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Data and Reality: A Timeless Perspective on Perceiving and Managing Information in Our Imprecise World, 3rd Edition by William Kent

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Chapter 9. Philosophy

Philosophy

I have tried to describe information as it "really is" (at least, as it appears to me), and have kept tripping over fuzzy and overlapping concepts. This is precisely why system designers and engineers and mechanics often lose patience with academic approaches. They recognize, often implicitly, that the complexity and amorphousness of reality is unmanageable. There is an important difference between truth and utility. We want things that are useful—at least in this business; otherwise we'd be philosophers and artists.

Often the 80/20 rules applies to data modeling. That is, in 20 percent of the time we can complete 80 percent ...

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