My current research topic is exploring the various philosophies of data found around databases, database designs, designers, and clients.

What would be the best way to word such a question for this site to allow participants to understand the different philosophies of data out there and their impact on database design?

  • Is this a Computer Science Theory set of topics? Can you flesh the topic that you have in mind out any more?
    – jcolebrand Mod
    Jan 5, 2011 at 3:33
  • I'm guessing my question on physics.stackexchange wouldn't fit well here, even if the issue underlying it really is the philosophy about what the term 'data' means : physics.stackexchange.com/questions/2334/…
    – Joe
    Jan 5, 2011 at 15:00
  • @Joe maybe not, but I'd love to talk to you about it :) Jan 5, 2011 at 23:55
  • @drachenstern It's an IT topic. In my research, I explore how different people understand the nature of data: (Data as bits, data as subjective recorded observations, data as hard numbers from experiments) are the three I've found in my research so far. Given that my research is designed for IT (and databases inside IT) I'm interested in creating a question where people note what philosophies of data they've encountered and how they solved the translation problem. (Problem with that is how to make the question non-subjective...) Jan 6, 2011 at 0:06

1 Answer 1


Ok, I'm gonna restate what I know to make sure I'm clear. Sorry if this just feels like a dupe of everything that's been said.

You want to see how people treat information and how they use it to build their models to support their theorems. You're going to study as much the actual data and it's comparison to models as you're going to study people and their approaches to using the data. You will probably even study the specific technology choices they make to examine any underlying trends (altho I predict that your datasets will be too small in those cases to make terribly accurate models).

Because it's being done for academic reasons and because there is a clear history of this on SO/MSO, I don't see where this will be a problem if executed in moderation and if you keep in line with the other guidelines of the SE2.0/SOIS system.

My $0.05

  • Better to say I have studied and would like to have this be a different study. But yes, and I'm even interested in how you used information as a synonym for data :) Jan 6, 2011 at 1:02
  • @Brian Well I think we here go further than data no matter what, thus information ;)
    – jcolebrand Mod
    Jan 6, 2011 at 1:08

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