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Re: Do Data Models Need to built on a Mathematical Concept?

From: Paul Vernon <paul.vernon_at_ukk.ibmm.comm>
Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 17:21:13 +0100
Message-ID: <b9be8m$1vs0$3@gazette.almaden.ibm.com>


"Neo" <neo55592_at_hotmail.com> wrote in message news:4b45d3ad.0305061153.1bb6f484_at_posting.google.com...
> > > > > Suppose I want to be able to relate any two things
> > > >
> > > > Well, I just don't see this happening.
> > > > When do you *ever* need to be able to do that?
> > >
> > > Nearly all humans, in the past, now, and in the future do this
> > > practically every single day of their life: related things, any two
> > > things in various types of relations.
> >
> > ...Relating arbitary things is not how the mind works...

>
> My point was not that animals/humans go about relating things
> arbitrarily or for no reason. My point was that they have the ability
> to relate arbitrary things when the situation arises and that such
> situations arise all the time.

And my point is that they do not relate arbitrary things together *all the time*. We are flexible enough to do so when the situation arises, but someone who does it all the time is at a serious disadvantage to his evolutionary competitors.

> > Can I suggest you take a look at the 'Thinking Machines' chapter of Steven
> > Pinker's provocatively titled, but extremely good book: 'How the Mind
Works'.
>
> Thanks.

That's ok. His earlier, breakthrough book - 'The Language Instinct' - may or may not get you better mileage, but I think 'How the Mind Works' will be more directly relevant to you thoughts.

The section 'Little Boxes' in the 'Good Ideas' chapter of 'How the Mind Works' might be good for you too, it gives some arguments for why the mind forms categories. For categories, read domains. Oh, and the Chinese encyclopaedia example there is just hilarious.

Regards
Paul Vernon
Business Intelligence, IBM Global Services Received on Wed May 07 2003 - 11:21:13 CDT

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