What is algorithm, by definition and function?

In the most basic sense, an algorithm is a process - a set of detailed instructions that must be carried out in a particular order to attain a given result. The function of algorithm is that of effecting change in accordance with the procedural and behavioral definition embodied within the formal rendering of the algorithm.

Informal examples of the construction of algorithm

What we refer to as "informal algorithm" is not really algorithm, but shares many of the traits of its definition but without the formality of structure or expression. Examples of "informal algorithm" would be such things as an instruction booklet, a recipe, or spoken directions. While these would attempt encourage a specific behaviour toward a given result, their language and structure often leaves them open to interpretation. Further, "informal algorithm" most commonly targets the cognitive elements of the human system as the directing agent to be employed in carrying out the function of the algorithm. While "informal algorithm" may have some value in conveying processes among human manifolds, it does not share in the universality of the formal expression and natural rendering of pure algorithm.

Selective resonance and the free will of the human system

Within the present scope of conditions, the human system is more oriented toward "informal algorithm" than to pure algorithm (which, by its nature, is formal). It is the uniquely-human resource of "free will" which renders this evident...and it is this same resource which makes selective resonance possible. "Informal algorithm" is almost always assimilated exclusively through cognition, and is thus subject to the structures, as well as cognitive limitations, of a given recipient. There is a profound freedom of form and conveyance attributed to "informal algorithm". It is easily communicated through speech, action, images, or writings within a similarly informal language.

Selective resonance implies that the process embodied within the "informal algorithm" may be treated in a subjective manner by the human recipient. As such, only certain components may become integral within the system...others being interpreted and revised, and some being discarded in their entirety. In this condition, the process conveyed by "informal algorithm" is subjected to change based upon the condition of the will of a given recipient; and their subsequent conveyance of this to another human is, in essence, "pre-filtered". With the wholesome condition of the will, however, "informal algorithm" can be an effective means of communication within a human manifold. It engenders a freedom of expression which cannot be achieved through the formality of pure algorithm. Therefore, "informal algorithm" stands as an appropriate resource for and among humans in the continued presence of free will.