Re: Objects and Relations

From: Bob Badour <>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2007 15:18:04 GMT
Message-ID: <MKFAh.6393$>

Roy Hann wrote:

> "Bob Badour" <> wrote in message
> news:2aFAh.6379$

>>>And that's it. That's how we work everyday. If we ever have to do deal
>>>with items that are indistinguishable by anything but physical
>>>location (or any characteristic we can't keep track of), we tag them
>>>with a surrogate identifier to represent their unique nature. It's
>>>just common sense really.
>>>As an addendum, once implemented a surrogate key becomes a natural
>>>key. I find this fascinating - it seems somehow analagous to "Nature
>>>abhoring a vacuum".
>>I think it has more to do with the human drive to communicate.

> I struggle with that. If, for some reason, I choose to say (just) that, "I
> have a tin of cat food, and its name shall be 1345235", what have I
> communicated? No one in the real world could ever point it out and say,
> "Hey! There goes 1345235." And nor could I.

And I have yet to see anyone do that. Instead, they simply say they have 10 cans of cat food left which is plenty or only 2 cans of cat food left so they should buy more soon.

> I do see that I could do something like count all the times I've asserted
> something about a tin of cat food called 1345235 but it seems to me that
> I've gained that apparent ability without being able to validate the truth
> of my testimony about the real world. It seems to me that the ability to
> refer back to the real world, at least in principle, should be important.

That's what bin numbers do. Received on Wed Feb 14 2007 - 16:18:04 CET

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