‘All Models Are Wrong; Some Are Useful’

Said George E. P. Box.

The Torah contains and/or has been described in many general principles, or “Clalim”. The rule in the title is true for Clalim in Shas and commentaries, other works, grammar, Pesak, etc.

In Hebrew it’s sometimes called: טעות שימושית.

A truism from the same man:

Since all models are wrong the scientist cannot obtain a “correct” one by excessive elaboration. On the contrary following William of Occam he should seek an economical description of natural phenomena. Just as the ability to devise simple but evocative models is the signature of the great scientist so overelaboration and overparameterization is often the mark of mediocrity.

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