SHAM: The Superior Higher Abstract Machine

Ian Jacobs

To appear in the Journal of Logical Mathematics.

In this paper, we present the formal description of an abstract machine. Though similar to the other well-established abstract machines ---SPAM (Simple Person's Abstract Machine), FNAM (French National Abstract Machine), JAM (Jelly-like Abstract Machine)--- the SHAM is more ``abstract'' without being any less ``machine''. The SHAM introduces the notion of meta-abstraction, or virtual abstraction, which is a notch more abstract than traditional abstraction, as the term suggests. During virtual abstraction, the SHAM tries to consider potential abstraction mechanisms which are naturally instantiations of generic potential abstraction mechanisms. Although this consideration phase may require an indeterminate amount of time, all results to date have been astonishing in the least. To illustrate their importance, we draw an analogy to Wittgenstein's insights that meaning and truth arise only through use and external verification, as expounded in The Philosophical Investigations. By acknowledging that any conceptual framework does not in fact explain a given reality but only describes it, the SHAM, in a virtual state of meta-abstraction, nullifies the significance of all previous abstract machines, notably Swedish ones. In other words, the prickly questions raised by research in the domain of abstract machines (cf. ``etherealality''[sic] as addressed by the Cute Little Abstract Machine) simply flake away in light of these new ideas so steeped in abstract meta-virtuality. Indeed, just as Wittgenstein ---considered the greatest philosopher of the century by intellectuals and himself--- unwittingly undermined the work of the innumerable number of probing minds that preceded him, we hope to disprove, without going so far as to hurt the feelings of, our respected but misled colleagues. Thus is the essence of the SHAM.

The system is currently implemented in sed.

Key words: grant, funding, etherealality.

Ian Jacobs