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Idempotence, or idempotent, illustrated with an idempotent action of look_at_cake that always has the same effect, compared with a non-idempotent action of eat_slice_of_cake


Idempotence is essentially an operation that, no matter how many times you do it, you’ll still get the same result, at least without doing other operations in between. A classic example would be view_your_bank_balance being idempotent, and withdraw_1000 not being idempotent. It’s a property that’s often handy as you can retry the operation without worrying about unintended effects.

Idempotence is a concept from mathematics and computer science but can be applied more generally. For example, simple on and off buttons are idempotent, a property that can be very useful in emergencies.

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