if the following means anything to you, then you may enjoy Encapsulation, Inheritance and the Platypus effect:

“”You have your ‘isa’ hierarchy all thought out – let’s say you have a “mammals” class and a “reptiles” class and so on – and you start to implement it, and along comes a platypus, a fur-bearing, egg-laying, duck-billed creature, which doesn’t appear to fit in any of the classifications you’ve created. So what you often end up having to do is rethink your entire hierarchy, refactoring into a different set of basic categories, or maintaining several categorizations along different axes. A lot of your thinking ends up getting thrown out, as well as any implementation you’ve done up to that point.””

i guess this is just another way to describe what i think peterme is getting at when he talks about the ‘calculus of information’ [ e.g. – see april 13th post] – but from a completely different domain:

“The dynamism of our information spaces are what makes megalithic hierarchies so fundamentally limiting. Not only does information change, but my relationship to that information changes, and trying to
catalog it typically forces it into a lowest-common-denominator structure that serves no one by trying to serve everyone. This is why I go on about basic-level categories and heaps of metadata–by reducing information to its most basic level, we can build it back up on-the-fly depending on the user’s context.”

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