Re: virus: Re : Complexity was TT and Absolute Truth

Alex Williams (
Tue, 26 Nov 1996 06:57:46 -0500 (EST)

McFadzean" at Nov 25, 96 11:36:34 pm
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> OK, you mentioned you are a computer professional. Would you
> call this a program?:
> use Math::BigInt;$|=1;$%=2;($y,$b=>$c,$d)=map{new Math::BigInt $_}4,1,12,
> 4;a:($=,$-,$%)=($%**2,2*$%+1,$%+1),($y,$b,$c,$d)=($c,$d=>$=*$y+$-*$c,$=*
> $b+$-*$d),($;,$:)=($y/$b,$c/$d);$;=~y/+//d=>(print$;,$%-3?'':"."),($y,$c)
> =(10*($y%$b),10*($c%$d))=>($;,$:)=($y/$b,$c/$d)until($;-$:);goto a
> I'd call it a program, even though it isn't actually running on
> a computer. In fact you need a perl interpreter (v.5) to see what
> it does. (If you don't I'd be really impressed!)

[Perl-despisist-mode:] Actually, I'd call it worse than TECO. :)

I'd call it `code that describes a program', just as they teach back in
CIS 100. Its a coded representation of an algorithm which can be
executed on a platform.

> If you wouldn't call it a program, but instead a stimulus-pattern for
> a particular programming language interpreter I'd understand. I wouldn't
> agree, but I'd understand.

Question: Is it a program for Perl4? No, I think it has a couple
Perl5-isms in there, so as far as Perl4 goes (or Scheme or Common
LISP, or other sane programming language :) its not a program at all
but could just as easily represent a dataset which has to be parsed to
convert data to information. This is, in fact, exactly what the Perl5
interpreter does.

So, to sum up, yes, I'd say its a stimulous-pattern meant to trigger a
specific pattern-interpreting-complex and cause /it/ to do useful
work. Theoretically, you could write an interpreter for an entirely
different language in Perl5, and then feed /it/ a different set of
stimulous-patterns; isn't that akin to how meme-complexes reproduce?

(Nota bene, the comp sci field is probably not a good one to use when
looking for terminology hooks; we're such a confused bunch that we
have acronymns for our acronymns, after all.)