# Re: Date's First Great Blunderhcgjy

Date: 20 Apr 2004 10:17:47 -0700

Message-ID: <57da7b56.0404200917.742ca28_at_posting.google.com>

lauri.pietarinen_at_atbusiness.com (Lauri Pietarinen) wrote in message news:<e9d83568.0404200114.77dd445d_at_posting.google.com>...

[ snip ]

> It's like negative integers, rational and real numbers

*> actually building ontop of the foundation of positive integers instead
**> of claiming that they are useless.
*

When you see someone apply the following syllogism, you know that they're at the end of their rope.

- Newtonian mechanics was superceded by relativistic mechanics; the later involving more complicated math.
- My model is more complicated than yours.
- Therefore, my model supercedes yours.

This misses the truly profound thing about Isaac's contributions. He was among the first scientists to apply mathematics with rigor and consistency to answer the question "How does the world work?". Einstein (et al) used Newton's big idea, that the world was amenable to mathematical descriptions.

Given the originality of Newton's contribution, we ought to be comfortable comparing Codd -- who applied mathematics to the question of how to manage data -- with the former commisioner of the Royal Mint.

I mean, compare the way some of the ideas under review are described in this forum with:

http://www.win.ua.ac.be/~hidders/pubs/dbpl2003-sat-xpath.pdf

This (by our own Jan Hidders) is a first class piece of work. What it does is to explain some really hard problems that need to be addressed by people who build products based around XQuery/XPath. It is the embodiment of rigor and (to my mind) shows just what happens when you whack loosey-goosey thinking with the big club of formal reasoning. Received on Tue Apr 20 2004 - 19:17:47 CEST