The Metaphor which underlies Quantification

It think one of the key underlying metaphors of quantification is one of digitalization. There is an intuitive sense that quantifying complex phenomena is analogous to the way we digitalize an analog photograph. If we break it down into small enough digital chunks, such that we can represent it digitally, it really appears to be a good representation. For example, when we quantify a complex phenomena like fecal incontinence with something like the Wexner Fecal Incontinence Score, we have a sense that we are breaking down the phenomena into its fundamental components.  Just like when we break down a photo into pixels.  The problem is that this is a spurious metaphor.  Our tools and techniques for quantifying complex medical phenomena do not represent the fundamental components of those phenomena. Sure, assessing someones ability to control gas, liquid or solid stool and whether they need to wear a pad are important aspects of the phenomena of incontinence, but they do not represent incontinence anymore than the nuts, bolts, metal sheets, leather, tubes, wires, and tires represent a functioning car. A functioning car is much more than just the sum of its parts. So it is with medical phenomena.  Heart failure, depression, and fractured bones are much more than just the sum of the attempts to quantify them.  They are infinitely more complex and richer.