Leaky Abstractions and Isaac Newton
I enjoyed the article about Leaky Abstractions, but I thought credit should be given to the man who came up with this idea. Isaac Newton challenged the traditional Platonic notion that abstractions were somehow better, more perfect, or more real, than the things they were abstraction. He pioneered the idea that abstractions always cause information to be lost, and while he may not have been the first to think this, Netwon was the first to put it down in the philosophical literature in a coherent form.
Was that in the Principia?
In my opinion, Newtonian mechanics contains the most successful abstractions in the history of mankind.
Newtonian mechanics also proved to be quite leaky, as relativity and quantum mechanics have exposed the leaks in Newton's laws.
Fog Creek Home