The Oracle Machine
Magic and software
Procedural text is a composition of words having a pragmatic effect. A common example is software, which is handled by interpreters (augurs). The word Oracle derives from Latin ‘orare’ which means speaking: the oracular speech is a word having a specific power, either to guess future, or to give a response that influences the future because of the prediction’s suggestion. Somehow the prophecy can fulfil itself. If the power of prediction is the prediction itself (so, the words), and actualisation is merely a consequence of a magic sentence (again, words), then also Sibylline speech, whose ambiguity renders realisation, is an oral form of procedural text. Oracles are operating systems triggering a practical result (event). Since effectiveness is the mechanism, the process can be obscure. What magic and informatics have in common, is that they are empiric, recalling 16th century’s empiricism acceptation, whereas magic and science shared common methods, and these were considered on the base of their results, rather than on the base of theoretical assumptions.