The curse of variety in computing, and what can be done about it

J Gerard Wolff

Excess freedom in how computers are used creates problems that include: bit rot, problems with big data, problems in the creation and debugging of software, and problems with cyber security. To tame excess freedom, "tough love" is needed in the form of a {\em universal framework for the representation and processing of diverse kinds of knowledge} (UFK). The "SP machine", based on the "SP theory of intelligence", has the potential to provide that framework and to help solve the problems above. There is potential to reduce the near-4000 different kinds of computer file to one, and to reduce the hundreds of different computer languages to one.

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