April 22nd, 2002


on modeling

The only useful thing that my thesis adviser ever said to me was as follows- "if you make a model with enough adjustible parameters, you can get it to fit any situation. The point of modeling is not to convey inner truths or to make grand theories. Simple models which don't have any basis in reality and are obviously wrong from an ab-initio standpoint are still very useful if they have predictive power."
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