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"Abstracting Models" Topic


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©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2019 7:57 p.m. PST

"I am on record here as claiming that a wargame is a set of interacting models, and I think that this description has some truth to it. We have, after all, a load of scale models in the toy soldiers and terrain. We also have a set of wargame rules of some description or another which, I suggest, are another set of interacting models – models for movement, combat, morale, command and control and so on. These, of course, control the ‘on table' activities of the scale models.

I think I observed a long time ago that, in fact, on the table, there are multiple scales. We might use, say, 15 mm toy soldiers and 10 mm buildings, while the ground scale might be one inch to a hundred yards (I am making these up). We cope with these scale changes with little apparent cognitive effort, except occasionally arguing that this unit is, or is not, in range because it looks right. I often find myself explaining to some of my students that visualisation makes both understanding and explaining something complex much easier, and I suspect the same might be the case in a wargame.

I have just been reading an article by Nancy Cartwright, who is an empirical philosopher of science whose main claim to fame seems to be a book called ‘How the Laws of Physics Lie', which, however, I have not read. The article is…"
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