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ante anticipation ashbel smith complexity information mihai nadin Representation

The Intractable and the Undecidable

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The Intractable and the Undecidable – Computation and Anticipatory Processes


Representation is the pre-requisite for any form of computation. To understand the consequences of this premise, we have to reconsider computation itself. As the sciences and the humanities become computational, to understand what is processed and, moreover, the meaning of the outcome, becomes critical. Focus on big data makes this understanding even more urgent. A fast growing variety of data processing methods is making processing more effective. Nevertheless these methods do not shed light on the relation between the nature of the process and its outcome. This study in foundational aspects of computation addresses the intractable and the undecidable from the perspective of anticipation. Representation, as a specific semiotic activity, turns out to be significant for understanding the meaning of computation.

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