Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [XP] Re: About Definitions

Expand Messages
  • Victor
    Hi Keith, For starters, I ll recognize I didn t read the book you suggest. Yet, I ll respond to your argument as I understand it. I ll start with a metaphor.
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 25, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi Keith,

      For starters, I'll recognize I didn't read the book you suggest. Yet, I'll
      respond to your argument as I understand it.

      I'll start with a metaphor. I may have used it here before : Let's say a
      quality assurance professional really breathes his stuff and for this reason
      (s)he is very appreciated at work. When (s)he goes home, he is so focused
      on finding things that need improvement that forgets to acknowledge the
      things that are right, in addition of invading the autonomy of his partner.
      This could lead to a serious disruption in the relationship.

      The problem is not in his professionalism or knowledge, the problem is in
      the search for universal solutions when they don't apply. It's a problem of
      miss directed transfer of skill.

      End of metaphor.

      Same thing with definitions. It's an issue of context. Under which
      circumstances the strict use of definitions is appropriate, and when it is
      not. Mathematics and Science have advanced to a large extent due to the
      power of definitions. Will anybody use definitions to peel potatoes? Maybe
      not consciously, maybe not at all. One way or the other the potatoes will
      get peeled (I am making a few psychological and technical assumptions here
      :-).

      In the case of the current discussion about definitions in this forum, we
      may not necessarily reach an agreement, but I believe the discussion itself
      is valuable because it serves to expose ideas and to sharpen our thought
      processes.

      Victor

      ==========================================================

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Keith Braithwaite" <Keith.Braithwaite@...>
      To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2005 1:12 PM
      Subject: [XP] Re: About Definitions


      > --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Victor" <vmgoldberg@v...>
      wrote:
      > > There has been an interesting discussion about definitions here, and I
      would
      > > like to add my 2 c.
      > >
      > > The way I see it there are two types of definitions: elementary, and
      > > inclusive.
      > [...]
      >
      > Victor, if you're interested in this sort of thing then I recoommend you
      take a look at "The
      > Big Book of Concepts" http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?
      > ttype=2&tid=8995
      >
      > In the last century or so the idea that definitions have a central place
      in how we think
      > about the world has taken a beating from philosophers, from linguists,
      psychologists and
      > the folks who are the mish-mash of those things now known as cognitive
      scientists.
      > Empirical evidence is starting to come in that shows that people don't
      deal with the world
      > by means of categories with definitions. They do something much more
      interesting (which
      > have implications for programming, expecially OO, as it happens).
      >
      > Since I have read the book, I should have known better than to get into an
      argument about
      > definitions with Alistair (I was riled up and not thinking straight). Such
      disucssions rarely
      > lead anywhere fruitful, tBBoC goes some way towards explaining why that
      is.
      >
      > Keith
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
      >
      > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
      extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
      >
      > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.