Organized (formal) information processing, usually algorithmic in nature. Starting with the concept of the action of a computer, it has become a formal concept studied by computer science, and a pervasive metaphor for cognitive activity in general. This has led to controversy about whether there is any other kind of information processing (whether, for instance, human thought is a form of computation); see Church-Turing Thesis, Alan Turing, Chomsky Hierarchy.

Boil some water in a saucepan. Look at the intricate patterns of steam that rise and swirl and seethe above it. (Pouring milk into coffee has similar effects.) Fluid dynamics are such beautiful computation! Have you ever seen so much unnecessary content?! So much reckless computation? Everything you see or experience or imagine is computation. There is nothing but computation.

People love it when you say of something, anything, "Look at all that glorious computation!"

Com`pu*ta"tion (?), n. [L. computatio: cf. F. computation.]

1.

The act or process of computing; calculation; reckoning.

By just computation of the time. Shak.

By a computation backward from ourselves. Bacon.

2.

The result of computation; the amount computed.

Syn. -- Reckoning; calculation; estimate; account.

 

© Webster 1913.

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