[e2e] Bandwidth Estimation workshop

David P. Reed dpreed at reed.com
Mon Oct 6 05:01:02 PDT 2003

Michael - actually, metaphors are REALLY dangerous, and you are falling 
into a trap here.

At 06:41 PM 10/3/2003, Michael B Greenwald wrote:
>If you consider two systems that
>have identical properties in all respects except that one has narrow
>bandwidth than the other [I know this isn't always possible], I meant
>that you'd prefer the system with narrower bandwidth.

This is precisely the point I was saying is wrong.   You have fallen into 
the trap of thinking that bandwidth is a resource that is consumed by a 
communications system to produce its product.   Physically this is just not 
true.  The metaphor persists in the minds of engineers because they have 
been working for so long on FDM systems at the top level regulatory regime, 
that they assume it must be true.

>   You can, metaphorically, consider bandwidth
>(hz) to be cost and bandwidth (bps) to be value.

Metaphors are incredibly dangerous reasoning tools.   WIthout an 
isomorphism that can be proved, a metaphor is just a heuristic.

>[I deliberately chose
>to use "bandwidth" for both terms because this particular subthread
>was answering a question about how to instruct people that bandwidth
>has two meanings.]  I didn't mean to imply that systems using narrower
>bandwidth necessarily were better systems.

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