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Re: Storing data and code in a Db with LISP-like interface

From: dawn <dawnwolthuis_at_gmail.com>
Date: 31 Mar 2006 08:56:23 -0800
Message-ID: <1143824183.424663.163930@u72g2000cwu.googlegroups.com>

Marshall Spight wrote:
> topmind wrote:
> > Ken Tilton wrote:
> > >
> > > The world is not columns and rows, so you are forcing an unnatural
> > > representation onto your data.
> >
> > The world is a big tangled graph/network.
>
> Neither of these is true. The world is an approximate sphere
> with an outer silicate solid crust, a highly viscous mantle, a
> liquid outer core that is much less viscous than the mantle,
> and a solid inner core. The liquid outer core gives rise to a
> weak magnetic field due to the convection of its electrically
> conductive material.*

And here I thought that all the world's a stage.

> Nowhere in the physical world will you find a mathematical
> object. Directly comparing anything physical to anything
> mathematical is invalid.
>
> The question of what kind of mathematical structure is best
> suited for a particular task is a good one. The question
> of which one is most like "the Real World(tm)" or "the
> way the Human Mind works" is not useful,

I'll agree with the first, although using such terms can be a shortcut.  I definitely disagree with the latter. When we are talking about humans modeling data or any aspect of software, it makes a lot of sense to ask how the human mind works. It is a good idea to ask whether we are using an approach that renders an obscure specification that is likely to be misinterpreted by another software developer in the future, for example. We are not designing software for mathematics but for people. Attempting to understand how people think is very much part of what we need to do from beginning to end in software development. This is not only the case for the "user interface" but for every aspect of software with which a human being (even if a software developer) might interact in the future. Human cognition should not be dismissed.

Another aspect that is related to "the way the Human Mind works" is language. Yes, I think asking about mathematical structure is important, but looking at how language and the human brain are related to mathematical structures is also important. You have made statements about how easy lists are for people. That is not a mathematical statement.

Cheers! --dawn

> and won't get
> you anywhere.
>
>
> Marshall
>
> * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_core
Received on Fri Mar 31 2006 - 10:56:23 CST

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