Esoprogramming and Computational Idealism

Computational idealism is a code aesthetic introduced midway through M. Beatrice Fazi's book Contingent Computation. She describes it as holding "the classical age's concern with the supremacy of simplicity over complexity, of order over chaos, and of unity over parts."

Fazi describes it as a mathematician's aesthetic ideal of harmony and simplicity that sits behind much of what is considered elegant or beautiful in computing.

[C]omputational idealism holds that an equivalence between beauty and truth can be found via logical proof: computational structures are truthful insofar as they are logically consistant; this consistency is beautiful because it adheres to the axiomatic character of computation.

This might sound like it has little to do with esolangs, which do not in particular favor order or simplicity, but is actually a very useful tool to understand classic esoteric coding practices. In fact, Fazi introduces this concept, not with a particularly clever sorting program or other classic algorithm, but with codeĀ associated more with mayhem and machine disobedience: Jaromil's Fork Bomb:

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This entry originally appeared at esoteric.codes/blog/esoprogramming-and-computational-idealism, and may be a summary or abridged version.