Defining limits is a perpetual problem. It’s often said that “there is no perfect map of an island” because the edges are constantly eroding and exhibit fractal-like patterns.
In fact, fractals have been best for modeling edges of islands.. or continents.
Of course the *root* of the problem is math itself. Math is not robust enough to compress EVERY SINGLE point in time that someone _might_ ask the question, “How far around this is Island, accurately?” or “What is the exact outline of this island?”
Also, there’s a always a part of the real world that doesn’t compress into patterns at all, as nothing in the Universe is fixed – again, due to time.
We get cocky about the power of math because it’s GREAT with big, gross, large items and simplifications that a kindergartener could draw on a piece of paper somewhat.
But any level of complexity beyond line drawing output and math starts to have trouble. Number line doesn’t have enough dimensions to compress all of reality into, just extreme simplifications.
Algorithms stand a better chance or perhaps lazy evaluation [where the question is answered at the nearest possible point to reality as possible]… but even then… might as well throw out the map once you’re done using it, because it’s already wrong again.
In my way of thinking, in short:
If you’re trying to compress a four dimensional reality onto something flat like a piece of paper, it’s already “not quite right”.
If you’re trying to compress a three dimensional reality onto something flat like a piece of paper, it’s already “not quite right”.
That’s why immersive, experiential environments are better because they DO have enough dimensions to make the attempt.
With virtual reality, our imagination can fill in the necessary gaps up to a point; you can add: Experience (perspective), a form of 3D (thanks to our suspension of disbelief in virtual reality environments) and Time, plus the social aspect which allows multiple perspecives – like many spotlights shining at the same problem from different viewpoints.
There will still be shadows, but fewer and fewer.