Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sundials and Math-magical Spells

From an intriguing essay on how computers are descended from sundials:
Magic came before programming, programming came before mathematics, but the goal was always the same: to manipulate causal relationships in some sphere of extra-human intelligence. The sun, after all, was the first power towards which the celestial programmer directed his spells. Programmers executed spells in a self-defined medium and slowly these spells turned into code, into mathematics. But at least as late as Pythagoras the difference between programming, magic, mathematics were impossible to tell.

1 comment:

Tamara said...

Interesting essay!