Flash Cards | Discrete Data

Things exist. Things are made up of smaller things. Things participate in larger things. People perceive things in wildly different ways. You call a spade a spade. Your neighbor might use it to shovel dirt. You dig?

The smallest and most specific way you can describe something is discrete data.  Forgive a couple examples ...Your body has 206 bones.  They fall into different classifications.  Each one operates a little differently. It has its dimensions and characteristics.  It also contains marrow and other facilities.

Your hand has fingers, which have nails.  Under the surface, there are bones, cartilidge, tendons, and muscle.  On the literal surface, you have skin.  The skin itself has seven layers, each with their own nature and function.

There’s a place for everything, and everything in its place.

Conceptually, the particulate nature of something is valuable.  The nitty-gritty detail.  The brass tacks.

Discrete Data is something really small that also can be used with other little bits of similar and different types to make something larger, greater, and more meaningful.

By trying to describe things in the smallest pieces possible and being intentional about finding out all the constituent pieces, you open the possibility to many more uses of information in different combinations.  If you are unable to separate data into its smallest informative clusters, you lock your data collection and manipulation into rigid compartments.

You yearn to store discrete data because you want to get the most utility out of that data as possible.  You usually only get one chance to put the data in, so its essential that not only is it particulate data, but also connected to the right other discrete data.

Mitigate Minutia Management, Define Data Discretely.

There’s only one way to specify and collect discrete data: Planning.  It takes concentrated thought and true intention to plan out true discrete data.

But every application and purpose has different levels of specificity.  Sometimes you don’t need to know the diameter of an eyelash or the wingspan of an African Swallow; but its good to know that they exist to begin with.

Discrete Data lets you repurpose data for many uses other than the original intention.  It lets you dig deeper and retain more meaning over time.

Thinking about data on a discrete level also prepares you to think about issues which pertain to that data from different perspectives.

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