‘Let this machine breathe for you,’ Paul stands by the computer, ‘let it extend your mind into this world.’ Paul has sat at the computer for the last two weeks. Programming. He has basically learnt C++ from scratch. On the walls of our room he has posted notes all over: if this, use a looping structure, if that, use the base vector class. It is our pure room, perhaps you might say, it is what the inside of a computer might look like. ‘O I have an itch,’ I hear Paul say, ‘scratch these numbers, please.’
It has become a meditative practice. Programming into the night, Paul is convinced he has stumbled onto the next big thing. Better than a Social Network. He calls it his Predictor Machiney. Like a google search it creeps along, like a worm. It stops at sharp corners, marks the spot, then finds the simplest, shortest, path to the next corner. These corners are the events people eat up. The events we stumble upon. The garbage, the rubish.
‘This machine faces it,’ Paul stares at the blue screen, ‘what we can’t find in ourselves to look at.’ Some of the best parts of these code sort and store information that, with just the right condition, perpetuate a certain algorithm at sometime in the unknown future.
Take the code in; take the code
Paul first started as such a slow typer, perhaps a word a minute. Pause. Look at the screen. Think of the word. Paul could not understand the correlation between his mind, hands, and the screen. It was a mystery. It is now freedom, it is now friendship, he says.
Code in algorithm; mindful of the code
There is a certain amount of freedom in the code. Tasks, quite inconceivable before, are done quickly. Continuously.
‘I would have taught the Ephesians about optimization algorithms.’ Paul’s finger nails click the keyboard like a piano stroke. ‘Looking at their fear over my imprisonment, nowadays, reminds me of how they might have benefited from an algorithm I just wrote.’
Garbage in; flowers out