Poems and Programs

Words that do …

A trendy misunderstanding has reared its head as to what the discipline of computing, indeed the logic of science, are all about.  I blame Penrose, of course, but he is only the most recent promulgator of the recurring misunderstanding.

There are only a countable number of computable functions, so it’s no surprise a natural system picked at random will have non-computable functional features.  Saying not all natural systems are computable is like saying not all poems are sonnets.  Writing a program to model a significant aspect of a natural system is like writing a sonnet to express a significant aspect of human experience.  It’s a voluntary limitation programmers and poets accept for the sake of their elective-effective art.

And both have their uses.

This entry was posted in Aesthetics, Artistic Differences, Computability, Effective Description, Ethics, Existential Choice, Finitude, Form, Imagination, Information, Inquiry, Limitation, Logic of Science, Matter, Mortality, Poetry, Programming, Volition and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Poems and Programs

  1. Bob Shepherd says:

    Bless you for this, Jon. Brilliant. Beautiful. Profound. True.

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