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.

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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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