Monday, December 07, 2009

Wikipedia knows everything. It even remembers the list of unusual software bugs. My favorite one is Schroedinbug:

A schroedinbug is a bug that manifests only after someone reading source code or using the program in an unusual way notices that it never should have worked in the first place, at which point the program promptly stops working for everybody until fixed.

The funny thing is that the concept is completely in agreement with John Searle's theory of Social Reality. The theory says that we create the reality by collectively believing in it. For example, paper or any other kind of money has value only because we all believe that it has value. In football, a team gets 6 points for a touchdown because everybody, including the opposing team, agrees that the touchdown is worth exactly 6 points.

I think schroedingbug works somewhat differently, though. Once it's noticed, people try to fix it and, due to a multitude side effects, the whole system promptly falls apart.

tags: construction, philosophy, computers, network,  background, artifact, problem

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Indeed we create reality but what kind of reality? :)

That's the whole point of Searle's book

You may find interesting another review on Construction of Social Reality by John Searle