Models are like caricatures

Mary Morgan, in her book The World in the Model, likens models to caricatures, and offers the following graphic during her discussion:


That this process of caricature is interesting and informative I do not doubt: I am no critic of caricatures or of models! Seeing Louis Philippe as a pear, and seeing the world as simply an interrelated system of mathematical equations, are each interesting perspectives.

But if someone asks me if caricature of Louis Philippe as a pear is perhaps not the actual cause of the real Louis Philippe, who is a sort of cognitive illusion, I must admit I am so flabbergasted that I hardly know how to reply.

I spent several years modeling options in the financial markets. The programs I wrote to do that made a fair number of traders a good deal of money. but imagine their surprise if, one day when their actual trading lost money, I told him that this was of no regard: my models were the real thing, and those models had made money, and the traders' feeling that they had lost money that day was merely a subjective experience.

2 comments:

  1. But if someone asks me if caricature of Louis Philippe as a pear is perhaps not the actual cause of the real Louis Philippe, who is a sort of cognitive illusion, I must admit I am so flabbergasted that I hardly know how to reply.

    Bottom line, the equations replicate the world, not the other way around, correct?

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    1. I would say there abstractions from the world, and highlight certain aspects of it, just the way the caricature of Louis Philippe highlight certain aspects of his appearance.

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