What Is a Model?

‘The Thinker’
Rodin Museum, Paris

The word ‘Model’ is etymologically related to the Sanskrit Māyā, from the root Ma: To Build’. And less directly to ‘Man’ and ‘Mind’.

A ‘Model’ is a creation, a re-construction of the original, a re-presentation, not the Real McCoy.

A toy-car is a model. So is a doll’s-house. But the most important models are mental-models, the ones we build inside our heads using things that ‘double’.

Sign and symbol that refer and come alive in such building blocks as the Alphabet, the Number System and other such kits of complex referencing signs. All mediums in fact conducive to referential traffic.

An understanding built on assumptions and corresponding beliefs, conceptualized in binary structures [True: False; Up: Down] and expressed in the vocabulary of signs and symbols, typically language and logic, is called a ‘Model’.


So what is my first assumption? That there is such a thing as a ‘Me’ with such things called ‘assumptions’ stuffed inside my head. Sort of like socks in a drawer.

Watch out. To elaborate breezily on Model as an ‘Interpretation’ and equate a Modeled-Reality to an ‘Interpreted Reality’ is to miss the point. The very notion of ‘Interpretation’ is a Modeled-Idea as is the notion of Model. Fresh Academics and Deconstructionists are the most susceptible to this take.

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Categorized as The Loop
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