Alex au pays des chiffres by Alex Bellos

By Alex Bellos

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It is because humans appear to be most comfortable with determinate explanations, and the goal of a scientist should be to build a human explanation. At base the human mind understands determinately - when stripped of its fancy trappings the human understanding of any phenomenon is fundamentally that some definite cause unfailingly precedes a single particular effect. The continued attempt to frame all explanations in such determinate terms and the rankling irritation when direct cause and effect scenarios cannot be formulated - these provide the stimuli driving modern synthetic science.

Together, a list of its possible states and the rules for transitions between states will fully define a particular finite automaton. To go farther and to describe the play enacted by a finite automaton, we must also specify its initial state and a sequence of rules - the instructions - that determine the specific state transitions that actually occur. A configurational explanation can be transformed into a finite automaton by making some of its implied processes explicit, and this reveals its internal clockwork.

The templet is the embodiment of the particular organizational information, beyond that inherent in the elements of the precursor abstraction, needed to assemble the specific pattern represented by the final abstraction. A templet is the global topology that must be superimposed on the local topological potentials of the input in order to produce the particular pattern of the output. A templet is a necessary prepattern. In common usage, a templet is a model, a prototype, a guide, a prepattern or a blueprint.

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