Computer programming allows a compact elegance that
seems to me very poetic. In my favourite language the
following is the basis for a word processor:
< > = repeat this process.
^T before a character means take the character in from the
^T after a character means display the character to the screen.
The rest of the program is built on that basic algorithm.
Each one of those characters is read by the computer as a
set of zeros and ones which tell it how to calculate the
command to be performed.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Vishvesh Obla" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 8:25 AM
Subject: Re: (OT) Towards a speech of the machine ...
'Computer programming bears much more relation to
language than it does to maths'
'if year++ then age ++, the expression is _not_
mathematical; it is language.'
is good poetry or bad poetry is a separate question,
but if you are
going to call it either math or poetry, the correct
label is poetry'
These three passages one from Tabitha, and two from
Carroll, struck me. I too think it is 'language' than
'mathematics', but language permeated by the
mathematical process. Just as one could call a
theorem as sheer poetry by the beauty of its
elucidatory nature of a complex mechanism (Ramanujan
often said that he found God whenever he wrote a new
theorem!), I think one could call the code that I
quoted as poetry for its astonishing clarity of the
*idea* (the 'year' and 'age' have a natural relation,
which is not mathematical alone). My concern about
this is centered on a communication that could be
radically different from the way mankind has used
language hitherto. There is a distinct difference in
the usage. For, the element of 'suggestion' that is
vital for language to be *creative* though it creates
bizarre associations is one factor, and an important
one at that, is compromised.
--- Tabitha Arnesen <[log in to unmask]>
> No i would say that in general maths and language
> completely unrelated. As a physicist I have met
> other scientists who were brilliant at maths,
> infinitely better than myself, and completely
> at essay writing, even science reports, which you
> would think would not present too much of a language
> I also know a very clever girl who can speak several
> languages, and pick up a new one in a few weeks.
> is however completely useless at maths, and only
> scraped by her GCSE (very basic).
> Computer programming bears much more relation to
> language than it does to maths.
> --- Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Just because they may happen in different parts of
> > the brain, does not
> > mean they are unrelated. All kinds of
> > of patterning,
> > analogous top analogies are possible.
> > P.
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Monday, April 10, 2006 12:50 PM
> > Subject: Re: (OT) Towards a speech of the machine
> > ...
> > > Tom Gray wrote:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Knowledge beyond the trivial is beyond the
> > of mathematics.
> > >
> > > We are learning a great deal through the
> > of MRI. One highly
> > > interesting bit of knowledge recently gained
> > it is that the part of
> > > the brain that processes mathematics is _not_
> > part of the brain that
> > > processes language.
> > >
> > > One of the things that follows from this is that
> > it probably doesn't
> > > make a lot of sense to argue over whether the
> > knowledge from mathematics
> > > is greater or lesser than knowledge processed
> > through language. They are
> > > simply different.
> > >
> > > But the distinction between mathematics and
> > language (or poetry) is not
> > > relevant to if year++ then age ++, because
> > actually as it stands in
> > > Vishvesh's post (or even as part of the
> > conversation between him and his
> > > wife), the expression is _not_ mathematical; it
> > language. Whether it
> > > is good poetry or bad poetry is a separate
> > question, but if you are
> > > going to call it either math or poetry, the
> > correct label is poetry.
> > >
> > > Carrol
> > >
> > >
> > > --
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> > >
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