But in any given analysis the boundary should probably be kept constant.
[[p19]] "The form is a part of the world over which we have control, and which we decide to shape while leaving the rest of the world as it is. The context is that part of the world which puts [[demands]] on this form; anything in the world that makes demands of the form is context. [[Fitness]] is a [[relation]] of [[mutual acceptability]] between these two. In a problem of design we want to satisfy the mutual demands which the two make on one another. We want to put the context and the form into [[effortless contact]] or [[frictionless coexistence]]."
performance standards are based on scales that estimate fit/misfit in certain domains. quantifiable; miss the [[qualitative]].
we model problems with fit/misfit as booleans; although they might actually represent quantitative continuous variables plus a threshold, or qualitative opinions by people explicitly expressed
fit = 0
misfit = 1
"Let us remind ourselves of the fundamental principle. Any state of affairs in the ensemble which derives from the interaction between form and context, and causes stress in the ensemble, is a misfit."
[[misfit]] is left as a primitive notion (undefined)
[[domain]] is the totaility of possible forms within the cognitive reach of the designer
[[probabilities]] enter the stage! Finally. They seem to make sense in this context.
as usual, when probabilities are independent all's nice and well.
L describes all the interactions between variables there is. Because L is the set of two-variable correlations, M must be chosen so it's free from n-variable correlations with n > 2.
superordinate concepts like "economics" and "acoustics" tend to be problematic here, and they should be seen as intermediate steps -- must be broken down
the two-variable correlations must be small for any pair.
p(xi = 0) should be the same for all i (?)
but in the next sentence Alexander moves to "roughly the same in significance", which is both distinct than the previous and more reasonable IMHO.
the tension between form-making (integration) and analysis (fragmentation) is resolved by "finding knots": problems are not homogeneous, they actually have some structure, so there are right ways to tackle them.