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Re: Pizza Example

From: Anthony W. Youngman <>
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 22:01:11 +0100
Message-ID: <>

In message <9%Ycc.9242$>, Eric Kaun <> writes
>> I don't know of any data approaches that have both a solid mathematical
>> model (and no, it will not be both complete and consistent) and emperical
>> data that gives evidence of the usefulness of the model.
>> But if anyone else does, I'm interested. --dawn
>I have no doubt that Wol knows his stuff when it comes to physics, far
>better than I do. I do have severe doubts about the applicability of
>reasoning about physical models to computing, though we're getting into
>philosophy here.

Pure physics is a branch of mathematics. But without evidence that the real world actually behaves that way, it's worthless. Applied physics is the search for that evidence.

I find, however (like Dawn, I think), that most proponents of relational theory treat it purely as mathematics, and are almost offended when I try to say "where is the SCIENCE of 'applied relational theory'?". Without that, there is no evidence that relational theory actually has any relevance to the real world.
>I'm certainly willing to entertain language notions - I just haven't heard
>anything concrete enough to serve as the basis for a data model. Loose
>correspondence to English is, in my opinion, not a good metric.

I'm used to trying to explain myself to non-computing people. I'm often complimented on how I make myself understandable by using analogies. My use of "nouns and adjectives", and Newton, etc etc, is simply an attempt to make my point using such analogies.

(And I'm not against maths. It's just that science is all about fuzzy logic, uncertainty, and statistics. But (a) my grasp of the fundamental theory behind that is very poor, and (b) it seems to be a lot better than anybody else who might be inclined to debate with me. I'm just looking for *scientific* proof, not mathematical, that relational theory works, and nobody seems willing to try to prove it.)


Anthony W. Youngman - wol at thewolery dot demon dot co dot uk
HEX wondered how much he should tell the Wizards. He felt it would not be a
good idea to burden them with too much input. Hex always thought of his reports
as Lies-to-People.
The Science of Discworld : (c) Terry Pratchett 1999
Received on Thu Apr 15 2004 - 16:01:11 CDT

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