Wednesday, December 17, 2008

IT in the world of Karl Popper

We can summarize Karl Poppers critical rationalism in one sentence (my interpretation).

All scientific theories in the world, by default are false or waiting to be falsified.

Let us consider one example – say there is a theory that says "Sun rises in the east". The empirical observation for billions of years would not validate the theory, if for some reason, for just one day, sun raises from South.

The empirical evidence of billions of years would go for toss, with just one proof of counter existence. Or let us say there is no Sun rise at all – in Helio-centric world, there is no Sun rise, as you are on Sun.

Likewise, we can extend this to all other notions in life. Our resumes are all full of the empirical data of our successes, but due to some random cosmic coincidence or conspiracy, there is a chance that one might fail in the next assignment.

Similarly, whenever an IT Architect provides a blue print for a new application, the supporting evidence is always the empirical data from previous projects and the blue print is just waiting for one random event to disprove the "silver bullet" model.

Some past recollections…

1. Robotics was considered to be the next best thing in the world for Automotive industries, till GM spent all their savings and earning for fully automated car manufacturing. (Early 1980s). Till then, 1980, robotics experiments had all empirical data to support that they are cost effective and can never fail.

2. Dotcom bubble (late 1990s) – where pragmatists foretold the disappearance of shopping malls etc and humanity to be pushed into an era of digital life. Once again empirical data cost the investors dearly.

Those of us who understand my blog-process, would have guessed it correctly. I am talking about SOA. Till date we have empirical data to show case that we have our "silver bullet"…

Karl Popper – you may be correct…


Neela said...

good one Anil..

blaoism said...

Oh well, past experiences function as a heuristic, based on which one can put forward an hypothesis. If looked at this way, past experience is not evidence for such a hypothesis. Our learnings, our experiences, etc, all part and parcel of heuristics: they are fallible.

Mohit said...

Its really fantastic