Programs of the future


Today’s programs process data. Tomorrow’s programs will process (programmable) matter.

For example, programs written in languages for synthetic biology will be compiled into biochemical assemblies that roam the natural world, not merely simulations that run on a conventional computer. The simulation is not the assembly.

Compiling programs to material assemblies instead of informational, symbol-manipulating simulations will be the new computing. These are substrative vs. linguistic compilers, programs with phenomenological vs. informational semantics.

In Heidegger’s inimitable linguistic play on the Greek roots, “‘phenomenology’ means … — to let that which shows itself be seen from itself in the very way in which it shows itself from itself.”

Philip Thrift


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