Re: [asa] Re: "junk" DNA

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Fri Jun 15 2007 - 09:00:09 EDT

On Jun 15, 2007, at 2:51 AM, David Opderbeck wrote:

> D.S. said: A designed process, even with input, is far different
> than a designed object.
> But all objects are designed using design processes. They aren't
> just poofed into existence by their designers. And, therefore, on
> careful examination, a designed object will usually display
> evidence of the process by which it was designed, including
> artifacts of the design process that have no functionality in the
> final object. The presence of such non-functional artifacts of the
> design process does not necessarily suggest the completed object is
> "flawed" or "inefficient." An efficient design process may very
> well result in a completed object that possesses some non-
> functional elements.

Engineers design the following:

1. The process
2. The product
3. And this is important -- the ability to easily create future
generations of the product

Take the case of semiconductor design. The empty places on the design
we place spare gates and gate array backfill cells. In the latter
case we have completely unconnected transistors. No electricity flows
through them at all in the original revision of the design. New
requirements come along and we connect the transistors for the new
function. This is lower cost since we don't have to re-do the more
expensive base layers but only the metalization layers and -- tada!
-- new function.

If you look at the semi-conductor design and you see unconnected
transistors -- which I view as directly analogous to what we
discussing -- you might wrongly conclude that this was a design flaw.
Rather, its purpose is to accommodate the next generation. So, if you
are designing multiple generations of objects then this kind of
functional but not coding DNA makes sense just like transistors but
not connected.

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Received on Fri Jun 15 09:02:36 2007

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