Posted by: zyxo | November 2, 2011

Greece, loose coupling, clustering and evolution: what do they have in common?


Loose coupling
Once upon a time, when the descendents of the neanderthals had invented something called object-oriented programming (and when I worked in IT), one of the good qualities of a good object-oriented design was “loose coupling“.
Loose coupling in object orientation means that software objects are loosely coupled with one another such that you can easily modify one of them without influencing the rest. The opposite of spaghetti code, where you pull on one spaghetti string and it starts to move on the other side of your plate.
Obviously loosely coupled designs are much more stable that tightly coupled ones.

Clustering
One of the more interesting unsupervised data mining algorithms consists in finding clusters in a data cloud such that the clusters themselves are tight, but the clusters are far away from one another. In other words : the average distance between observations from the same cluster is far less than the distances between observations from other clusters. In some way, clusters are loosely coupled.
Obviously a segmentation based on really loosely coupled clusters clearly is much more relevant than one with very near or ill-separated clusters.

Evolution
Evolution occurs when populations of organisms change under environmental pressure. When organisms of the same species live under different environmental circumstances they will change in different directions without influencing other populations a lot. That’s the way they can evolve into different species. Some sort of loose coupling.
Obviously different populations that are loosely coupled can much more easily evolve in different directions than populations that are still connected, with a high exchange rate of individuals.

Greece
Apparently Greece is NOT loosely coupled financially and economically from the rest of Europe and the rest of the world. Though it should be! The world is becoming one tightly coupled system such that when you or I fart, they smell it in Japan or the Bahamas.
That’s why at some places they start much smaller with what they call “local currencies“. And here, “local” means exactly what it means : local, in one town or even one neighbourhood.  This allows this towns or neighbourhoods to do their thing more efficiently than when they are thightly connected to the rest of the country via the national currency.
Obviously the EURO was not such a good idea after all ?

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