[OT] Free software versus software idea patents

harrismh777 harrismh777 at charter.net
Sat Apr 16 07:21:55 CEST 2011

geremy condra wrote:
>> >      http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=20091111151305785
>> >

> This is not a proof. This is an argument. There's a very big difference.
> To be clear, this article makes basically the same mistake you do- you
> assume that a program is exactly equivalent to its computation,

     Yes, I agree there is a difference between argument and proof. I 
full well know that what you are requiring here is a formal rigorous 
"mathematical" proof. I'm not trying to be coy about that issue, nor the 
issue of undecidability;  because at the moment it is not necessary for 
the purpose of isolating the problem underlying software idea patents. 
I'll explain that in a bit... in another post where it better fits... 
(hold that thought...)

     The main point here is that *all* that is necessary at the moment 
is to make the "argument" crystal clear, demonstrably (but not rigorous 
by mathematical standards), that software *is* mathematics. But, that 
Mathematics *is not* necessarily Software... something new to follow...

     Please consider these statements as pairs, then a small argument:

         Mathematics *is not* chess.

         Chess *is* mathematics.

         Mathematics *is not* Tic-Tac-Toe

         Tic-Tac-Toe *is* mathematics.

         Mathematics *is not* "The Towers of Hanoi".

         "The Towers of Hanoi" *is* mathematics.

         Mathematics *is not* Fourier Analysis.

         Fourier Analysis *is* mathematics.

         Mathematics *is not* computation.

         Computation *is* mathematics.

         Mathematics *is not* software.

         Software *is* mathematics.

     I am not stating the problem as "natural" and "obvious" from the 
direction of Mathematics ==> Software. *NOT*   That aspect would in fact 
require a formal rigorous proof (in my opinion). That aspect of the 
discussion must at this point remain stipulated as merely conjecture--- 
maybe with resounding circumstantial evidence and demonstration, but 
conjecture none the less. At least, I have never seen a formal proof. 
(This is the direction of my work and research, but more on that later...)

     I am asserting something of a subset in computational theory, even 
logic, and certainly number theory--- but there are others--- that the 
discussion at this point is from the other direction, namely,
Software ==> Mathematics. This aspect of the discussion (and the only 
one I believe matters for software idea patents at the moment) does not 
*require* a formal rigorous mathematical proof (we are not trying to 
prove a theorem here, rather to only demonstrate that software is the 
same 'thought' and 'process' (certainly a subset) as natural and obvious 
mathematical 'thought' and 'process'.  What?

     Namely--- input, control, arithmetic, logic, and output.

     These are subset to the broad and rich categories of mathematical 
thought and process. However, these small categories *are* definitive 
subsets of mathematics, obvious and natural, for all thinkers all over 
the globe. This is the reason I presume to apply for why you find 
software idea patents unfair and detestable. Because down underneath 
somewhere (like the rest of us), you too know that this aspect is 
natural and obvious. Its unfair (I really don't like that word) because 
it violates truth. Truth and freedom are very closely related topics.

     In this pursuit for freedom we are not violating (nor abusing) 
mathematics. (quite the opposite) The full rigor of mathematical thought 
and philosophical reasoning in mathematics are at the pinnacle of human 
endeavor and at the height of science. This I fully and truly respect. 
The issue is *not* to pull mathematics down somehow... the issue is to 
clearly define *what* software *is* and from where it ultimately derives 
(as a subset)--- what constitutes "software"?  The constituency of 
software is nothing less than mathematics, from my viewpoint.

     In a different post (in response to another of your good questions) 
I will try to lay out a different argument that comes a little closer at 
what you are looking for in terms of proof... still not rigorous 
mathematical proof...  but perhaps more demonstrable logically. Be 
patient, I'm trying to limit my posts to *not too many* whatever I mean 
by that.   :)

kind regards,
m harris

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