Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Andre's tequila surprise

While Andre Durand recovers from his tequila induced stupor, I'll jump in with my explanation of his seminal comment:

"the sum of the correlation of between attributes is greater than the sum of raw attributes themselves."
(well, he did say he was "in a stupor" when he wrote it!)

If you throw a bunch of raw attributes in a bag, the end result is a bag of attributes. But if you take a handful of attributes and relate them one to another, you arrive at an identity context and, maybe, a full-blown persona.

So not only is the sum of the correlations among a group of attributes greater than the sum of those attributes, but it can be greater, even, than the sum of an infinite number of attributes. Without correlation, without context, the identity attributes have little meaning.

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