Saturday, July 29, 2006

The selfish 'if'

Excel is a good ‘analytic’ tool. So are some data mining tools that help us slice and dice the information into perspectives, or should I say views.

In SQL, a view is a window towards a more appropriate representation. A view result set is not stored. In this sense, it does not have a soul, unlike a table or its attribute or its bits. If views were very important, we would have seen them without limitations. It’s like taking an addictive substance – the need is met for the time being.

The purity of an instruction is suspect the moment a ‘what-if’ condition is imposed. Let me elaborate.

We like to classify things. This categorization is a strict ‘left’ hemisphere function that is supposed to make our life easier. In fact, it is the opposite. The more we classify the more patterns we store in our brain. And hence the more prejudices we have. Now, we always tend to compare, dividing the information further and further, till it is atomic. This simply is the function of Ego, which lives in fear, of being found out; afraid, for it may be wrong. The ego is actually a stop-gap measure for variety in our skill repertoire. But sooner or later, it begins to delude itself of being in control. It thrives on three things: fear, anger and lust. And the deeper the groove the more one yearns for it. All skewed personalities have an imbalance of these attributes.

This comparison or an ‘if’ that we come across calls for extra CPU cycles. ( a comparator) Look at the only 2 different kinds of jumps.

Jump based on a decision (there are many)
Jump unconditional (there is only one)

The latter executes faster and is an indication towards a natural principle. An unconditional jump, is the greatest form of love, if I may say, like un-conditional love. You jump not without thinking, but following the nature’s way. The more we have these kind of locations where we can jump un-conditionally, the more the surety of the code. Take for e.g: the POST (Power on self test) routine. All machines jump to this reserved location without any doubt. After the basic vital signs are found ok, the OS boots.

This very ‘if’ is the cause of duality, or the primordial desire. (‘And then the one, he breathed on his own’) Darkness gave way to light, knowledge burned ignorance away.

We are used to top down classifications. For e.g:

Class Fruit {Apple, Pear} and further
Class Apple {Fiber, Iron}

Why don’t we work the other way around. i.e. bottom up.

Because, all things are complete in itself. A seed has the ‘brains’ to be a tree. And vice-versa. Nature is perfect. Contradictions are in our mind.

One very good approach in KM is to start with a data-mart (department) and then progress into refinements, till such time that a probabilistic definition of completion is arrived at. In nature there is no meaning. We have to associate it.

Look around us. In the universe, the element that you will find mostly is hydrogen, which keeps combining with others (within the stars or some nebulae) to give rise to heavier atoms. The process is nuclear fusion. Why is fission not in vogue?

In the same way, I find Web Services to be the most apt phenomenon for our needs (inter-operability) than a half baked ERP (integration), in today’s context.

Organic – that’s the smart way.




samir said...

The top-down approach to look at things will show nature to be perfect. The bottom-up approach will show it is so because of how it ADAPTS to the myriad imperfections that it manages to sprinkle itself with.

A good thoughtful post. Keep writing.

Guru30 said...

You are right Samir. Take a top down approach and that holistic. Thanks.