Are models objective?

Taking responsibility for perception

Separation and connection

In The Master and his Emissary, McGilchrist makes a magisterial case for the separation of functions between the two hemispheres of our brains. The title holds the key to the true subject of the book. We have two fundamental (and fundamentally different) sets of thinking functions, one much more accessible to conscious thought than the other. McGilchrist makes the case that the conscious, languaging, modelling, classifying left hemisphere functions must remain the servant of the right hemisphere master, though they have not in western culture.

A world run by algorithms

Yuval Noah Harari in his 21 lessons for the 21st Century says that we have very little ability to escape our lives being subjected to algorithms. Whether or not we get a bank loan, whether or not we get accepted for uni, whatever.[6] An algorithm is just an implementation of a model of course. And in that sense models become objective for us because they are imposed without any control on our part and certainly without our help in making them make sense. They are also objective in the sense that once understood they can and will be gamed, which is a fundamental limitation of models and algorithms based on them.

Models as language

Our language and languaging is not neutral. Our language has built in to its grammar a world of things. It is known to be hard to express our world as events and processes. I think you are supposed to read one of the A.N. Whitehead books several times over so that it can gradually reveal itself. Some people think that things that are hard to express must be themselves muddled and unclear, but it seems that our language has genuinely mistaken the nature of the world and how we experience it.

Architecting-in conversation

Our brain certainly works in two separate hemispheres with a connecting bridge, the corpus callosum. That is its fundamental architecture. The two hemispheres have different functions. We are not used to dealing with functional architecture in this way, but I used to be a software architect in that sense.



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Aidan Ward

Aidan Ward


Smallholder rapidly learning about the way the world works