Code Sculpture: Two Adjustments

(define (updated-belief current opinion)
  (let* ((novelty (- opinion hegemony))
         (impact (significance novelty hegemony)))
    (if (and (not (supports novelty hegemony))
             (> impact minor-significance))
        (+ current opinion)
class Belief {
  void update(Opinion& opinion) {
    Opinion novelty = opinion - current;
    Significance impact = novelty.significance(current);
    if (novelty.supports(current) || impact < MINOR) {
      current += opinion;
  Opinion current;

If this makes no sense, then feel assured this is a one off. If it does, I’d love feedback.



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11 responses to “Code Sculpture: Two Adjustments

  1. I know enough only to walk away self-satisfied because I think I am smart enought to understanding it saying something like:
    Our beliefs are protected and filtered by the hegemony of social momentum unless some odd belief has just the right impact.

    But in the end, our current opinion has amazing staying power.

    OK, what did it really say?

  2. Did it again — too hyper.

  3. I don’t think it makes a lot of sense. However, it was a fun read.

  4. Doug

    Fun, thanks for pointing me at it. I particularly love the choice of languages for each program! I like the fact that the second one is consistent, but the first isn’t. It did take me a long time to understand the first one, been a long time since I’ve seen any LISP. Are the order of args to ‘significance’ not reversed, feels like I’d put them the other way round?

  5. Ian

    Thanks everyone. Doug – hey nice of you to make it! Neil – you might want to puzzle it a bit more, there’s quite a lot in there, one of the bits Doug alludes to. Sabio – it means what you get from it, algorithmically there are some very significant nuances, but it was intended in a spirit of art, so I don’t want to prejudge other people’s reading of it.

    Doug – on the arguments. Doesn’t matter as much in the first one, the order there was chosen for parallelism. It was significant to me in the second.

  6. Doug

    Just noticed the first one doesn’t change any state, so can be run hypothetically too! Very clever (assuming you intended that).

    And I still don’t get the order of arguments.I’ll think some more.

  7. Ian

    It was intended. Yes šŸ˜‰

  8. Neil ā€“ you might want to puzzle it a bit more, …

    I’m skeptical of just about all belief talk, and that’s why I didn’t think it made much sense.

  9. Ian

    “Iā€™m skeptical of just about all belief talk” Ah gotya, sorry, I thought you meant ‘sense’ as in meaning not as in accuracy. It would be great to learn more about the character of your skepticism (not w.r.t. this post). Can you link to specific posts on your blog were I could start? I’ve looked around your blog, but I confess, not read every post.

  10. I don’t think I have said much directly about beliefs. It has always seemed to me that beliefs are too indeterminate to be useful for anything. We can’t really say what a person’s beliefs are. Sure, I realize that “belief” is a term of art in philosophy, but the philosophers don’t give clear definitions either.

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