March 11, 2010
In my understanding computer software is written at a fundamental level as "code." Generally I understand this code to be a series of 1's and 0's in differing patterns which in turn constitute the programs. If this preliminary understanding is correct then does that mean that theoretically one could predict everything ever written as a computer program? Say for example you had a machine that generated code sequences and stored them. What are the odds that it would construct programs that people hadn't written "yet," as though the machine would generate code in differing sequences so that occasionally all the code would line up and create something meaningful? By meaningful I simply mean something coherent. If it was storing these sequences then imagine if you could search that database. Say for example I searched for sequences of code similar to those found in a word document with my name on it or even further the code of a paper I wrote. Could the machine have generated a duplicate just by trying every combination of code possible? If so then could I search the database for things I hadn't written? Like for a paper on Nietzsche and Heidegger that I needed to write? Would it be possible that I could search up bits of code enough to get a whole host of papers (most of which might be gibberish), some of which might say exactly something I might say about Nietzsche and Heidegger? If there ware infinite possibilities of code combinations then I don't see why this couldn't be the case.
This is not to say that the code predicts anything; rather it would just have all the possibilities already written so that I wouldn't have to.
Is this what the Internet may become? A database of code combinations? What are the chances that a real problem for future students may be that their authentic papers will already have been written? So that a professor could Google it and think the student plagiarized?
-(Originally composed by Patrick)