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Re: Pizza Example

From: Tony <andrewst_at_onetel.net.uk>
Date: 19 Apr 2004 16:15:19 -0700
Message-ID: <c0e3f26e.0404191515.429e6820@posting.google.com>


"Anthony W. Youngman" <wol_at_thewolery.demon.co.uk> wrote in message news:<FkJ2ibMvOcgAFw4P_at_thewolery.demon.co.uk>...
> In message <c0e3f26e.0404160207.2c446825_at_posting.google.com>, Tony
> <andrewst_at_onetel.net.uk> writes
> >"Anthony W. Youngman" <wol_at_thewolery.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
> >news:<3liqSxG8WvfAFw3H_at_thewolery.demon.co.uk>...
> >> It's all very well saying data about my fingers (of which I have ten) is
> >> different from data about me (of which there is only one), but by
> >> storing the data in different tables, the database has lost the
> >> information that the fingers and the rest of me are all one thing.
> >
> >You still persist in believing that nonsense about "losing
> >information" by decomposing data? This just reflects your ignorance
> >of how an RDBMS works, and it is time you rectified that.
>
> It happens in the scientific world all the time. Why should the data
> world be any different?
>
> Let's decompose you to find out what you consist of, shall we? Oops,
> we've just killed you! That's a hell of a lot of information lost. And
> every time we dig deeper, we lose information about the level we've just
> pulled apart.

Sorry, Wol, but you are talking nonsense (and I suspect you know that perfectly well). If in the example above the database has "lost" the information that your fingers belong to you, how do you explain the fact that relational databases actually work at all? Obviously (even to you?) each of those fingers is "tagged" as belonging to you and no one else by a foreign key.

> Yes, you CAN try to analyse and store that information, but you CANNOT
> do it in Science - entropy is a one-way-street. If you treat a database
> as an exercise in Pure Maths, I might agree with you, but as soon as you
> drag the real world into it (and if you don't, what's the *point* of a
> database), you have to deal with entropy.

Since nothing is lost by the decomposition process (by definition), entropy is about as relevant as Schrodinger's Cat and all your other pop-science book obsessions. Received on Mon Apr 19 2004 - 18:15:19 CDT

Original text of this message

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