29 July 2010

Finding regularities and their elements in a level of abstraction

Note: This post will involve discussions on some abstract concepts. I wish to give concrete examples but I may not be endowed with enough intelligence to come up with correct examples for some cases where you must be content with my gibberish. Deal?

When birds fly they make a pattern. Their formation is not "random". There is a pattern to our breathing. We breath through one of the nostrils more. Ancient Indians have called the related awareness 'Swara Jnana' (do not confuse with awareness of musical notes). Wall is built with 'bricks' which form a pattern. The bricks are the elements or the smallest unit which come together to form the regularity we see. So there is regularity or pattern in lot of things we see. There is something smallest in those regularities that creates regularity (element). To rephrase, there is regularity and an element which constitutes regularity in many things we see or experience. Here we do well to differentiate why, for example, mud used to make bricks is not an element of regularity in wall. Mud is at a lower level; it constitutes the pattern in brick. Therefore mud may be an element in the regularity that exists in the brick. Now, we can say that at each level of detail there may be an element which results in regularity at that level.

Science, in my opinion, revolves around finding these regularities. Our progress depends on how well we can make use of these regularities. I think it is time to clarify what I mean by some words. A level of abstraction is a point of view with preference to certain details than others. For example, a portrait is a level of abstraction: it prefers only what is painted in someone's face; what is not painted is not 'preferred'. While we agree that a portrait is an abstraction, I call it a level of abstraction because a photo is an abstraction of real face as well but at a more detailed level.

Now comes time to move from portraits and bricks to something more interesting: computer science.

coming soon ...................
     

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