Re: In an RDBMS, what does "Data" mean?

From: Karel Miklav <>
Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 08:14:56 +0200
Message-ID: <>

mAsterdam wrote:
>> I think our aim is to model reality and entertain users by creating
>> nice illusions or giving them competitive advantage by reducing
>> entropy in their work environment or by predicting the future.
> The modeling of *what* of reality? Surely not all of it.

As little as possible to solve the case, I don't see the problem here.

>> Here it becomes useful to know what data is, but for the current state
>> of the art that has unfortunately already been settled.

> Settled? I don't think the understanding of what we now call data
> we has grown beyond the metaphore level yet (unlike for instance
> our understanding of 'number' or 'motion').

Computers can mostly only work with data that's captured as a sequence of bits. 17th century philosophers made the model, 20th century computer scientist implemented it and I don't see how you could escape that now. And most people here have clients with limited resources and strong competition and there's very, very little margin for experimentation.

>>> This combination of sign and meaning we call data.
>> I'd say fixation of this on a media is called data, couse otherwise
>> you can't recall it later. And there is a very important thing that
>> folks miss: if you vanish and nobody knows the way you fixed that data
>> there's just (series of ones and zeros) without meaning. Thus a
>> fixation can't be generally called data without known way to interpret
>> it.

> Although this suggests you have a way around Shroedingers cat
> whithout reverting to 'purity' or 'essence' etc...
> (and I don't) we do agree on that. Do you have an idea
> *why* folks miss this?

We were learnt that way, now we're trying to adapt to the world as we see it.

Karel Miklav Received on Wed May 19 2004 - 08:14:56 CEST

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