State of the Art

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 23:54 By: dae

In the past few days, while my mind took a break and wander around, it stumbled upon the literal meaning of the term "State-of-the-art". Since the first time I have heard the phrase, I naively think that it means that the subject is at the highest or latest state, which comparable to being the "Art". This is because I consider everything to be an "Art" when it reach its peak. Anything below that would be called something else but not "art".

It turns out that I am wrong. "State-of-the-art" literally means, "state of the topic" or "state of the field". If something is at the "state of the field", then, it is the best it could be. It is the latest and the like. This assuming that any field or topic never decline, the knowledge can only advance but not degenerate.

This happens to me because I was reading the Wikipedia entry about "person having ordinary skill in the art".