Models: What are they? and How can we use them?
Models have been used since the human being has learned how to speak and how to write; in other words, since it learned how to transmit its ideas to other human beings. Whether it’s a model representing a small thing such as the atom or a model representing large things such as buildings or historic events, they both have the same purpose to educate or to facilitate education. So, what exactly is a model? A model is a representation whether it’s related to statistics or probability or even if it’s related to governmental processes. In other word a model is a graphic representation of data or objects (that we can see or not see), it can also be a series of steps to follow. In this essay we will talk about the purpose of models and an example of models that represent justice and injustice.
We have already seen that models can be seen almost anywhere in our lives, but, what exactly is the purpose of a model? To understand this, we need to return to the definition of a model. We had already defined model as a graphic representation of data or objects, but how does the Cambridge English Dictionary define a model, “something that represents another thing, either as a physical object that is usually smaller than the real object, or as a simple description that can be used in calculations”(Cambridge, N/A). As you can see the definitions look somewhat similar to each other, so now that we have “defined” what a model is, we can finally see what its purpose is. In my opinion the purpose of a model is to educate. How exactly? Well one way is we use models every day in science or math classes to represent objects or data in a much more simplified way, so it helps us understand topics we are viewing. For example, we can’t physically view an atom so, what do we do? We make a model of the atom to understand the structure of an atom, that way when a test comes around we no longer struggle as much to understand the topic. So that’s basically the purpose of a model. In the next paragraph we will discuss one example of a model that represents injustice.
An example of a model that may cause injustice will have to be the application process for a job. You may ask yourself, why? This is because when applying for a job they ask you a variety of things that will help you get the job or make you lose it. When filling out the application documents, there is a part of the document that asks you if you’ve had any work experience. This in my opinion can be the question that can either get you the job or make you pack your things and go. Why? This is because when a company is looking for a new employee it always looks for the most prepared one, in this case having work experience implies that you are more prepared than another person who has no work experience. Another example that may cause injustice, is the wages of men and women that work in the same position. This model is an injustice because it creates a problem between both genders because companies believe that men are better at doing some things than women, and when a man and a woman works in the same position in a company the woman is typically paid 10-15% less than the man because of the old fashioned thinking that human beings have. In the next paragraph we will talk about a model that can eliminate a bias.
Bias is defined as “an unfair personal opinion that influences your judgment” by the Cambridge Dictionary. So now that we know the definition of bias we can search for models in our everyday life that eliminate bias. One example of this is when a company has a vacant spot and two people show up, one a tattooed man and the other a man in a tux. The elimination of bias comes when the company stops focusing on the outer looks and starts focusing on the experience of the person, the personality of the person among other things. This is a model of how a company can eliminate bias.
In conclusion I think in one way or another we are all at least in one position of disadvantage in any of the mathematical models that exist this is due to the society we live in today. Societies today have changed a lot from societies that existed decades ago. In my opinion they have changed for the better, but there are still many things that are wrong with society and can be done better, and because there are many things that are still wrong with society there are still parts of society that are at a disadvantage whenever they are in any of the previously listed models. So, yes anyone of us can be at a disadvantage when using the mathematical models, but I believe that things will get better.
1. Cambridge Dictionary: Find Definitions, Meanings & Translations. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/
2. ONeil, C. (2018). Weapons of math destruction: How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy. London: Penguin Books.