OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index]

A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a
similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.

— Alfred Korzybski, Science and Sanity (1933, p. 58)


On Sat, Jan 21, 2017 at 8:13 PM, Costello, Roger L. <costello@mitre.org> wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> So, you’ve been tasked to create a model of weather patterns. Your
> deliverable is an XML Schema. People will then use your XML Schema to
> generate XML documents and exchange those XML documents.
> Ah, the world will be so much better with the ability to exchange
> standardized weather data.
> But how will you model weather? What will your XML Schema contain? You do
> not have expertise in weather science. How long will it take to gain the
> expertise to create a useful weather model? How deep into the field should
> you go?
> Answer: Give up. You have no hope of ever understanding weather. Even if you
> are already an “expert” in weather science, you have no hope of truly
> understanding weather.
> Allow me to explain.
> But first, a detour.
> …
> 1 + 1 = 2
> Obvious, right?
> Not at all. It took two of the most brilliant 20th century mathematicians
> (Whitehead and Russell) 300 pages to prove that 1 + 1 = 2.
> I have this note next to my desk, which I read every day:
> Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize
>                till you have tried to make it precise.
> Scientists, mathematicians, engineers, philosophers, sociologists, and
> others recognize the futility of tackling reality head-on. So instead they
> invent miniature – fake – worlds, containing small sets of fake symbols and
> fake rules. They then manipulate the fake symbols, according to the fake
> rules, to see what kind of fake results they get. Sometimes there is a
> correspondence between the symbols and rules in their fake world to things
> in the real world, and so the results they derive in the fake world are then
> applied to the real world (with the caveat that it might be completely
> wrong).
> Don’t be deceived (or have the conceit) to think that you fully understand
> something. You don’t. You’re understanding is appallingly shallow. Mine as
> well, of course.
> …
> Okay, back to the weather XML Schema. You will never understand weather.
> Abandon such ambitions. So what to do? Answer, invent a miniature – fake –
> world, containing a small set of fake symbols and fake rules. Create an XML
> Schema for that fake world. If you’re lucky, exchanges of your fake stuff
> will have utility to others.
> Comments?
> /Roger

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index]

News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1993-2007 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS