Algorithms and immortality

There is something philosophically interesting about coming up with a new algorithm. I’m thinking about this right now because I came up with one just today, whilst trying to solve a research problem.

I created this algorithm for a very specific purpose. But it’s also very general. So there’s a good chance it is going to be used by other people for other purposes.

And here is where it all gets interesting. In all likelihood, many of those people will find clever new uses for this algorithm — uses I would never have thought of — long after I’m gone from this earth.

Which means that an algorithm is, in a funny way, a kind of immortality. When you give the world a new thought or idea, you are passing down your intellectual DNA, setting it free to mingle with the intellectual DNA of future generations.

Well ok, it’s not literal immortality. But it’s still pretty good.

3 Responses to “Algorithms and immortality”

  1. Andy says:

    In other words, algorithms give your life meme-ing.

  2. Joshua Marinacci says:

    Don’t leave hanging! What’s the new algorithm?

  3. admin says:

    It’s a better way of parsing user input in gesture-based text entry for VR. I’m still working on it. Hopefully I’ll have something cool to report about soon

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