15 February, 2009

Phil Anderson on computations

Here is a quote from a Nobel Lecture of famous condensed-matter theorist Phil Anderson:

"...Very often such, a simplified model throws more light on the real workings of nature than any number of “ab initio” calculations of individual situations, which even where correct often contain so much detail as to conceal rather than reveal reality. It can be a disadvantage rather than an advantage to be able to compute or to measure too accurately, since often what one measures or computes is irrelevant in terms of mechanism. After all, the perfect computation simply reproduces Nature, does not explain her."

While Anderson gave his lecture in 1977, this seems to be even more relevant nowadays.

Another theorist, Phil Bunker, while giving talks, often describes somebody's work as "...these guys with small brains and big computers!"

3 comments:

schnitt.ek said...

Времена мейнфреймов прошли, теперь, напротив, принято хвастаться малым весом/размером -- ноутбука, телефона, etc. Поэтому, хоть фраза про парней с маленьким мозгом по-прежнему звучит, использовать её как охотничью примету, уже не получится. : )

Прости мне любопытство : вы были на Берлинале ?

Lemeshko said...

Нет, не смогли купить билет - все разобрали. :-)

P.S. а ты кто?

schnitt.ek said...

лапы, уши и хвост