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(From com-putare) literally, to reflect, to contemplate (putare) things in concert (com-). Any operation, not necessarily numerical, that transforms, modifies, re-arranges or orders physical markers in a medium. The physical markers maybe objects or events in their own right as in the computations carried out by the human cell or they may be symbols and descriptions of events as in data processing by a man-made computer. The early (1936) concept of computing by a Turing Machine involved writing and erasing characters by specific rules on a theoretically infinite tape. Examples are the simple permutation of the three letters A, B, C into C, A, B, the obliteration of the commas between them, yielding CAB, and the semantic transformation that changes CAB into TAXI, the recursive association of various adjectives before TAXI, etc. (von Foerster). Although computation by electronic computers is largely geared toward a desirable result (see algorithm) computing does not imply a purpose. (Krippendorff)
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