The following bit is from an interesting little article that popped up on Wired. Frank O'Hara once joked that there was "nothing metaphysical about tight pants," echoing W.C. Williams' sentiments regarding metaphysics that he was more than wont to voice. Descartes roll over, but I don't see how the psychic function of the individual subject does not cognitively process information in a singularly material way and, moreover, I don't see how the processing of language-information radically differs from that of image-information:

"One way around all this may be to figure out 'how human beings recognize objects in the real world and duplicate that functionality in a series of algorithms.' But here's the catch: 'Recent research has indicated that humans use not one algorithm, but multiple algorithms for the task of object recognition - depending on the object being recognized and the situation at hand."

"Sometimes, people use 'template based algorithms' -- like matching an object to a database. Sometimes, they look for particular features. In other situations, they watch for geometric icons, or geons. 'These three algorithms are used in conjunction with a fourth algorithm, a contextual cueing algorithm, which limits the overall search space. Finally, human spatial memory is able to mentally rotate objects in order to match the object to different representations'."

Once upon a time, there were a select group of workers called computers. They did computations for a living, and they used algorithms to do so. Machines replaced their primary function of computation, but computers are still tools or instruments with which we interface. I'm using algorithms right now to process how to italicize this present sentence. The buttons on the screen (or the hot-keys, as it were) merely serve as extensions of this processing. Perhaps I'll write more on this in the future, but in the meantime, check out a book called The Universal Computer, or, better yet, a book by Berlinski: The Advent of the Algorithm.