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Part VII: Usable Objects > Abstract Objects

Chapter 44. Abstract Objects

In the underground-classic science-fiction film Dark Star, undaunted Lt. Doolittle tries to teach phenomenology to an intelligent bomb bent on blowing itself and the ship to smithereens. The universe is an abstraction, he hastily explains, and all we can ever know of it are the abstract constructs of our own minds filtered through our limited and unreliable senses. Translation: don't jump to potentially fatal conclusions from possibly faulty constructs.

Getting down to concrete cases, object technology is built on abstractions. Classes abstract the properties of numerous instances, and abstract classes act as conceptual place holders for the organization of constructive ideas. Even instantiated software objects are insubstantial abstractions, mere ghosts in the machine, at best the body-doubles for absent actors and entities in the external world.


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