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Re: Is this bad design ?

From: Marshall Spight <>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 23:09:18 GMT
Message-ID: <ueN3c.934$YG.7776@attbi_s01>

"Dawn M. Wolthuis" <> wrote in message news:c2nj16$cm3$
> >
> > Well, uh, that's sort of why we don't use paper systems any more. That was
> > as good as it could get. Even they had indexing systems which, in some
> > cases, resembled aspects of relations. Unless in order to find a piece of
> > paper X you'd suggest they just go hierarchically through every folder...
> >
> It is useful, however, to understand how a human brain organizes data.

I don't believe that "how a human brain organizes data" is the least bit well-understood.

> There are areas where we want the computer to improve on the brain, such as
> in accurate aggregations, but there are other areas where an RDBMS pales in
> comparison to what the brain is capable of doing. If you decide you need to
> search not just on last name but on substrings in the department name, as in
> Ben's example, the brain adapts to this change quickly while an RDBMS does
> not.

In what way does simply changing the name of the column in the where clause of an sql query not quickly adapting?

> Just as children learn how to speak before they formally learn the rules of
> language, people learn how to organize data (propositions and related
> predicates, for example) before they formally learn how to organize it. If
> the formalization of the data organization is decidedly different from the
> organization that we learn naturally, it might be worth questioning both,
> right? smiles. --dawn

That's very Rousseau of you, but I consider it anti-intellectual. People are not naturally logical, nor kind, nor polite, nor literate, nor numerate. They have to be taught these things, and they have to study to master them.

For centuries, people rejected the concept of zero, and it took more centuries to accept the concept of negative numbers. Negative number are definitely *not* "natural" but they are still extraordinarily useful.

Marshall Received on Wed Mar 10 2004 - 17:09:18 CST

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