Cuttings: The Lawgiving Coder The Lawgiving Coder | Cuttings

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July 9, 2016

The Lawgiving Coder

Coders as creators of universes and law.

The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is the lawgiver. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs. Moreover, and this is a crucial point, systems so formulated and elaborated act out their programmed scripts. They compliantly obey their laws and vividly exhibit their obedient behaviour. No playwright, no stage director, no emperor, however powerful, has ever exercised such absolute authority to arrange a stage or field of battle and to command such unswervingly dutiful actors or troops.

- Joseph Weizenbaum, In Computer Power and Human Reason


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