• Varde
    152
    Initially, an explanation of Programming' in this context is due. Programming entails; making computers, making hardware, making software.

    I posit that Philosophy of Programming' should be a field as it would benefit our technological growth as well as inspire programmers.

    We could discuss topics such as: File Anatomy, Bitmaps, the Modelling of Hardware, the Fabrication of Software, Online Communities, Computer Make-up, etc.

    Here's an example topic on Bitmaps;

    Bitmaps are also understood as maps under 3D+ graphics, that help to designate procedural programming; such as with skinning characters in a game.

    Could progression in Bitmap Programming help us to create better virtual realities?

    Multi-layered bitmapping(i.e. a blur map, a cube-map, a metaphor map and a abstract map for loading) would allow programmers to make dynamic bodies that move and change appearance in real-time.


    My conclusion is that Philosophy of Programming' ought to be a field of philosophy, there's so much to discuss and debate and all of it would benefit the art of professional programming.

    Are we agreed?
  • Marchesk
    4.5k
    Are we agreed?Varde

    Yeah, but I'd be more interested in things like the ontology of computation, whether computers can be conscious, superiintelligence, the ethics of turning the Earth into computronium, whether the universe is a computer, and those kinds of big questions.

    Most of the examples you give seem to be more straight forward computer science or online programming discussion, and less philosophical. But questions around the use of social media and the ethics of giant tech corporations would work as philosophical topics.

    Just my 2¢ but I think Nick Bostrom's philosophy would count. So would a few things Jaron Lanier has argued.
  • Hermeticus
    164
    My conclusion is that Philosophy of Programming' ought to be a field of philosophy, there's so much to discuss and debate and all of it would benefit the art of professional programming.

    Are we agreed?
    Varde

    I agree that there's a lot to be talked about in the field of programming. I think though, due to how distinctive a field of knowledge programming is, philosophy of programming ought to be a subfield of programming rather than philosophy. And if you do look on boards that are specialized on technical topics - primarily the stack exchange network comes to mind - you'll find some people in the community engaging exactly in that kind of philosophy.

    One thing I do consider easily accessible for any philosopher are the concepts of programming though. Programming paradigms like procedural, OOP and so on can quite readily be associated with different philosophical views and ideas. Programming language are very practical languages and they offer a fantastic framework for describing both any object or entity, as well as any process. I do in fact imagine that over the years, a lot of the terms from programming will find their way to popular philosophy.
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    The philosophy of programming

    1. The philosophy of language. Exists!

    2. The philosophy of logic. Also exists!
  • pfirefry
    36
    My interest in philosophy comes from programming. When you program, you create small functional models of the real world. If your program is used by millions of people, any wrong assumptions that you're making about the world will become apparent and they will cause your program to misbehave. You need to think deeply about the world to avoid making wrong assumptions, because any bugs in your software would lead to financial losses.

    One wrong assumption that I made in the past was that there is a globally agreed upon list of countries that doesn't change over time. Huge mistake! As an example, Puerto Rico is considered to be a territory of the United States, but according to the ISO 3166 standard it has a standalone country code. I made a mistake that caused my program not to expose Puerto Ricans to the functionality that was supposed to be available to all of the U.S. users. I also struggled with whether Hong Kong and Singapore should be displayed in the country list in the UI. I think the industry best practice is to display them for some users but not for others.

    To illustrate how programmers can be seen as philosophers, check out these lists of falsehoods programmers have identified in their thinking:

  • Bret Bernhoft
    37


    Code is philosophy; it's pure "prima materia" wrapped in an object of the modern world. Excellent conversation to have indeed.
  • Raymond
    649
    My interest in philosophy comes from programming. When you program, you create small functional models of the real worldpfirefry

    You don't create a model. You create a program operating on voltages and currents. Which is encoded in these currents and voltages also. A model plane is different from a programmed plane.
  • pfirefry
    36


    Thank you for explaining this. I always wondered why my programs didn’t fly.
  • Raymond
    649


    :smile:

    You're welcome!
  • emancipate
    356
    You don't create a model. You create a program operating on voltages and currents. Which is encoded in these currents and voltages alsoRaymond

    Nope. Programmers work at a high enough level of abstraction that they do indeed use models. That is true despite the fact that high level languages do get compiled all the way down to binary code, which is a symbolic representation for higher or lower voltage capacitor states. This is obviously far too complex for any human. Hence the need for higher abstractions and models.
  • Raymond
    649


    Still, the complex whole is pushed along by a program, no matter how high the language. A true model is analogue, not digital and programmed as that what you make a model of is not programmed. If the object is not programmed, the model can't be either. A true model of an airplane is something flying free like an airplane. So a scale model or the model that "flies" on our neural substrate.
  • emancipate
    356

    I can't make sense of your post.
  • god must be atheist
    3.8k
    'Philosophy of Programming' - Why Does This Field Not Exist?There is philosophy of programming. The field does exist. We took it back in freshman year, and then there was a graduate degree program in it. Our professor (I never got beyond the bachelor degree) explained that his best friend had to prove the computer clock (of a specific computer, or the concept of computer clocks in general, I don't know which) to a bunch of examiners in defense of his masters degree thesis. He could not. He was a brilliant person, and still he could not. Of course not. In philosophy no empirical stuff can be proven. The guy who demonstrated his ability to not prove a computer clock got his Ph.D. based on this performance of his.
  • Raymond
    649


    As I made pfirefry understand: the computer model doesn’t fly. So how can it be a model? The computer program, by means of computer language, lets, on the mega rythm of the computer clock, structured voltages appear which pull structured collections of 1s and 0s through the circuit wires. How can this be a model of the real thing?
  • Ennui Elucidator
    359
    Randomly, object oriented programming has been compared to substance ontology where process programming is process ontology.
  • Hanover
    7.5k
    My conclusion is that Philosophy of Programming' ought to be a field of philosophy, there's so much to discuss and debate and all of it would benefit the art of professional programming.Varde

    Here you go: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/computer-science/
  • emancipate
    356
    As I made pfirefry understandRaymond

    You tried to tell a programmer, @pfirefry , that he doesn't use models. That is just not the case. Programmers use models. Data is stored as a logical structure and thus databases/logical memory models the way information is represented and stored.

    The computer program, by means of computer language, lets, on the mega rythm of the computer clock, structured voltages appear which pull structured collections of 1s and 0s through the circuit wires.Raymond

    There are actually no 1s and 0s. That's an abstraction. But yes this is roughly correct, in a fuzzy way.

    How can this be a model of the real thing?Raymond

    Now you lost me. Data is the model. Nothing to do with flying btw.
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    Nick BostromMarchesk

    Since our friend Nick has posited the simulation hypothesis that, inter alia, the universe, earth, us could be a (mere) simulation, I believe a philosophy of computing/programming is, in a way, simply philosophy proper as we know it and understand it. God would map onto the coder responsible for the simulation for starters. Ontology would become a really interesting subject. How does, for instance, a computer distinguish numbers from trees? So on and so forth.
  • Raymond
    649
    1
    There are actually no 1s and 0s.emancipate

    Exactly! There are only bunches of electrons pushed and pulled around on the strict structure of the circuit wite. About 10exp15 times per second, in a programmed way, The program being laid down in that same structure of microcircuitery. How can that be a model of, say, the weather? How can algorithms leading to visuals of the shape of proteins, based on DNA information only, be a model of proteins?
  • emancipate
    356
    How can that be a model of, say, the weather?Raymond

    A model does not have to be the same as the thing it models... we dont need to make models out of clouds and vapour to accurately represent precipitation. It would make modelling impossible.

    Mathematical models are another example.

    This is really a nonsense conversation.
  • god must be atheist
    3.8k
    This is really a nonsense conversation.emancipate

    The Doors, a musical group of the 1960s, wrote and played a song, "Build Me A Woman, Ten Feet Tall". Also, Pygmalion sculpted Galatea. Da Vinci painted Mona Lisa. Those are models of models.
  • Raymond
    649
    Build Me A Woman, Ten Feet Tallgod must be atheist

    "Alright alright alright!" Horse Lattitudes is a pretty model too...
  • god must be atheist
    3.8k
    "Alright alright alright!"Raymond

    "Ladies and gentlemen... we're gonna give you Pictures at an Exhibition." My spine shivers, and my eyes water.

    Different group, same effect.

    I stop here before I get dinged for diverting the conversation from the topic.
  • Raymond
    649
    This is really a nonsense conversationemancipate

    Depends what you mean by nonsense. From the POV of those who think programmed electron currents can be a model, yes, indeed. The diverging view is labeled nonsense then. I understand what is meant though. But I don't agree. Nature doesn't operate according to a program and only a scaled (up or down) version of an object can be a model. The brain has potential models in itself of potentially every physical object or process. But let's put it to rest. The thread is about language to control the bunches of electrons by programmed voltages.
  • Raymond
    649
    For those interested:


  • god must be atheist
    3.8k
    Nature doesn't operate according to a program and only a scaled (up or down) version of an object can be a model.Raymond

    Now that we are diverting back to the topic: nature operates in a deterministic way, which is not programmed, to my belief, but it could be viewed that events in nature obey laws that are the backbones of a program. Others may believe the world was set into motion according to a plan, or a program.

    Only a scaled version of an object can be a model? In visual terms, yes, but you already have discrepancies in operational capacities. You can have scaled down version of a Ferrari, and many people do, but it does not have a working internal combustion engine. Yet it is a model. Why can't be something else (A) be a model of a portion of reality (B) where A is not strictly speaking a precise replica of B? Such as a computer program can be modelling (create model) of cars arriving at a service station at random, and seeing how much waiting time the owners of the cars must suffer to get their cars' problems fixed.
  • Raymond
    649
    Why can't be something else (A) be a model of a portion of reality (B) where A is not strictly speaking a precise replica of B? Such as a computer program can be modelling (create model) of cars arriving at a service station at random, and seeing how much waiting time the owners of the cars must suffer to get their cars' problems fixed.god must be atheist

    It can! Like a model in a brain, which are just running patterns of sodium ions rushing in. How can a free process, say a stone moving freely in the air, be modeled by a process that progresses by applying a programmed force field on electrons in wires?
  • god must be atheist
    3.8k
    How can a free process, say a stone moving freely in the air, be modeled by a process that progresses by applying a programmed force field on electrons in wires?Raymond

    The stone does NOT move freely in air. It obeys at least three influential forces: force of gravity, force of inertia (momentum) and force of air resistance.

    You make several observations of the effects of the three influences, and by "several" I mean at minimum several thousand distinct observations. Knowing then the effect of gravity, momentum and air resistance, you can build a virtual model of a stone travelling though air. You can calculate at which point it will have what speed, direction, and even temperature (if you are nifty enough).

    I call this modelling of a stone travelling through air.

    It will have inaccuracies. A physicist never says "1.94", or "5.53*10E204" but will say something like "1.94 +/- 0.02" or "5.53E204+/-393E203". Physicists do math, but with an allowable error of margin.

    Much like your Ferrari downscaled model won't have precise ratios, the virtual stone travel model will have imprecisions, but not perceptible by naked human senses.
  • god must be atheist
    3.8k
    I noticed that a lot, if not all, skepticism stems from benign ignorance. It's not that people wish to be unaware of physics and technological knowledge; it's that the schools in Canada and the USA are pitiful in instilling knowledge of physics, math, chemistry, biology, geography, philosophy, history, home economics, art, physical education and English. They are superb, however, and are lightyears better than European or Asian schools at teaching the Bible. They know what's important in America. So they keep it away from the common man at all costs.
  • god must be atheist
    3.8k
    So they keep it away from the common man at all costs.god must be atheist

    I ain't kiddin'. The state budget of New York state on education that comes out of taxes is 2.4 trillion dollars. Add to this the costs absorbed by the students and the families, and that comes to a whopping 32.3 trillion dollars. This includes not only books and tools, like pens and iPhones, but gas (taking kids to school), depreciation on vehicle, shoes, running shoes, tampons (tamper-proof), chewing gum, ammunition, handguns and semi-automatic firearms, security guards, more security guards, etc. etc. This is a lot of money, so the parents can rest assured that their little tykes get a really good grounding in Bible studies. From kindergarten to grade twelve.
  • Raymond
    649
    The stone does NOT move freely in air. It obeys at least three influential forces: force of gravity, force of inertia (momentum) and force of air resistancegod must be atheist

    I think we have a small misunderstanding. I mean there is a qualitative, intrinsic difference. The model of the combined motion of stone and air, including interactions, is represented by bunches of electrons that are pushed by voltages. The air molecules and stone move freely and once in a while collide with each other. Gravity is no force. The stone and air molecules form a free system in the sense that it's not periodically pushed and pulled into a new state. The process on the chip, the bunches of electrons on the tiny wires, representing abstract aspects of the real process, don’t flow free like the air and stone.
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