Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Assembly Line In The Acedemic Field

Can you imagine how life would be without Philosophers, Mathematicians, Scientists, and Engineers?! It would be so dull! But which one of them is most important to society?! My answer is: All of them are equally important. The four of them integrate together to make inventions.

I want to make this analogy. In any computer system, someone has to build the computer, another develops a compiler, and a third writes code. Could one of them be useful without the other?! NO! If someone writes a C++ code, but there are no C++ compilers, whats the use?! If someone has designed a compiler, but we have no computer to run the code on, whats the use?!

This analogy gives rise to what is conventionally called "Black Box" models and "White Box" models. Where one person uses basic components to create a more complex system that can later be used without actually understanding how the component system was created in the first place.

Philosophers create the machine which drives the mathematics - They founded the basis on which mathematics can be coherently defined. Mathematicians create ready to use formulae for scientists and engineers to use. Its all "Black Boxes" handed from one to another.

But the "White Box" view gives the person more understanding of the system being used. It enables them to use that system more effectively, and even more flexibility to create more complex systems.

For that, it is not enough to have Philosophers. Not enough to have Mathematicians. Not enough to have Scientists. And even not enough to have Engineers. For a good system we need all the four combined together!


Qwaider قويدر said...

They're all the same. Think of it as a human wearing 4 different Hats.
These jobs are not mutually exclusive

Devil's Mind said...

They are not exactly the same. A mathematician doesn't need to learn physics. But a physicist need to learn a little about mathematics, because we need mathematics to make physics work.

Still mathematics on its own is useless without being having an application for it like physics. Thats why, a mathematician should learn a little about physics in order to present mathematics in a way that is usable in physics.

At least, thats how I see it.

"These jobs are not mutually exclusive" - Exactly, they are codependent. One does not make sense without the other.

Like two classes in a computer project. Each class provides a different feature set, but they need to have common ground in order to communicate and make up a working application. [Never mind this paragraph if you are not into computer programming :P]

Stoky said...

as my grammy used to say .. one hand cant clap lol .. isnt that wht ur tryin to say ?

Devil's Mind said...

Yeah, pretty much thats what I am saying!

7aki Fadi said...

Sotky used a very simple explanation here...LOL..

Maybe you philosophise things too much ;). I think we need a couple of grannies to help.

Joking aside Devil's mind, you always find an interesting subject to talk about.

Devil's Mind said...

The main idea I tried to explain is Black Boxing information, and the relationship between Black Boxes and White Boxes. But guess its been my mistake that the purpose of the entry was not very obvious.

In the end, there no "correct" way to read or interpret a blog entry. As long as its fun to read, then its all good :)

Besides, comments provide a good way to explore different interpretations to written entry.

Nichola said...

"Still mathematics on its own is useless without being having an application for it like physics. Thats why, a mathematician should learn a little about physics in order to present mathematics in a way that is usable in physics."

I completely agree. This is why I always try to learn proper mathematics as a powerful tool in all my work. Well in any case, I just wanted to say I enjoy your writing. Interesting topics.

Devil's Mind said...

Thank you Nicholas, I am flattered. :)

Israa said...

Wow !
well , yea im rummaging in this blog and thx to you i got a huge question in life answered by explaining this Black Box and White Box thing !
what is it ? is it a theory or what ?
I think life is a combination of white boxes that's how different branches of science roll on from one same origion !

Devil's Mind said...

Well, Black Boxes and White Boxes are modeling paradigms. It's not a "theory", just a way of doing things.

To give an example, if you learn how to operate a car.. You are using a black box model.. You just care that you can turn the switch and it is on, and then push the gas pedal to move, and hit the brakes to slow down or stop.

If you learn that, you are said to have learnt the "Black box" model of a car.

But if you go deeper, and learn about the physics and engineering that went into making the car. And learn how the gas is pumped and converted from chemical to kinetic energy, and how gears and stuff work.

Then you have learned the "White box" model of a car.

Of course, there is what is called a "Grey box" model, where you know the black box, but not all the details of the white box.

And in real life, you need to know which model works best for what you want to accomplish. If you just want to go from home to the supermarket, the black box is all you need. If you are a mechanic who fixes cars, you need to know a bit more.. The grey box works better. If you are an engineer then the white box is what you need.

Israa said...

I think I understand , I give you my thanks :))