Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
the importance of modelling
We model all the time. As children it's how we begin to make sense of the world. It's this inability to model which is the biggest obstacle to computers becoming 'intelligent'.
We can model the world around us, we can model a view of the future, the present or even the past.
The most important thing about modelling is that you need to constantly adapt the model to reflect new information.
When we model the past we often succumb to the disease of nostalgia - mainly because by constructing a model of the past we can control those elements that we wish to include and discard those we don't, building a rose-tinged view of the past which, sadly, we then try to apply to the present and future.
We need to hold a model of the future in our minds all the time, because it is the future we will be operating in. Your model needs to be totally realistic and adaptable. Too many people don't actually model any more, they lurch from day to day with a sense of ennui that wouldn't disappoint an emo kid. The anti-S&D mob are like this. Stuck in a permanent 1972 they strike out at a world they no longer understand. If they ever get the upper hand they can do real damage.
My model of the future has to be 100% realistic. I don't see a future for personal road traffic, air travel or a powerful state. I can't see much future for globalisation either. Okay, I've had the advantage of a degree in economics, but most of this stuff isn't rocket science. The future will not be like the past, or the present. Rail has an incredible future, whilst roads (and civilian air travel) will die off. It will take local initiatives to rebuild our rail network, not directives from the centre. Everything I do concerning the S&D is informed by this model, which is adapting and being tested all the time - you should see all the Peak Oil Doubter sites I've bookmarked!
So remember, as well as spending time with your model railways (see - you have all the skills already!) keep building that model of the future in your head. It will stand you in very good stead indeed!