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Black arts are just arts with more rules than we ourselves understand. I don't think we should let that scare us from trying to understand. It's all just physics.



It's also about manufacturing tolerance, making room for error, suffering environmental stuff and understanding that the universe is out to get you. Sure, in reductio ad absurdum it's all just physics, but most of shipping a product is making engineering tradeoffs, dealing with complex stuff you may not fully understand, and making plans for when vendor B's product isn't exactly the same as vendor A's chips, but vendor A was just bought by Apple and won't talk to you any more, at any price. :-)


Of course. But the actual physical models that underpin these things are vastly different than the mental models we use to reason about them - even for people who understand them. Frequently the "lower level" model only needs to be pulled out at troubleshooting-time.

Hiding complexity behind abstractions is what allows us to build complex things.


It's all well modeled by transmission line theory and electromagnetic compatibility, as far as I know; although I'm sure modern processors have some additional problematic quantum behaviors too.




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