There has always existed a tension between innovation and history. Even in terms of physical dynamics. The former is divined to move forward, imagining and usurping the future, while the latter is analyzing and uncovering the past.
In my studies and research into UNIX, I cannot help but to consider the way in which current technologies are built upon & are interconnected with one another.
I recall a conversation I had recently about algorithmic design and current technologies. How each breed, or iteration of tech nowadays is an improved and faster version of the other. I suppose, while this is true, I cannot help but to notice that all things return back to a trivial and fundamental operational set of procedures.
The reason to why I began writing this post was to note, truly, how science and innovation only propels itself forward upon the broadened understanding of the world and its formation — whether by mathematical structures or social impulses.
Naturally there are edge cases of “serendipity” — but I am beginning to wonder if there truly exists such a thing. Wouldn’t it be reasonable to consider that a person of a fairly robust set of habits, existing in a fairly predictable environment, is bound to end up in a certain outcome or create a certain product given continuous performances?
The way that we formulate a story, or a narrative that binds together a scientific discovery is the very the structure that conveys meaning and significance. Humans have a natural persuasion for compelling narratives. And what can make a story compelling and meaningful is the effect in which its consequence has on the listener. That can mean its affect on an ecosystem in which they exist; or a part of an ecosystem, which as we know, begins to affect the larger system.
In the reocurrence of an item, or a formula, we see its created meaning from repitition. We know something like Pythagoreom Thereom is Very Important because it appears in almost every form of mathematics and physics. It enhances our understanding of higher level mathemetical practices.
I can’t help but to think of the way these important patches, concepts, stay almost static. And then, the world around it begin to expand, contract, extend and adapt to these important fixtures.
Why does this matter?
It allows me to think about the world, these invisible structures, scientific, political, and all else, as a rhizome. And somewhere in all of it, we are being. Naturally, all these structures pull and tug on who we are. Yet we lack the ability to trace these lines.
I am interested in patterns. Namely, how we are consistently attempting to program the world. In a way, these are questions about creativity within programming. Does the world exist for us to recreate? And does it bring us any closer to knowing the infinitisemal components any more by mimicking it with our own set of languages and procedures, rather than ruthless dissection?
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t really believe we are programming the world. I have been corrected to know that what has been achieved in computer programming is merely a trivial replication of highly complex, dynamic and unknown systems.
What I find interesting in how we are going about it, and this framework of programming necessarily aids me to think about epistemology. Consider how spoken and written language functions: one could argue that beyond the strings of syllables, semiotics, phonemes, all of which makes up language, each without a fluent observer, is utterly meaningless.
Yet, because we are able to attribute meaning to each distinct symbol. Different meanings emerge upon assembly and variation of the any number of symbols taken from our predefined set, it becomes powerful.
Additionally, if we have access to all these levels we can trace a meaning to be a shadow of another. Origins of the words in latin, or Chinese symbols that echo the phyical object its attempting to sign. It gets closer to its intended expression.
I do not see a dissimilarity with code. Looking into low-level languages inspires me to think about these things only because of its nearness to humanity.
In UNIX especially, we have language and terms that are pulled from human behaviourisms, actions, and scenarios to describe its mechanics. When at its root, it is simply a sequence of binary strings. This nearness and specifically, its youngness (thus its ease of analogy), compels me to ponder on older systems of thought and whether or not they share this Darwinian expansion.
Of course, the origins of thought and matter extend further than 1969, and through evolution and iteration, have become completely indecipherable, but it makes me wonder what exists at the root of language and thought. What are the signals that have created everything?