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Humanist Archives: Dec. 4, 2019, 6:05 a.m. Humanist 33.457 - going wrong, getting it right

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 457.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2019-12-02 07:21:38+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.433: going wrong? getting it right?

Thanks to Michael Sperberg-McQueen (the original agent provocateur
responsible for the moves that led to Humanist) for holding up to the
light my statement about the relationship between simplifying and going
wrong. But ironically the problem is that I went wrong by
oversimplifying: it all depends on what you're after. One way of putting
the matter is this: if you're after the mathematics of something and can
formulate it in a model, then the necessary simplification can get it
right; if you're after the experiential truth of it down to the last
detail, then the model falsifies by simplifying.

Does that hold up?


On 28/11/2019 15:45, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen wrote:
>> On 23,Nov2019, at 1:25 AM, Humanist  wrote:
>> .... Of course one
>> might say that by computing anything, one goes wrong, in that modelling
>> always simplifies and digitising renders discrete that which isn't to
>> us otherwise.
> One might.  But I wonder about the connection you implicitly
> draw between simplifying and going wrong.  You seem to be
> suggesting that the one entails the other; do you really think so?
> (If so, why? If not, why speak as if you did?)
>> Recommendations of readings on the topic of error would be welcome.
> Several of my acquaintances have like me found Henry Petroski’s
> book To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design
> (1985) accessible and interesting even for readers with no background
> in engineering; he returns to the them of error or failure in several
> of his later books as well.
> Michael
> ********************************************
> C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
> Black Mesa Technologies LLC
> cmsmcq@blackmesatech.com
> http://www.blackmesatech.com
> ********************************************

Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/),
Professor emeritus, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College
London; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
(www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) and Humanist (www.dhhumanist.org)

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