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Aeggnis
psychic stalker
Aeggnis
The keyboard is the primary object behind all those other notions though, meaning you won't get very far away from it relying on the others.
lolno. The keyboard isn't the commonality. Language is the commonality to some of these.


Language is not the common aspect of computer technology. The usage of a keyboard is more fundamental.
So... You're saying that the spoken and written word are irrelevant to the use of a computer.

... While you type missives on an Internet forum.

... In English.

And Language has nothing to do with it.

Right.


You're a looney.


You want to debate the fine line of communicating on a forum over the internet versus the actual usage of a computer to process information?

Where would we start? What does computation have to do with communication? What do typewriters have to do with communication?

What do computers have to do with understanding language?

I have a better answer. Computers are the only thing that allows modern scientific experiments to be conducted.

Whatever language you understand, you aren't going to do anything without one.
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Aeggnis
You want to debate the fine line of communicating on a forum over the internet versus the actual usage of a computer to process information?

Where would we start? What does computation have to do with communication? What do typewriters have to do with communication?

What do computers have to do with understanding language?

I have a better answer. Computers are the only thing that allows modern scientific experiments to be conducted.

Whatever language you understand, you aren't going to do anything without one.
I think what's at issue here is that you have some misconceptions about "language" and the field of linguistics.

When computers first developed they were explicitly calculators. They were programmed with numbers and mathematical symbols and operated on numbers as input to produce numbers as output. All anyone wanted or expected from them was to be expensive calculators.

However that quickly changed. As the algorithms being programming into the computers became more complex the idea of using pure mathematical notation became unrealistic. It wasn't long before we had machine language and assembly language and various other programming languages. Although these languages are ultimately used as a mathematical notation to describe an algorithm, they are still languages to the field of linguistics. They use vocabulary, syntax and grammar to convey semantic meaning (between the programmer and the machine or compiler, but also between the programmer and other programmers).

As languages were developed for describing instructions to the computer, the functions described by those instructions became more sophisticated and generic. We began encoding linguistic characters and symbols in addition to pure numbers. We created new shells and new languages so that we could talk to computers and they could talk back. The conversations were still not quite English (and they still aren't) but they kept getting progressively closer.

When it became possible to interact with computers using letters and words, as opposed to just numbers, the engineers looked around for a data-input mechanism that would allow the programmer to send those letters and words to the computer. At that time, the typewriter was a ubiquitous appliance so copying it's input mechanism had the obvious advantage of familiarity. But even then, keyboard itself wasn't the input to the computer, it merely converted the characters pressed into an input stream (initially punch cards) that the computer could understand.

I could keep going describing the step by step evolution of computing, but if we just fast-forward from the early half of the 20th century to now, at the beginning of the 21st century, the same old concepts and abstractions have carried through to the present day.

Modern computers, despite all their advances, still echo back to those original designs. The keyboard is still just a device which encodes characters into a stream of numbers which is fed as input to your software. The programs themselves don't know or care where the stream of characters came from. It could have been a keyboard, or it could have been dip switches, or it could even have been punch cards. All the software sees is a stream of numbers which represent characters. And the characters it sees compose words and language that it can interpret and compute to produce some output that the user has requested.

So yes, at it's core the commonality is language and character streams. It is not the keyboard, which is just one of many possible input devices for encoding a valid stream of characters.

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Aeggnis
You want to debate the fine line of communicating on a forum over the internet versus the actual usage of a computer to process information?
No. It's pretty clear that you've got a pre-conceived notion that keyboards are central to computing and that you're not willing to debate that.
Aeggnis
Where would we start? What does computation have to do with communication? What do typewriters have to do with communication?
We could start with some theories of computation (e.g., Church, Turing, Kay, and Hoare.) From there, we can demonstrate that all of the foundations of computation center around formalisms of linguistics. Then, we could continue to communication, where keyboards were invented for the specific need of transcribing written language, and phonographs were invented to transcribe vocal language. And then we could continue on to how keyboards were attached to computers to simplify the input of language. Which then leads us back to theories of computation where language is core to everything.

Typewriters have everything to do with textual communication - aside from writing (like with a pen or stylus), typing is the only way, currently, to transcribe written language reliably. Speech recognition is one way to transform the spoken word into the written word, but it is by no means the only alternative, as I have already said.

Your premise is therefore backwards.
Aeggnis
What do computers have to do with understanding language?
Nothing. It's the other way around: Language has everything to do with understanding computation. Why do you persist in presenting backward thoughts?
Aeggnis
I have a better answer. Computers are the only thing that allows modern scientific experiments to be conducted.
No, they are not. Scientists have historically used, and continue to use, pen and paper. Computers only make the pen and paper faster.
Aeggnis
Whatever language you understand, you aren't going to do anything without one.
Which was my point, and which you seemed to both ignore and reject.

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