Spiritual Programming (OT, but Python-inspired)

Discussion in 'Python' started by UrsusMaximus@gmail.com, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Guest

    While preparing a Python411 podcast about classes and OOP, my mind
    wondered far afield. I found myself constructing an extended metaphor
    or analogy between the way programs are organized and certain
    philosophical ideas. So, going where my better angels dare not, here is
    the forbidden fruit of my noodling:

    Spiritual Programming:

    It seems to me that, if anything of a person survives death in any way,
    it must do so in some way very different from that way in which we
    exist now.

    For now, we live in a temporal world, and once our body and brain
    ceases to function, then our mind can no longer function in this
    temporal world, and we cease to exist in this temporal world

    So, our current consciousness and awareness is a temporal one. We
    experience the one way flow of time. We are not actually conscious of
    any permanent thing, only of the changing world as time flows forward.

    In this sense, we are like the ghost in the machine of a computer
    system running a computer program, or programs, written in a procedural
    language and style. That is, the instructions in our program flow in a
    linear sequence, with each instruction impacting and giving way to the
    next instruction. Oh, there are the occasional looping structures, and
    even the occasional out-of-left-field chaos causing go-to; but we
    nevertheless experience all these things as linear and procedural.

    It seems apparent to me that , if anything of us survives it must do so
    outside time, and any surviving consciousness could not experience the
    same sort of temporal, linear, procedural existence of which we are now
    aware. Oh, I can imagine a timeless essence of our "being" existing
    timelessly but statically, observing the remnant of our "informational
    holes" evolving and dissolving away in the temporal universe; but this
    would be a cold survival after all, hardly worthy of the name.

    But perhaps there is a non-temporal world of eternity, that has
    structures more reminiscent of higher order programming structures. So,
    for instance, functional programming takes and builds upon its
    procedural predecessors. So maybe our better, more re-useable parts,
    that we develop in this temporal existence, are recycled into
    functional units in a non-temporal world. There would still be a
    direction of logic flow, but it would be a higher order reality than a
    linear, procedural one.

    But beyond this perhaps we can imagine an object oriented world, one in
    which the more functional, re-useable parts of people and things from
    this lower, temporal world are re-packaged into objects containing both
    functional methods and also parameters of state. These higher order
    objects, and the relationships they form amongst themselves, can be
    imagined to exist in a more timeless state than mere procedural
    programs, or even functional ones, in that the complex object oriented
    structures of such a timeless world would hold meaning even when viewed
    as a whole, and not just when played linearly like a phonograph record.


    There must be some higher order cognate of time, in this object
    oriented world, but we are not able to conceive of it at this time. Our
    awareness of existence in this higher order world would be very
    different than our current awareness of linearly flowing time, but must
    be more in the way of sensing the movements of meaning and
    relationships amongst the informational matrices of this higher order,
    object oriented universe.

    One can visualize a universe in which there are are an infinite number
    of infinite dimensions, but these dimensions also keep expanding at an
    infinite rate forever. This expansion could be thought of as the
    cognate of time. Entities in this world could freely move back and
    forth in any dimension, and could experience the totality of reality
    all at once, but still experience the novelty of "time".

    I do not know how Aspect Oriented Programming fits into this picture,
    if at all. But one can imagine higher orders of programming logic and
    structure than OOP, whether AOP qualifies or some other, yet
    undescribed programing paradigm. And, we do not know how many higher
    layers of programming structure exist beyond our current technical
    understanding.

    Perhaps this is one reason why programmers are so passionate, and even
    religious, about their programming tools; because they intuitively
    sense that we are dealing with ideas that, however crudely, mirror
    eternal realities of immense significance.

    Ron Stephens
    <a href="http://www.awaretek.com/python/index.html">Python411 Podcast
    Series</a>
    , Jan 2, 2006
    #1
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  2. There are many ways of going crazy, but the most valuable of them is
    this one which makes a genius out of an ordinary man.

    Claudio

    wrote:
    > While preparing a Python411 podcast about classes and OOP, my mind
    > wondered far afield. I found myself constructing an extended metaphor
    > or analogy between the way programs are organized and certain
    > philosophical ideas. So, going where my better angels dare not, here is
    > the forbidden fruit of my noodling:
    >
    > Spiritual Programming:
    >
    > It seems to me that, if anything of a person survives death in any way,
    > it must do so in some way very different from that way in which we
    > exist now.
    >
    > For now, we live in a temporal world, and once our body and brain
    > ceases to function, then our mind can no longer function in this
    > temporal world, and we cease to exist in this temporal world
    >
    > So, our current consciousness and awareness is a temporal one. We
    > experience the one way flow of time. We are not actually conscious of
    > any permanent thing, only of the changing world as time flows forward.
    >
    > In this sense, we are like the ghost in the machine of a computer
    > system running a computer program, or programs, written in a procedural
    > language and style. That is, the instructions in our program flow in a
    > linear sequence, with each instruction impacting and giving way to the
    > next instruction. Oh, there are the occasional looping structures, and
    > even the occasional out-of-left-field chaos causing go-to; but we
    > nevertheless experience all these things as linear and procedural.
    >
    > It seems apparent to me that , if anything of us survives it must do so
    > outside time, and any surviving consciousness could not experience the
    > same sort of temporal, linear, procedural existence of which we are now
    > aware. Oh, I can imagine a timeless essence of our "being" existing
    > timelessly but statically, observing the remnant of our "informational
    > holes" evolving and dissolving away in the temporal universe; but this
    > would be a cold survival after all, hardly worthy of the name.
    >
    > But perhaps there is a non-temporal world of eternity, that has
    > structures more reminiscent of higher order programming structures. So,
    > for instance, functional programming takes and builds upon its
    > procedural predecessors. So maybe our better, more re-useable parts,
    > that we develop in this temporal existence, are recycled into
    > functional units in a non-temporal world. There would still be a
    > direction of logic flow, but it would be a higher order reality than a
    > linear, procedural one.
    >
    > But beyond this perhaps we can imagine an object oriented world, one in
    > which the more functional, re-useable parts of people and things from
    > this lower, temporal world are re-packaged into objects containing both
    > functional methods and also parameters of state. These higher order
    > objects, and the relationships they form amongst themselves, can be
    > imagined to exist in a more timeless state than mere procedural
    > programs, or even functional ones, in that the complex object oriented
    > structures of such a timeless world would hold meaning even when viewed
    > as a whole, and not just when played linearly like a phonograph record.
    >
    >
    > There must be some higher order cognate of time, in this object
    > oriented world, but we are not able to conceive of it at this time. Our
    > awareness of existence in this higher order world would be very
    > different than our current awareness of linearly flowing time, but must
    > be more in the way of sensing the movements of meaning and
    > relationships amongst the informational matrices of this higher order,
    > object oriented universe.
    >
    > One can visualize a universe in which there are are an infinite number
    > of infinite dimensions, but these dimensions also keep expanding at an
    > infinite rate forever. This expansion could be thought of as the
    > cognate of time. Entities in this world could freely move back and
    > forth in any dimension, and could experience the totality of reality
    > all at once, but still experience the novelty of "time".
    >
    > I do not know how Aspect Oriented Programming fits into this picture,
    > if at all. But one can imagine higher orders of programming logic and
    > structure than OOP, whether AOP qualifies or some other, yet
    > undescribed programing paradigm. And, we do not know how many higher
    > layers of programming structure exist beyond our current technical
    > understanding.
    >
    > Perhaps this is one reason why programmers are so passionate, and even
    > religious, about their programming tools; because they intuitively
    > sense that we are dealing with ideas that, however crudely, mirror
    > eternal realities of immense significance.
    >
    > Ron Stephens
    > <a href="http://www.awaretek.com/python/index.html">Python411 Podcast
    > Series</a>
    >
    Claudio Grondi, Jan 2, 2006
    #2
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  3. On Mon, 02 Jan 2006 13:38:47 -0800, UrsusMaximus wrote:

    > It seems to me that, if anything of a person survives death in any way,
    > it must do so in some way very different from that way in which we
    > exist now.

    [snip]

    I don't dare ask where your evidence for this hypothesis is, but I will
    ask what are your reasons for imagining this? What is the chain of thought
    that leads from:

    Step 1: We live in a temporal world.

    to:

    Step N: Our ghost/soul must therefore live in a timeless state.

    ?

    Apart from wishful thinking of course. That's always the major component
    in any reasoning about the afterlife. Life is a process, not a thing --
    when a clock runs down and stops ticking, there is no essence of ticking
    that keeps going, the gears just stop. When I stop walking, there is no
    spirit of walk that survives me coming to a halt. I just stop walking.


    --
    Steven.
    Steven D'Aprano, Jan 3, 2006
    #3
  4. "The highest activities of consciousness have their origins in the
    physical occurrences of the brain just as the loveliest of melodies are
    not too sublime to be expressed by notes."--Somerset Maugham
    BartlebyScrivener, Jan 3, 2006
    #4
  5. Neal Becker Guest

    Steven D'Aprano wrote:

    > On Mon, 02 Jan 2006 13:38:47 -0800, UrsusMaximus wrote:
    >
    >> It seems to me that, if anything of a person survives death in any way,
    >> it must do so in some way very different from that way in which we
    >> exist now.

    > [snip]
    >
    > I don't dare ask where your evidence for this hypothesis is, but I will
    > ask what are your reasons for imagining this? What is the chain of thought
    > that leads from:
    >
    > Step 1: We live in a temporal world.
    >
    > to:
    >
    > Step N: Our ghost/soul must therefore live in a timeless state.
    >
    > ?
    >
    > Apart from wishful thinking of course. That's always the major component
    > in any reasoning about the afterlife. Life is a process, not a thing --
    > when a clock runs down and stops ticking, there is no essence of ticking
    > that keeps going, the gears just stop. When I stop walking, there is no
    > spirit of walk that survives me coming to a halt. I just stop walking.
    >
    >


    Wishful thinking is only 1 part. Historically, a big part of the hypothesis
    of an afterlife is control. As in, "you peasants must obey, and suffer
    your difficult lives because you will be rewarded after death." An even
    more fundamental reason is that certain belief systems are viral - in that
    they are self-perpetuating.
    Neal Becker, Jan 3, 2006
    #5
  6. Peter Hansen Guest

    Steven D'Aprano wrote:
    > Life is a process, not a thing --
    > when a clock runs down and stops ticking, there is no essence of ticking
    > that keeps going, the gears just stop. When I stop walking, there is no
    > spirit of walk that survives me coming to a halt. I just stop walking.


    Yet when one listens to a clock or other repetitive sound for long
    enough, when that sound stops one continues to hear a sort of
    "after-image" of the sound.

    Somewhat like when someone sings a jingle and you just can't get it out
    of your head:

    "plop plop fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is..."

    Perhaps something similar happens with the "ticking" that we call life,
    and what happens after death:

    "plop plop fizz fizz, oh what a release this is..."

    -Peter

    ;-)
    Peter Hansen, Jan 3, 2006
    #6
  7. writes:

    > While preparing a Python411 podcast about classes and OOP, my mind
    > wondered far afield. I found myself constructing an extended metaphor
    > or analogy between the way programs are organized and certain
    > philosophical ideas. So, going where my better angels dare not, here is
    > the forbidden fruit of my noodling:


    Thanks for your thoughts on this. They give rise to some interesting
    lines of contemplation.

    David



    --

    David Trudgett
    http://www.zeta.org.au/~wpower/

    It is seldom that any liberty is lost all at once.

    -- David Hume
    David Trudgett, Jan 3, 2006
    #7
  8. Tom Anderson Guest

    On Mon, 2 Jan 2006 wrote:

    > In this sense, we are like the ghost in the machine of a computer
    > system running a computer program, or programs, written in a procedural
    > language and style.


    Makes sense - i heard that Steve Russell invented continuations after
    reading the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

    tom

    --
    Chance? Or sinister scientific conspiracy?
    Tom Anderson, Jan 3, 2006
    #8
  9. Guest

    > Apart from wishful thinking of course. That's always the major component
    > in any reasoning about the afterlife. Life is a process, not a thing --
    > when a clock runs down and stops ticking, there is no essence of ticking
    > that keeps going, the gears just stop. When I stop walking, there is no
    > spirit of walk that survives me coming to a halt. I just stop walking.


    QOTYear!
    , Jan 3, 2006
    #9
  10. Kay Schluehr Guest

    wrote:
    > While preparing a Python411 podcast about classes and OOP, my mind
    > wondered far afield. I found myself constructing an extended metaphor
    > or analogy between the way programs are organized and certain
    > philosophical ideas. So, going where my better angels dare not, here is
    > the forbidden fruit of my noodling:
    >
    > Spiritual Programming:
    >
    > It seems to me that, if anything of a person survives death in any way,
    > it must do so in some way very different from that way in which we
    > exist now.
    >
    > For now, we live in a temporal world, and once our body and brain
    > ceases to function, then our mind can no longer function in this
    > temporal world, and we cease to exist in this temporal world
    >
    > So, our current consciousness and awareness is a temporal one. We
    > experience the one way flow of time. We are not actually conscious of
    > any permanent thing, only of the changing world as time flows forward.
    >
    > In this sense, we are like the ghost in the machine of a computer
    > system running a computer program, or programs, written in a procedural
    > language and style. That is, the instructions in our program flow in a
    > linear sequence, with each instruction impacting and giving way to the
    > next instruction. Oh, there are the occasional looping structures, and
    > even the occasional out-of-left-field chaos causing go-to; but we
    > nevertheless experience all these things as linear and procedural.
    >
    > It seems apparent to me that , if anything of us survives it must do so
    > outside time, and any surviving consciousness could not experience the
    > same sort of temporal, linear, procedural existence of which we are now
    > aware. Oh, I can imagine a timeless essence of our "being" existing
    > timelessly but statically, observing the remnant of our "informational
    > holes" evolving and dissolving away in the temporal universe; but this
    > would be a cold survival after all, hardly worthy of the name.
    >
    > But perhaps there is a non-temporal world of eternity, that has
    > structures more reminiscent of higher order programming structures. So,
    > for instance, functional programming takes and builds upon its
    > procedural predecessors. So maybe our better, more re-useable parts,
    > that we develop in this temporal existence, are recycled into
    > functional units in a non-temporal world. There would still be a
    > direction of logic flow, but it would be a higher order reality than a
    > linear, procedural one.
    >
    > But beyond this perhaps we can imagine an object oriented world, one in
    > which the more functional, re-useable parts of people and things from
    > this lower, temporal world are re-packaged into objects containing both
    > functional methods and also parameters of state. These higher order
    > objects, and the relationships they form amongst themselves, can be
    > imagined to exist in a more timeless state than mere procedural
    > programs, or even functional ones, in that the complex object oriented
    > structures of such a timeless world would hold meaning even when viewed
    > as a whole, and not just when played linearly like a phonograph record.
    >
    >
    > There must be some higher order cognate of time, in this object
    > oriented world, but we are not able to conceive of it at this time. Our
    > awareness of existence in this higher order world would be very
    > different than our current awareness of linearly flowing time, but must
    > be more in the way of sensing the movements of meaning and
    > relationships amongst the informational matrices of this higher order,
    > object oriented universe.
    >
    > One can visualize a universe in which there are are an infinite number
    > of infinite dimensions, but these dimensions also keep expanding at an
    > infinite rate forever. This expansion could be thought of as the
    > cognate of time. Entities in this world could freely move back and
    > forth in any dimension, and could experience the totality of reality
    > all at once, but still experience the novelty of "time".
    >
    > I do not know how Aspect Oriented Programming fits into this picture,
    > if at all. But one can imagine higher orders of programming logic and
    > structure than OOP, whether AOP qualifies or some other, yet
    > undescribed programing paradigm. And, we do not know how many higher
    > layers of programming structure exist beyond our current technical
    > understanding.
    >
    > Perhaps this is one reason why programmers are so passionate, and even
    > religious, about their programming tools; because they intuitively
    > sense that we are dealing with ideas that, however crudely, mirror
    > eternal realities of immense significance.
    >
    > Ron Stephens
    > <a href="http://www.awaretek.com/python/index.html">Python411 Podcast
    > Series</a>


    AOP corresponds to a holographic worldview where each single object is
    in fact a composition and we obtain nonlocal correspondences between
    parts of the whole pattern. The aspects in an AOP program are the
    implicite order of a program that is weaved by aspects. The spiritual
    meaning is that of the gnostic believe in a transcentendal order that
    pervades existing being but is nevertheless hidden. Its relationship is
    less close to time as it is to space. The implicate order is of course
    state- and timeless.

    Kay
    Kay Schluehr, Jan 3, 2006
    #10
  11. wrote:
    > Perhaps this is one reason why programmers are so passionate, and even
    > religious, about their programming tools; because they intuitively
    > sense that we are dealing with ideas that, however crudely, mirror
    > eternal realities of immense significance.


    While I don't associate any spiritual significance with programming, I
    do think that the choices we've made in the field of programming reflect
    deeply upon human cognition.

    A modern computer is a thoroughly abstract mathematical machine, so
    programmers can choose almost any abstraction to solve a problem. But
    it turns out that some abstractions fit our minds better than others, so
    programmers usually apply a small set of abstractions many times. So if
    we could categorize and chart the space of all programming abstractions
    that we have found most useful, we might learn a little about how our
    minds work. The research could be valuable for AI.

    Shane
    Shane Hathaway, Jan 3, 2006
    #11
  12. On Mon, 02 Jan 2006 19:05:04 -0500, Steven D'Aprano wrote:


    > I don't dare ask where your evidence for this hypothesis is, but I will
    > ask what are your reasons for imagining this? What is the chain of
    > thought that leads from:
    >
    > Step 1: We live in a temporal world.
    >
    > to:
    >
    > Step N: Our ghost/soul must therefore live in a timeless state.


    I can throw in some historical evidence against (assuming you accept the
    Gospels as historical, that is - at least they are documents). Christian
    doctrine paraphrased in the programming mindset is that this temporal
    world will be rebooted - destroyed and replaced with a "new heavens and
    new earth". The new earth will have time, but is purged of all evil. The
    goal of Christian practice is to cooperate with God as He cleans the
    wickedness out of our souls so that we can inhabit the new creation. The
    cleaning experience is not always pleasant. Taking a hard objective look
    at the "goodness" of your behaviour can be humbling and embarrassing.
    Stuart D. Gathman, Jan 3, 2006
    #12
  13. Peter Hansen wrote:
    > Steven D'Aprano wrote:
    > > Life is a process, not a thing --
    > > when a clock runs down and stops ticking, there is no essence of ticking
    > > that keeps going, the gears just stop. When I stop walking, there is no
    > > spirit of walk that survives me coming to a halt. I just stop walking.

    >
    > Yet when one listens to a clock or other repetitive sound for long
    > enough, when that sound stops one continues to hear a sort of
    > "after-image" of the sound.
    >
    > Somewhat like when someone sings a jingle and you just can't get it out
    > of your head:
    >
    > "plop plop fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is..."
    >
    > Perhaps something similar happens with the "ticking" that we call life,
    > and what happens after death:
    >
    > "plop plop fizz fizz, oh what a release this is..."


    I have an even more eerie (eerier?) example: I rememeber a family
    friend whose husband had recently died saying that she could still feel
    his presence about the house.

    Yet all these examples appear to me to be better explained as instances
    of a form of physiological or psichological inertia than as indications
    of the existence of some form of meta reality.

    More-platonic-than-pythonic-ly y'rs,
    Nicola Musatti
    Nicola Musatti, Jan 4, 2006
    #13
  14. >>>>> (U) wrote:

    >U> While preparing a Python411 podcast about classes and OOP, my mind
    >U> wondered far afield. I found myself constructing an extended metaphor
    >U> or analogy between the way programs are organized and certain
    >U> philosophical ideas. So, going where my better angels dare not, here is
    >U> the forbidden fruit of my noodling:


    >U> Spiritual Programming:


    >U> It seems to me that, if anything of a person survives death in any way,
    >U> it must do so in some way very different from that way in which we
    >U> exist now.


    >U> For now, we live in a temporal world, and once our body and brain
    >U> ceases to function, then our mind can no longer function in this
    >U> temporal world, and we cease to exist in this temporal world

    [snip]

    If you have a program running on a computer and the thing is too old to
    survive then you could dump its state to another computer and continue
    running there. Or you could archive the state for some time and resume it
    when it is convenient.

    I imagine that something similar would be possible with my state of mind.
    --
    Piet van Oostrum <>
    URL: http://www.cs.uu.nl/~piet [PGP 8DAE142BE17999C4]
    Private email:
    Piet van Oostrum, Jan 4, 2006
    #14
  15. Fuzzyman Guest

    Our psyche is formed by external forces, and only exists in interaction
    with them. (Our inner self is not separate from our external
    influences).

    As we are part of something bigger than ourselves, the death of our
    physical body is not an end to the 'psychological' forces that we
    perceive to be our 'self'.

    c.f. the research that Jung did to demostrate the common unconscious.
    (The individual psyche has it's roots in something much wider than the
    individual).

    All the best,

    Fuzzyman
    http://www.voidspace.org.uk/python/index.shtml
    Fuzzyman, Jan 4, 2006
    #15
  16. Peter Hansen Guest

    Nicola Musatti wrote:
    > Yet all these examples appear to me to be better explained as instances
    > of a form of physiological or psichological inertia than as indications
    > of the existence of some form of meta reality.


    But can you define "physiological or psychological inertia" in such a
    way that the term "meta reality" doesn't cover them, too? ;-)
    Peter Hansen, Jan 4, 2006
    #16
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