RE: virus: Evaluating Math
Thu, 12 Dec 1996 09:23:37 -0600 (CST)

On Thu, 28 Nov 1996, Todd Kuipers wrote:

> >Ok, so 'ordinary' math counts the amount of objects, and cohesive math
> >counts the kind of objects [feel free to correct me here David].
> >Can we construct a math which evaluates objects? i.e. Which counts their
> >quality?
> This reminds me of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" (on the
> recommended reading list I think). The protagonist in the book spent a large
> portion of his life and a large portion of his sanity on just such a question.
> I think it could be done via formula, but would be almost impossible to derive
> a number that all agree with.
> The numbers involved would be subjective and the qualities or attributes of a
> quantifiable quality measure would be as well. Quality could be made up of
> sturdiness, utility, aesthetics etc., but each would be very hard to quantify.
> >I don't mean scores like 'ten of ten' or 'one in a million' etc., but a
> >real count of the quality of objects?
> It would be interesting to see if the members of this list had a consensus on
> quality measurement or at least a portion of it. A formula form could be
> quality=sum(a(n)*w), where "a" are the attributes, "n" would the specific
> attribute and "w" would be the weighting applied to the attribute (as not all
> attributes are equal?). I think Pirsig did something like this in his book.
> any thoughts?

1) The required values probably aren't numbers, although they could be
encoded that way.

2) The above question is already critical in many different subareas of
mathematics--although with more abstract objects, of course.

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd