Poems and Programs

Words that do …

A trendy misunderstanding has reared its head as to what the discipline of computing, and 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 that a natural system picked at random will have non-computable functional aspects. Saying that not all natural systems are computable is like saying that not all poems are sonnets. Writing a program that models 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 that a programmer or poet accepts for the sake of that effective-elective art. And both have their uses.

This entry was posted in Aesthetics, Artistic Differences, Computability, Effective Description, Existential Choice, Finitude, Inquiry, Limitation, Logic of Science, Mortality, Poetry, Programming, Voluntary Project and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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