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Blilie C. The Promise and Limits of Computer Modeling

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Blilie C. The Promise and Limits of Computer Modeling
World Scientific Publishing, 2007, 284 pp.
What do computer models really tell us? Is it possible to build a perfect model of the world — a true microcosm — or are there inherent limits that prevent such comprehensive models? And what is the true status of a computer model: is it an image of the world? A theory? An experiment? An equivalent in its realm to the jade mountain, capturing the essential and blocking out the meaningless? Or is it a glorified fiction, like a motion picture or video game? Can computer simulations of the world extend our knowledge of the world? These questions admit no simple answers. Since there is an increasing tendency to treat computer models as if they are reality, these questions must be answered without glib overoptimism.
Contents
The Jade Mountain
What are Models?
The Modeling Process
An Object-Oriented Universe
The Crossroads of Theory and Experiment
Modeling the Appearances
Laplace’s Mirage, or the Impossibility of the Exact Calculation of the World
Climates of Fact
Calculating War and Peace
From the Past into the Future: Is Historical Simulation Possible?
Virtual Reality … and Reality
Notes and References
Index
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