3Complete Solution vs. The Sum of Its Parts [was Re: Zen and the art of Hacking]
- Mar 11, 2002If I understood your post correctly (next time please include a one line
spacing so it'll be easier to read), then you differentiate between two
different approaches: the Classical one which considers a complete object
as the sum of its parts, and the Romantic one which considers a complete
object to be a complete, inseparable solution.
I'm not sure whether this is the meaning of Romantic and Classical in the
technical literature, but I'll skip it.
My point is that I'm not sure either approach is superior all the time. If
we want to treat a patient, than sometimes we have to take a holistic
approach and try to inspect other things beside his symptoms. I'll give
you an example:
My father had a co-worker who got a high blood-Glocuse levels. My father
being a biologist who became interested in complementary medicine advised
him to stop eating a lot of pastry (Borekas and the such) at work. A few
days later, his Glocuse level was still rather high, so my father asked
him what he ate the last night. He told him that he ate grapes. Naturally,
grapes contain pure glocuse, so my father advised him against eating them
or anything similar.
After that, his glocuse level dropped to a more-or-less normal level. My
father colleague who was a Phisician, thought the other co-worker should
be given medication (insulin, etc.)
My point is that such symptoms can be caused by behavioural or cognitive
patterns. In many times we cannot treat the human body as a group of
Likewise for computer programs. Sometimes, a bug is caused by lack of
proper integration between two or more subsystems, and we need to think of
the program as a whole to find out what it is and overcome it. Sometimes
it is even caused by an improper model, altogether.
But of course, the other approach makes sense too sometimes. If a program
does not compile, then tweaking the makefile or playing with the
"./configure" parameters may solve it. Similarily, many diseases can be
treated by dealing with the particular organ in which they happened.
I believe a good professional should think in both ways, because the
solution may be found in either one.
Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
Home E-mail: shlomif@...
"Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
"Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
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