Showing posts with the label Computation

On Forced Open Sourcing of End of Life Software

Recently I heard of a regulation France introduced (or was proposing be introduced internationally at least) in order to force companies developing closed source applications to open source them once end of life is declared for the software. And again I shall state this is almost purely in an effort to be fair to the users of the software. Why is this "fair"? What does it reflect about the rest of the life of the software? i.e. What is the impact on the non-end of life- life of the software and the user?

If it is fair to force declaration of the source code because the users are no longer supported with updates and maintenance of the software. Then this means it is recognized that forcing users to use software that doesn't remain in appreciation of their security needs is seen here as ethically wrong. In essence we recognize here that users cannot be held captive by software they are not allowed to understand or change by the imposition of the company that owns the soft…

On the ontological duality of Software and Hardware II : and What it means for Open Source.

Folks in France had the brilliant idea of requiring software companies to hand over source code for software they have ended support for. Obviously this is done in an effort to protect the users who suffer from needing to use their software. But of course this means much much more for the future of software, and highlights a key insight the French have on the reality of software and how it actually affects society.

Why does Source code matter? Because its all source code!
Computer Scientists have since before the existence of computers argued the break in ontological duality of hardware and software (most recently I think JH Moore's "Three Myths of Computer Science" being the last major blow to it from a philosophical stand point). Essentially they've been screaming at us that there is no difference between hardware and software - no means to actually differentiate them according to the ontological realities. And whats more because of the advent of quantum computing…

(Philosophy) Egyptian Magic and Theory of Computation

This post is a philosophical one discussing the essential motives of the theories underpinning Egyptian magic and how it relates to our modernized concepts of computation.

Egyptians had the belief that things called "words of power"*1 existed.  People who knew these words of power invoked them to do crazy things apparently like parting water into blocks and stacking the blocks to search for things beneath the water; rejoining animals and man's heads when they had become detached from their bodies etc. But the essential concept was these collections of words that when said caused certain effects.

Essentially this means that using language you could invoke properties of the universe and use them like a mechanism to do you your bidding. This is sounds fantastical and mystical of course - we today know assumedly no such "words of power"; we cannot say things with our mouths that have any of the effects the Egyptians describe in their scrolls.

But we do have this al…

What is computation? An introduction for humans

It occurs to me that in this age ruled by computers many people do not know what computation is.

If you feel you know what makes a computer "compute" you must be able to describe it no? What renders a lifeless collection of transistors and voltages into a working all emulating computer? If you cannot answer then your entire understanding of computers is completely spiritual and religious in my view - an entire practice of assuming (its not wrong its just not provably correct)! A simple experiment I always play on my non-Computer Scientist friends (perhaps very cruelly lol) is to ask them how a computer manages to check if two numbers are equal? "How do you write or design a machine that computes equality? Does it just magically calculate it as equal? How does it "weight" the numbers? Well how does it know the weights are the same?"

This illusively counter intuitive question brings to light the very underpinning of all logic on computers: equality and of …