On rituals and algorithms
July 17, 2012 7:10 AM Subscribe
What is the relationship between the ritual and the algorithm? Are all rituals algorithmic?
posted by 0bvious to Religion & Philosophy (16 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I'm interested in any
papers or books/chapters written about this. I'm writing about Google's search algorithm at the moment, and I can't help get this ritual thing out of my head. It feels like an important meeting point between humans and machines.
When I say 'ritual' I mean the enactment of a set of actions with traditional and symbolic value.
When I say 'algorithm' I am talking about computers of course (a step-by-step procedure for calculation), but I am also interested in an algorithm as a list of well-defined instructions passed on to another entity in order to execute a specific procedure in precise detail. That entity might be a human.
Are all rituals algorithmic?
The best conflation I can think of is the Japanese Tea Ceremony
. To generalise, I see this as a highly specific algorithm taken to the absolute limits of human cultural perfection.
Many thanks in advance!