptions" are a bit like the figures the UK government say are maximum safe limits for consumption of alcohol. The originators of the figures admitted nearly three years ago that they were not based on any science and were "plucked out of the air." Actual scientific research shows that the optimum amount of alcohol to consume for a healthy life is about 25% above the government-recommended maximum and that you'd have to drink three times more than the upper limit to have a life expectancy as short as that of a teetotaler.
In spite of that, the made-up figures are still being treated by the government, media and medical profession as gospel. The government like the figures as it gives them an excuse, as if they needed one, to increase excise duty on alcohol. I've no idea why the others seem to believe the lies, I suppose they must be even more stupid than the PHB.