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Re: The world is not object oriented

by Anonymous Monk
on Jan 03, 2004 at 09:32 UTC ( #318484=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to The world is not object oriented

In other words I'm dealing with "things" whose only reality is convention. Conventions whose intrinsic non-reality is demonstrated when they change over time, or depending on location, causing no end of headaches for software maintainers.

I think classifying such things as instrinsically not-real misses something important. Intangible, non-static, evolving things, can still be considered "real". Historians deal with such "conventional" realities all the time. The following quote on "objects" of discourse brings such "contextual" existence to the fore:

The conditions necessary for the appearance of an object of discourse, the historical conditions required if one is to 'say anything' about it, and if several people are to say different things about it, the conditions necessary if it is to exist in relation to other objects, if it is to establish with them relations of resemblance, proximity, distance, difference, transformation - as we can see, these conditions are many and imposing. Which means that one cannot speak of [just] anything at any time; it is not easy to say something new; it is not enough for us to open our eyes, to pay attention, or to be aware, for new objects suddenly to light up and emerge out of the ground. ... the object does not await in limbo the order that will free it and enable it it to become embodied in a visible and prolix objectivity; it does not pre-exist itself, held back by some obstacle at the first edges of light. It exists under the positive conditions of a complex group of relations.

- Michel Foucalt (1972) The Archaeology of Knowledge & the discourse on language.

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Re: Re: The world is not object oriented
by tilly (Archbishop) on Jan 04, 2004 at 00:22 UTC
    If this was a philosophy forum rather than a programming one, I might pursue this thread further.

    Obviously I meant "really exists" in a very prosaic sense. When you start talking about what conceptual ideas really exist, life gets very complex, very fast. I know from the history of math just how complex a question this is. For instance standard mathematics insists that virtually all numbers which exist can never be specified in any way, shape, or form. Yet in what sense do they exist..? (And how do you model this state of affairs in a computer?)

      If this was a philosophy forum rather than a programming one, I might pursue this thread further.

      No, this isn't a philosophy forum: But then, philosophical reasoning belongs in every forum :). At any rate, I thought the passage quoted was interesting and relevant, and that a great number of the objects we programmers use, or discover, or invent, are propped up entirely by groups of relations (conventions, if you will): The very concepts Object and Class in OO for example. And in a deeply OO language, Classes are Objects too. And when programmers get caught up in the "programming objects" == "real world objects" (and variations along those lines), it can be pertinent to ask them what "real world object" the Class object models. can be pertinent to ask them what "real world object" the Class object models.

        Why, the real-world (conceptual meta) object of "Everything" of course :)

        Everything must include everything, just as Class must include class.

        Examine what is said, not who speaks.
        "Efficiency is intelligent laziness." -David Dunham
        "Think for yourself!" - Abigail

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