I want to get the meaning of the following sentence:

if a program is crystallized thought, ...

Does it mean a well-planned program or well-made one?


  • 1
    Liquids and gasses don't have inherent shape. When they crystallize they finally get a shape of their own.
    – user337391
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 13:11
  • This analogy is similar, in some ways, to the quote "I call architecture frozen music" usually attributed to the 17th century composer Johann Gottfried von Goethe. In both cases a more concrete product is contrasted with something more abstract.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 18:54

1 Answer 1


Neither. It is a metaphor meant to describe programs in general, not describing or referring to a particular program, or even a particular kind of program.

The metaphor imagines "thought" as being like something dissolved in a fluid, that gradually crystallises out into a solid, structured mass, and the program as the resulting mass.

  • Do you mean, the program that has been structured naturally or thought gradually?
    – Mehran
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 13:44
  • @eMehran: You'll have to ask the writer what they intended by the metaphor. But I take it it refers to the structuring.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 16:05
  • Thanks, I guess I got it. I'm translating the text so I'm looking for the best understanding.
    – Mehran
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 16:19

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