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OK, here's the bad news

We realize that we can't really expect computer models to give a definitive answer to the questions. All models are simplifications and abstractions. But models are great ways of sharpening up intuitions and clarifying assumptions. A left-wing coder can undoubtedly make a simulated economy where communistic redistribution works better than the free market. And a right-wing libertarian will dismiss it as bogus. But the real value is if the right-winger takes the code, identifies and points out the assumptions that bias the model, and changes them, demonstrating his point, because the model now runs in the other direction. The option is then open to the left-winger to respond the same way. By refining the model further.

Phil : I've long been a Popperian in my philosophy of science. I believe all knowledge is structured into a set of problems and provisional solutions. And that we discover that knowledge through hypothesis and criticism.Thus I see the importance of these models as their being stages in a critical debate, something I'll call a "dialogue of models".

How to append your work in the dialogue of models

Once the DialogueOfModels gets going, we hope that there will be pages (and subsections) describing particular questions and the experiments which address them, and show the conclusions. Criticism of the experiment and the results can be appended to the page.

For example, if you ran the same code with different parameters and got a different result, then add this to the page with the parametrs and result. If you have ideas for a variant, or a criticism of the assumptions, add this to the page etc.

If the page gets very big, it can be refactored using SubPages.

If you have an idea for a variant, with different assumptions, and you code and test this, then

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Last edited July 10, 2003 1:09 pm by PhilJones (diff)